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7 Places To Visit In Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary

Sri Lanka south coast itinerary has a fascinating blend of history, culture and nature. However, below mentioned south coast itinerary includes many interesting activities such as visiting the sea turtle conservation centre, boating, walking tour of Galle Fort, Yala safari and visiting beaches.

Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary

I know that there are many foreign travellers, who have made the south coast of Sri Lanka their second home, they live in southern Sri Lanka for many months every year, it is just like their second home. Some of them spend the entire winter season (3 months) in a beach resort of Southern Sri Lanka.

Why do they love southern Sri Lanka? The simple answer is, southern Sri Lanka offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as Tangalle, Mirissa and Weligama. Southern coast beaches resorts are some of the best places for Sri Lanka beach tour packages and it is best-kept secrets. These palm-fringed, calm and quiet Sri Lankans are heaven for beach tour lovers.

The southern coast hides a large number of tourist places along with beaches such as temples, forts, sea turtle sanctuaries, diving sites and wildlife reserve and many more. If you decide to take a southern Sri Lanka tour it will be a complete package with leisure and activities.

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When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka South Coast?

Southern Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka, and it can be really crowded during the peak holiday season (From November to April). But it is not difficult to find some isolated places for a peaceful time.  This article is about a 2 days southern Sri Lanka tour from west coast beaches such as Bentota and Colombo.

Southern Sri Lanka has been a secret over the last few decades, and only a few visitors knew about its beauty. But this best-kept secret in Asia is being slowly revealed, as Sri Lanka’s tourist traffic is heading to the south and aiming at its tropical beaches, rich culture, and incredible wildlife and crumbling historical landmarks. That’s why the big players in the world’s hotel industry such as Shangri La, Marriot have opened their branches in southern Sri Lanka; they know that southern Sri Lanka is a hot topic in the travel world very soon.       

West coast is the most popular beach holiday destination on the island and a large part of travellers makes it the base of their Sri Lanka trip. The travellers, who wish to explore other parts of the island often, make short trips to other areas of the country such as southern cost, cultural triangle, Sri Lanka tea country or Mountains to explore many other interesting tourist attractions.

There are dozens of golden beaches on the west, but it lacks some other features such as national parks, historical monuments and rain forests. Therefore what most travellers, who spend their beach holidays on the west coast do are making short trips to other places such as southern Sri Lanka and explore places such as ancient temples, wildlife reserves. Below mentioned Sri Lanka southern coast itinerary for 2 days is a very popular activity as it enables the travellers to explore multiple tourist attractions within 2 days. 

What can we see on the south coast itinerary?

Sri Lanka south coast itinerary mainly revolve around pristine south coast beaches, therefore a major part of the Sri Lanka south coast tour itinerary can be described as a beach holiday. The beach holiday is included with many activities such as whale watching, surfing, boating and other water sports, visiting forts, ancient monuments, national parks, rainforests, temples etc. The gusts are mainly based in a beach resort while they make day tours to nearby tourist attractions mentioned above.

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Sri Lanka south coast itinerary with whale watching

Sri Lanka’s sea of the south and west coast is one of the best places on Earth for whale and dolphin watching, therefore Sri Lanka south coast itinerary is one of the best activities to see whales, porpoises, sea turtles and dolphins in the wild – and now it has become quite popular among the travellers.

When I saw the first spout of water arises from the water surface in the distance I knew that we were on the right track to see the whales. Immediately after the first spout, there was another one immediately behind the first one, which means that it is two blue whales are swimming a few hundred meters ahead of us. But our whale watching 20 meters longboat is still far from the whales to see their dark skin.

Our boat is just about one kilometre off the coast of Mirissa, a fishing village in southern Sri Lanka. We were just entering the whales commissioned zone as we saw the two giant whales swimming a few meters ahead of us. The captain of the big boat, Sudarshana had spotted few other creatures and he is just speeding up to reach them. After a few minutes of drive to the Ocean, our captain stopped the engine, and he was on high alert with calm.

In a few minutes, more than 30 foreign travellers that were on the deck started to shriek all of a sudden: next to our boat was a gigantic blue whale about a size of 15 meters long, which is capable of knocking us sideways. It was my first whale watching trip off Sri Lanka’s south-west coast, however, it is a very popular activity on the Sri Lanka west coast itinerary.

Sri Lanka south coast travel route

Sri Lanka south coast itinerary takes place on the western and southern coastal route of Sri Lanka, which is one of the oldest travel routes on the island and one of the longest uninterrupted coastal drives in Sri Lanka beating out all the coastal routes and it runs about 280km from Colombo to Kataragama.

Sri Lanka beach holiday with a southern coast tour itinerary

  • Galle
  • Koggala
  • Ahangama
  • Weligama
  • Matara, Mirissa
  • Tangalle
  • Hambantota

Head to southern Sri Lanka to see the untapped Marvellous beaches in Weligama, Matara, Tangalla and Hambantota. These beaches were spared by tourist traffic in the past due to the long journey from the Airport. and underdeveloped tourism infrastructure was another reason for the lethargic development of the industry.

Before the opening of the southern express way, the travellers could visit southern Sri Lanka tourist places only on multi-day Sri Lanka trips. Southern Sri Lanka tour itinerary had been at least a 2 days affairs in the past, such as Yala and Galle 2 days trip.

Thanks to the newly constructed highway it has never been so easy to travel to the southern coast and the time spent on travelling has been drastically reduced. Today you can visit Yala national park on Sri Lanka one day trip from Colombo and you can make a whale watching trip from Colombo within a day.

They are still not as crowded as Bentota beach, Negombo and Kalutara. If you are the kind of person who values the calm, serene atmosphere and like to have peace of mind, then go to southern Sri Lanka beaches before it gets crowded.

International hotel chains are slowly starting to build large-scale accommodation facilities along the coast in Galle and southern Sri Lanka, in view of catering to the growing demand. With the opening of the International airport and international harbour, Southern Sri Lanka is well on the way to become a major tourist destination in the future.

Southern Sri Lanka posses an interesting blend of nature, culture, history of the southern part of the country. Southern Sri Lanka the home of many national parks such as Yala, Udawalawa and Kumana. The abundance of historical sites including Tissamaharama, Kataragama, Kirinda keeps southern Sri Lanka as an important place to study the rich historical past of Sri Lanka.

The hinterland of down South Sri Lanka has remained much the same as it was in the days when monarchs-in-exile concealed themselves in cave-monasteries or jungle hideouts in its remote recesses or rebel heroes galloped along those devious pathways that momentarily yielded a narrow clearing to be almost immediately curtained off by the thick briars and impenetrable foliage densely growing on either side after they had passed by.

In those distant times when merchants pluckily plodded in their bullock-drawn carts and wagons to buy and sell the product, they collected from the innumerable villages. Today these remote hamlets in the Deep South are popular places for Sri Lanka beach tours. Large numbers of travellers flock to pristine beaches that invite for a peaceful holiday in Sri Lanka.

Things to do on a holiday in southern Sri Lanka

A question with many answers, however, what isn’t there to do in southern Sri Lanka? With so many natural and man-made attractions and things to do in southern Sri Lanka spanning from Yala national park to Kataragama temple through the down town of Tissamaharama.

You need many days to round up all the places with a visit. But with so many interesting places to visit, southern Sri Lanka was out of the scope of areas that considered being places for a holiday in Sri Lanka. Perhaps, it was because of the long distance from the Colombo international airport. It had taken as much as 7 hours to reach southern Sri Lanka before the opening of the southern express way.

Today southern Sri Lanka has become an emerging holiday hotspot on the island. The southern part of Sri Lanka is booming as a holiday hot spot and infrastructure is also improving on par with the increasing demand for facilities. It has never been so easy to travel to the southern tip of the country before.

The new international airport and the international harbour provide a new opening to the island for international holiday lovers. A large number of hotels and other forms of accommodation are being added to this emerging holiday destination. Don’t wait till it is too late to explore this fascinating corner of the island.

Do I get time to relax on the 2 days Sri Lanka southern coast tour?

This 2 days tour is the program for travellers, who like to experience the rich natural wealth of southern Sri Lanka.  This is not a tour to relax, even though the southern coast of Sri Lanka ranks among the best spots for relaxing, the time is not allocated for relaxing on this trip. In fact, this is a short tour itinerary for 2 days.  

2 day Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

  • Day 1: Bentota / Mirissa / Yala
  • Day 2: Yala / Galle / Bentota

Places to see in Sri Lanka Southern coast tour

Few other useful links

5 best places to visit in Sri Lanka in one day

12 best places to visit in Sri Lanka in 2 days

15 best places to visit in Sri Lanka in 3 days

Places to visit in Sri Lanka in 4 days

22 places to visit in Sri Lanka in 5 days

Day 1 of Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary – Bentota, Galle, Mirissa, Yala

On the first day of the southern Sri Lanka tour you drive to Yala, along the southern and western shore. You will be passing many coves and bays along the way, which are perfect swimming spots. E.g. The Unawatuna beach, which is near Galle is a year-round swimming spot and has a natural rock formation. This natural rock stops the underwater current from entering the bay. Therefore, Unawatuna beach is one of the very popular one-day outing places in Sri Lanka.

The first day of the southern Sri Lanka tour starts early morning if you start the tour from Bentota; the starting time is 4.00 AM. It is mandatory to start the tour early morning due to the whale watching trip that will be done on the first day. Whale watching trip is the first activity of the 2 days tour and takes place in Mirissa.


The city of Galle extends along the Indian ocean, charming and beautiful city is a heaven for travellers and leisure seekers. The Galle fort is the main tourist attraction in the city, which sits towards the western end of the city. In the city there are two markets fish market and fruit market, the most colourful is the fruit market with dozens of shops selling hundreds of different varieties of fruits on their open shops. They are established along the shores of southern part of the city. The people can also discover a large number of shops in the area that are selling textiles, electronic equipment’s, leather products, medicine etc. Here you can also find restaurants, bars, cafes local style bakeries.

Walking path

A large part of the city has Indian ocean as its neighbour. A walking path sandwiched between the city and Indian ocean, which spreads over many dozens of kilometres from the northern part of the city to the southern tip of the town. The walk on the path in the evening as the sun goes down would be an unforgettable experience, which allows you to enjoy the natural beauty along the shore. Along the coast the fishing villages, fishing Harbor, parks, the Fort and beaches lined up with swaying palms and fishing boats. Some of most glorious beaches of Galle are to be found towers the southern part of Galle and beaches such as such as Unawatuna and Ahangama are among them.  If you wish to omit the crowd and enjoy a solitary and peaceful beach stay these beaches on the south of Galle are the best bet for you. Unlike most beach resorts on the west such as Bentota and Hikkaduwa the beaches in Galle are far less crowded. 

Galle Fort

The fort is filled with medieval period constructions, mainly contributed by Dutch east Indian company and most of them showcase Dutch architecture. A stroll along the rampart (the outer circle of the port) gives you the opportunity to have a breathtaking and clear view over the India ocean, Cricket stadium, Galle Harbor and the city as it is constructed on an elevated platform. Presumably the rampart if the most elevated part of the Fort and was constructed to monitor the human activities that took places around the Fort. There are many important places to explore within the fort such as maritime museum, Wolvendaal church, galleries, museums, etc.    

One day trip to Galle

Galle tucked away in the southern province of Sri Lanka, 118 km from Colombo. Galle is a popular spot for one day tours in Sri Lanka. If you travel to Sri Lanka on a short trip and like to take part in few one-day tours – Galle one day tour is undoubtedly one of the best programs for you. There are many interesting places to visit between Galle and Colombo, this one-day tour includes all of them. River safari of Madu estuary, mask museum, sea turtle conservation project, moon stone mines, spice garden are some of the interesting places and activities on this trip. 

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Mirissa whale watching tour

You will be heading to the Mirissa harbour from the hotel and board the whale watching boat at around 06.30 am. The whale watching boat leaves the harbour by 7.00 AM and you need to report to the harbour between 6.30 – 7.00 am. Normally the journey from Bentota to Mirissa takes around 2 hours (early morning, sans traffic).

Usually, the whale watching trip lasts between 2-5 hours and in some cases, it can be longer than 5hours. The chances of spotting whales are very high in southern Sri Lankan waters and Sri Lanka considered being one of the best places to spot blue whales. However, that can be very rare instances in which you do not encounter blue whales.  

After the whale watching trip, you proceed to a hotel in Tissamaharama, which is the gateway to Yala national park. Since the duration of the whale watching trip cannot be guaranteed, ether will be no other activity planned for today’s program other than a whale watching trip.   

Historical places in southern Sri Lanka: Tissamaharama

You will be staying in a hotel in Tissamaharama, like most travellers, who visit Yala national park do.  Ninety per cent of travellers, who visit Yala national park, choose Tissamaharama as the venue for their overnight stay. Usually, the jeep safari starts in Tissamaharama and the jeep driver pickup their customers near Tissamaharama Lake.

Visiting Yala national park is another important activity of 2 days Southern Sri Lanka trip. Yala jeep safari is planned for the 2nd day of the Southern Sri Lanka trip. Tissamaharama is the gateway to Yala national park, which is 25 km from Yala national park. Tissamaharama is the nearest town to Yala national park and it is a small laid-back city with a large extent of forest cover, historical monuments, rice paddies and two gigantic lakes within its border.

Tissamaharama had been the centre of the ancient Ruhunu kingdom (kingdom of southern Sri Lanka), and its history going back 2nd century BC. Some of the historical temples in Tissamaharama are important archaeological sites.   

If you are lucky to finish the whale watching trip within a few hours you will be able to reach your hotel in Tissamaharama a few hours afternoon. It means you will be having a few hours to explore the beautiful surrounding of Tissamaharama. Tissamaharama is a nice place to roam around if you are the kind of person, who enjoy the beautiful scenery, bird watching and beautiful tropical forests.

Everything is within easy reach of your hotel in Tissamaharama. If you walk few kilometres towards the Tissamaharama clock tower from Tissa Lake, you will come to one of the most historical temples on the island known as Yatalatissa dagoba, this historical temple is believed to be originated in the 2nd century BC.

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Choose the best vehicle for your one-day tour in Sri Lanka from a wide range of vehicles such as sedans, SUVs, mini-coach, micros, etc. We provide all kinds of vehicles at affordable rates.

Day 2 of Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary– Yala, Galle, Bentota

Visiting Yala National Park

On the second day of the trip, you will head to the Yala national park, early in the morning. The jeep driver pick up you from the hotel at 05.00 am and take you to the national park. The drive from your hotel in Tissamaharama to Yala national park lasts around 45 minutes. It is important to reach the national park by 05.45 am in order to enter the national park as early as possible; an early morning safari increases the chances of spotting wild animals.

The jeep safari at Yala national park lasts around 3 hours and it enables you to see many animal species such as wild elephants, leopards, wild boar, jackal, deer, sambar and many other animals. After the Safari you will drive back to the hotel and have breakfast later leave for your beach hotel in Bentota. En-route visit Galle fortress, Hikkaduwa beach, Mask Museum, mangrove forest boat tour.

Every year Yala national park is closed for 6-8 parks, usually, from the first week of September onward – which means that the destination of the safari is switched to Udawalawe national park.

In the Sri Lankan south coast itinerary, Yala is the main destination for the safari, however, Udawalawe national park is also a viable option, which guarantees the sighting of wild elephants. Perhaps you are weighing up between a Udawalawe safari or a Yala National Park safari.

Both are fantastic opportunities to encounter many wild animals and both national parks are within a few hours’ drives of each other, but Yala is popular for a wide range of animals sighting such as wild elephants, bear, leopards, jackal. Udawalwe is smaller than Yala and it is very rare to spot leopards and bear at Udawalawe national park.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site, which considered being the best preserved Dutch colonial Fort in Asia. This iconic tourist attraction visited by thousands of travellers every day. There are hundreds of houses, bungalows, temples, churches, museums, galleries, cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels in the Fort.    

Hikkaduwa Beach

Your driver will stop the vehicle in Hikkaduwa to show you one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka.

Mask Museum

The mask museum of Amalangoda does not attract a large number of visitors. Because this off the beaten track tourist attraction in Sri Lanka is still unknown to most foreign travellers.

Ariyapala mask museum of Ambalangoda is the only museum dedicated to the masking industry on the island. The mask carving industry is going back more than a thousand years. According to the historical information the mask had been widely used in folklore as well as for treating certain ailments.

During ancient time, people had believed that certain ailment arises due to evil spirits and therefore witch doctor had to perform various rituals in order to cure the sick person. It was customary to wear a mask by the witch doctor during the ritual. Even though the rituals are not performed on the island now the masks are still manufactured in Ambalangoda and they are mostly used as a souvenir.

The mask museum of Ambalangoda showcases many ancient masks and some of them are very valuable artefacts dates back to more than a thousand years.  

Madu River safari/ Mangrove forest boat tour

Two hours motorboat tour at Madu river estuary is s perfect opportunity to explore one of the most important wetlands on the island.  Madu river estuary named a Ramsar wetland due to its ecological importance. You will be able to spot many avian fauna species and animals such as monitors, monkeys even crocodile on this boat trip. You will also be able to visit the cinnamon island, which is a small island used as a cinnamon plantation.

Few important things to know if you plan a Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary for the first time

  • Sri Lankan currency-Sri Lankan rupees and Indian are not the same and they have different exchange rates. The exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis, at the moment the exchange rate of Sri Lankan rupees against US$ is around 176.  The hard currencies such as US$ and Euro can be exchanged everywhere on the island, all Banks provide the currency exchange service. ATM machines can be used to withdraw money against bank card and ATM machines are available in every bank branch.
  • Having a local SIM card is very useful and most importantly is cheap. When you have a local SIM it is easy to make calls and receive calls within the island. Usually, all SIM cards come with an IDD facility. All SIM cards come with a data package allowing you to surf the internet at a low rate. SIM cards can be bought at the airport or at communication centres in cities. You need to produce a copy of the passport to get a local SIM card.
  • Travelling around Sri Lanka- Having a private car is the best way of travelling around Sri Lanka. Public transport such as buses and trains are cheap but they are always late and behind the schedule. The taxis can be booked with a driver with Local tour operators as well as in hotels. Rent a car and rent a motorbike is also available on the island but most companies that rent cars are to be found in major cities such as Colombo and Kandy. However, it is strongly recommended not to have self-drive cars due to the chaotic traffic in Sri Lanka.
  • Buddhism is a living religion in Sri Lanka and visiting a Buddhist temple is on the card during your southern Sri Lanka trip. There are a few rules and conditions to be met if you wish to visit a Buddhist temple. Please check on this link for more information before head on to the temple.
  • Sri Lankans are modest compared to most other countries in the region. It is strongly advised to have suitable attire as you move around the villages and visiting religious places.  Do not visit the temple and walk through the towns with your swimsuit or skimpy clothes, it is considered very disrespectful.
  • If you head on to the mountains it is advisable to have a sweatshirt. In the mountains, it can be really chilly in the evening and after the sunset. But in general, the average temperature hovering around 35 degrees Celsius on the island except in the mountains. 
  • The best time to plan your Sri Lanka southern coast tour itinerary is from November to April, the weather tends to be less rainy during this period. And also the sea is suitable for saltwater activities. There is a large number of protected bays on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, which means it is suitable for sea bath throughout the year, even during the rough sea. During the monsoon (From April to November) the clouds build up in the morning over the coast and rain occurs late evening or night and it is sunny and warm during the day.
  • Finding accommodation on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is quite easy because there are plethoras of accommodation providers are scattered among the coast.
  • This tour starts from Bentota; however, the pick location can be switched to Colombo or any other location on the west coast with a request and usually the first-day transfer from Bentota to Mirissa will take around 2 hours. But it might take up to 3 hours 30 minutes if you start the tour in Colombo.  

Why you should book Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary with us

Seerendipity tour is a fully locally owned travel company with a head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity tours and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

Best price for your Sri Lanka vacation packages

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, which means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Plan your best Sri Lanka vacation packages with experts

Our staff makes a personalized program for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write to us at admin@seerendipitytours.com

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