The Southern Coast of Sri Lanka is one of the divine destinations this island has to offer. In down south,—Sri Lanka—there’s something for every traveler. From clear blue waters to the famous stilt fishermen and snorkeling, exploring South would be an unforgettable adventure for any travel enthusiast. And, for my next holiday that’s exactly what I have in mind. My lust for traveling is never-ending. A relaxing get-away at picturesque Southern beach resorts… Who can say no to that?
The Southern Province
The three Districts in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, Galle, Matara and Hambantota, has multiple tourist attractions, places of historical interest and various activities to keep a traveler entertained throughout their journey to the South. The temples, museums, historic forts, buildings, and busy markets keep the visitors engaged and give a glimpse into the world of Southerners daily life. The three Districts of the Southern Province consist of many suburbs and major cities which are renowned for sandy beaches, significant landmarks, special trades or a particular craftsmanship.
To review and write about every southern village or city would take me a day or two. So, instead, here is a brief outline of the remarkable particularities of some of them which I would love to visit again and again.
Moratuwa, one of the Southern suburbs of Colombo, is where it starts to feel like you are embarking on a trip to down south. The coast comes to a much clearer view and clothes racks, wooden chairs and beds are stacked on the side of the road as the Moratuwa town is famous for its skillful furniture-making craftsmen.
When traveling to down south, Kalutara is a must- stop for the locals as wells as foreigners. One of the main rivers, Kalu Ganga (Black River), meets the sea beyond in Kalutara and local travelers always visit Kalutara before they begin their journey. To ensure a safe journey, it is a Sri Lankan ritual of local travelers to visit Kalutara Bodhiya, offer flowers to Lord Buddha and make Rupee donations at the Kalutara temple.
Beruwala, Bentota, Aluthgama, Balapitiya|
As you travel south from Colombo, Beruwala, Bentota, Aluthgama and Balapitiya are some coastal villagers scattered along the coast for you to explore.
Bentota is wildly famous for its activity-packed lagoon. Aluthgama has a lively market and the fishermen display a selection of the day’s fish for sale! Balapitiya is famous for its valuable possession, Madu Ganga (Ganga is the Sinhala word for river). The multitude of islands and birdlife makes Madu Ganga irresistible for the adventure seekers and they could easily take a boat safari to experience all of these.
Each of the coastal village is distinct from the other. However, they have two things in common; the enticing clear blue waters and the breathtaking views of coconut palms. What more do I need to have a relaxing holiday?!
Ambalangoda is an extremely low-key, undiscovered and under-developed town yet well-known for its traditional mask-making industry. It has a long stretch of wild sandy beach you can explore all to yourself unlike other bustling southern cities.
Galle is one of my most favourite spots in the Southern province as well as in the whole island. With its famous Galle Fort and exclusive homes that were built in the Dutch and Portuguese Era, Galle is a city with a historical value. The fishing boats, the coconut palms, and the incredible coastline make a hell of a view. Although, I must tell you that most of the coastal area in Galle are always crowded and lively with people. Now, how can we blame them?
The women of Galle are famous for the lovely craft, Lace-making. This wonderful and somewhat rare craft has been associated with Galle for centuries and, lace dollies, tablemats and other lace items are sold in and around Galle souvenir shops.
The Meera Mosque, The Dutch Reform Church in the Galle Fort and The Galle museum are some of my favourite spots in Galle. You can walk around the Galle town and be fascinated by the picturesque, old-world character of the town within. The Dutch colonial architecture is revealed through almost every house, building and romantically named Galle streets. For any potential visitor there are plenty of accommodation choices. Luxury or budget-friendly..? Galle has got it all and that is why it ranks in the top 10 list of my favourite cities in Sri Lanka.
Hikkaduwa is another vibrant city in the South which attracts independent travelers for the beaches, surfing, coral reef and snorkeling. It has the best beach seaboard to surf and to see the underwater coral reef. This tourist hot-spot is liked by young and old travelers alike and, thus, Hikkaduwa is flooded with tourists in the season as well as on public holidays.
Once you pass Galle, you would approach the laid-back Unawatuna beach next. The calm waters and fine white sand of Unawatuna would reward you with a luxurious vacation. It is heavily crowded in the seasons, weekends as well as on public holidays by thousands of visitors. It is one of the famous beach resorts in Sri Lanka so this might not be the place for the people who prefer a much quiet and peaceful get-away. It is, however, a must-visit place in South.
At the end of the picturesque south coast railway line, 160 kilometers from Colombo, lies the city of Matara. It is a large town and a major commercial and transport centre. Though it is not a beach resort, I love visiting Matara town just to explore the beauty of the crumbling colonial splendour. Due to its strategic position for many trades such as gems, spices and elephants, the Dutch-ruled area is considered to be one of the most important settlements on the southern coast in the past. It is now a bustling modern town with high-rising buildings, shops and banks but still loved by visitors passing by. The well-known Polhena beach, quiet and secluded, is a great beach spot to soak up the sun.
Tangalle is a quiet town with quiet beaches and has some of the most spectacular coastline of the south. Although, I have only visited it few times in my life, I would love to visit it more. It is also one of the best places to watch turtles lay their eggs or be released to the sea.
During my frequent trips to Southern Coast, I haven’t reached Hambantota—almost as far as one can get on the south coast—and Mirissa, so I can’t really tell you anything about either of the towns. But, I would make a note if and when I visit them in the future. From what I’ve heard and seen, Mirissa beach also seems like a good beach spot to have a relaxing afternoon.
The Southern coast of Sri Lanka offers the most luxurious vacation spots to local and foreign travelers. All towns and villages along the Southern coastline are bursting with natural and scenic beauty close to the ocean. They have a wide range of accommodation, restaurants and shops to assist new and returning visitors. Apart from lazing on the beach, there are many activities to indulge in and experience during one’s stay. Spending a few nights and days exploring each of these charming coastal villages and towns in the South, is my plan for the next holiday. Who would like to join me?!
In response to the daily prompt today: South