The South of Sri Lanka has many fabulous things to do and see, shop and eat!
Make some time for relaxing though!
Check out our recommended favourites.
WHERE TO EAT
From traditional Sri Lankan cuisine to wood oven pizzas, there is an abundance of choice in the immediate area.
Further away in Colombo we have listed a couple of restaurants not to miss!
2-3hrs by car from the villa
MINISTRY OF CRAB
Rated number 1 in 2013 for their delicious fresh crab curry, this is a restaurant and experience not to be missed if you have the chance while staying in Colombo.
Old Dutch Hospital Colombo Fort Colombo 1
PARADISE ROAD - THE GALLERY CAFE
Another fabulous offering from the Paradise Road team, this café and gallery also have a small gift shop. Housed in another great villa the Gallery Café serves delicious food, cold drinks and has a children’s menu complete with colouring pages!
2 Alfred House Road Colombo 3
10-15mins by tuk tuk from the villa
THE OLD RAILWAY CAFE
Located on a busy street, the old railway café is a great place to watch the busy world go by! Focusing on fresh, seasonal local produce the café menu changes daily. Cakes and cookies are also available in bigger batches for private functions.
42 Havelock Place Galle
15mins by tuk tuk from the villa
THE FORT PRINTERS
Great menu that embodies Sri Lankan and European flavours. Easily the best Prawn Curry that we have tried on the island! Delicious cocktails and a decent wine selection. A children’s menu is also available.
There are often art exhibitions at night.
39 Pedlar Street Galle Fort
Dinner Bookings Advised
CREPE-OLOGY FLAVOURS CAFE
Busy tourist style café specializing in crepes, but also many other items on their menu. Shisha and a children’s menu is available.
53 Leyn Baan Street Galle Fort
Italian gelato in an open street style café.
46 Pedlars Street Galle Fort
Cheerful Italian style café serving pasta, salads and wood oven pizzas.
47 Lighthouse Street Galle Fort
A selection of traditional Sri Lankan and contemporary meals served in a historic villa with a gorgeous garden area in the courtyard.
Try their signature table barbeques!
9 Church Cross Street Galle Fort
30mins by tuk tuk from the villa
Rustic beach bar serving delicious wood oven pizzas and other basic salad and curry options. Cold beer and cocktails in a beach bar style setting.
You can see giant tortoises in the water from their balcony and the beach to the left of the restaurant is perfect for young children to swim in.
Thalpe – Galle Rd, Thalpe
Gorgeous Italian restaurant beachfront serving homemade pastas with wood oven bread and homegrown vegetables/salads and herbs!
Matara Road Talpe
30mins - 1 hr by tuk tuk from the villa
Amazing restaurant and accommodation situated at the top of a private tea plantation. Children under 12yrs are not allowed. Set menu that changes regularly.
20mins by tuk tuk from the villa
Perfect place to watch the sunset in Hikkaduwa, deck and garden overlooks a popular surfing beach. Chilled local beer, cocktails and mocktails, fresh juices and Ceylon teas and coffee. Dinner and lunch also available however bookings are suggested.
572 Galle Road Hikkaduwa
Quirky old style hotel and beachfront restaurant serving great curry and rice, cold beers and juice.
Bookings are suggested
900 Galle Rd Hikkaduwa
SPAGHETTI & CO
Famous Italian restaurant owned by a northern Italian family for the past 15+ years! Situated in a colonial style villa this restaurant serves delicious pastas and thin crust traditional pizzas.
Narigama Pathana, Hikkaduwa
Bookings essential – especially in December and January.
Well known Hikkaduwa nightclub perfect for dancing, drumming and indulging the night away especially on Friday nights when the drumming starts at midnight!
495 Galle Road Hikkaduwa
+94 914924462 .
1.5hrs by tuk tuk from the villa
PARADISE BEACH CLUB
Beach access to the amazing Mirissa Beach Bay. Drinks are available on the beach infront and lunch/dinner is served in their open air pavilion style restaurant just off the beach. Beach showers and bathrooms for changing available.
140 Gunasiri Mahimi Mawatha, Mirissa
WHERE TO SHOP
Sri Lanka is not known as a shopping destination, but that said there are still a number of great shops that should not be missed.
MODERN'S HANDLOOMS & HANDICRAFTS
Amazing handmade handloom fabric made in the back of the shop with traditional machines. Ready made cushion items available to purchase in their small shop, or you can buy fabric by the metre and have their tailors make custom cushions for you to take home.
598 Colombo Rd
THE OLD RAILWAY SHOP & CAFE
Small entrance way opposite the Dutch canal and running parallel to the train lines, the shop and café (upstairs) is located in a historic railway store house.
Local designer Catherine sells her unique clothing and there are also wooden antiques and amazing tuna skin products available.
42 Havelock Place, Galle
Super cool screen printed tuk tuk cushions in great colours on local handloom fabrics, screen printed tea towels and modern homewares as well as some great fashion finds in this gorgeous galle fort house.
58 Church Street, Galle Fort.
Handmade products made from cloth woven on traditional handlooms. Sarongs, homewares, fabric by the metre and colourful children’s toys. A great selection of English books and Spa Ceylon products as well as wooden giftware.
41 Pedlar Street, Galle Fort
Sri Lanka wooden antiques, masks and artworks.
56 Leyn Baan Street, Galle Fort
An extensive selection of antiques.
30 Leyn Baan Street, Galle Fort
THE THREE BY TPV
European Sri Lankan fusion homewares shop.
43 Leyn Baan Street, Galle Fort
Gorgeous ready to wear beach wear and accessories for women.
56 Lighthouse Street, Galle Fort
THE VINTAGE POSTER SHOP
Great vintage posters from airlines like Qantas, BOAC and Air Ceylon as well as Indian Hindi Movie posters, packed in plastic tubing for easy transport home.
Church Street, Galle Fort
Family run business showcasing jewellery, homewares and printed items from Sri Lanka. Fab bright coloured elephants and postcards.
Church Street, Galle Fort
KK THE COLLECTION
Great homewares store selling items from Sri Lanka, Bali and other exotic locations.
36 Church Street, Galle Fort
SASKIA FERNANDO GALLERY
Fabulous gallery in a renovated shop front selling and exhibiting artwork and sculptures from local Sri Lankan Artisans.
1 Magistrates Square, Galle Fort
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Tired of relaxing?
There is plenty to do and see within the immediate area and further away.
A 15min ride from the villa by tuk tuk.
Galle Fort itself is a UNESCO world Heritage site. Spend a day wandering through the historical streets and along the ramparts. Have a look at the lighthouse and dine in one of the many restaurants and cafes. Shop in the small shops. During the monsoonal months not all shops and restaurants will be open and don’t expect to find anything open past 9pm anytime of the year!
25mins by tuk tuk from the villa.
Glass bottom boat tours and jet skiing available here.Loads of small cafes and bars along the beach front for lunch, dinner and drinks.
Hire a boat with guide to show you through the different islands and spy on the big villas on the lake! Great for bird watchers, and a relaxing way to spend a few hours.
Approximately 1.5hrs by tuk tuk from the villa
Must visit! Quintessential tropical beach with white sand and crystal clear water! Can become rough during monsoonal months.
Very small turtle hatchery on the beach just next to the Paradise Beach Club, no entry fee, just walk up from the sand.
‘Secret’ beach located between Galle and Unawatuna. Tuk tuk drivers take you to a junction, then its an approximate 15min walk down to the beach. The beach is quite small and gets crowded quickly so get there early!
There is a quaint beach bar and restaurant, so no need to pack any food. The bar turns into an outdoor nightclub on certain dates during the year.
Famous stick fishermen can be seen along the coast rd between Galle and Mirissa. Stop to take photos and occasionally enterprising relatives will ask for money to take photos.
Visible from Galle and the Fort this Temple is located on the same rd as Jungle Beach. A modern and beautiful dedication to Lord Buddha. The Peace Pagoda was given to Sri Lanka by the Japanese.
GANGARAMA MAHA VIHARA BUDDIST TEMPLE
Just off Baddegama Road in Hikkaduwa town, this interesting Buddhist temple has lots of educational paintings that are the woprk of one man over nearly a decade. The monks are happy there to show you around and explain everything.
SEA TURTLE FARM & HATCHERY AT HABARADUWA
A 30 minute tuktuk ride from the villa, this hatchery is a family run business conserving turtles and educating tourists and locals about the amazing turtles that are found in the sea off the Sri Lankan coast.
400 rupees per person for admission.
Located on the beach side just before the clock tower in Habaraduwa.
One of the most amazing mammals, the Blue Whale can be spotted just off the coast of Galle. You can also see large pods of Spinner Dolphins!
January through to April is the best time of the year for these trips and our staff can arrange the trip for you.
YALA NATIONAL PARK
This park is a long drive from the villa and will probably require an overnight stay as the early start for the park tours means you will need to leave Gintota by 3am. It is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and it has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. (Not recommended if you are traveling with children under 5.)
Our staff will be happy to organize a tour if you decide to go.
SINHARAJA FOREST RESERVE
A national park and biodiversity hotspot!
Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are about 3 elephants and 15 or so leopards that are rarely seen. The most common larger mammal is the endemic purple-faced langur (monkey).
Hikkaduwa and Weligama are the 2 closest surfing areas.
BICYCLE & CANOE TOURS
Idle Tours- Bicycle & Canoe tours exploring the local area along well chosen and unrivalled routes of various lengths. They suit all cyclists and canoeists from the very occasional to the very keen.
BLUE SKY TRAVELS
Guided tours throughout Sri Lanka. Scooter and car hire available.
42 Havelock Place, Galle
Rasika - +94 776263400
GALLE FORT SPA
Massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing and yoga.
1A Church Cross Street, Galle Fort
Decided to stay longer and explore another part of the island?
Or want to explore Colombo for a couple of nights?
PARADISE ROAD - TINTAGEL
65 Rosmead Place, Colombo 7
PARADISE ROAD - THE VILLA - BENTOTA
138/18 Galle Road, Bentota
Boddhi Mawatha, Wella Wathuara,