5 of my favourite things to do in Southern and South West Sri Lanka
In no particular order:
Visit the beaches of Southern Sri Lanka – Tangalle
Next time I visit Sri Lanka I will stay longer in the South around Tangalle. The beaches are some of the best you will see anywhere, undiscovered and unspoilt, you can walk for miles without meeting another person! This suits me perfectly.
Protected Turtle Eggs in Tangalle
The President himself has a house nearby and many of Colombo’s finest have summer houses in the area. It is easy to see why, sheer perfection. The surfboarding backpackers are nowhere to be seen, the seas are a little rough in places here. I was keen to visit the new Anantara Peace Haven Tangle Resort hotel and it didn’t disappoint. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and will be back for a stay in a luxury villa for sure! http://www.tangalle.amamtara.com
Lunch on the Terrace Il Mare, Italian Restaurant, Anantara Hotel Tangalle
We enjoyed a delicious Italian lunch on the terrace of Il Mare, with good food, perfect service and perfect view. Who could ask for more? They have a lovely bar too. I would add that our driver was very well looked after at Anantara, there is a special drivers area and they dine very well! Our driver was most impressed. This is not always the case.
Beach View from Anantara Tangalle
Hire a Bicycle
Be adventurous and hire a bike! Explore the hinterland passing Water Buffalo and Rice paddy fields as you cycle along. Every village is home to a magnificent Buddhist Temple and little shops so you can buy everything you need as you go. Sri Lanka has more dogs than any other country I have visited, every house seems to belong to a dog who will be lying in the street. Most are friendly so just pedal around them!
Water Buffalo and Egret
The countryside is so interesting and it is a great way to see things.
You can go on cycle tour but be adventurous and go it alone. Everyone was friendly in Sri Lanka.
Spot the Coconut gatherer?
Take a train along the coast if you don’t want to drive
Whale Watching, Mirrissa
This is just wonderful. Head out to sea in the early morning and spend time Whale watching. You are sure to spot Dolphins even if you aren’t lucky enough to spot a whale. We saw one!
Dolphins playing near Mirrissa
Make your way to the port or your Hotel will organise a trip. Be careful, we enjoyed a boat to ourselves but some boats seemed to be laden with people so check before you set off.
Whale watching Boats
I’m staying in the area between Galle, Weligama and Tangalle so it is possible to do all these 5 activities during a stay in this area. My tip would be not to cram too much into your visit or you end up driving about all the time.
Another water based activity. Hire your own boat and captain to take out and explore the lake, it is beautiful here and a good spot to rent a villa if you don’t mind not being near the sea. There are a few slightly touristy attractions to stop off and see as you sail around. Firstly, a Cinnamon plantation where you can watch how it is produced and buy some Cinnamon.
Stop by the Turtle Sanctuary nearby Koggola Lake. and drive a couple miles further to Galle and these four favourites of mine will make a nice day trip.
Go and visit the Galle Fort, Galle lighthouse, National Maritime Museum. Galle has an interesting history with the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16c followed by the Dutch Colonial period in the 17c. It is a fortified city built by the Portuguese, but extensively fortified later by the Dutch. Salle Fort is a World Heritage Centre.
Galle Old town is a such a pretty old town and full of interesting shops, particularly specialising in jewellery shops but you won’t find many bargains!
The Cricket ground was ruined in the Tsunami a few years ago and many lives were lost in this terrible natural disaster.
Galle Cricket Ground
Fishermen line the route Weligama to Galle
The road from Weligama to Galle is a great place to stop and buy fish, they line the route most of the way. Of course, if you want that classic fisherman on a pole shot, you can pay and they will obligingly jump on a pole for you!
I hope you enjoy my things to do in South West Sri Lanka, let me know!