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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Cities to Visit in Southern Sri Lanka – Sun sand and sea

Sri Lanka's south coast is famous for its towering coconut trees and frothy waters of the Indian Ocean kissing its golden sandy shores.

1

Galle

Galle is famous. Anyone and everyone who conducts some research on some of the must visit places in Sri Lanka will find that Galle will almost always be on that list! And there are plenty of reasons why! Galle is rich in history, culture and heritage. Walk along the ramparts of the Galle fort, which was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and later the British, as its a great way to spend your day. Visit the famous Galle lighthouse and clock tower and the national museums located inside the fort for a true understanding of Galle's rich history. Much of the buildings and structures from the colonial era still remain standing today. If you want to stay at a luxury villa in Sri Lanka, especially in Galle, where you'll be surrounded by antique charm, properties such as Galle Heritage Villa by Jetwing that are located inside the fort are quite popular amongst tourists!

2

Unawatuna

Located about 10 minutes from Galle, Unawatuna is known for its pristine, calm and aqua waters that resemble that of the Maldives, Unawatuna is a quiet little coastal town in the south of Sri Lanka. The waters of Una, as the locals usually refer to it as, are usually ideal for snorkelling activities as there are quite a number of reefs around the area, that are teeming with countless varieties of fish. Do remember not to step on any of the coral or cause any damage as the corals are quite sensitive. Unawatuna is also famous for its many beach side restaurants outlining the coast and is a tourist hub. Buzzing with activity and sun bathers, this beach is ideal for swimming and soaking in the warm sun rays.

3

Hikkaduwa

The coastal town of Hikkaduwa is known for one thing only. Snorkelling! The waters are rich with marine life, especially sea turtles! Some of them even swim up to the shallow waters where you are, as some hotels in the area provide them with food. It's a perfect time to get up close with these magnificent creatures without having to go snorkelling. However, if you fully intend to snorkel, the waters of Hikkaduwa is the best place to be. With colourful lively reefs, the fish and other marine species that live here are a wondrous sight to behold. Snorkellers should keep in mind not to harm any of the marine life or the coral reefs during their venture in to the big blue.

4

Bentota

Bentota is the ideal place to head to if you're a fan of thrilling water activities. This coastal town is also benefitted with the river running through it. Water sports are a popular activity here and you can find anything from jet skiing, kite surfing, and banana boating or even go on a river cruise through the lush mangrove forests. Do head over here for the day for some exciting fun and splash around with the endless list of water activities to partake in.

5

Mirissa

Any trip to Sri Lanka must feature a visit to Mirissa. This beach town is famous for providing whale and dolphin watching tours. Travel between the months of December to March and you'll be able to see whales and dolphins frolicking in the mesmerizingly blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Some of the popular marine life spotted here are the blue whale, sperm whale, bottlenose dolphin and spinner dolphin.

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