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The Deep South - Tangalle

The Deep South - Tangalle

Nature Stays Among Mangroves Filled Lagoons

The Deep South - Tangalle


Tangalle (Tangalla) is the furthest beach option on the Deep South Coast before the jungles of Yala take over. It takes around 4 hours to get there from Colombo Airport.


Partly because of its relative isolation, Tangalle caters to two very different types of clientele. The beaches to the west of town contain some very up-market villas and hotels, many hidden in idyllic secluded coves and bays.


To the east of Tangalle are the beaches of Medaketiya and Medilla. These lie on a spit of land between the Indian Ocean and a series of beautiful mangrove lined lagoons. These beaches attract a growing number of budget holidaymakers looking for a combination of cheap accommodation and sublime natural surroundings. Tangalle has also become very famous for its beach cabanas, built of local material with thatched roofs that are sometimes built on stilts.


The most amazing thing about Tangalle is the colour of the Indian Ocean. It is of the deepest blue and gives the whole seascape the feel of an idyll somewhere in the South Pacific!


Quality Of The Beach

Tangalle consists of two beach landscapes. To the west of town are a series of sublime natural bays that lie between dramatic rocky headlands. Some of these offer good sea bathing. From the bay in front of Palm Paradise Cabanas for instance, it is possible to wade into the sea at waist height for about 50 – 100 feet.


To the east of town are the long sandy beaches of Medaketiya and Medilla that are best for sunbathing rather than sea swimming.


Further east are amazing idyllic beaches at Rekawa and Kahandamodera with a smattering of up-market hotels.


Watersports, Diving And Snorkelling


Tangalle has a few dive centres and a reef approx 1/2 mile off shore.


Best Time To Go

Winter Season: November - April

The beaches are at their best at this time.


Summer Season: May – October

During the off season, Tangalle become very quiet indeed – this may be an attraction for some. The sea is also likely to be rough.

Getting To The Airport

Airport – Tangalle: 4 Hours Via Southern Expressway 

Top Tips For A Beach Stay At Tangalle

1. If you are on a luxury budget looking for a family villa on unspoilt beaches, then Tangalle is the perfect place for you. Tucked away among a series of beautiful bays and coves such as Mawella and Nilwella, that lie between Dickwella and Tangalle are some of the most beautiful and luxurious villas in Asia, with a few extremely up-market hotels too, like Amanwella.


2. If you are an independent traveler on a budget then, with a few exceptions like Palm Paradise Cabanas, you need to look to the east of town.


3. The long transfer time to or from Colombo Airport is easily dealt with by having a stopover night at Colombo or near the Airport. By doing this you can actually have a leisurely drive along the South Coast Road – one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world, passing amazing beach scenery and the historic town of Galle on the way.


Excursions And Things To Do?

• The great advantage of a stay at Tangalle is the relative ease of access to the major wildlife reserves of Sri Lanka. Yala National Park is about 1.5 hours away, Uda Walawe National Park is about 1 hour away and Bundala National Park only 40 Minutes away.


• If you want to experience giant sea turtles coming ashore at night (January – July) to lay their eggs, then the beaches of Rekawa and Kahandamodara are ideal. You will need to venture out in the middle of the night under torchlight and take your chance. If lucky, it will surely be an experience of a lifetime!


• There is a little visited but very ancient and fascinating rock temple at Mulkirigala, about 30 minutes inland from Tangalle that is highly recommended.


  • Amanwella


    The flagship property of the Aman Resorts brand in Sri Lanka is the island's most exclusive beach hotel. A series of luxury suites with plunge pools cascade down a coconut plantation to reach an idyllic deserted beach. Tropical minimalism at its most expensive!
  • Underneath the Mango Tree

    Underneath The Mango Tree - UTMT

    The Austrian owners of Vienna's famous Beletage hotel have set up shop at Dickwella, near Tangalle. When reviewers speak of a stay here as a "life changing experience" you know its going to be something very special. Very expensive though.
  • The Last House (Mahawella)

    The Last House (Mahawella)

    One of Sri Lanka's most exclusive beach villas is an ideal choice for those seeking the ultimate family beach stay on an almost deserted beach near Tangalle. This was the last creation of Sri Lanka's master architect Geoffrey Bawa.
  • Buckingham Place

    Buckingham Place

    Owner Nick Buckingham sets the standards in Sri Lanka for highly personalised, attentive service as illustrated by amazing Trip Advisor reviews. The property overlooks the very pretty Rekawa Lagoon and the deserted beach is a mere 5 minutes away down a dirt track.
  • Ranna 212

    Ranna 212

    A really lovely hotel on a totally unspoilt, idyllic beach at the village of Kahandamodera near Tangalle. The rooms are arranged in cottages which give a great deal of privacy. There is a great restaurant and bar area built on stilts above a natural pool.
  • Turtle Bay

    Turtle Bay

    Stay in luxury 'off the beaten track' directly facing one of the most famous turtle nesting beaches in the island. Deserted beaches, a local fishing village and searching for giant turtles laying eggs by torchlight (Jan-July) as well as superb cuisine are highlights.

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