Wander along the snaking stretch of sun-kissed sand, locals smiling as they offer you trinkets and souvenirs. Stop and allow to water to sweep over your feet, luxuriously cool and gaze out as the waves break about the coral reef offshore, alive with flicking fish and colourful anemones.
- Mile upon mile of golden sandy beach
- Turtle sancturies, temples, statues and monuments can be found all along its length
- Look out for stilt fisherman perched above the water at sunrise
Best time to visit Southwest Coast
• The dry periods in Sri Lanka are split by area with December to March being the best period for the west and south coast and the Hill Country
• The southwest monsoon affects the south and west coasts as well as the hill country between April and September
• Temperatures are relatively consistent year round (26-32°C) all around the island, especially around the coast
• Sri Lanka is busiest from December to March, however travelling during the low and shoulder seasons can be great as prices are lower and the are fewer people
• Between months of May to April the sea on the west coast is too rough to swim in, however in waters of the likes of Hikkaduwa are protected by a coral reef.
Southwest Coast holiday highlights
Sri Lanka’s scenic southwest coast is dotted with luxurious Kuoni resorts where you can unwind on sandy palm-fringed beaches, such as sun-drenched Bentota. While away the days trying thrilling watersports, diving in azure waters and sampling delicious cuisine.
Bentota is one of the southwest coast’s most established beach resorts and has a great range of accommodation to suit all styles and budgets along its great expanses of golden sand. Nestled between the beautiful Bentota River and the glittering Indian Ocean, it offers the best of both worlds, with romantic river cruises, soft sand, a myriad of great dive sites as well as parasailing, jet-skiing and more. This is also a great location to experience an Ayurvedic treatment, as the area is known for its experienced and dedicated therapists who will ensure you leave with a feeling of relaxation and reinvigoration.
Somewhat smaller is the fishing village of Beruwala, where a more relaxed vibe can be felt. Here you’ll find colourful fishing boats, charming people and bustling markets offering a plethora of homemade crafts and other souvenirs. Away from the busy centre of town, the atmosphere is tranquil and laid back, the perfect place to get away from it all. The villages of Wadduwa and Ahungalla also benefit from this serene pace of life, picturesque beaches and charming people.
For something a little bigger, Kalutara in the third biggest city in the western province after Colombo and Negombo but is based around some of the south coast’s most scenic resorts. Here, alongside beaches, diving and bustling markets you’ll find the Kalutara Bridge and some beautiful examples of Buddhist temples including the Kalutara Vihara and the Asokatramaya temple.
For those with a love of surfing, Hikkaduwa is the best known resort in Sri Lanka. The water is great for beginners and regulars alike and also highly popular with snorkelers. As a resort Hikkaduwa has more of a nightlife scene than some of its neighbours and is also home to an array of tailors who will whip you up an outfit in no time at all.