A meandering stretch of rugged cliffs and beautiful sandy bays on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, all protected by a vast enclosing reef, you’ll find a collection of the island’s best beaches and a small collection of blissful resorts west of Tangalle.

The waters are a wonderful place for surfing, diving, whale watching or simply lounging alongside. You may find yourself sharing the low key sands with Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, the area being a vitally important nesting site.

The town itself, a sleepy fishing port, is home to an old Dutch fort and courthouse, while a little further north inland you’ll find verdant rice fields and Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara rock temple, an ancient Buddhist temple that is richly decorated and a site of immense national importance. Head inland a little more and Tangalle is within easy reach of Udawalawe and Lunugamvehera National Parks.

What to do

  • Explore the area's beautiful beaches
  • Visit the Kudawella blow hole
  • Explore the Dutch fort in town
  • Visit the Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara rock temple
  • Discover Udawalawe and Lunugamvehera National Parks

When to go

The south coast is at its peak between November and March - the seas are considered unsafe for swimming outside of these respective months. The monsoons bring rain in May and June, with an inter-monsoon affecting October and early November. Average temperatures are around 27°C but a sea breeze can make it feel a little cooler.


The southern coastline of Sri Lanka is ruggedly beautiful. The pristine, palm-fringed beaches and dramatic rocky outcrops are something you simply must see to believe. Travel in the winter months, when the waters are at their calmest, for a relaxing stop in your itinerary.    

Rachel O'Leary
Travel Designer