Southwest Coast

Close to the airport and north of the capital Colombo. Nicknamed “Little Rome” because of the large number of catholic churches. Colourful fishing boats bring the catch of the day into the lagoon each morning.

Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka; Bandaranayake the city’s international airport is 32km (20miles) north of the city.
The main tourist areas are Fort with Dutch and Portuguese colonial buildings, Pettah is a colourful bazaar area. Slave Island, where the Dutch imprisoned their slaves at night, has the Gangaramaya Bhikku Buddhist temple by Lake Beira.
Cinnamon Gardens district has the National Museum , the Natural History Museum, the National Art Gallery and Viharamahadevi or Victoria Park. Kollupitiya market is a colourful sight of exotic vegetables and fruit. The Liberty Plaza shopping centre, fashionable restaurants and cafes are also in this district.
Galle Face Green is a favourite meeting place for people to take a stroll beside the sea, fly kites or eat from the mobile canteens.
Dehiwala Zoo, 10km (6 miles) south of Fort, has an aquarium, aviary, nocturnal house, butterfly house and an elephant show.
Recommended shopping malls and stores are Majestic City, Liberty Plaza, House of Fashion, Odel, Arena, Cotton Collection and Barefoot.

Mangosteen fruit are grown in this area. On the roadside you will see many stalls selling the locally made coir rugs, baskets and reed mats.
South of the Kalu Ganga Bridge is the Gangatilaka Vihara which has the only hollow dagoba in the world with colourful murals telling the story of Buddha.

Beruwala & Bentota
Are neighbouring resorts with a range of fine hotels and restaurants. The beaches are superb and the Bentota River running into the sea is ideal for water sports such as windsurfing, there are several diving schools in this area. You can also take a boat trip along the river. For more information on Beruwala see “About the House” at the top, then “Location”.

A small town and principal railway station with a fish market and various shops. 16 Km inland the famous Brief Garden and Villa. Built in 1920 by landscaper and sculptor Bevis Bawa, it is worth a visit and is easily reached by tuk tuk.

Turtle hatcheries – five species of endangered turtles lay their eggs on the shores south of Bentota. The eggs are incubated and babies are then released into the sea.

You can see the islands best devil masks being made here in the workshops and visit the museum.

3 kilometres inland are the moonstone mines. The polished feldspar mineral stones are thought to bring luck and are made into jewellery.

Has a variety of hotels, restaurants and shops. The main attraction is the shallow area of coral reef running parallel to the shore. It is good place for snorkelling, there are several wrecks for scuba diving or you can hire a glass bottomed boat. Equipment can be hired from the PADI centres.

A fortified city with an ancient harbour. You can stroll around this world heritage site along the ramparts of the Dutch fort which enclose the old town, there are fine views from the flag rock or lighthouse. Inside the fort are museums, churches and old Dutch and British colonial buildings.