Tantalising Tangalle, sitting at the southern point of Sri Lanka, attracts beach-loving villa travellers with its swathes of palm-fringed beaches, fine, golden sand and azure blue ocean. A plethora of activities, like surfing and snorkelling, and attractions such as cultural sites await travellers in the city.
The magnificent Mulgirigala cave temple is a sight not to be missed. Nature lovers keen on getting up close and personal with Sri Lanka’s wildlife should definitely visit one of the three national parks – Uda Walawe, Yala and Bundala National Park.
Things to do in Tangalle
Venture to Goyambokka Beach, and you will discover a beach paradise containing a fine stretch of golden sand and towering palm trees. The beach is relatively secluded, and retains a relaxing vibe despite attracting a fair number of visitors.
Eateries and cafes are dotted along the sandy coast, making it convenient for beach-goers to grab a quick bite or meal throughout the day.
Bundala National Park, an important wetland sanctuary, is home to a myriad of fauna such as the elephants, crocodiles, civets, monkeys and giant Indian palm squirrels, as well as more than 150 species of birds. It is a popular destination for travellers keen on bird-watching, for visitors can catch sight of an abundance of bird life, ranging from proud, exotic peacocks to meek little bee-eaters.
Flocks of migratory birds arrive during the months between September to March, making this period the best months for visiting. The wee hours of the early morning and the late afternoon are the best times of the day to make a trip to the park.
The ancient Mulkirigala Rock Monastery sits atop a large boulder standing at a staggering height of more than 200 metres. The monastery dates back to more than 2000 years ago and has great religious and historical significance.
A series of steps lead visitors up the temple complex. Visitors can gaze upon fascinating ancient murals, relics and cave temples along the way up. Ambling up the steps may be a tiring climb, but it is well worth it for the rich historical experience offered.
The temple complex of Wewurukannala Vihara is situated in the west of Tangalle. A large golden statue of the Buddha sits in the center of the complex, often attracting crowds of devotees and worshippers.
The temple and hallways promises to be offer an intriguing sight. Visitors will be taken through a hallway of horrors, containing life-sized models depicting the torments and punishments in hell. They will also set sight on a series of intricate wall paintings reflecting the events that occurred in Buddha’s life.
The serene and isolated Madunagala Hermitage sits atop a rock surrounded by a dense jungle, and emits a tranquil sense of solitude.
From the peak of the hilltop, visitors can catch sight of the neighbouring hilltop, Kaamagala, which hosts monks residing in seclusion. The monks at Madunagala Hermitage often venture into the jungles to meditate, and may permit visitors to stay at the complex for a few days of meditation and a quiet retreat.
Rent a canoe, and explore the peaceful Tangalle Lagoon on your own, or with the aid of a guide. Kayak through the mangrove swamps, and you may catch sight of unique bird life lurking amidst the tree tops. Be sure to arm yourself with plenty of insect repellant before you embark on your trip!
Villa travellers in search of surfing lessons along the coasts of Tangalle will not go wrong with taking up classes offered at Bandula Surfing School.
Bandula and his team have received rave reviews from a diverse range of travellers who have participated in surfing lessons at the school. Apart from being brought about to the best surfing spots in the area, you can also expect to gain a wealth of surfing tips and information about Tangalle and its surroundings from the friendly and amiable Bandula.
Arrive at the information centre of The Turtle Conservation Project, and listen attentively as the staff provide an explanation of the process of turtle watching. Visitors are called out to the beach only when the staff have spotted a turtle emerging from the seas, so as not to create any unnecessary disturbance to the creatures.
One has to wait patiently for a sighting, but the experience of seeing the turtles painstakingly bury their eggs is well worth the wait. A visit here is well recommended for all animal and nature lovers!
Where to eat in Tangalle
Little Pumpkin Cabanas sits in a lovely spot along Marakolliya Beach, and overlooks the gorgeous coast and sparkling seas.
Diners can expect friendly service, generous portions, delicious seafood dishes and a stunning view of the coast when they dine at this eatery.
This casual, no-frills eatery is tucked away at a quiet coast along Matara Road.
Diners at the Cactus Lounge have been charmed by its attentive service and delectable seafood dishes, served with sides of crisp, skinny fries and a salad. Dessert items such as the fried banana fritters with treacle are well-recommended.
Dining at the no-frills Sha Sha Seafood is quite an experience.
Make your way there before sunset, as it is easier to find the restaurant at this time. You will chance upon a small eatery in a thatched shack built on stilts. The owner and staff are friendly and unassuming, and will show you the catches of the day. Place your orders, and expect to dine on a selection of fresh and delectable seafood dishes.
Located next to the central bus station, Prem Restaurant may be a hidden find, but it is well worth a visit.
The owners and his family are welcoming and attentive, and alter the taste and spiciness of the curries to suit the preferences of their diners. Guests may purchase fresh ingredients from the restaurant before the meal, and each dish is prepared from scratch. Expect to wait for about an hour for the food to be served.
Buckingham Place Restaurant boasts a lovely ambience, beautiful food presentations, tasty dishes and an extensive wine and cocktail list.
Special mention has been made of the fish and chips and Sri Lankan fare served at the restaurant. Apart from delectable food, a meal at Buckingham Place promises to be an enjoyable experience, with the friendly owner and his team providing attentive and professional service.
Accommodations in Tangalle
A cosy two-bedroom villa, the Teak House is constructed entirely out of teak wood.
This charming dwelling sits in a perfect spot amidst the verdant tropical plantations along the southern coasts of Sri Lanka, and will captivate villa travellers with a love for nature and picturesque scenery. Guests can enjoy sweeping views of the beach, as well as the picturesque sight of the diverse array of flora and fauna in the well-maintained garden.
The lovely Villa Blue Heights sits in a commodious garden measuring two acres. Containing four bedrooms, the villa is an ideal accommodation for small groups of friends and families travelling together in Tangalle.
The interiors, decorated with light colours and natural elements, are bright and airy, and will appeal to guests with a taste for simple and minimalist designs. One of our favourite spots in the villa is the terrace, for it has a calm and tranquil setting, and overlooks the sweeping sea and coastline.
Sleek, modern and cosy, Wattala House is a three bedroom abode sitting along the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
The living and dining areas boasts open-concept designs, and overlooks the spacious pool and well-maintained garden. Guests also gain access to a quiet and scenic beach from the villa.
Kadju House, a modern, five bedroom abode, is well deserving of its spot on Conde Nast Traveller’s List of ‘Top 25 Best Beach Villas in the World’.
Explore the villa, and you will quickly discover why. Be impressed by the spacious rooftop infinity pool offering stunning sights of the sea. If you prefer to be enveloped by tropical greenery, opt for the Courtyard Suite, for it opens up to a private garden with a beautiful outdoor shower under a blooming Frangipani tree. Fans of pampering spa massage treatments will be enthralled with the Ayurvedic Spa room, a relaxing and cosy corner with walls made of aromatic cinnamon sticks.
Take a look at our villas in Tangalle!