20 Places To Visit In Sri Lanka South Coast Itinerary

Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary, or Sri Lanka south coast tour, has a fascinating blend of history, culture, and nature. Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Mirissa, GalleFort, Unawatuna Beach, Hambantota, and Kataragama Temple are some of the popular attractions included in this trip. However, the below-mentioned south coast itinerary includes a whole range of interesting activities, such as visiting the sea turtle conservation centre, boating, walking tours of Galle Fort, Yala Safari, and visiting beaches.

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Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Sri Lanka’s south coast is one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the island and attracts a large number of travellers every day. The viability of tourist attractions on the south coast is very high, which is the main reason for their overwhelming popularity among travellers. The south coast of Sri Lanka offers a wide range of tourist attractions, from national parks teeming with wild animals to ancient Buddhist temples to millions of years-old rainforests. The most important and abundant tourist attraction in Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary is the beach. The southern part of Sri Lanka has more than 500km of pristine beaches and most of them are still uncrowded, making them the best places for a calm and leisurely beach holiday.

Accommodation on Sri Lanka’s south coast

The south coast of Sri Lanka can accommodate any type of budget. If you are on a Sri Lanka budget tour or on a Sri Lanka luxury holiday seeker, the southern part of Sri Lanka is well equipped with all the necessary things to accommodate you. Especially the variety of accommodation available on the south coast is great. It offers luxury 5-star beach hotels to cheap dormitory types of accommodations. Along the south coast beaches of Sri Lanka, there are many pockets of popular beach resorts such as Unawatuna beach, Mirissa beach, Tangalle beach, Hambantota Beach, Weligama Beach, etc. There is a large concentration of hotels and guests houses in all tourist resorts on these beach resorts. However, guests can find accommodation outside of these tourist resorts but in small numbers.

Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

By far, the south coast tour itinerary is the most popular travel route in Sri Lanka and part of one week Sri Lanka trip. However, the Soth Coast Sri Lanka tour itinerary involves wildlife exploration and beach tours. The south coast tour allows travellers to visit some of the most spectacular tourist attractions, such as Yal National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Mirissa Beach, and Galle Fort.

More than 75 percent of Sri Lanka tour packages touch the southern coast of Sri Lanka. If you book a multiday Sri Lanka tour, such as an 8 day Sri Lanka trip or 14 day Sri Lanka tour, you can expect to visit a few places in southern Sri Lanka. Apart from visiting national parks and beaches, the south coast itinerary can also include historical monuments.

The travellers are benefitted in ways by choosing the best travel route for the Sri Lanka trip package. One major benefit is the opportunity to engage in interesting activities such as diving, snorkelling, swimming, wildlife exploration, etc. The weather is a critical factor in deciding the best time to travel in Sri Lanka as well as the travel route. However, even the south coast tour itinerary is not ideal for a Sri Lanka trip during the low season in Sri Lanka due to the effect of the monsoon. Click here to find out the best time to travel in Sri Lanka and the best places to travel in Sri Lanka.

I know that there are many foreign travelers 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 in southern Sri Lanka.

Why do they love southern Sri Lanka? The simple answer is, that southern Sri Lanka offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Southern coast beach resorts are some of the best places for Sri Lanka beach tour packages and it is the best-kept secret. 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, wildlife reserves, and many more. If you decide to take a southern Sri Lanka tour, it will be a complete package with leisure and activities.

When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka’s 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 day 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, incredible wildlife, and crumbling historical landmarks. That’s why the big players in the world’s hotel industry, Shangri-La and 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.       

The West Coast is the most popular beach holiday destination on the island and a large number of travellers make it the base of their Sri Lanka trip. Travelers who wish to explore other parts of the island often, make short trips to other areas of the country, such as the southern coast, the cultural triangle, Sri Lanka tea country, or the 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 travelers who spend their beach holidays on the west coast do are make short trips to other places, such as southern Sri Lanka, and explore places such as ancient temples, and wildlife reserves. The below-mentioned Sri Lankan southern coast itinerary for 2 days is a very popular activity as it enables travellers to explore multiple tourist attractions within 2 days. 

What can we see on the south coast itinerary?

  • Pristine south coast Sri Lankan beaches, coves and bays
  • Ancient forts
  • Lakes, Rivers and mangrove lagoons
  • Ancient Buddhist temples
  • Thousands of years old Forts
  • National parks
  • Rainforests
  • Bird park Hambantota

Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary mainly revolves 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 includes many activities such as whale watching, surfing, boating, and other water sports, such as 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.

What activities can we do on Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary?

  • Beach hopping
  • Surfing, diving, snorkelling, swimming and many other watersports
  • Visiting Buddhist and Hindu temples
  • Visiting ancient monuments
  • Visiting Forts and colonial monuments
  • Shopping for clothes, handicrafts, gems and jewelry
  • Nature tours based on rivers, lakes and patches of forests
  • Exploring mangrove lagoons
  • Wildlife tours

“What can we do on a Sri Lanka south coast itinerary?” This is a question with many answers, however, what isn’t there to do in southern Sri Lanka? With so many natural and man-made tourist attractions along with many hundreds of pristine palm-fringed beaches, Sri Lanka’s south coast offers you the most fun-filled activities for your Sri Lanka trip. The things to do in southern Sri Lanka range from wildlife tours, surfing, snorkelling, diving, and visiting old forts to seeing ancient temples through the downtown 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 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 expressway.

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 harbor 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.

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Classic Sri Lanka southern tour to see the biggest land animal as well as the biggest animal in the sea

Sri Lanka is one of the very few countries in the world, where you can witness the biggest land- and sea-based animals in the world. You can easily witness both wild elephants and whales on your trip to Sri Lanka’s south coast.

Whale watching is one of the very popular activities on the island of Sri Lanka. Mirissa of southern Sri Lanka is especially popular among travellers as one of the best destinations for whale watching. There are about 80 different species of whales in the sea; out of that 80 species, travellers can witness twenty-six species of whales in Sri Lankan waters. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries where travellers can witness the biggest creature in the sea and the biggest land animal in the world in a short period of time.

Sri Lanka south coast itinerary with whale watching

Sri Lanka’s sea on the south and west coasts is one of the best places on Earth for whale and dolphin watching, therefore, Sri Lanka’s 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 arise from the water’s 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 two blue whales are swimming a few hundred meters ahead of us. But our whale watching boat 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 whale’s commissioned zone when we saw the two giant whales swimming a few meters ahead of us. The captain of the big boat, Sudarshana, had spotted a few other creatures and he is just speeding up to reach them. After a few minutes of driving to the ocean, our captain stopped the engine, and he was on high alert and 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 15 meters long, which is capable of knocking us sideways. It was my first whale-watching trip off Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, however, it is a very popular activity on the Sri Lanka west coast itinerary.

Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary route

Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary takes place on the western and southern coastal routes 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 from tourist traffic in the past due to the long journey from the Airport. and underdeveloped tourism infrastructure was another reason for the lax development of the industry.

Before the opening of the southern expressway, travellers could visit southern Sri Lanka tourist places only on multi-day Sri Lanka trips. The southern Sri Lanka tour itinerary had been at least a 2-day affair 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 traveling has been drastically reduced. Today you can visit Yala national park in Sri Lanka for 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 a calm, serene atmosphere and likes to have peace of mind, then go to southern Sri Lanka beaches before they get 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 harbor, Southern Sri Lanka is well on the way to becoming a major tourist destination in the future.

Southern Sri Lanka possesses an interesting blend of nature, culture, and history of the southern part of the country. Southern Sri Lanka is the home of many national parks, such as Yala, Udawalawa, and Kumana. The abundance of historical sites, including Tissamaharama, Kataragama, and Kirinda, keeps southern Sri Lanka 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 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 a peaceful holiday in Sri Lanka.

Variety of Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Sri Lanka’s south-coast itinerary comes in many flavors. Some itineraries include only the beach stay while others offer you the opportunity to visit tourist attractions such as wildlife tours, visiting forts, and boating, however, this type of trip does not allow you to have leisure on the beach due to time constraints. If you like to visit tourist attractions on the south coast while having some time to spend leisurely on the beach, in fact, most travellers demand this type of trip, You can get it arranged with most Sri Lankan tour operators such as Seerendipity tours.

Sri Lanka’s south coast tour starts from many parts of Sri Lanka, especially from Colombo. Most travellers start their south coast trip from Colombo airport or from their hotel in Colombo. The south coast tour of Sri Lanka span from one day Sri Lanka trip to a 7 day Sri Lanka trip or more. However, the duration of the trip depends on the requirement of the participants and local tour operators are ready to offer fully customized trips to their customers.

20 best places for Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

1. Visiting Yala national park on a Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Exotic birds, leopards, peacocks, elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears, spotted dear, jackals, sambars, and a stunning combination of a national park and reservation await you on a Wild Life Safari. The months of February through July are ideal of  visiting Yala.

Venturing on a Sri Lanka south coast itinerary is a great way to start your exploration in the Yala National ParkUdawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park.

2. Temple of Mulkirigala with Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Near Tangalle, you’ll find Mulkirigala, one of the most impressive ancient sites in the South. Carved on the sides of a massive rock outcrop are ancient cave temples with elaborate decorations.

The temples, which date back to the third century B.C. were constructed on four levels at various points in antiquity. Stunning vistas wait at the top, which is accessible via nearly 500 steps that connect each level. In order to make sense of all the delicious food you eat,

3. Temple of Kataragama with Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

The shrine of the god Kataragama attracts devotees from all over the world every year, making it one of the most sacred locations on the island for both Buddhists and Hindus.The temples come to life with religious rites in the night.Devotees bring trays of sacrifices to the god and the sound of many drums and conch shells are rung to get the blessing of god Kataragama.

4. Observing Whales and Dolphins on a Sri Lankan south coast itinerary

In order to see the world’s largest animal, Mirissa is a great place to go. Several tour companies in the region take visitors on excursions to the Indian Ocean in the hopes of seeing dolphins, whales, and turtles, since this activity has quickly grown in popularity as a top southern attraction. From December to March, you will not regret your visit.

5. Visit Coconout Tree Hill with a South tour

Coconut Tree Hill is a popular scenic place that can be added to your Sri Lanka south coast itinerary. If you’re looking for a picturesque southern location, go no further than this one. Its location at the mouth of Mirissa Beach, surrounded by coconut palms, affords breathtaking views of the water below.

6. Adventure Park in Mirissa’s Jungle Playground

Jungle playgrounds are perfect for groups of friends or family looking for an adventure without venturing too far from the beach. This one-of-a-kind jungle trail was created and is operated by a couple from Europe. It features a variety of obstacles, including climbing, mini golf, and jungle bowling!

7. Hikkaduwa Beach Strip

Hikkaduwa can be your beach holiday destination on the Sri Lanka south coast itinerary. This lively town is known for its stunning beaches, tranquil diving sites, and world-class surfing. After perusing the many curio and souvenir stores that line the strip, dine on fashionable eateries’ inspired fusion cuisine or fresh seafood.

8. Scuba diving at Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is shelter for home.there are  several breathtaking diving spots, perfect for scuba divers of all skill levels. With the help of a select group of PADI dive schools and tour operators, adventurers as young as eight years old can be trained. Indulge in free diving, swim among gigantic sea turtles, or explore eleven shipwrecks at varying depths.

9. Exploring Beach at Hiriketiya on Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Many surfers go to the location because of the captivating horseshoe harbor, which generates high-quality waves. The handful hipster cafés and eateries that dot the shore are perfect for those who would rather unwind and not get their blood pumping.

10. Surfing in Weligama on a Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Weligama Beach is ideal for novice surfers, while there are plenty of other great sites on the island. The beach is perfect for family time because it is calmer and less crowded.

11. Catch Stilts by Fishing

Visiting stilt fishermen is on the Sri Lanka south coast itinerary. Witness the age-old activity of fishing from bamboo stilts along the shore, which has been going on since World War II, at Koggala Beach and many other locations. The local fishermen will gladly let you use their seat, fishing lines, and bait in exchange for a tip if you’re interested in giving it a go. Go fishing first thing in the morning or last thing at night if you want to be the proud owner of a trophy catch!

12. Guided Galle fort tour on Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Stop by the Galle Fort, a historic site that dates back to the early 1600s when the Portuguese and the Dutch strengthened it. Indulge in a gelato while touring the Maritime Museum and taking in the magnificent architecture along its cobblestone streets. Secret cafes, beautiful boutique hotels, the Galle Lighthouse, jewelry stores, art galleries, antique stores, and much more await you in the Fort.

13. The National Park of Udawalawa

This national park was established to offer a refuge for wild animals who were forced to flee their homes due to the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir. Now, visitors can encounter elephants, leopards, and a variety of unusual birds and reptiles. Since Udawalawe is home to wildlife all year round, including leopards, there is no optimal time to visit this park. You have a very good chance of spotting Asian elephants at this park because it has Sri Lanka’s largest population of these animals.

14. The Estates of Geoffrey Bawa – Lunu Ganga

 If you’re into artistic view, you’ve probably heard of Geoffrey Bawa. Tour the Lunuganga Estate, which was the rural retreat of the famed Sri Lankan architect. In his buildings, the artworks displayed throughout the estate, and the verdant grounds, you can see the pinnacle of Tropical Modernism.

15. Engage in watersport on your Sri Lanka south coast itinerary in Bentota

The Benthota River offers a variety of water sports for those seeking a change of pace on the lake. All members of the family may enjoy a variety of water sports, including banana boats and jet skiing.

16. Travelling to Bentota River

Along the third-largest river in Sri Lanka, you can see mangroves, crocodiles, snakes, bats, and the second-heaviest lizard, after the Komodo dragon! This is farther up, away from the water activities.

17. A Blowhole in Dickwella

Stop by the Hummanaya Blowhole, Sri Lanka’s sole blowhole, and see it for yourself. Additionally, it is thought to be the world’s second-largest blowhole and estimated 25–30 meters of water will be blasted into the air!

18. Kosgoda Animal Care

Take a moment to read about the massive initiatives underway to improve the hatching and early survival rates of turtle hatchlings. In addition, you will observe how they tend to adult turtles that are unwell or wounded, and then release them back into the water once they are healthy enough.

 For those interested, there are additional awareness and volunteer initiatives open to both domestic and foreign tourists. The west and south coasts of Sri Lanka are home to five endangered species of sea turtles that lay their eggs.

19. Hikkaduwa Community Tsunami Museum

Despite the desolation that may be expected from visiting this modest local museum dedicated to the memories of the 2004 Tsunami, one cannot help but be amazed by Sri Lanka’s remarkable resilience and progress in the face of such a tragic event.

20. Gem Market at Beruwala

Named for the Chinese traders who arrived there some 300 years ago, the bustling “Pathe” gem market in Beruwala is also called China Fort. Over the course of two buildings, you can find up to five thousand vendors. The market is bustling with daily gem transactions totaling millions of dollars, and buyers travel from all around the globe to make their purchases.

  • Hiriketiya Beach is located near the southern tip of Sri Lanka. It is one of the best beaches in southern Sri Lanka for surfing. Hiriketiya is a bay with a horseshoe shape. Hiriketiya bay possesses a palm-fringed sandy beach that is perfect for beach hopping. the beach sandwich between torque waters of the Indian Ocean and naturally grown woods. It is a hidden paradise growing in popularity. Many surfers are drawn by its iconic waves and holidaymakers enjoy the excellent cafes and soak up the Sri Lankan sun.

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

This 2 days tour is a 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: Colobmo / Bentota / Mirissa / Yala
  • Day 2: Yala / Galle / Bentota

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


The importance of Galle city spreads over many areas and it is economically, culturally and historically very important to Sri Lanka. Galle is home to a healthy fishing community and it is also popular in the tourism industry. One can find a large extent of cinnamon, tea, rubber and coconut plantations a few kilometres inland from Galle Beach, while there are many dozens of factories in the free trade zone of Galle that manufacture export-oriented products.

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

Walking path

A large part of the city has the Indian Ocean as its neighbor. A walking path sandwiched between the city and the 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, Fort, and beaches are lined up with swaying palms and fishing boats. Some of the most glorious beaches of Galle are to be found in the southern part of the island, and beaches 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 coast of Galle are the best bet for you. Unlike most beach resorts in 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 companies 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 Indian Ocean, Cricket Stadium, Galle Harbor, and the city as it is constructed on an elevated platform. Presumably, the rampart is the most elevated part of the fort and was constructed to monitor the human activities that took place around the fort. There are many important places to explore within the fort, such as a maritime museum, Wolvendaal church, galleries, museums, etc.    

One-day trip to Galle

Galle is 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 a few one-day tours – the 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. The river safari of Madu estuary, mask museum, sea turtle conservation project, moonstone mines, and 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 Mirissa harbor from the hotel and boarding the whale-watching boat at around 06.30 am. The whale-watching boat leaves the harbor by 7.00 AM and you need to report to the harbor between 6.30 and 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 5 hours. The chances of spotting whales are very high in southern Sri Lankan waters and Sri Lanka is considered to be one of the best places to spot blue whales. However, there 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, there will be no other activity planned for today’s program other than a whale-watching trip.   

Historical places in southern Sri Lanka: Tissamaharama

Normally, it is the cultural triangle that comes to mind when one plans to see a bit of Sri Lanka’s history and culture. But there are many other places scattered on the island that can be included in the Sri Lanka heritage tour to explore Sri Lanka’s rich historical past. Southern Sri Lanka also harbors many interesting historical places, such as Yatalatissa Temple and Tissamaharama Temple. These temples date back many thousands of years. However, despite the antiquity of those historical places, they are not included in most Sri Lanka heritage tours and only a few travellers visit those places.

You will be staying in a hotel in Tissamaharama, like most other travelers who visit Yala National Park do.  Ninety percent of travelers who visit Yala National Park, choose Tissamaharama as the venue for their overnight stay on the south coast. Usually, the jeep safari starts in Tissamaharama and the jeep driver picks up their customers near Tissamaharama Lake.

Visiting Yala national park is another important activity for 2 days on the Southern Sri Lanka trip. Usually, the 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 goes back 2nd century BC. Some of the historical temples in Tissamaharama are important archaeological sites. Tissamharam is home to many popular Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka such as the Yatalatissa Buddhist temple, Kirinda temple, and Kataragama temple.   

If you are lucky to finish the whale-watching trip within a few hours you will be able to reach your hotel in Tissamaharama in a few hours or afternoons. 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 a 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.

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, for a Sri Lanka jungle tour based on Yala national park. The jeep driver picks you up from the hotel at 05.00 am and takes 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, and 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’ drive of each other, but Yala is popular for a wide range of animal sightings such as wild elephants, bears, leopards, and jackals. Udawalwe is smaller than Yala and it is very rare to spot leopards and bears at Udawalawe national park.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site, which is considered the best-preserved Dutch colonial Fort in Asia. This iconic tourist attraction is 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 your 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 historical information the mask had been widely used in folklore as well as for treating certain ailments.

During ancient times, people believed that certain ailment arises due to evil spirits and therefore witch doctors 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 dating back more than a thousand years.  

Madu River safari/ Mangrove forest boat tour

A two-hour motorboat tour at the Madu river estuary is s perfect opportunity to explore one of the most important wetlands on the island.  Madu river estuary was 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 crocodiles on this boat trip. You will also be able to visit Cinnamon Island, which is a small island used as a cinnamon plantation. For more information on the Madu river safari and important facts about the Madu river boat tour, click here…

Sri Lanka 7-day south coast itinerary in detail

Day-1: the start of Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

After you get out of the airport, make your way south. Traveling by car in Sri Lanka is an adventure, even though the distances between towns aren’t particularly great. From the Colombo airport, the 146-kilometer route passes through the heart of the city, Mount Lavinia, a coastal city, and the resort towns of Wadduwa, Kalutara, Beruwela, Bentota, Kosgoda, Ambalangoda, Hikkadduwa, and Galle.

The trip to Galle is full of life and filled with views and noises as you travel down the coast, with the sea on one side and the sounds of residential and commercial everyday life on the other.

As you enter Sri Lanka, you’ll be greeted by the cheerful sight of bullock carts, buses, lorries, and tuk tuks (trishaws), as well as by the smiling faces of the schoolchildren dressed in their brightest whites. You will be able to check into your hotel in Galle once you reach there.

Day-2 of Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

First thing in the morning,
Enjoy some free time or take a boat excursion to see dolphins and whales in the waters around Mirrissa (Dondara), which is only a forty-minute drive from your accommodation. The months of December through April are prime for whale watching off the coast of Sri Lanka.

With a maximum length of 100 feet (30 meters) and a weight of about 200 tons, blue whales are the largest living creatures on our planet.

Their typical lifespan is between eighty and ninety years, making them one of the longest-lived mammals on Earth. Spectacular single-column spouts can reach heights of 12 meters when blue whales breathe. When they surface for air, they often lift their blowholes and shoulders considerably higher than other large whales. Because of these two features, seeing a blue whale is an unforgettable adventure.

Day-3: Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Galle Fort
When visiting the Galle Fort, a stroll is your best bet. The sea wall and ramparts are the next stops on a leisurely stroll that passes the old Dutch Church, the palace of the governor, the spice warehouses, Court Square, the Kacheri (town hall), and the lighthouse.

Stroll through the streets that lead to the mosque, the cricket fields, the temple, and the historic district judge’s house,

encircled by frangipani trees, after you visit the mosque.The walled city of Galle has long served as an important commercial hub. It served as a vital hub for trade with India, Persia, the Arab world, and China over a thousand years ago.

 After then, the Sumatran and Javanese peoples arrived, and in 1299 AD, Marco Polo was among them. A minor Portuguese trading post was set up upon the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 AD. at 1589 AD, after the Portuguese were expelled from their fort at Colombo by the Kingdom of Kandy, a Portuguese settlement began in earnest with a mud and palm tree fort.

Day-4: Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

After breakfast, head to Tangalle, a fishing village between Matara and Hambantota. It has a long, pristine beach and is known as a turtle nesting site. According to many, the beaches near Tangalle provides the friendliest waves and most gentle sand on the whole southern coast. With its four kilometers of sandy beach protected by a coral reef and the opportunity to scuba dive around a few of wrecks,

Tangalle is quickly becoming the most exclusive beach on the southern coast. Your two-night hotel stay will begin upon your arrival in Tangalle.

Additionally, ten kilometers east of Tangalle lies the Rekawa Turtle Conservation Initiative, which protects one of Sri Lanka’s most significant nesting locations for sea turtles. Throughout the year, five distinct species of sea turtles deposit their eggs on the beach at night. For the best experience, Amanwella suggests going to the project on a full moon night. The arrival of turtles is clearly seen under the bright moonlight.

Day-5: Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

On the fifth day, you’ll leave Tangalle and make it to the Yala National Park gate by late afternoon. One of Sri Lanka’s most popular wildlife reserves, Yala National Park is situated two hours northeast of Tangalle. The guests are escorted by a park tracker while they explore the park. Huddles of vibrantly colored painted storks, crocodiles, fan-tailed peacocks, and monkeys babbling in the trees all contribute to the park’s unique animal charm. But the park’s most renowned inhabitants are the elusive leopards.

Day-6: Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Wake up early and take in the sunrise from the hotel. After you’ve had your breakfast, take a stroll around Hambantota town or go on a photo safari to the adjacent Bundala game sanctuary. Upon finishing, return to Colombo by vehicle. Get yourself  into your hotel room in the night.

Day-7: Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

On the seventh day, after breakfast, you will set sail for a sightseeing cruise around Colombo. As you make your way through the city, you’ll pass the “Fort,” a commercial and central district that the Portuguese constructed in the 16th century. The National Museum, which houses a beautiful collection of antiques, and the vibrant Pettach markets and bazaars are sure to be highlights. As you continue on your journey, you’ll pass by Independence Square and Town Hall. After your Colombo sightseeing tour,

Choosing the best Sri Lanka south coast itinerary

Sri Lanka south coast tour is available in many variations depending on the places you choose to visit and the duration of the trip. Some of the popular Sri Lanak south coast tours are,

  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 2 days
  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 3 days
  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 4 days
  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 6 days
  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 7 days
  • Sri Lanka south coast itinerary for 10 days

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.  Hard currencies such as US$ and Euro can be exchanged everywhere on the island, all Banks provide a currency exchange service. ATM machines can be used to withdraw money against bank cards 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 by Local tour operators as well as in hotels. Rent a car and rent a motorbike are 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 heading 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 visit religious places.  Do not visit the temple and walk through the towns in 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 sunset. But in general, the average temperature hovers 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 baths 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 scattered around the coast.
  • This tour starts from Bentota beach; 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 an entirely 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.

The best price guaranteed for your Sri Lanka trip

When you book a tour with Seerendipity Tours, 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 trip with-expert

Our staff makes a personalised programme for you, which you can change until you find the best Sri Lanka trip package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration (www.sirilaktours.com); all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write to us at admin@seerendipitytours.com, tel. 0094-77-440977, WhatsApp 0094-77-4440977

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