Located 3 - 6 hours south of the commercial capital of Colombo, lies a serene fishing port in Sri Lanka, known as Tangalle. The ideal beach destination to just unwind, kick back and relax while listening to the sea breeze rustling the coconut trees lined up along the white sandy beaches. The town of Tangalle may not be in the same league as the party destinations of Unawatuna and Mirissa, however, it does possess something that neither of the party destinations have, namely, peace and serenity.

Top Reason to Visit

Home to some of the most serene beaches of the country that are lined with great rustic grandeur in the form of the many coconut trees, along with some great accommodation providers and lip smacking food, Tangalle serves to be the beach destination on the south coast of Sri Lanka to experience the perfect romantic beach getaway or just get in touch with your light side. Therefore, making it the top reason to visit the fishing town.

While You’re There

The white sands:

Tangalle is known for having some of the most pristine strips of beaches that have not yet been tampered by mass tourism. The turquoise blue of the warm Indian Ocean, the soft white sandy beaches that are empty of the usual hubbub seen in the neighbouring towns of Unawatuna or Mirissa and the gleaming sun overhead, make it the ideal place to just escape the noise of civilisation and retreat into nature’s bliss. The Tangalle Beach, along with other beaches close by like the Medaketiya Beach, the Marakolliya Beach and the Rekawa Beach prove to be utterly breathtaking. Waking up to the sights and sounds of the waves crashing and sea turtles nesting along the shore is truly a majestic sight to behold.

‘Little Sigiriya’:

Tangalle is home to only a few cultural monuments that speak of the great history Sri Lanka possesses. One of them being the Mulkirigala Rock Temple that poses a striking resemblance to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress due to its construction on top of a natural rock. Its striking resemblance to the famed rock fortress has made many to call it ‘Punchi Sigiriya’ (Little Sigiriya). Climbing up to the old temple is a worthy endeavor as the temple showcases some intricate paintings dating back to the 18th century Kandyan Kingdom of the Lord Buddha himself and his journey to enlightenment. Moreover, the sights of the surrounding fertile greenery makes it all the more enticing for the traveller searching for a great landscape.

Signs of colonialism:

Another great feature of the picturesque town is the lingering effect of colonialism, which has been almost forgotten due to the rigours of time. One of them being the Dutch Rest House, which is believed to be one of the oldest rest houses in the country, being built in 1774. The Rest House, still adorning its original Dutch architecture, was once the residence of many Dutch government administrators and has been extensively transformed for the weary traveller to take that well deserved rest. Moreover, wandering along Harbour Road provides more evidence of the Old Dutch colonials.

A majestic site:

The beaches in the area may not be suitable for a good dip in the warm blue water, however, there is something even better that can be witnessed in the beaches. Beaches here, namely Rekawa Beach and Marakoliya Beach are home to some of the 5 species of sea turtles that take refuge in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Witnessing the new born wander out into the ocean to start its life journey is an inspiring sight to see.

Seafood galore:

Along with the rustic beauty of the place, Tangalle also serves to be a haven for the food connoisseur. Although home to a few independent eateries, the food here has always been a hit for anyone that tries it out. Specialising in seafood, Tangalle’s little eateries may be small in size, but produce a great range of seafood dishes that are so delicious you would want to come back for more.

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about in Tangalle is quite easy as the places of interest are located in close proximity to one another. The best way to explore the little fishing village is by bicycle or scooter, which can be arranged by your accommodation provider. Should you choose to hire a tuk-tuk though, make sure you research on the distance of your destination.

Weather: The weather in Tangalle is almost always the same throughout the year with temperatures reaching up to 32°C, along with a humidity climbing more than 80%. However, the months from May to August are considered to be the months in which Tangalle’s temperature drops and becomes favourable for travelling.

Money: It is important to carry cash in hand with small notes like LKR 20s, LKR 50s and LKR 100s, since most places do not accept credit and debit cards, apart from the supermarkets.

Clothing: Since the fishing town is known for the serene beaches, beach wear or casual wear is permissible.

Safety: Tangalle is quite a safe place with a friendly populace, however, you can come across the usual touts and hustlers. Just ignore them and they will ignore you and as always keep a watchful eye on your belongings.

Meals and refreshments: Just about all the places to stay serve meals. Many have cafes with dreamy ocean views, and seafood is always a good choice, so you are most definitely covered in this area.

Swimming: Although looking calm and serene, many beaches of Tangalle are not suitable for swimming, apart from a few. It is best to ask some locals or your tour guide for the best place to swim.

Tangalle’s blend of rustic beauty, colonial history, religious significance, breathtaking beaches and lush green landscapes, is something that cannot be missed during your journey across the Paradise Island of Sri Lanka.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
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