Sri Lanka's south coast is a narrow strip that stretches inland and ends at the foothills of the high central plateaus. It has everything visitors need for some relaxing holidays: lagoons, rivers, sandy beaches and impressive palm tree-lined avenues. Not to mention densely populated towns, villages, and plenty of large hotel complexes. Nature here isn't entirely what it used to be, but you will find tourist establishments to suit any budget and lots of leisure and sport activities. Water sports are especially popular and there are plenty of opportunities to take surfing and diving lessons. The largest city in the region, the port city of Galle is located in the south-west of the island, around 75 miles from the metropolis of Colombo. We really have to mention Galle's fortified Old Town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are looking for a more secluded little cove, Unawatuna is the place for you. Here you can relax in complete tranquillity thanks to the reef that protects the bay from dangerous currents. Other excursions we recommend include the fishing village of Weligama and the cave temples. Monsoon season starts in mid-April but isn't as bad here as on the west and southwestern coasts, and also only lasts four weeks.
This is the part of Sri Lanka where you will find the most beautiful beaches. It is also the region that was the hardest hit by the 2004 tsunami.© Pius Lee / 123RF
You will find many religious establishments dedicated to Buddha all over the country. The Golden Temple of Dambulla is absolutely worth the visit.© Pius Lee / 123RF
This fishermen's village has been able to preserve its authenticity despite the high number of tourists who come here.© Anton Gvozdikov / 123RF
This region is better protected from the monsoons than the rest of the country. It only rains for four weeks here, staring in mid-April.© Anton Gvozdikov / 123RF
Except for at Unawatuna beach, swimming in Sri Lanka is not recommended. The currents can often be very strong.© Shariff Che'Lah / 123RF