The South Coast
Go back in time and as you walk the ramparts of the UNESCO listed fort city of Galle and discover the colonial history and legacy of the Dutch, Portuguese and British in the East Indies. Track the secretive leopard at Sri Lanka premier national park, visit the mysterious temple of Kataragama famed for its holiness to all faiths for over 2000 years, dive the waters off Galle and Kirinda for its impressive marine life and shipwrecks or just relax on the miles of unspoilt coastline that is the South of Sri Lanka.
The south coast commences at the historic fort city of Galle, as you head into Sri Lanka’s deep south the road becomes less crowded, the aspect becomes more rural and you get to experience the unhurried pace of village life along with the dramatic coastline and the lush green interior of the island.
The towns of Galle, Unuwatuna, Thalpe, Weligama, Mirissa, Tangalle are now the haven for travellers looking for the quieter beaches, boutique hotels and chilled out beach time.
The Beaches – Most of Sri Lanka big resorts are on the Westcoast, the deep South therefore remains very much the home of the empty beaches and laidback towns serviced by small budget guest houses and luxurious boutique villas. Unuwatuna, Mirissa, Tangalle, Hambantota to name a few are sought by the travellers looking to get off the beaten track there are many beaches down here where it is still possible to be the only one on the beach.
The Fort city of Galle – The city of Galle is a UNESCO listed world heritage site. This coastal fortress built by the Dutch in the 1663 stands intact today and is still a living city. The old city of Galle is very popular base for travellers with its sea breezes, cobbled stone streets, Dutch colonial architecture and buildings alongside chilled out cafes, bars, restaurants making it a very cool place to spend a few days exploring the South from.
Yala National Park – The premier park in Sri Lanka is Yala, which is also situated in Southern coast of Sri Lanka. This 126,786-hectare park is without question the best place in the world to see the elusive Leopard. The park is also teeming with Sri Lanka’s other major species being the Sloth Bear, Elephant, Water Buffalo, Spotted Deer and Sambhur deer, and estuarine Crocodiles.
The Blue Whale – The South Coast of Sri Lanka is now recognised to be the best place in the world to sight the majestic Blue Whale. In fact, it is also recognised as to be the only place in the world where there is a non-migratory permanent population of these giants. Whale watching tours depart from Mirissa and Galle harbours.
Kataragama – The ancient temple of Kataragama one of the holiest shrines in the country dedicated to the god of Kataragama. This temple complex is steeped in legend and is believed to be home to Skanda the Hindu god of war. Bordered by the Menik Ganga (River of Gems) is a site of holy pilgrimage to the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims of Sri Lanka. The dagoba at Kataragama dates back to the 1st century BC.