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Sri Lanka Beach Holidays: An Overview

The fortified old town of Galle is enjoying an artistic renaissance and its revival has in turn influenced its coastline, whose turquoise seas and palm-fringed beaches are now home to super-luxury and charming boutique hotels where guests can enjoy a fabulous luxury holiday.

Historically, Galle has been an important trading port, and various nationalities have all left an indelible stamp on the rich history and character of the town. Although an important cultural site, Galle Fort remains a 'living' monument with a thriving community within.

In addition to Galle, Bentota and Tangalle are the best beach holiday destinations in the island, and also excellent bases for exploring its major wildlife parks and cultural heritage.

Galle is also the gateway to the coastal villages and sandy beaches of Unawatuna, Thalpe, Koggala, Habaraduwa and Ahangama. The sea is generally calm and in Unawatuna, the reef shelters more fish than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

If you grow tired of lounging on the Sri Lankan beaches, local attractions include the Mulgirigalla Rock Temple and the Bundala and Uda Walawe National Parks, where animals including elephants, monkeys and water buffalo can be seen. Buddhist temples, tropical rainforests, and mangrove-lined lakes and waterways home to numerous species of birds and monitor lizards makes this area interesting for nature lovers as well.

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When to go
Where to stay
When to go
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Galle & the Southern Beaches
Galle & the Southern Beaches
Best time
Low season
Off season

A Note on Price

You can do a fantastic Sri Lanka luxury beach holiday that includes culture and the tea plantations for around £1,500 per person (excluding flights) if you’re staying in simple but charming boutique hotels. Those who want to splash out can expect to spend around £5,000 - £6,000. Direct flights to Colombo cost from around £600 per person, though stop-overs save money.

Itinerary Suggestions

South Coast Sri Lanka

12 Days

From 2,450pp