1-bedroom Villas in South Coast, Sri Lanka

Stretching between Galle and Hambantota, the south coast is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka. Characterised by historically significant fortified towns, numerous picture-perfect palm-fringed beaches, a sultry turquoise sea, swathes of iridescent green paddy fields fringed by lush green jungle, ancient Buddhist temples, expansive waterways, nature-filled rainforests and tea-carpeted hills it offers enough variety to be a destination in itself; fabulous for families, groups and couples alike.

Galle is one of the region’s most significant attractions for its sixteenth century Dutch fort filled with an evocatively rich collection of buildings, boutiques, museums and luxury digs that hug a peninsular to the south of town. Galle’s popular beaches are better-facilitated, more developed and safer for swimming than those in and around Tangalle, but the further you travel east the more expansive, deserted and nature-filled they become.

Surfing, snorkelling, diving, whale watching, sailing, fishing and kayaking can all be done along this magnificent stretch of coastline as well as cycling, walking and trying your hand at Sri Lankan cookery. Inland, the scene varies as the westerly wet zone’s lush jungle interior gives way to the arid dry zone plains a little beyond Tangalle. Taking off by bicycle is often the best way to explore the hills, plains, sanctuaries and jungle whilst a boat is a must to navigate the scenic lakes and rivers that wind in between.

Some of Sri Lanka’s most popular national parks – Uda Walawe for elephants and Yala for leopards and bears – as well as a trio of its most accessible rainforests – Sinharaja, Kottawa and Kanneliya - are easily visited on a day or overnight trip from anywhere along the south coast.

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Kikili Beach

Kikili Beach

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

Kikili Beach is one of a kind; fresh, fun and fabulous. We loved its bright and bubbly design but also its emphasis on complete and utter rest and relaxation away from the crowds. It was a real privilege to stay here as it felt exactly as though we had walked into someone else’s well loved home. The atmosphere is totally stress free and we felt truly pampered. The housekeeper is an excellent chef and his culinary creations made us unwilling to go out; we picked out daily menus of succulent seafood, crisp salads and wickedly tempting desserts that were also economical as groceries are bought by the chef and charged at cost price. Although there’s an iPod dock we enjoyed listening to the owner’s collection of CDs, and found the book collection captivating (foodies will adore the cookery books). There are also plenty of magazines to get stuck into, as well as lots of information about the house and the local attractions – very useful. Whilst the house is quite small, it doesn’t feel that way as the generous verandah provides further scope for relaxing and dining. With only one bedroom, Kikili is really designed for couples (will suit younger couples best), but with the addition of a spare mattress or cot (on request) families with young children could be comfortable staying here too (babysitting can be organised on request). Kikili is also a wonderfully social house (especially with Kumara – the chef/housekeeper – taking care of everything from the shopping and cooking to the serving and cleaning up!) so if you want to have friends round for drinks and dinner it is entirely possible. Certainly Kikili’s guestbook is filled with superlatives from visitors who have not only enjoyed the tranquillity of the house but also the company of Kumara. He has a couple of nights off a week, so use this time to wander down to Wijaya to enjoy the chilled vibes and excellent food of this rustic beach restaurant or take your pick from the ones in Unawatuna.
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Kurumba House

Kurumba House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

What a great beachside bolthole; simple, unfussy and most importantly, very relaxed. Minimal clothing, stacks of books and an iPod are all you’re ever going to need to bring with you on a visit to Kurumba House, if that. Its idyllic seaside situation was quiet and peaceful. The good-natured staff team immediately enveloped us on arrival meaning that for most of our stay our feet were nowhere near the ground, though this was due in large part to the surplus of comfy seating and the fact that we could gaze out at the ocean even whilst lying in bed. Tekla cooked enthusiastically (provisions are on guest account) though if you fancy cooking for yourself then the staff will happily go out shopping on your behalf if you furnish them with a list. Tangalle is a very laid back beach resort with few places to go out and eat – there’s only one restaurant along Mawella Beach – but this matches the property’s nature perfectly. Kurumba has very few facilities (no swimming pool, TVs or music systems) however with a beach to explore, a sea to enjoy and a beautiful climate to soak up this is the type of place you visit to escape the distractions of everyday life.
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