About Galle and the South Coast
Sri Lanka’s south coast is renowned for its palm-fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean. In addition to the beaches, snorkelling, divine and surfing that this fantastic piece of coastline offers, there is plenty more to do.
UNESCO World Heritage protected Galle Fort is an 18th-century Dutch walled town that has been beautifully preserved. Galle Fort is a fascinating area to discover and it is best to do so on foot, with its imposing colonial buildings, old warehouses, grand mansions and museums lining the streets and small lanes inside the old Dutch ramparts. The labyrinth of lanes is filled with stylish cafes, fun boutiques, gem shops, and beautifully restored hotels, and it is well worth spending a couple of days here to immerse yourself in the boho-chic vibe of the place. If you happen to be in the area during the International Cricket season, it would certainly be worth getting tickets to watch a game at the Galle Cricket Stadium, which, fringed on two sides by the Indian Ocean, is renowned for being one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
One of the largest lakes in southern Sri Lanka, Koggala is a vast waterway dotted with islands and surrounded by verdant tropical foliage and colourful birdlife. Though only a short distance from Galle Fort and the beaches of the southern coast, Koggala is a true hideaway, and an escape from the hustle and bustle of life.
Tangalle is without doubt one of Sri Lanka’s most striking beaches, with turquoise waters lapping against long stretches of soft, white sand. The sea here is calmer than other parts of the southern coast, making this the ideal destination for family holidays. Just east of Tangalle is Rekawa Beach, one of the most important sites for nesting turtle. Between the months of January and April, as many as five different species lay there eggs in the sand here.
Located 65km South of Colombo, Bentota is known for its long stretch of beach that attracts visitors year-round, often on their way down to Galle and beyond. The area has lots of lovely hotels and a very relaxing vibe. The area is also home to Lunuganga, which was the country home renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa. It’s well worth booking a garden tour at the Estate when in town.
Best Time to Visit
It is best to visit during October to April, when rainfall is at its lowest. The ideal month, when seas are at their calmest, is February.