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12 Nov 2018

The Most Alluring Cities in the South Coast By Melstrove

From the dazzling golden sanded coastal stretches and nightlife explorations at Mirissa to the adventurous wild life safaris at the Yala National Park to exploring the historic Dutch-colonial streets of the Galle Fort, the South Coast is one of the most sultry and fascinating places in Sri Lanka to be in.

Whether it be to relax or to have some fun and make exciting memories filled with thrill and adventure, the South Coast is a definite region to add to your expedition list if you’re planning a visit to Sri Lanka this winter season. Here are some of the most alluring cities in the South Coast:

1. Galle

The city of Galle is absolutely charming to explore on foot. Home to the widely renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Galle Fort with its architectural Dutch-colonial buildings, the ancient churches and mosques, the multi-cultural street food joints, wandering the streets of Galle is a fantastic way to experience some Southern Sri Lankan hospitality and diversity.

Attractions & Things to do

Galle Fort/Dutch Fort and Flag Rock

This large historic fortress is the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galle and is largest fortress in Asia built by Europeans. The flag rock which was once a Portuguese bastion, is situated at the southernmost end of the Fort and now a popular spot to catch the perfect sunset!

Galle Lighthouse

Known to be the very first light station to be built in Sri Lanka, the Galle Lighthouse is a popular attraction in the island.

Whale Watching

Embark on a cruise and witness magnificent blue whales, humpback whales, killer whales, whale sharks, mischievous dolphins, or sea turtles.

Jungle Beach

Wander through a jungle to discover a secluded, tranquil beach and you can enjoy the holidays in rejuvenation and calmness.

Galle Lighthouse Sri Lanka

2. Mirissa

Mirissa is a small cosy town in the South Coast that offers its visitors a calm and relaxing holiday at the beach with fun filed activities to keep you energised and refreshed! Popular for its stunning beaches and the vigorous nightlife, Mirissa is one of Sri Lanka’s main whale and dolphin watching locations as well.

Attractions & Things to do

Climbing Parrot Rock

Wading through a bit of the Mirissa shores to climb this funky rock, you will find a fantastic spot to sit and enjoy the view of the bay or capture the perfect sunset.

Snorkelling with Turtles

In Mirissa, you will have a once in a lifetime chance to swim side by side with turtles and shoals of various fish while you snorkel and revel in the turquoise underwater life filled with colourful and live corals.

Delectable Sri Lankan Street food

Mirissa is famous for many diverse street food joints lined up arbitrarily across the beach corners and town giving you the opportunity to please your palates with authentic delicacies.


Mirissa is a well-known spot in the South Coast for surfing during the season and is locally known to be a good spot for beginner and intermediate surfers to build confidence on a reef.

Whale Watching in Mirissa Sri Lanka

3. Tangalle

Looking for a destination that is still oozes with an old-world charm? Well, Tangalle could be just the place for you. This languid city hosts one Sri Lanka’s largest and finest bays, protected from the ocean by a spectacular reef. To sit back and enjoy a breezy and lazy afternoon in the sun, Tangalle has the perfect golden sandy beaches!
Attractions & Things to do

Hummanaya blowhole

The only blowhole in Sri Lanka, the “Hummanaya” blowhole is also the second largest blowhole in the world, generating a gush of water that sometimes reaches almost 100 feet in height!

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

The coastal wetland area of Kalametiya records about 150 species of birds of which 54 are migratory and is the oldest bird sanctuary in the island.

Turtle Watch at Rekawa

Sri Lanka hosts five of seven of the world’s marine turtle species and all these species (Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and Leatherback) can be found ashore laying at Rekawa.

Parewella Natural Swimming Area

Lying to the south of a small land mass-part of the Tangalle beach, the Parewella Natural Swimming Area is a cosy and unspoiled haven, not known to many. The water is not as deep, and the waves are not as strong, creating a perfect area for fun and frolic!

Hummanaya Blow Hole Tangalle

4. Koggala

Bestowed with one of the longest beaches in Sri Lanka, Koggala is a charming city at the edge of a lagoon in Southern Sri Lanka. From enjoying a long walk along the picturesque beach to revelling in Southern culture and engaging in vivid activities, Koggala is a must-add city to your travel itinerary in Sri Lanka.

Attractions & Things to do

Koggala Lake

The Koggala Lake is a freshwater lagoon which sits 9.8 feet (3 metres) above the sea level, bordered by jungle and forest and is rich in wildlife.

Koggala Beach & Stilt Fisherman

A relatively much less crowded beach, the Koggala beach is a great location to relax. Adding to the intrigue, visitors can also witness Stilt fishing – fishing method unique to Sri Lanka!

Turtle Hatcheries

Having established these hatcheries to prevent poaching, this turtle conservation project is open to local and tourists alike to observe and admire.

Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum

This fascinating museum is predominantly the house of the respected Sinhalese author late Mr. Martin Wickramasinghe which is an almost 200-year-old traditional Southern house with Dutch architectural influences. Visitors can witness a variety of historic Sri Lankan culture associated with dance (costumes and instruments), puppets, “Kolam” which is masked dance-drama and Buddhist artefacts.

Stilt Fishing in Koggala Sri Lanka

5. Hikkaduwa

The stunning city of Hikkaduwa is a popular destination among both locals and tourist for its celebrated nightlife and spectacular beaches. Internationally known for board-surfing and many other exciting water sports activities such as snorkelling and diving, Hikkaduwa was even featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations.
Attractions & Things to do

Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary

The Hikkaduwa Coral sanctuary is one of the most popular and respected coral reef destinations in the country and has approximately 70 varieties of multicoloured corals.

Scuba diving, Snorkelling & Surfing

Hikkaduwa has approximately 16 wrecks of famous ships to explore underwater, fantastic coral beds, room for reef dives down to 25m and a spectacular environment for surfing!

Tsunami Photo Museum

This private museum illustrates through photographs and preserved debris, the effects of the devasting Tsumani that also hit Sri Lanka in 2004.

Snorkelling in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

6. Hambantota

Hambantota, considered as the heart of Sri Lanka’s “Deep South”, unique city that offers visitors a plethora of unique experiences from exotic natural beauty and wildlife to remarkable heritage sites and the sunny sandy beaches.
Attractions & Things to do

Wild Life National Parks (Yala, Bundala, Kumana) & Safaris

The Yala National park, the Bundala National Park and the Kumana National park are havens for wildlife. Whether to catch preying leopards, idling crocodiles, elephant herds or endemic birds, these parks offer multitudes of safaris and options for adventure.

Hambantota Salt Pans

The Hambantota Salt Pans are one of the oldest industries in the area for salt harvesting equipped with fully automated salt processing and iodization plants and is a unique experience to add to the travel itinerary.

Mahapelessa Hot Springs

The Mahapelessa Hot Springs are one set of the three natural hot springs in Sri Lanka. They are known globally as healing mineral thermal waters and are a fascinating sight enjoyed by both local and tourist alike.

Leopard at Yala National Park

The South Coast of Sri Lanka; a region filled with gorgeous sandy beaches caressed by the turquoise Indian Ocean and blessed with unique and endemic flora and fauna in its many regions, is ideal for both adventure and relaxation! To make the most of your experiences, you can slash travel time on the road by catching a flight with Cinnamon Air which offers flights to Koggala (serving Galle), Dickwella (serving Tangalle), and Hambantota from Colombo, Kandy and Sigiriya.

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