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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Must See Attractions in South Coast Sri Lanka – Subtle Island Pleasures
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Must See Attractions in South Coast Sri Lanka – Subtle Island Pleasures

Sri Lanka's southern coast is varied; drive across vibrant seaside resorts, rustic national parks and throw in a fabulous heritage town; it's all yours to explore. So get packing and start planning.

1

Yala National Park

Yala National Park

Sri Lanka is home to over 22 national parks; of these Yala takes precedence as the largest and most popular. And indeed it is, stretching along the south eastern coast of Sri Lanka all the way to Tissamaharama. The park is so vast that only a section is open for public viewing of the stunning landscape and exotic wildlife. Yala is home to one of Asia's largest convergence of leopard population as well as elephants, sloth bear, deer; a variety of other mammals and amphibians as well birds; migratory and endemic.

2

Heritage City Galle

Heritage City Galle

One of the most popular of all south coast cities' Galle is home to the Old Dutch Fort and many heritage buildings. This is why UNESCO has deemed the town a World Heritage Site. The fabulous Dutch Fort a relic of the country's colonial past stands sentinel over the beautiful harbour. Well restored and cherished the fort is resplendent with cobblestone streets, heritage museums, a vintage lighthouse and historic churches. Enjoy browsing the sunny cafes that line the street and walking along the ancient ramparts that offer stunning views across the Indian Ocean. Galle Town too is a thrill to explore; absorb the culture; watch as fishermen bring in a fresh catch and explore the vintage streets lined with historic buildings.

3

Mulgirigala

Mulgirigala

This is a historic little village located about 16kms from the town of Tangalle. The place is regarded as a monumental site due to the presence of ancient cave temples; these marvellous shrines are carved into a rock face and are placed at various levels. The caves are interconnected via 500 steps that offer expansive views across the rustic countryside.

4

Kataragama

Kataragama

Kataragama is the country's holy city; drawing hundreds of pilgrims every day of the year. The place holds a religious significance to the Buddhist, Hindus and Muslims of Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the Kataragama God and houses many other shrines devoted to Hindu and local demi gods. There are Buddhist temples and alters too. Evenings draw many devotees eager to take part in the Pooja – which are ritual blessings conducted to the beat of drums and blowing of conch shells. The Menik Ganga flows around the holy grounds of Kataragama and is also considered to be holy offering cleansings and blessings to those bathing in the river. If you are interested in exotic rituals and traditions there is no better place than Kataragama and to spice up the overall experience you may want to consider chartering an air taxi Sri Lanka.

5

Mirissa

Mirissa

Located around the beautiful Weligama Bay, Mirissa is a surfer's paradise and nature lover's haven. The gorgeous shallow bay offers you miles of beach stretching into the ocean; where a feeling of walking on water is yours to savour. It is from Mirissa that many visitors set off on whale and dolphin watching expeditions; which promise a world of rewards. Mirissa is part of the hip coastal stretch in the South and flying to these resorts is increasing in popularity. This is also the fastest and most scenic route to the south; part of this service is Cinnamon Air and flying to favoured resorts like Bentota - a few minutes from Mirissa, is well known and ideal for a comfortable journey.

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