Having visited the south coast of Sri Lanka in March, we can genuinely rate this destination as one of the most perfect escapes from a long British winter. The climate is, of course, a huge plus, but Sri Lanka has so much more to offer.
The trip from the airport to the south coast takes around 2 – 3 ½ hours although, depending on which part of the coast you are staying, you can also opt for a 45-minute air transfer with Cinnamon Air between Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport and Dickwella, around 10 minutes from Tangalle.
Once you leave the motorway, there is quite an eye-catching array of vehicles on the road, all jostling for space – ranging from the ornately decorated, brightly coloured buses, to the traffic-weaving tuk-tuks and mopeds. The best way to travel locally is by tuk tuk, and the drivers are only too happy to share their local knowledge, advising on everything from the tastiest restaurants to the best shops and boutiques!
We travelled along the south coast between Galle and Kahandamodara Beach (near Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary) and witnessed miles of unspoilt white sand beaches – with many of our featured villas having direct access to what almost seems like private beaches. Of particular note, we loved Mawella Beach, and also Hiriketiya Bay, near Dickwella, a 500m horseshoe shaped cove, popular with beginner–intermediate surfers. Another lovely family villa we visited has access to a small cove, close to Tangalle Beach. Other popular beach options include Mirissa Beach, Unawatuna, Kudawella and Welligama and Mihiripenna … all locations for our villas.
Featured Image: The Luxury Travel Book’s Villa Seenimodera
We ate so well in Sri Lanka and particularly enjoyed the delicious fresh fish, and vibrant curries. It is incredibly low cost if you choose to eat at small beachside restaurants rather than resort hotels. We also became addicted to egg hoppers for breakfast (bowl-shaped thin pancakes made from fermented rice flour, with an egg inside) – delicious with coconut sprinkled on top. Roti is another type of pancake made from wheat, rice or kurakkan (brown millet), mixed with freshly-grated coconut and baked on a hot griddle in thin flat cakes. Often served as ‘wraps’ as godambah or stuffed roti and filled with spiced fish, meat or vegetables, these are great for lunch on the move! Needless to say, the fruit options are delicious and varied, and include pineapple, mangosteen, rambutan and woodapple.
The charming fortified city of Galle is a must visit. With its stone sea walls, striking colonial architecture and iconic lighthouse – which stands on the fort’s southeast tip – not to mention the very popular cricket ground located right outside the walls, Galle is full of sights to see – so much so that the fort has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A wander around the car-free streets within the fort is a delight, and we would particularly recommend lunch at the Church Street Social restaurant and bar at the Fort Bazaar – a beautiful boutique hotel dating from the 17th Century, built around a traditional courtyard.
Last but not least, the genuine warmth and gentleness of the people, who are so welcoming, polite and charming, wherever we travelled was a pleasure. The prayer greeting, accompanied by the greeting ‘Ayubowan’ and a huge smile, is a particularly welcoming tradition.
Where to Stay:
The villas we have for rent on the south coast of Sri Lanka, each have a very individual style, some traditional colonial, others more modern – and all very spacious with large grounds and swimming pools. All are staffed and most include the services of a chef. Recommended villa options include:
Located on Sri Lanka’s colourful south coast, this delightful five-bedroom villa blends beach chic with contemporary living. A modern-colonial property with carefully-appointed interiors, Weligama Bay View offers space for up to ten guests to enjoy the enviable views across the water this holiday season.
Outside, large terraced gardens with an idyllic salt-water swimming pool and flourishing exotic flora and fauna add to the splendor of this tropical oasis. But that’s not all, as steps meander down to the sandy beach of Weligama Bay and to the swing overlooking the sea, allowing for optimal relaxation.Inside, elegant antiques, rich textiles, vaulted ceilings, open-plan living, and exposed polished cement add yet another layer of style to this Sri Lankan villa.
Tour Weligama Bay View and get in touch for exclusive TLTB concierge services to ensure your winter holiday is perfect for the entire family.
Upon arrival a stone path leads you past a wild and wonderful walkway of frangipani flowers to TLTB’s private Villa Mirissa. Elevated upon a southfacing clifftop with stunning sea views, Villa Mirissa enjoys open-plan interiors with high ceilings and arched doorways, and extending out from the main living space, a veranda for relaxing and dining, a prime spot to enjoy the Sri Lankan sunset over the water.Outside, an array of tropical flora and fauna thrive throughout the landscaped property, while another path leads you past the infinity pool to a private beachside garden and yoga space.
Tour the blissful Villa Mirissa and enquire for more TLTB services to ensure your Sri Lankan getaway is all you’ve ever hoped for.
This luxury villa to rent is situated within the atmospheric and historic 300 year old Dutch-built Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enabling guests to visit the iconic landmarks, restaurants and bars on foot, whilst Galle’s international cricket test ground is just 200 metres away. Dating back to the Dutch colonial period, the villa features the original wide archways, exposed beams and black-and-white chequerboard floors. There is also an inviting swimming pool, a roof terrace for dining and sunbathing, and a billiard table.
Tour Galle Fort and allow us to arrange your dream winter escape!