Dondra Head Lighthouse

The South

The landmark Dondra Head Lighthouse provides an exclamation mark to the southernmost point of Sri Lanka. Visitors are not currently permitted to enter the lighthouse compound or climb up the structure's interior, but if the rules change you'll find the coastal views from the top remarkable. The fine ocean-side setting is still inspiring. It's 1.2km south of the centre.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The South attractions

1. Tenavaram Kovil

0.54 MILES

The original vast complex of Tenavaram Dondra was destroyed in 1587, and this compound is now the the largest temple in town. Sadly, a couple of (chained)…

2. Weherahena Temple

2.46 MILES

On the east side of Matara, turn inland 1km off the main road for this gaudy temple that features an artificial cave decorated with about 200 cartoon-like…

3. Parey Dewa

3.39 MILES

A pedestrian bridge near the bus station leads to a small island, Parey Dewa (Rock in Water), which is home to a tiny Buddhist temple with a very fancy…

4. Temple

3.51 MILES

This modest structure overlooks the river.

5. Dutch Rampart

3.57 MILES

The smallish Dutch rampart occupies the promontory separating the Nilwala Ganga from the sea. Built in the 18th century to protect the VOC’s kachcheri …

6. Star Fort

3.65 MILES

This fort was built by the Dutch to compensate for deficiencies in the neighbouring rampart, but it’s so small it could only have protected a handful of…

7. Matara Fort

3.69 MILES

This historic, though run-down district, was once the heart of Dutch, and later British, Matara. There are no real sights, but it's an intriguing area…

8. Old Dutch Trade Centre

4.44 MILES

On the western side of town, this magnificent T-shaped building (once the town's market) will fascinate architectural buffs: it has an imposing, steeply…