This broadly refers to the stretch of beach between Thalpe next to Unawatuna Bay in the west and Weligama to the east. Of course Unawatuna is a beach at Galle too. It is in fact a suburb of Galle but is best treated separately.Thalpe is an extention of Unawatuna, with budget guesthouses and beach cabanas that are spillovers from the main beach. As one travels east, the beach is lined by a series of extremely stylish and up-market villas as well as top-end boutique hotels. Many belong to rich British expats from Singapore and Hong Kong who were among the first to purchase real estate in the emerging ‘Galle Riviera’.
Dickwella, also known as Dikwella and as Dikwella South, is a small coastal market town in the Matara district in Southern province of Sri Lanka. It is located 22 km (14 mi) east of the city of Matara. Dickwella is noted for its long sandy beach which is protected by headlands, reefs and sand-bars, making it safer for swimming.
Dickwella is the location of Sri Lanka's largest seated Buddha statue, which is 50 metres (160 ft) tall. Walls in the rooms of the building behind the statue are decorated with a 'library' of colourful pictures depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha and punishments of miscreants.
The area dividing Tangalle and Hambantota marks the transition between Sri Lanka’s wet and dry zones, where the lush palm forests of the southwest give way to the arid and scrub-covered savannah that characterizes much of the island. Some 53km east of Tangalle, the dusty provincial capital of HAMBANTOTA is the unlikely beneficiary of a remarkable economic regeneration programme – the port. Hambantota is the salt capital of Sri Lanka. Salt is produced by letting seawater into the lewayas, the sometimes dazzlingly white saltpans.
Kataragama is a pilgrimage town sacred to Buddhist, Hindu and indigenous Vedda people of Sri Lanka. People from South India also go there to worship. The town has the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama devalaya, a shrine dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragamadevio. Kataragama is in the Monaragala District of Uva province, Sri Lanka. It is 228 km ESE of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast-developing township surrounded by jungle in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka. It houses the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa. The town has a venerable history dating back to the last centuries BCE.
Matara preserves a few Dutch colonial buildings, an atmospheric old fort area and an attractive seafront. A couple of kilometres either side of town, the low-key beachside suburbs of Polhena and Medawatta offer good snorkelling and surfing respectively, while the area around Matara boasts a couple of mildly interesting and little-visited sites, including the giant Buddha at Weherehena and the town of Dondra, whose slender lighthouse marks the island’s southernmost point.
Crack open a coconut, slip into a hammock and rock gently in the breeze, allowing the hours, days and even weeks to slip calmly by. Welcome to Mirissa, which is 4km southeast of Weligama, and is another quickly developing crescent of beach. Modest guesthouses abound and there are a string of simple cafes along the sand that seem to come and go with the tides. So far the government has stopped the kinds of sand-encroaching construction as seen at Unawatuna, but only time will tell as visitor numbers just keep growing. You’ll need to go to Weligama or Matara for most services, although there are internet and phone places, and small markets near the 149km marker.
Tangalle is a large town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. It is one of the largest towns in southern province. It is located 195 km (121 mi) south of Colombo and 35 km (22 mi) east of Matara. It has a mild climate, in comparison to the rest of the district, and sandy beaches. Tangalle is a regionally important fishing port, situated on one of the largest bays in Sri Lanka, which is protected from the ocean by an enclosing reef. It is a centre of tourism and a popular holiday destination on the south coast. In the town centre there is an old Dutch fort which is used as a prison today he Dutch and subsequently the British used Tangalle as an important anchorage on the southern coast of the island. The Dutch Fort, Rest House and Court House are a few remaining examples of Dutch architecture in Tangalle.
In Tissamaharama (usually shortened to Tissa), eyes are automatically drawn upwards and outwards. Upwards to the tip of its huge, snowy-white dagoba and outwards, beyond the town’s confines, to nearby wildlife reserves crawling with creatures large and small. With its pretty lakeside location, Tissa is an ideal mellow base for the nearby Yala and Bundala National Parks.
Weligama (meaning ‘Sandy Village’) is an interesting blend of lively fishing town and beach resort. The sprawling main settlement and coastal road is somewhat scruffy and not that easy on the eye, but you'll find the sandy beach is attractive once you're away from the main section; there's a couple of cove beaches west of the centre. At the east end of the beach, there's an enormous new concrete Marriott hotel, which towers over the surrounding buildings and looks completely out of place.
Weligama's benign beach break is ideal for novice surfers and many independent travellers learn to ride their first waves here. After fun in the ocean you can marvel at (and feast on) the denizens of the deep, who end their days being hacked up and sold from roadside fish stalls.
Monkeys jumping over and about through the trees, peacocks showing off their stolen prettiest frocks and elephants idling to and fro while curious leopards slide like shadows through the Yala National Park, you are expected to keep your eyes wide open as it takes you through a journey in the Jungle Book. The dry woodland and open patches of grasslands is big wilder corner of Sri Lanka.