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South of Colombo

Escaping the frenetic and sticky capital for the road south is a giant sigh of relief. Out go the congested streets and dark clouds of exhaust fumes and in come the sultry beaches of the Sri Lankan dream.

Most independent travellers make a beeline for surf-focused Hikkaduwa, with its wide range of accommodation, but the Bentota area offers quieter and even more stunning, beaches with a sprinkling of boutique hideaways amid the luxury resorts. Hire a scooter for a day and you'll quickly find your own stretch of private deserted sand.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout South of Colombo.