Quiet southern spot with a gold-sand coastline
Settled on Sri Lanka’s southern edge, Tangalle is all about the beaches. Rugged stretches of golden sand fringe the coast, backed by tall, nodding palms and the occasional barefoot beach café.
With its beautiful beaches and sprinkling of upmarket hotels, it would be easy not to leave your lounger – but you’d be missing out. Learn the secrets of local cuisine in a Sri Lankan cooking class, visit the nearby sea turtle conservation project, or climb the steps to the 18th-century rock temples at Mulkirigala.
Between December and April, you can also join boat trips to try and spot the blue whales that cruise the waters off Sri Lanka’s south coast.
Flights from the UK take approximately 10 hours 30 minutes.
The drive from Colombo Airport takes around 3 hours 30 minutes.
Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons – one in the south-west between May and September, and one in the north-east between October and January. Galle and Bentota are in the south-west, and the most popular time to visit is between December and March for hot, sunny weather and an average temperature of 30°C.
UK citizens will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. You can apply for a 30-day tourist visa online before you travel.
Tipping is common in Sri Lanka. You should aim to tip 100 rupees at restaurants, and the same again per day for hotel maids and porters. It’s not necessary to tip taxi drivers, although you could round up the fare to the nearest 50 rupees if paying cash.
The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. English is widely spoken too.