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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 Things to Do in Matara – A beach city with plenty to do and see
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 Things to Do in Matara – A beach city with plenty to do and see

Located on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, Matara is a marvellous beach city that has lots of to see in terms of beaches, culture and nature. Here are the 10 things to do in Matara!


Nandana Tea Factory, Matara

The Nandana tea factory in Matara is a great place to visit if you're curious to see the process behind how the world renown Sri Lankan tea is made. The tour around the factory consist of three parts: The garden visit, a visit to the tea factory and is concluded with a tea tasting session. A store in the factory even lets you buy tea packets to take back.


Star Fort

This is a fort built in the shape of a star by the Dutch in 1765 to protect the governors who ruled during the era. The castle which was originally known as "Redoute Van Eck" and had alligators in its tunnels to keep intruders out. The fort operates as a museum in present day and is open for both local and foreign visitors for a nominal price.


Go Whale watching

Mirissa, one of the best places in the world for whale watching is located a short distance from Matara. Blue Whales, dolphins, sei whales, manta rays and flying fish are some of the fish that can be commonly spotted in this region. The best time to go watching is between November – April and you'll have a higher chance of spotting a whale if you go early in the morning.


Weharahena Buddhist Temple

Located 5 kilometres from the Matara's main bus terminal, the Weharahena Buddhist temples main attractions are a statue of Lord Buddha that is 6 stories tall and an underground temple that exhibits a variety of painting depicting Lord Buddha's life.


Go surfing at Weligama Beach

If you're a surfing enthusiast, the golden beaches of Weligama is a place that you should definitely check out while you're in Matara. The waves at Weligama rise to a maximum of 2 feet, making it an ideal place for novice surfers to get the hang of surfing.


Shrine of Our Lady of Matara

Built to honour the Virgin Mary, the Shrine of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic church located in the Matara town. The statue of the Blessed Mary was said to be found by a group of fishermen in Weligama inside a large wooden crate and was undamaged by the sea water.


See the Paravi Duwa Temple

The Paravi Duwa temple is a monastery built on an island surrounded by clear blue water. Located opposite the Matara fort, Paravi Duwa, also known as Pigeon Island can be accessed easily via a bridge that connects the island to the Matara town.


Get an Ayurvedic spa

The Southern coast of Sri Lanka is home to some of the best ayurvedic spas that the country has to offer. Dickwella resort and hotel properties similar to Soul Resorts that will let you enjoy an ayurvedic massage unlike you've never experienced before are in close proximity to the Matara town.


Visit Galle Fort

The iconic Galle Fort which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site is a great place to spend the day. The fort was built during the 16th century by the Dutch but in modern day is home to a wide variety of handicraft, food stalls and museums is a great way to spend the day and enjoy a wide variety of food and drinks.


Enjoy the nightlife

There are lots of places in and about Matara that have a vibrant nightlife and party till the break of dawn. Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Mirissa are some of the main spots that attract both locals and foreigners who come to enjoy the music, food and drinks under a starry night sky.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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