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Galle and the South Coast Beaches

golden beaches, sheltered bays and a fascinating history

Sri Lanka’s accessible southern coast is a blissful blend of golden beaches, sheltered bays and a fascinating history. Galle is the most prominent city in the south, and beckons visitors with its colonial charm and crumbling Dutch architecture.

Lapped by the sparkling Indian Ocean, sleepy fishing villages line the southern coast and exude an easy-going atmosphere. The beaches found here are some of the best in the country, and are perfect for anyone looking to kayak, swim or snorkel. If you’re searching for a secluded spot, the little-known town of Tangalle offers a string of tranquil shores ideal for relaxing.

Drenched in history and culture, the south coast has so much more to offer than just being a fantastic beach destination. One of it’s highlights is Galle, a charismatic coastal town filled with intriguing architecture that dates back centuries. Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Galle passed to the Dutch in 1640 only to be claimed by the British in 1796.  

The most impressive sight within Galle is the historic Fort area, a World Heritage Site constructed by the Dutch in 1663. With impressive coral-built ramparts and great bastions overlooking the Indian Ocean, taking a walk along its atmospheric old streets will transport you to a long-gone era.

Other interesting sights include the beautiful Kalutara temple, a must-see for any culture lover. The temple itself is nestled within a beautiful patch of scenery, and offers particularly beautiful views from the Peace Pagoda at sunset. If you’ve been inspired to visit Sri Lanka’s enchanting southern coast, then get in touch with one of our Asia experts to start creating your tailor-made, luxury itinerary.


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Recommended hotels Galle and the South Coast Beaches

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Kahanda Kanda, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

The 12 standalone villas, seven of which come with private pools, are scattered throughout the hotel’s tranquil gardens and offer spacious interiors adorned with elegant art and antiques. Service is …

Coco Tangalla, Beach House and Villa Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Looking for a beach house overlooking the ocean where you can hole up for a week without being disturbed, except by the very important delivery of daily breakfast?  Or a very private place to stay …

Cape Weligama, Southern Coast Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Cape Weligama is the latest, most architecturally stylish addition to the enchantment that is the heart-shaped island of Sri Lanka. Poised on a dramatic promontory that gives soaring views of the Indian Ocean, Cape Weligama …

Amanwella, Tangalle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

From one tip of its immaculately manicured, crescent-shaped beach to the other, Amanwella is the epitome of a modern beach resort – with all the contemporary luxury, levels of service and attention to detail you could …

Amangalla, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Amangalla originated from the sanskrit for ‘peace’, and it is aptly named. If you stay in this imposing, colonial building you will be able to stroll the cobbled streets and tortuous alleyways of a 36-hectare, …

Shangri-La's Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, Ambalantota Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Unrivalled service, innovative dining and a contemporary design combine at this coastal resort. Decorated with indigenous materials, all rooms and suites enjoy a gorgeous view either of the Indian Ocean, the resort’s golf course …

Aditya, Hikkaduwa Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Actually it’s ‘Aditya’ that refers to gods, and the hotel’s suites are named after the 12 Hindu mythological sun deities.

Sun worshippers will understand why. This small, boutique-style hotel is in the …

The Last House, Tangalle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

With its sublimely relaxed atmosphere and beachfront setting, The Last House should be among the first hotels you consider for your luxury, tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka. One of the …

Fort Bazaar, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Is this one of the most romantic, intriguing, friendly, distinctive and beautiful destinations on the planet? Take a luxury, tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka and stay in the Fort Bazaar in the centre of Galle’…

KK Beach, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

A chic boutique hotel with an enviable beachfront location, KK Beach offers an intimate stay with just 10 guestrooms and suites. All are equipped with airy, ensuite bathrooms and outdoor terraces, …

Shinagawa Beach, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Shinagawa Beach will fit your picture postcard idea of an idyllic, crescent-shaped beach with coral sand, whispering palm trees and the lapping waves of the sparkling Indian Ocean. It is a tiny droplet of perfection, …

Karpaha Sands, Passikuda Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Made up of powdery-soft sands and swimmable turquoise waters set in a crescent-shaped bay, with plenty of swaying palms to seek shade under, Kalkudah Beach must be one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri …

Tamarind Hill, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Contemporary comforts and lavish colonial living combine in the 12 amply sized guestrooms and suites. Each is tastefully decked out in fine colonial furniture with traditional four-poster king beds, beautiful bathrooms and rain showers. Plus a …

Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa, Mirissa Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa lies on the very southern tip of Sri Lanka in the charming fishing village of Mirissa, basking in warm tropical sunshine and framed by …

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Framed by a coconut plantation and golden sands, the family-friendly Anantara Resort offers guests a tranquil space to unwind or explore the delights of Tangalle and its surrounds, from nature …

Kumu Beach, Balapitiya Galle and the South Coast Beaches

These are combined with a gorgeous 23 metre infinity pool where you can gaze out over the Indian Ocean, as well as a serene palm-studded garden. It’s the perfect spot …

Why House, Galle Galle and the South Coast Beaches

Beautifully situated within a three-acre walled garden filled with tropical plants and spice trees, the Why House enjoys an enviable location along the southern coast. A short walk or tuk-tuk …

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