Enchanting southern Sri Lanka is awash with all the colours of Sri Lanka. On this tour, classic southern tour, we discover the colourful history of the massive fort of Galle, stroll along the southern coast, wildlife safari of Yala, whale watching cruise in Mirissa, trekking through the picturesque hill country.
- Trip Outline
Classic Southern Tour
Enchanting southern Sri Lanka is awash with all the colours of Sri Lanka. The southern tour is carefully crafted with interesting activities, sightseeing and leisure on the beaches of southern Sri Lanka. On this classic southern tour, we discover the colourful history of the massive fort of Galle. Stroll markets such as Galle market and Kandy, search for the elusive leopard of Sri Lanka, enjoy a shared meal with Sri Lankan family in southern Sri Lanka and soak up the culture of the local people. This is truly the essence of the southern part of Sri Lanka.
This eight days Sri Lanka tour is packed with a variety of sightseeing activities. Visit the most popular Buddhist temple of Sri Lanka, tooth temple, ancient port of Galle, hill country resort of Nuwara Eliya, last stronghold of Sri Lankan kings, Kandy and many many more. Your comprehensive itinerary includes a Jeep safari at Yala national park, walking tour of Galle Fort, trekking through the tea plantations. The trip includes standard 4* hotels with daily breakfast.
Start: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Finish: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ages: Min 15
Group size: Min 1
Nature of tour: Private
Is this trip right for you?
- The entire trip is private (transfers and sightseeings), and the only you and your associates take part in the trip.
- This 8 days trip packs a lot in. It’s one of the most popular Sri Lanka tours, we run in our Original style, perfect for those, who look for a one week trip and a desire to do the most with it. If you are after a more leisurely trip in Sri Lanka or shorter trip please check our other tour itineraries.
- Sri Lanka can get extremely hot in the summer. While we aim to do our walking tours, city tours early in the morning or afternoon, when it’s cooler, remember to keep water on you and to bring a hat, sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt, and anything else that will protect you from the sun.
- Part of travelling with Seerendipity means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. We visit a number of temples on this trip and to enter them you must have clothes that cover to wrists and below the knee. Same times you have to remove the head covers and shoes upon entering the temple. Please click here to know more about the rules and regulations pertaining to Sri Lanka temple visits.
Places you visit on this trip
- Temple of sacred tooth relic temple (UNESCO world heritage site). Read more about Tooth relic temple.
- Yala national park (Safari). Read more about Yala national park safari.
- Royal botanical garden (1 hour 30 minutes walk in the garden). Read more about the botanical garden.
- Sri Lanka Tea plantations tour. Read more on Sri Lanka tea plantation tour.
- Spice gardens.
- Pinnawala elephant orphanage. Read more on Elephant orphanage.
- UNESCO world heritage site of Galle Fort
- Pristine beaches of Mirissa
- Hill country resort of Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Ella
- Yala national park safari in search of leopards, wild elephants, crocodiles and other wild creatures with local guide and driver.
- Whale watching boat trip off the beaches of Mirissa.
- Guided walking tour of Galle Fort.
- Explore the hill country resort of Nuwara Eliya.
- Boating and horse riding in Nuwara Eliya (optional).
- Kandy sightseeing tour.
- Visiting Kandyan cultural show and witness the acrobatic performance of Sri Lankan dancers and listen to the soothing music of Sri Lankan musicians.
- Take a breathtaking panoramic view from the summit of Kandy.
- Walking through the Spice Garden while learning about herbal trees and plants and spices.
- Walk in the Tea plantations and Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya, Victoria Park and many more.
- Visiting Pinnawala elephant orphanage and see the elephant bath in the Mahaoya River.
- Leader-led village walk-in Tissamaharama
- Long beach resort-Galle (2 nights).
- Kithala resort-Yala (2 night).
- Araliya green hill hotel-Nuwara Eliya (1 night)
- Oakray regency hotel-Kandy (1 night)
- Hotel Mirage-Colombo (1 night)
- 7 Nights accommodation in the above-mentioned hotel
- Daily breakfast and dinner in the hotel (7 breakfasts and dinners)
- Kandy city tour
- Colombo city tour
- Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English speaking driver-guide (please inquire for other languages)
- Entrance fees for the following sites and activities
- Tea factory
- Guided walking tour of Galle Fort
- Guided walking tour of the Spice garden
- Kandy cultural show
- Sri Bhakti hanuman temple
- Sita Amman kovil
- Colombo city tour
- Kandy city tour
- Meeting arrangements at the airport on arrival and departure
- All government taxes
- Expenses of personal nature such as tipping, porters, laundry, telephones, etc.
- Entrance fees to below sites and activities.
- Tooth relic temple of Kandy
- Royal botanical garden of Kandy
- Boating in Gregory Lake
- Victoria park
- Yala safari (entrance fees and jeep hire)
- Whale watching boat tour
- Pinnawala elephant orphanage
- Any meals not specified, throughout the tour.
Book now & pay later
Reserve your tour now and pay when you meet us. Send us the duly filled tour booking form, we will arrange your tour and you can make the payment as you meet us on the first day of the trip.
Best price guaranteed
We guarantee the best price. If you find the same tour package at a cheaper price elsewhere, we do match the price of other tour packages and furthermore add a further 10% discount to it.
No hidden fees and commissions
The price you see on the product pages is the exact same rate that you see in the final stage of the trip booking. There are no hidden fees and taxes such as GST, BTT, service charge, nation-building tax, hotel tax etc.
COVID-19 Special information
- All customer touchpoints are frequently cleaned
- Social distancing is maintained in vehicles
- To reduce crowds, all tours are private
- Masks are required, please bring your own
- You must fill out a travel information form
- Temperature checks are mandatory
- You must book this activity online, as the ticket office is closed
- Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Comfortable walking shoes recommended for this tour
- All visitors to Buddhist and Hindu temples are expected to remove footwear and hats upon entering the temples.
- Dresscode, shoulders and knees should be covered
- The duration of transfers are approximate, the exact duration will depend on the time of day and traffic conditions
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
- Subject to favourable weather conditions
- If cancelled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date
- Infants must sit on laps
- Not recommended for travellers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travellers
- No suitable for travellers with heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
- The trip can be booked for single person with single supplement
AIRPORT / GALLE
Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport, meet & greet by “Seerendipity Tours” Representatives and proceed to hotel in Galle.
Overnight stay in Galle
No meals included
Time : 10:00 am
Leisurely breakfast at the hotel and leave for Galle city tour.
The ancient port city of Galle has a history that stretches back hundreds of years. According to Sir James tenant, Galle was the “Tarshish” referred to in the Bible as the port where ships trading with King Solomon obtained gemstones, ivory, spices and scented woods. Most certainly the place where the Galle fort now stands, as well as other areas in Galle all had historic connections which go back long before the Portuguese era. International traders, Persians, moor traders from the Persian Gulf, south Indian trader, Malay and a host of other nationalities lived and traded in Galle.
Visit a sea turtle hatchery at Kosgoda where the endangered sea turtles eggs are hatched and babies are leased to the sea. Large numbers of volunteering organizations are actively engaged in the effort of conserving the sea turtles along the beaches of the west coast. Here you have the rare opportunity to see many species of endangered sea turtle species and you will be educated about the lifestyle of the animal, threats for the animal, and conserving effort of turtles in Sri Lanka.
OPTIONAL WHALE WATCHING
Whale and dolphin watching in Mirissa is one of the most exciting water activities you can do in Sri Lanka during your holiday.
Mirissa is the best place to start your whale and dolphin watching tour in Sri Lanka.
In the warm Indian Ocean you can see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales, sometimes Killer whales, and Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and Striped dolphins. Sometimes you can see turtles and various fish species, for example, Bluefin tuna and flying fish.
Overnight stay in Galle
Time : 8:00 am
GALLE / YALA
Breakfast at hotel and leave for Yala, en-route visit one of another colonial heritages, in the city of Matara.
STAR FORT MATARA
Star fort and the Dutch fortress are most prominent colonial construction in Matara. Both are located near the city centre and only ten minutes walk away. Star fort houses the archaeological museum with a collection of a large number of valuable artefacts. As the name suggests star fort takes a shape of a star and surrounded by a ditch and a huge wall.
The blowhole is just 30 minutes s drive away from Matara and can be accessed very easily on the Matara-Tangalle main road. It is one of the most awesome natural attractions in the country. This natural fountain is located on the beaches of Kudawella and the waters rise up to 30 meters. The fountain came being due to the pressure generated by the high tide of the sea. The blowhole is located on a rocky outcrop, where the water is pressed through a natural hole, making a huge fountain.
Another uncrowned beach resort near Matara, that you never see so busy like Bentota or Kalutara. Still the beaches in Mirissa are well worth making a visit. The beaches are very wide and clean providing the best setup for beach holiday enthusiasts. Mirissa is not only suitable for beach hopping but also for diving, snorkelling and mainly for surfing.
KATARAGAMA TEMPLE ,Held in awe by Buddhists, Hindus & Muslims.
Kataragama, the domain of God Skanda (Lord Murugan Katirkaman, Kadirkamam, Subrahmanya, Kandasamy, Kadiradeva, Katiradeva, Katiravel, Karttikeya, and Tarakajith) located in the Deep South of Sri Lanka, adjoining the popular Ruhuna Yala National Park and ancient Sithulpawwa Buddhist Monastery, is a multi-religious sacred city that contains a Buddhist temple, Hindu shrine and Islamic Mosque. Kataragama, one of the solosmasthana (Sinhala: 16 principal sites of Buddhist pilgrimage), features in the history since the era of King Dutugamunu (161-137 BC), the Hero of the Nation. Mahawamsa, the great historical chronicle of Sri Lanka reveals the participation of warriors of Kshatriyas clan from Kataragama on the occasion of the arrival of the Bo sapling of Bodhi Tree, under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya (Gaya district of the modern Bihar state of India), was brought to the city of Anuradhapura 2,300 years ago.
Overnight stay in Yala
Time : 6:00 am
After the breakfast leave for a full-day (8 hours) jeep safari at the national park.
YALA NATIONAL PARK
Yala is considered to be one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka same time it is the biggest national park in Sri Lanka with 97880 hectares extent. Initially, it was used as a hunting ground during the British rule in Sri Lanka. It is said people had to pay for the hunting in Yala. As the number of animals drastically reduced due to hunting, Yala is declared as a national park in 1900 and became a safe place for animals.
Yala is the biggest national park is divided into 5 zones. Yala is holding a prominent place as far as biodiversity is a concern. Yala is a famous high density of wildlife such as Leopards, Elephants, Deer, Wild boar, Bear, monkey’s etc.
Yala is considered to be one of the best places to witness leopards in the world. There were 17 ½ leopards in every 100 square kilometres in Yala national park. Block 1 of Yala National park could be home to the densest population of leopards in the world, the densities in this tiny area has maintained around a leopard every 2 sq. kilometers. Unlike most other national parks where leopards can be seen in dark Sri Lanka leopards are in a move during the day as well.
Overnight stay in Yala
Time : 8:30 am
YALA / NUWARA ELIYA
After the breakfast leave for the hotel in Nuwara Eliya,
The Ravana Falls (popularly known as Ravana Ella in Sinhala) is a popular sightseeing attraction in Sri Lanka. It currently ranks as one of the widest falls in the country. This waterfall measures approximately 25 m (82 ft) in height and cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop. During the local wet season, the waterfall turns into what is said to resemble an areca flower with withering petals. But this is not the case in the dry season, where the flow of water reduces dramatically. The falls form part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary and are located 6 km (3.7 mi) away from the local railway station.
The falls have been named after the legendary Sinhala king Ravana, which is connected to the famous Indian epic, the Ramayana. According to legend, it is said that Ravana (who was the king of Sri Lanka at the time) had kidnapped princess Sita, and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave. At the time, the cave was surrounded with thick forests in the midst of the wilderness. It is also believed that Rama’s queen bathed in a pool that accumulated the water falling from this waterfall. They believed that Ravana has played the Ravanahatha over here.
SITA AMMAN KOVIL
Nuwara Eliya also is known as Little England for its cool climes, British architecture and natural beauty is also promoted as a sacred city because of its link to the “Rama Seetha” love story. Seetha Amman kovil is dedicated to Seetha, wife of Rama who is believed to be one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. There are many temples dedicated to Rama and Hanuman, especially in North India, but the Seetha Amman Kovil in Sri Lanka is unique in that it is the only one in the world dedicated to Seetha alone. According to legend King Ravana who ruled the country from Badulla.
kidnapped Queen Seetha. Queen Seetha was married to King Rama of India. Finally, king Ravana went to India and brought the queen to seethe to Badulla.
As the largest city in the mountains, Nuwara Eliya plays an important role in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. Undoubtedly Nuwara Eliya is the most popular health resort in the island and features a blend of colonial charm, modern development and slum areas, inherited from the colonial plantation culture. Nuwara Eliya was an important seat of British colonial administration. It was first developed as a holiday destination in Sri Lanka under the British administration, due to the cool, healing climate.
Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya
Time : 8:30 am
NUWARA ELIYA / KANDY
Breakfast at hotel and leave for Kandy, En-route visit the tea plantation and tea factory,
Visit a Tea Plantation and a Tea Factory en-route. Sri Lanka is famous for its “Ceylon Tea” has added cheers to many the world over for more than a century.
A ruled in Kandy up to 1815 although the rest of the island was under the British regime. Finally, it was ceded to them by the Chieftains of Kandy who were disappointed over the king’s cruel deeds. Today Kandy is one of the most important cities owing to the presence of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth of the Buddha.
Visit Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy enjoy a typical Sri Lankan Cultural Show of Drumming Dancing music and fire walking.
TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH
Sri Dalada Maligawa (Sinhala) or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is a world heritage site partly due to the temple.
The Botanical Garden of Peradeniya was a pleasure garden of a Kandyan King of the 16th Century and later made into a Botanical Garden during the British regime. This gardens; one of the best in Asia is a place of beauty and site for bird watchers. Next,
Sightseeing of Kandy including Upper Lake Drive and visit Art and Craft Centers, Udawattakele sanctuary and then proceed to Kandy lake for a boat ride.
Kandy Lake (Boat Rides) Built-in 1807 by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Sri Lanka next to the Temple of the Tooth. Over the years it was reduced in size. It is a protected lake, with fishing banned. There are many legends and folklore regarding the lake. One such is that the small island at its centre was used by the Kings helm for bathing and was connected to the palace by a secret tunnel.
THE CULTURAL DANCE SHOW
The Cultural Dance Show. Sri Lanka’s culture is so closely connected to dance and drama and no function will be complete without displaying a dance or even a drama. As a multi-ethnic land, Sri Lanka boasts of a rich conflux of dance and drama. The two main ethnic groups share two spectacular dance and drama traditions which enrich the fame Sri Lanka has gained in this sphere.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy
Time : 8:00 am
KANDY / COLOMBO
After breakfast leave for Kandy, En-route visit Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala and spice garden.
PINNAWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, the foster – home of elephants of different age and size feeding, bathing, playing together and even mating. These have been found injured or left abandoned in the wilderness. There are even little baby calves born in captivity.
Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, the Mawanella spice gardens are among the best on the island. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom. Visitors may buy spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics, taste a herbal brew and in some venues, enjoy the full flavours of Sri Lankan spices over lunch or an Ayurveda massage based on natural products from the garden.
OPTIONAL ELEPHANT RIDE
The Elephant that was the limousine, Bulldozer, War Tank, Status Symbol, Wealth Asset and Domestic pet in the past is today an element that adds colour to pageants or the gentle Giant that gives pleasure rides.
The Elephant Safari Pinnawala (At Village) has become a highlight event to tourist for its excitement and adventure or even for the “Chance of a Life Time” of riding an Elephant.
The Elephant Safari is a ride on an Elephant with a safely secured seat that takes around two hours. The ride takes you on a bund of an ancient lake built for irrigation then through the jungle and even crosses a part of the canal where you could get your feet wet whilst seated on Elephant Back. This is fun never to be missed when in Sri Lanka.
Colombo city had been a well-known city in the region among the Arabian, Chinese, Indian, Persian, and Roman traders as early as the pre-Christian era. Sri Lanka is located in the East-West sea route and visited by traders in order to exchange their goods with the local traders. Even though Colombo was a well-known city among the ancient traders 2,000 years ago, the capital city of the country had been Anuradhapura. There was an Arabian settlement in the city of Colombo at the mouth of Kelani River. Arab traders were exporting the goods from the port of Colombo. Goods such as Cinnamon, ivory, gems, elephants were exported by the king of Kotte with the help of Arabs. With the beginning of the British colonial period, Colombo city received a prominent place as the capital of Ceylon. Colombo was the capital of the island from 1815 to 1978 until the administrative capital was moved to Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte.
This had been a well-known Racecourse during the British colonial period in the country. This racecourse which located bordering the Indian Ocean had to be abandoned later on due to the Sea crabs, which are making holes in the track. Afterwards, it was developed as a promenade for the city dwellers and named as Galle face green. Today Galle face green contains an open theatre, spacious open space for a picnic, sports and walking.
BUDDHIST TEMPLE GANGARAMA
It is considered to be one of the most sacred places in the country. Temple is one of the three places where Buddha visited in the 6th century B.C. well known Kelaniya dagoba is located within the border of the temple. Kalyani River, which flows next to the temple, adds more value for the scenic beauty of the temple. This temple holds a reputation for its attractive wall, which considered being the best painting of the modern era.
Viharamahadevi is located in the Colombo 7 or Cinnamon gardens. It is the largest and most popular park in the city. It is believed that there had been a twenty square kilometre cinnamon plantation in the area. Today most of the palaces of wealthy people can be seen in the area and Colombo 7 is the most picturesque part of the city.
The Wolvendaal Church is located In Fort and walking distance from the centre of the city. It has a large collection of tombstones of important Dutch personalities. Fort is made in the highest point of the city and dates back to 1813. The church is built in the Doric style of the period. In the form of Greek cross, with five feet thick walls and the gables raised over. The transepts are roofed with brick barrel arches and a centre dome.
AUKANA BUDDHA STATUE / INDEPENDENCE HALL / PETTAH AND BMICH
Facing the Bandaranayke Memorial International Conference Hall stands a beautifully executed statue of the Buddha in the standing posture. The statue is 36 feet tall and is the largest Buddha statue in the city of Colombo. It is a replica of the Avukana Statue on the banks of the Kalawewa Anuradhapura.
CITY & SHOPPING
The City Tour will also include places of Tourist interest such as
Old parliament, Bandaranaike Memorial International, Conference Hall, Buddhist Hindu Temple and Town Hall.
Odel, House of Fashion, Barefoot and etc
Overnight stay Colombo
COLOMBO / KATUNAYAKE AIRPORT
Breakfast at the hotel and leave for Katunayake International Airport.
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Sri Lanka south coast itinerary
Southern Sri Lanka is not a superstar in the Sri Lankan tourism industry but it offers some of the very exciting tourist hotspots and you will find a countless number of things to include in your Sri Lanka south coast itinerary.
- Swimming with sea turtles
- Spotting blue whales
- Diving and snorkelling
- Beach hopping
- Visiting blowhole
- Visiting Katuwana Fort
- Visiting Ramba Vihara
- Spotting leopards at Yala national park
- Sampling delicious seafood
Fast developing southern Sri Lanka
Southern Sri Lanka has a very promising future in terms of economic developments and development in the tourism industry. Newly opened southern Internation harbour and the airport expected to create a rapid development in the region.
The outer circular way of Sri Lanka southern expressway opened on 7th November 2019, which connects the southern highway that leads to Matara from Colombo and the airport highway, which means travel time between southern Sri Lanka holiday destination and Colombo airport going to be curtailed by about 1 hour.
Now travellers can travel direct from the international airport of Sri Lanka (Bandaranayake international airport) to southern Sri Lankan beach cities such as Galle, Matara, Mirissa while bypassing the chaotic traffic in Colombo. It had been around 3 hours drive from Colombo to Galle and about 4 hours drive between Matara and Mirissa. However, with the opening of the connecting part of southern expressway and airport highway, now travellers can reach Galle in 1 hour 30 minutes, while it takes around 2 hours to reach Mirissa and Matara from Colombo. Therefore, the travellers can explore the most important tourist places in southern Sri Lanka on Sri Lank day trip.
Southern Sri Lanka tour itinerary
- Highlights- Yala national park, Galle fort, pinnawala elephant orphanage, Spice garden, Tooth relic temple, Tea factory and plantation, Bentota beach, Galle, Madu River Estuary, Sea Turtle Conservation Center
- Duration-8 Days
Places- Yala, Galle, Kandy, Mirissa, Bentota, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya
- Transport-Private vehicle
- Accommodation 4-star hotel
- Meals-Breakfast and Dinner
Special Price US$ 690, save $100, Regular Price US$790
Uncrowded and peaceful beaches for Sri Lanka south coast itinerary
The time taken to reach other pristine beaches near the southern tip of Sri Lanka such as Tangalle beach, Hambantota beach, Ranna beach is also going to be reduced by around 1 hour. Which means the travellers now can reach Tangalle in 2 hours 30 minutes and Hambantota in 3 hours. The less crowded, isolated beaches in southern Sri Lanka will be hot beach spots in the near future and tourism boom expected in the region in the near future.
Sri Lanka beach holiday with a southern coast tour itinerary
- Matara, Mirissa
Head to southern Sri Lanka to see the untapped Marvelous beaches in Weligama, Matara, Tangalla and Hambantota. These beaches were spared by tourist traffic in the past due to the long journey from the Airport. and underdeveloped tourism infrastructure was another reason for the lethargic development of the industry.
Before the opening of the southern expressway, the travellers could visit southern Sri Lanka tourist places only on multi-day Sri Lanka trips. Southern Sri Lanka tour itinerary had been at least a 2 days affairs in the past, such as Yala and Galle 2 days trip.
Thanks to the newly constructed highway it has neven been so easy to travel to the southern coast and the time spent on travelling has been drastically reduced. Today you can visit Yala national park on Sri Lanka one day trip from Colombo and you can make a whale watching trip from Colombo within a day.
They are still not as crowded as Bentota beach, Negombo and Kalutara. If you are a kind of person who values the calm, serene atmosphere and like to have peace of mind, then go to southern Sri Lanka beaches before it gets crowded.
International hotel chains are slowly starting to build large-scale accommodation facilities along the coast in Galle and southern Sri Lanka, in view of catering to the growing demand. With the opening of the International airport and international harbour, Southern Sri Lanka is well on the way to become a major tourist destination in the future.
Southern Sri Lanka posses an interesting blend of nature, culture, history of the southern part of the country. Southern Sri Lanka the home for many national parks such as Yala, Udawalawa and Kumana. Abundance if historical sites including Tissamaharama, Kataragama, Kirinda keep southern Sri Lanka as an important place to study the rich historical past of Sri Lanka.
The hinterland of down South Sri Lanka has remained much the same as it was in the days when monarchs-in-exile concealed themselves in cave-monasteries or jungle hideouts in its remote recesses or rebel heroes galloped along those devious pathways that momentarily yielded a narrow clearing to be almost immediately curtained off by the thick briars and impenetrable foliage densely growing on either side after they had passed by.
In those distant times when merchants pluckily plodded in their bullock-drawn carts and wagons to buy and sell the product, they collected from the innumerable villages. Today these remote hamlets in Deep South are popular places for Sri Lanka beach tours. Large numbers of travellers flock to pristine beaches that invite for a peaceful holiday in Sri Lanka.
Things to do on Sri Lanka south coast itinerary
A question with many answers, however, what isn’t there to do in southern Sri Lanka? With so many natural and man-made attractions and things to do in southern Sri Lanka spanning from Yala national park to Kataragama temple through the downtown of Tissamaharama.
You need many days to round up all the places with a visit. But with so much of interesting places to visit, southern Sri Lanka was out of the scope of areas that considered being places for a holiday in Sri Lanka. Perhaps, it was because of the long distance from the Colombo international airport. It had taken as much as 7 hours to reach southern Sri Lanka before the opening of the southern expressway.
Today southern Sri Lanka has become an emerging holiday hotspot on the island. The southern part of Sri Lanka is booming as a holiday hot-spot and infrastructure is also improving on par with the increasing demand for facilities. It has never been so easy to travel to the southern tip of the country before.
The new international airport and the international harbour provide the new opening to the island for international holiday lovers. A large number of hotels and other forms of accommodation are being added to this emerging holiday destination. Don’t wait till it is too late to explore this fascinating corner of the island.
Shipwreck, Beach hopping and surfing
Most travellers don’t think that the Southern coastal belt offers many interesting places for beach spots, holidays and diving. If you plan to spend your beach holiday in Southern Sri Lanka, you have chosen one of the best places for your holiday. The pristine beaches of the southern coast are perhaps the lot better than the beaches of the west coast, which is the most popular beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka.
Unlike the west and east coast beaches in southern coast such as Mirissa and Unawatuna is suitable for sea bath at any given time of the year. Have a leisurely stroll along the borders of the Indian Ocean and enjoy the interesting formation of nooks, bays, mangroves, sand dunes, small tide pools and swaying palms along the way.
The southern sea off the Dewundara is the international naval route between the west and east and this was in use as early as the pre-Christian era. Even today hundreds of ships traverse this area on a daily basis. The great barrier few kilometres from the Sri Lanka coast near the naval route is the giant coral reef that caused many ships to perish in the region, in the early days. Therefore, the southern sea is a popular spot for diving enthusiasts on the island.
It is one of the best places to explore shipwrecks. Some of the shipwrecks here are dating back to many centuries and today they are dwelling places of various sea creatures such as exotic fish species, sea plants and coral species.
Narigama, the surfing hot spot in southern coast is just a few kilometres from Matara. The waves and wind are very favourable for surfing on the southern coast especially in places such as Tallalla. The waves rise up to 3ft during the months of December, January and February. These are the most crowded months of the surfing spots in southern Sri Lanka.
Visiting blowhole on southern Sri Lanka itinerary
The blowhole is one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, which located in the south-west corner of the island. The blowhole is situated in the village of Dikwella and it is about 15 kilometres from Matara. This natural attraction is visited by a large number of local and foreign tourists. Blowhole makes a very beautiful sight when it pushes water into the sky. This natural fountain is not occurring very often but it occurs occasionally.
In geology, the blowhole is formed as sea caves grow landwards and upwards into vertical shafts and expose themselves towards the surface, which can result in quite spectacular blasts of water from the top of the blowhole if the geometry of the cave and blowhole and state of the weather is appropriate.
Katuwana Fort- places to visit in southern Sri Lanka
Twenty miles from Tangalle, on the road which passes Walasmulla and Kirama, is the little known Katuwana Dutch fort. The fort stands on a low round hill and overlooks a river which bends around its base.
To the east of this hill, there lies a flat country covered with low jungle and thicket. This matted curtain hides from view the few small villages which have saved the track from being described as an absolute wilderness. On the south and west, a similar type of country stretches into the distances; but to the north, there lies a forest-clad mountain range on whose side, in the bright morning of the north-east monsoon, each tree stands clearly defined. In the hot weather, this range shimmers in the heat and looks more mirage than land; and in the wet months of May-July, it looms vaguely as a bank of cloud.
In all these vagaries of mood, this great irregular rampart separated the plain where the Dutch held sway from the realms of the Kandyans. It was the one object visible from the little fort that mattered, for from its heights there dropped the only track which for miles on either side of it gave access to the plains. From this pass might issue at any time a force of nimble Kandyan who would swarm over the plains, plunder whom they dared, and generally regain their hills successfully.
Surfing on Sri Lanka south coast itinerary
Surfing is one of the very popular activities in southern Sri Lanka and Weligama is the most popular locality for this sport. Surfing is one of the best activities to be included in southern coast tour itinerary and Ahangama, Weligama and Mirissa provide plenty of breaks to suit surfers of all levels. The main surfing season in Southern coast begins in October and lasts until the end of March when the ocean is glassy, the wind is more offshore and the swell is solid.
Surfing can be done rest of year too, but the setting is not that much on the side of surfers because the Ocean is dumpy and waves are inconsistent. Weligama, Ahangama, Talalla, and Mirissa are considered being the best beach town for surfing and they have a number of surf breaks to suit all levels.
The water temperature is constant and it is 27 degree Celsius, means warm water and no need to wear a wet suit. Due to the high demand for surfboards you find here a large number of board rental shops, there are no sharks in the Sri Lankan waters and there are plenty of uncrowded breaks.
If you are a novice and like to learn the surfing, there is a large number of surfing schools on the south coast, The surfing schools conduct one-day surfing programs to multiple days surfing programs. You can choose the best program to depend on your skills and time availability. If you are a free surfer and like to surfing sans attending any surf school or surf program, there are plenty of surfing spots in southern coast to choose from.
If you are a novice and like to have a little bit more experience then head on to Weligama or Hiriketiya beach and one-off surf lessons or board rentals. SK town, Lazy Left’s and Kabalana are very suitable for surfers with intermediate-level experience. Polhena beach, near the southern tip of Sri Lanka, Ram’s and Madiha are the places with reef breaks and suitable for very experienced surfers.
Places to visit in Sri Lanka south coast itinerary- Ramba Vihara
Hambantota is a popular beach holiday destination the island of southern Sri Lanka. A large number of travellers heading to the pristine beaches around Hambantota every year. Hambantota is on the radar of national and international travellers not only as a place for relaxing beach holiday but also as a place to experience nature, culture and history. This paragraph is about Ramba vihara, which is classic evidence to prove the rich historical past of Hambantota.
Ramba vihara lies beside the Walawe basing of Hambantota district. This is a treasure of historical significance and shows us the antiquity of Sri Lanka. A large number of murals and statues can be seen at the image house of Ramba Vihara, especially the murals narrate the stories that depict the grandeur of Sri Lanka.
How to find Ramba Vihara
Ramba vihara is situated in the Village of Pallerota in Ethbatuwa Wasama of Goiruwa Pattu East in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. It is picturesquely located on the west bank of Walawe river and Mamadala stream (a branch of the Walawe river). The nearest city of the temple is Manavulupura or modern Ambalantota, which is around 13 kilometres from the temple. It had been the capital of medieval capital of Ruhunu kingdom of Sri Lanka.
Find the way to Ramba Vihara
Nonagama is a major point on the Colombo- Kataragama main road after Tangalle and Ranna. One needs to take the Embilipitiya – Nonagama main road with a left turn in Nonagama. Ramba vihara is situated to the left side of the road after about 10 kilometres from Nonagama.
It spreads over a plot of flat land, which is 200 acres in extent. Excavations started by the Ruhunu Cultural fund are still in progress at the site. The excavations are carried out under the purview of the archaeological department of Sri Lanka.
The excavation project is divided into 6 stages and 3 of them are already completed. What is excavated so far is comprised of the assembly hall, a hermitage for Buddhist monks, and a shrine room. One of the oldest marble Buddha statues of the island was recovered during the excavation of the shrine room. Today this valuable Buddha statue is housed in the national museum of Colombo.
An inscription, dating back to the 12th century during the reign of King Nissankamalla, who ruled the country from Polonnaruwa was found at the site. Another three inscriptions were discovered at the site but no studies were done so far. Still a huge area of the site yet to be explored. One shrine room that was located near the river was comprised of many Buddha statues. Also, a valuable Buddha statue was recovered from the dwelling area of the temple.
Numbers of large ponds were discovered during the excavations and archaeologists believe that they were used for maintaining the cool atmosphere in the premises. There are four Dagobas with historical importance in the temple, one of them is renovated and is used by the people in the area today.
There is one incident involved with regards to the name (Ramba) of the temple. Samba is the first name of the site and became Ramba centuries after the beginning of the temple. In the incident group of monks from Anuradhapura met another group of monks from Situlpawwa while they were wandering in search of water. The incident took place in the 1st century AD during a severe drought in the island and this was the place where they met or samba (Sinhalese term equal to met).
The temple was originally begun in 3rd century BC during the reign of King Mahanaga. There are many pottery utensils were discovered on the site dating back to this period. Second historical note on the temple was in the 11th century AD, the reign of King Vijayabahu. It had been the royal temple of King Vijayabahu of Polonnaruwa. Once this temple had been the shelter of Queen Ratnawali (mother of King Parakramabahu) and her children for a brief period.
Today it is being visited by a large number of devotees, especially the people who are on the pilgrimage to Kataragama, due to the proximity of this ancient temple to Kataragama temple.
Visiting Buddhist temple, what you need to know?
All visitors to these sacred places suppose to dress in a particular manner to uphold its religious value. There is a set of rules that every visitor of religious site observe while visiting sacred places in Sri Lanka. If you are wondering what these rules are? Check this article “13 RULES TO OBSERVE WHILE VISITING SRI LANKA BUDDHIST TEMPLE, SRI LANKA TEMPLE DRESS CODE AND TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH DRESS CODE“.