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The Deep South - Galle Beaches, World Class Boutique Hotels And Stunning Coastlines

The Deep South - Galle Beaches

World Class Boutique Hotels And Stunning Coastlines

The Deep South - Galle Beaches


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’.


Ahangama has an important surfing break, so there is a smattering of cheap guesthouses here. Koggala has a large resort hotel complex and the very expensive Fortress Hotel.


The main road from Galle to Matara literally straddles the beach all the way. The villas and hotels therefore line the main highway and the Indian Ocean.


Quality Of The Beach

The coastline here is without doubt the most stunning in Sri Lanka. It would be true to say that the features that make the coastline so beautiful (rocky outcrops, near shore reefs etc), conspire to make sea swimming difficult in many places.


However, anyone willing to take a local taxi can spend the day wading and sea bathing at the amazing beaches of Unawatuna or Mirissa.


Getting To The Airport

Thalpe, at the Western end is only minutes from the Unawatuna exit of the Southern Expressway, making it a mere 3 hours drive to Colombo Airport (and only 1 hour to Colombo).


Airport – Talpe: 3 Hours Via Southern Expressway

Airport – Koggala: 3.5 Hours Via Southern Expressway

Top Tips For A Beach Stay On The Galle Beaches

1. Thalpe is best if you want a bit of luxury but want easy access to night-life, outdoor dining and safe sea bathing. The properties further east are better if you prefer to just have a relaxing holiday doing not much except taking in the stunning coastal scenery.


2. The once famous Stilt Fishermen of Koggala and Ahangama are a fast dying breed. If you want to catch sight of them, they only come out early in the morning and the late afternoons only.


3. Find out about the exact location of your villa or boutique beach hotel on this stretch of road. Some properties are too near to the Main Road, resulting in disturbance from road noise at night.


4. It’s a long, long journey to get to Galles beaches from Dambulla, Kandy or the Western Hill Country. Think of a stopover night somewhere on the way.


Local Excursions

The historic town of Galle is the focal point of the Deep South. Inside the ramparts of the old fort, chic boutiques, shops and restaurants cater to an interesting mix of expats, travellers and a large local Moorish population that still lives inside the Old Fort.


  • The Fortress Resort And Spa

    The Fortress Resort And Spa

    The most in-demand upmarket beach hotel in Sri Lanka rarely fails to impress. An ultra chic retro style design concept merges well with a superb location right next to where the island's Stilt Fishermen gather to make for a truly stunning combination.
  • The Frangipani Tree

    The Frangipani Tree

    A unique boutique villa hotel that consists of 1, 2 and 5 bedroom villas that can be booked for family groups or individually as suites. Beautifully designed by famous local architect Channa Daswatte. The hotel is located at Thalpe, very near to Unawatuna Beach.
  • Jetwing Lighthouse

    Jetwing Lighthouse

    The hotel that really put Galle on the map was a superb creation of master architect Geoffrey Bawa. A classic small luxury hotel that still manages to impress. The hotel is located on a stunning rocky headland close to Galle.
  • Gartons Cape

    Gartons Cape

    A small luxury hotel on an idyllic Deep South beach that offers great value for money. The ocean facing rooms have those 'wow' views of the Indian Ocean that are a feature of this part of the island. Great rooftop restaurant. There are surf breaks and sandy beaches nearby.
  • Cantaloupe Aqua

    Cantaloupe Aqua

    If you like your beach stay combined with a party atmosphere and top Colombo DJ's playing cool vibes and house classics as the sun sets over the magical Indian Ocean, then look no further! A chic, designer hotel that still keeps its rates affordable.
  • Apa Villas Thalpe

    Apa Villas Thalpe

    A selection of 3 separate villas that can be booked as individual rooms, 2 roomed apartments or the complete villa for larger groups. One of the original villa properties on Galle's beaches has been renovated through the years and still has great appeal for families.
  • Era Beach Hotel

    Era Beach Hotel

    A colonial themed 7 roomed villa that has been turned into a luxury boutique beach hotel and managed Jetwing, the island's premier hotel brand. Located at Thalpe in close proximity to Unawatuna beach and the historic town of Galle.

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