4-bedroom Villas in Habaraduwa-Koggala, South Coast, Sri Lanka

With a long stretch of golden beach, peaceful inland lagoon, fascinating folk museum and famous airfield, Habaraduwa-Koggala is a great little destination 12km south-east of Galle. The golden sands of the three-kilometre beach stretch from Habaraduwa, famed for its turtle hatchery, to beyond Koggala, a Free Trade Zone further east, where big hotels stand shoulder-to-shoulder along the sand.

Habaraduwa’s palm-fringed beach is one of the widest and prettiest in the region, yet as you wander further east towards Koggala, the beach narrows and you see stilt fishermen at work. Things to do in Habaraduwa-Koggala include a visit to Koggala Lake, a meandering island-sprinkled lagoon which is a haven for wildlife lovers. Fishermen traverse the quiet depths, leaving ripples in their wake as they hunt for fish, crabs and prawns. Spice islands and mystical temples also scatter the lake, and an early morning or evening punt atop the water in a traditional fishing catamaran is the best way to appreciate this quietly spoken scene.

Madul Doova, one of the islands in the lake, was the subject of a book written by the late Martin Wickramasinghe, a lauded local author. His home in Koggala is now a folk museum that charts the fascinating story of his life and times. Koggala Lake is also the landing strip for domestic air taxis that reduce journey time to the south coast from Colombo's airport to just 40 minutes. Local restaurants can be found in beach hotels, and ATMs line the main road between Habaraduwa and Koggala.

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Sri Lanka » South Coast » Habaraduwa-Koggala

We adored the tranquillity of this villa and its wonderfully rural village location. It is a little isolated, but this might be just what many people are after. We feel that nature lovers will especially like this villa since the garden is brimming with wildlife and Koggala Lake is just a short walk away; bird sightings are best in the early morning and before dusk – just don’t forget to bring your binoculars with you!

Families, too, will find this to be a great property, as the children will love the large garden, the pool with its generous shallow end and the attractions of the lake. Discounts are available for bookings exceeding a month and this might be attractive to long-stayers.

We thought that the bedrooms in the main house were comfortable though quite narrow; their numerous shuttered windows and doors onto the veranda and garden are very characteristic of the villa’s colonial heritage. Bathrooms offer a hint of modernity in a house where the old and the new have been merged, more successfully in some places than others; while the large 15-foot veranda is practical and more than compensates for the limited living space inside the house, we felt that it does flaw the property’s facade a little.

Although their English is limited, the staff looked after us well during our stay, and meals were agreed with the cook according to a menu priced at cost: expect home cooking rather than flamboyant cuisine. While the villa does have a mini stereo and a satellite TV with DVD player, the selection of DVDs and CDs is very limited so we’d recommend you bring your own with you, along with books and games for the kids.

The villa is now being looked after by an efficient management company who are on call should there be anything that the villa staff are unable to help you with.
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