Nature Culture Beaches Adventure Special Interest Eco Tourism Ayurveda Hotels Other Places to Visit

A characteristic fishing town north of Colombo and a mere 6km away from Sri Lanka’s International airport is Negombo, a fascinating beach resort situated by the shores of a lagoon. The town is vibrant and quite a busy place dotted with numerous hotels and guest houses. Negombo is a gourmet’s paradise with sea food in plenty. Its location on the west coast made it a popular fishing and trading port. World fishing craft like the outrigger canoe and the Catermaran bring Seer, Skipjack, Herring, Mullet among other large fish while Lobster and Prawn are caught in the lagoon. Once colonized by the Dutch, Portuguese and the British, their imprint is clearly visible from the high percentage of Roman Catholics and the many churches found in and around the town

Mount Lavinia
12 km South of Colombo, Mount Lavinia is an immediate city suburb considered to have one of the best beaches close to any metropolis in the world. It’s proximity to the commercial capital makes it an ideal getaway and the beach was one of the better known , even in colonial times. It lies alongside a wind swept headland jutting in to the waters of the Indian Ocean.

The once Governor’s House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland now forms the famous Mt Lavinia Hotel, a legacy of Sri Lanka 's Colonial Heritage. It stands as a monument to the forbidden love of a Governor General and a local mestizo dancer who cast a spell on his heart.

Wadduwa & Kalutara
The towns of Wadduwa and Kalutara have become very popular tourist destinations within the last two decades. The development in tourism has fast seen excellent beach resorts immerging in these areas As you cross the Bridge over the Kalu Ganga (River) the first thing to attract your attention will be the Gangatilaka Temple in Kalutara you will notice passers-by of all faiths making it a point to make a stop outside the Dagoba to offer a small donation in one of the till boxes. As it the believe that paying respects to this temple will ensure that their journey is safe from any ill-fate and goes as planned. Once popular for its spices, especially cinnamon, Kalutara is now more popular for the delicious mangoosteen fruit sold on the roadsides, and for “Toddy” Sri Lanka’s most common alcoholic beverage obtained by fermenting the sap of the coconut flower, the area is also popular for producing Sri Lanka’s most beautifully woven baskets and mats.

Beruwala & Bentota
Beruwala marks the 130 km stretch of beaches where resort development has made immense strides in recent years. The sparkling blue ocean, long sandy beaches and shallow reefs make it ideal for bathing, all year-round
many popular hotels define the coastal towns of Beruwala and Bentota

Beruwala marks the spot where the first Arab Muslim settlers are believed to have landed around the eighth century. Which is evident due to the large population of Muslims residing in this area. Kitchimalai Mosque only about 3 km away is worth seeing, a major pilgrimage centre at the end of Ramadan, there is also a shrine of a 10th century Muslim saint. Looking east form the mosque Beruwala harbor is an interesting place to watch the fisherman unload their catch. The fish market is busy early each morning where you may well see fresh fish change hands even before the sun is up. You can also hire a boat to the lighthouse raised on a small island offshore
which offers an excellent view of the coastline from the top.

A romantic rendezvous of river and sea, Bentota is only 4 km south of Beruwala. Bentota Bridge marks the border between the Western and Southern Provinces. Here are some of the most sumptuous places to stay in the entire island. The area is also gaining reputation for providing excellent Ayurvedic healing centers. For the intrepid there’s plenty to do and tons of places to explore. The area is also very popular for Water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing and sailing which is mainly conducted along the Bentota River. For the traveler looking to experience more of Sri Lanka’s deep sea wonders, then diving and snorkeling in the clear blue ocean waters filled with dazzling and colourful fish and other mystical creatures will certainly be a treat for the senses, or if you’re the kind of person whose notion of an ideal holiday is just lazing on unspoilt golden beaches, feeling the warm seas gently lapping against you, letting your imagination drift as far it wants to go and just enjoying the moment…then this area is the prefect setting.

Approximately 100 km south, lies one of the most popular beach venues in Sri Lanka Hikkaduwa is famous for its clear waters, golden sandy beaches, and breathtaking coral reefs with it’s abundance of tropical fish The area is most popular for all kinds of water sports and one of the best locations for diving and snorkeling and ideal for board or body-surfing . The Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary is a shallow protected reef carpeted with brilliant hues of coral and inhabited by a beautiful tropical fish. The reef, which runs parallel to the shore, can be explored by snorkeling or in a glass-bottomed boat There are also good chances to see the Manta rays and Sea turtles , In fact a trip on the glass bottom boat is a must at Hikkaduwa providing a great opportunity to observe the excitement of the underwater world. The area was declared as a Marine Sanctuary in 1979, in accordance with the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance. Hikkaduwa’s fabulous beaches combined with the excellent water sport activities, great restaurants, pubs, and nightlife make this vibrant town the ideal place to satisfy everybody’s requirement of a memorable beach holiday.

Galle & Unawatuna
Situated near the southern end of the coast, 116 km from Colombo lies Galle, the cities’ origin goes back even before the Western settlers arrived here in the 16th century. Its strategic location made it once a major trading port of precious stones, spices etc, and was Sri Lanka’s first international commerce and trade centre.

Galle is a city with a colorful history and an old world charm. Its natural harbor was a famous fort in days gone by. Reminders of the Dutch is still very much alive specially within the magnificent 300 year old Forts where churches and homes are built entirely within the walls and mighty ramparts of the Fort, these fortifications have been remarkably preserved and declared as a UNESCO world Heritage site, other places worth visiting while in Galle include the fascinating Dutch Church, Dutch Museum and the Dutch Government House.

Not far away, approximately 7 km south of Galle is Unawatuna, probably the best and safest beach in the entire west coast of Sri Lanka This stunning beach which lies along a sheltered bay is protected by a double reef and therefore an excellent location for year-round swimming. If you are in to diving it also may serve as an ideal base To explore some of the ship wrecks which exist around Galle Bay.

195 km south of Colombo, rounding the tip at Dondra lies Tnagalle, the journey takes a northerly deviation following the contour of the Island to arrive at this town, this is where the continuous popular beach stretch ends. Areas such as Tangalle were the remoter beaches not too long ago, but have developed in to one of the most sort after beach holiday destinations for those who require more peace and tranquility, its secluded bays, and stretches of unspoiled sandy beaches allow you to just laze and soak up the sun, there is excellent accommodation facilities available in the area including boutique type hotels for those who yearn for even more privacy. Sea conditions in Tangalle are also known for being one of the best places for bathing and snorkeling, diving off the coast is also a possibility.

A few km east of Tangalle lies the Rekawa Turtle Sanctuary which provides visitors the rare opportunity to watch the marine turtles nest. Sri Lanka is home to 5 of the 7 marine turtles of the world, all of which are endangered
Species. Check our link for further etails

Close to Tangalle lies the Ancient Buddhist rock temple “Mulgirigala” which is worth a visit. the monastery has a history which dates back to the 2nd century B.C it holds several Buddha statues, and unique paintings. There are beliefs that the temple possesses special powers in making wishes come true, which draws many devotees throughout the year.

Arugam Bay
Due to the significant eradication of terrorism in the recent past, Arugambay is more and more frequently visited and is a very popular beach in the eastern coast. The unspoilt secluded white sandy palm fringed beach is the ideal spot to relax and get a bit of sun tan, it is also known to be one of the worlds best surfing destinations, there are also excellent places for bathing where the water is only waist high, there are quite a few quality guesthouses and restaurants offering excellent food and clean moderate accommodation for those who are on a strict budget, seafood of course is the specialty in the area

Trincomalee is the largest city in the Eastern Province and has a fine deep natural harbor which is one of the biggest natural harbours in the world. The sparkling blue water and white sandy beaches lined with swaying palm trees is the ideal tropical setting for the dream beach vacation. If you are visiting between the months of April to October, then bathing conditions are ideal at Nilaveli, 6 km north of Trincomalee town where relatively shallow waters go on for many meters to the sea, Just off Nilaveli Beach is the popular Pigeon Island where snorkeling conditions are ideal. Whale watching is also an attraction in this area. The city also boasts of many Buddhist and Hindu religious historical sites, some of which date back to the 2nd century BC .The Tirukoneswaram Temple is perhaps the most popular Hindu place of worship and is certainly worth a visit.


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