From Unawatuna to Mirissa to Tangalle, the south coast of Sri Lanka is one of the best kept secrets in Asia, though that secret is quickly being revealed as more and more people flock to Ceylon for its tropical beaches, incredible wildlife, rich culture and ancient heritage landmarks.
The beaches here are generally far less touristy than those of the busier west coast; it's not unusual to find yourself alone on long, dreamy stretches of palm-fringed sand, especially east of Matara.
Some of the prettiest bays in the country are found on this stretch of coast and the region is regarded as truly Sri Lankan and a bastion of Sinhala patriotism.
The region’s varied attractions make it one of Sri Lanka’s most rewarding areas to visit. Gateway to the south – and one of its highlights – is the atmospheric old port of Galle, Sri Lanka’s best-preserved colonial town, while beyond Galle stretch a string of picture-perfect beaches includingUnawatuna,Weligama,MirissaandTangalla.
Nearby, the little-visited town of Matara, with its quaint Dutch fort, offers a further taste of Sri Lanka’s colonial past, 2 while ancient Tissamaharama makes a good base from which to visit two of the country’s finest national parks: the placid lagoons and birdlife-rich wetlands of Bundala, and Yala, famous for its elephants and leopards.
Beyond Tissamaharama lies the fascinating religious centre of Kataragama, whose various shrines are held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike.
The Kabalana beach is a long stretch of fine sand perfect for running, surfing and other activities situated just down the road from Ahangama. This sandy bottom break is great for beginners and spending long days enjoying the tropical views and the best rated sunsets in Sri Lanka.