Attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Site in Tissamaharama

Tissa Dagoba

This large much-restored dagoba looming between Tissa town centre and the wewa is believed to have been originally built around 200 BC by Kavantissa, a king of Ruhunu, which was centred on Tissamaharama. The white d…
Top Choice Museum in Thalpe & Koggala

Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum

This surprisingly interesting museum includes the house where respected Sinhalese author Martin Wickramasinghe (1890–1976) was born. The exhibits are well displayed, with information in English. Among them is a good…
Top Choice Ecotour in Tangalla & Around

Turtle Watch Rekawa

From April to September, green, hawksbill and occasionally even leatherback turtles struggle ashore at night to lay their eggs on Rekawa Beach. Tours are run by volunteers from the non-profit Turtle Conservation Pro…
Top Choice Historic Site in Galle

Flag Rock

Flag Rock, at the southernmost end of the Fort, was once a Portuguese bastion. Today it is easily the most popular place to catch a sunset. During daylight hours you may see daredevil locals leaping into the water f…
Top Choice Historic Site in Matara

Dutch Rampart

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 (administrative office), its structure is a little peculiar – it…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Tissamaharama

Yatala Wehera

Lotus ponds surround this site, which has a wealth of elephant details in the carvings. There’s a small museum next to the dagoba. Amidst the dusty artefacts dug up from around the site, look for an ornate, ancient …
Top Choice Fort in Matara

Star Fort

About 350m from the main rampart gate, Star Fort was built by the Dutch to compensate for deficiencies in the rampart. However, it’s so small it could only have protected a handful of bureaucrats. The construction d…
Top Choice Church in Galle

Dutch Reformed Church

Originally built in 1640, the present building dates from 1752 to 1755. Its floor is paved with gravestones from the old Dutch cemetery (the oldest dates from 1662); the friendly caretaker will tell you where remain…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Dikwella

Wewurukannala Vihara

A 50m-high seated Buddha figure – the largest in Sri Lanka – is a highlight of this temple, which is often thronged with worshippers. Before reaching the Buddha you pass through a hall of horrors full of life-sized …
Top Choice Historic Site in Galle

Old Gate

A beautifully carved British coat of arms tops the entrance to the Old Gate on the outer side. Inside, the letters VOC, standing for Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company), are inscribed in the …