With the best coastline known as the golden mile and a wealth of creeks and coves, the western coast of Sri Lanka is an excellent selection for a Sri Lankan beach holiday.
Fantastic beach restaurants offering delicious seafood, creeks and hidden coves, wildlife galore and unforgettable surfing experience are some of the reasons to visit these seaside towns.
Light blue, translucent, warm salty waters of the Indian Ocean are the essence of Sri Lankan beach holidays. Sri Lanka is a land Surrounded by crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean from all sides, the beaches of Sri Lanka are simply stunning, and fabulous-whale watching restaurants with delicious sea-food are plenty. There is no single land till Antarctica after the southern tip of Sri Lanka. All beaches on the island can be used for holidays but depending on the time of the year you travel it could be either West coast or East best suited for your holiday.
Beach lovers particularly flock to Bentota beach and other beaches in the west and southern coast seeking for sun, sea and sand during the winter season in the northern hemisphere. Beaches of east coast such as Nilaveli, Passikudah come into fore as a destination for a beach holiday, from April to November, when it has a dry climate with less rainy days.
Bentota beach is a heaven for nature lovers, where they can experience staggering bio-diversity, those coral reefs, dolphins, whales, turtles, mangroves, iguanas, an immense array of tropical bird species. Bentota beach had spurred a huge development in the past and it had become a full-blown beach holiday destination in the country. Today Bentota beach attracts a large number of foreign tourists and capable of serving any type of budget. But Bentota beach shows a noteworthy contrast as a beach holiday destination against Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna. Simply because Bentota beach popular as a luxury beach holiday destination and most hotels in Bentota serves a rich clientele.
Madu river estuary located just south of Bentota beach and just before the sleepy town of Ambalangoda is Sri Lanka’s most popular wetland complex. The waterways are running through the many dozens of island, which are in the range of few square feet to many hundreds of square kilometres. The big islands are inhabited by a large number of families. The largest island is occupied by 200 hundred families. Rich plant life in the wetland shows a huge diversity and the mangroves dominate the flora scene here.
Koggala beach, more than two miles of sandy beach near the town of Galle, is backed by Madolduwa estuary, which is one of the largest lakes with a patch of forest in it. Boating is the only way to reach this creepy island, where the visitors can see a large number of Flora species as well as many avian fauna species.
Lunu Ganga, the Beautiful Garden of Geoffrey Bawa
Lunu Ganga is Located about 6 km from Bentota on Bentota-Elpitiya main road, this 15-acre expanse of landscaped garden and beautifully manicured lawns created by the world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. The garden is incorporated with artistic displays and sculptures that take visitors by surprise. The park is a hidden secret and a fantastic escape from the beach areas, unlike other tourist attractions such as Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy you do not encounter hordes of tourists here.
This romantic private garden shows the traditional formal garden style combined with innovative ideas of veteran architect Geoffrey Bawa. Although this comparatively small garden does not have huge expanses of lawns and fountains like in many other parks, the underlining intimacy it has with the immediate surrounding is priceless. The garden is given a classic artistic twist with the addition of numerous sculptures; the Garden of Geoffrey bawa orientates around 3 themes of nature, architecture, and artifice. A considerable part of the garden is set bordering the Bentota River, allowing you to sit on the shores and spot the passing by aquatic bird species.
The garden was once occupied by Mr Bawa and it was elaborated to please his personal taste. The centrepiece of the garden is the house of Mr Bawa, the garden has a unique layout and atmosphere among the gardens of Sri Lanka. Co-existing and complimenting the nearby river, this amazing garden truly lives up to its name. The garden entices you to have a compelling and impressive walk amidst the green foliage while taking a glimpse on the architectural works of Mr Bawa.
Simply taking a stroll in the garden enlightens visitors on why this beautiful garden deserves one’s attention. Perhaps the most distinct aspect of this expanse of greenery is its isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city. The garden of Bawa is truly an asset for the west coast beach resort. This hidden gem allows for a fantastic beach resort to be the leading beach holiday destination, while also providing a relaxing spot for its visitors to unwind.
Sea Turtle Hatcheries
Sea turtle farm is one of the many interesting places to visit in Bentota and a large number of travellers, who are relaxing in Bentota beach resort, are not forgetting to drop into one of the sea turtle farms. Sri Lanka is visited by several species of sea turtles, especially from November to April. Sea turtles are heading to the west coast beaches of Sri Lanka for laying eggs in the night. These beaches are visited by 5 different species of endangered turtle species. Some people in the area have the habit of consuming these eggs. Therefore many organizations have established turtle hatcheries and by those eggs from the people and release the babies to the sea. One can visit these hatcheries and see the turtles that are of different ages.
Ambalangoda is located several kilometres from Bentota and it is the centre of mask carving in Sri Lanka. The history of mask carving in Ambalangoda is going back to several centuries; even today it is the most important city for the mask carving. There are several museums in Ambalangoda showcasing traditional masks of Sri Lanka. Ambalangoda offers the best opportunity for people who look for traditional Sri Lankan masks.
Sinharaja Primaeval Rain Forest
Sinharaja is the last remaining rain forest of Sri Lanka and a most valuable patch of forest in the island. The forest is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO due to its importance for nature. A Seerendipity tour organizes community-based environmentally friendly tour itineraries to explore the undisturbed fragile eco-system around the rainforest with the participation of local people. These tours consist of canoeing, trekking, a walk through the buffer zone of the forest and a home-cooked traditional local meal for lunch.
In the beautiful coastal town of Galle majestically stands the cobblestoned old Dutch fort. It has welcomed many chic boutiques, hotels, motels, museums, galleries and had become the heart of the tourist traffic in southern Sri Lanka. Don’t forget to explore this fascinating UNESCO world heritage site if you choose Bentota as your beach holiday destination.
Kande vihara is a Buddhist temple and one of the beautiful temples and important places to visit in the west coast. Kande Vihara is one of the most popular Buddhist temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka and located very close to Bentota beach. This historical temple is dating back to the Kandyan period (18000s). It is believed to be constructed by King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. Main attractions of the temple are the Bo-tree, Dagoba, Shiva Devala, Relic house and the Image house. Kande vihara is popular for its historical wall paintings and they are dating back to several centuries.
Choose you’re favourite from scuba diving, snorkelling, deep sea fishing, canoeing, whale watching, jungle tours, trekking, hiking, and boating. The list of adventure sports goes on and on. It’s adventures do not sound good for you, get an arrack cocktail and make it your adventure of the day. Away from Bentota beach, towards the interior of the country travellers can find secluded mountains, patches of forests, jungle-clad mountains, a cascading waterfall, hidden water streams, caves, tea, rubber and coconut plantations.
Beruwala is the oldest Moorish settlement on the island and it is located only 5 km from Bentota. Beruwala became the first Muslim settlement in 8th century AD with the arrival of a group of merchants from Arab. The believed to have started the mosque, therefore Kachchimale mosque is considered as one of the important religious Places to visit in Bentota. Today Beruwala is the location for the oldest mosque in the country, which is called “Kachchimale” mosque. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim devotees flock into the mosque at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in order to pay their homage to the grave of sheikh Ashareth.