Discover Tangalle Beach: A Coastal Haven for Travelers

Introduction

Located in the south-east end of Sri Lanka, Tangalle Beach is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquility. With its pristine sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush green surroundings, Tangalle Beach is a haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. This picturesque beach is renowned for its natural allure and tranquil ambiance, making it an ideal spot for couples or solo travelers seeking a break from the hustle.

Tangalle Beach is situated approximately 160 kilometers south of Colombo, and it takes around 3 hours to reach by road. Compared to other coastal towns, Tangalle is much more secluded and relaxed, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing vacation. The beach is the farthest in this region and is a 4-hour drive away from Colombo4.

Besides its stunning natural beauty, Tangalle Beach also offers opportunities for surfing, although it has not established itself as a surf mecca like other resorts along the shoreline4. The long sweeps of golden sand, coconut palm trees, and incredible sunsets make it a photographer’s paradise.

Tangalle gained popularity at roughly the same time as Mirissa/Weligama, and for similar reasons. And these two are the ‘jewels of the south coast’; of course there are plenty more good beach towns there like Ahangama, Koggala, Dikwella and Kirinda but all have stayed small in tourist terms and do not offer a bar/restaurant scene. Tangalle does, which is quite an accomplishment as it has about the worst protection against waves of the whole SW coast! 

Any water sports is really limited to the peak season Xmas-March, outside of it don’t think of snorkel or even swimming except a few small sheltered bays (see the map) – and the lagoon of course but in terms of hygien and safety that is totally different than the sea.

This is compensated by having one of the most impressive beaches of all, especially Marakolliya (See map).

 

Location

tangalle beach, surrounding areas

How to get there?

Tangalleis located just 35 km from Matara and 205 km away from Colombo. It is a 3hr drive via the southern expressway from Colombo. You must exit at Beliatta interchange and travel further 9km south.

If you’re using public transport it is easier to take a Highway bus to Matara(EX -01)  and reach Tangalle via hoping in to another bus to Tangalle. The bus ride may take about 03 – 04 hours. Direct buses to Tangalle are also available via Galle Road. Non highway buses may take longer time and can be crowded.

You can also reach Tangalle via Train. Although there is no railway station in Tangalle, Nearest railways station Beliatta is 9 km away. You should catch a train to Beliatta from Colombo Fort or Maradana railway station.

What are the activities available in Tangalle?

The Tangalle region offers a wide range of  activities that cater to various interests and skill levels. 

  • Sea Swim

    Swimming in Tangalle Beach is possible but it is important to be cautious due to the rough tides and potential danger. The water at Tangalle Beach can have rough currents, making it less suitable for swimming, especially for inexperienced swimmers. However, there are areas with sheltering reefs, such as the small bay, where swimming may be safer due to the reef acting as a natural barrier.

  • Surfing

    Surfing in Tangalle, Sri Lanka is a popular activity, attracting both locals and tourists who are looking to catch some waves. Tangalle offers a variety of surf breaks that cater to different skill levels, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. There are a few sufing schools scattered around which offer lessons for all levels.

  • Scuba Diving/Snorkeling

    There are plenty of scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities in Tangalle, ranging from diving at Shipwreck Point, which is home to some beautiful marine life, to snorkeling around the reefs of Mulgirigala Beach.

  • Kayaking in Tangalle Lagoon

    Kayaking in Tangalle Lagoon offers a unique opportunity to explore the beautiful lagoons and mangrove forests while being surrounded by stunning flora, fauna, and birdlife. Tangalle Lagoon is a stretch of inland water enclosed by mangroves, creating a serene and scenic environment for kayaking adventures. Visitors can paddle through the lagoon and witness the morphing landscapes of tropical beauty, making it a memorable experience.

Are there restaurants/bars available?

Restaurants are scattered in and around the Goyambokka area and more dense in Danketiya/Medaketiya area. You’ll find all kinds of restaurants here. From more luxury restaurants to beach shacks.

What is the best time to visit?

the best time to visit Tangalle Beach is during the high season, which typically runs from November to April. During this period, the weather is usually sunny and dry, with calm sea conditions, making it ideal for swimming, surfing, and other beach activities. 

However, if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy a more serene atmosphere, you can also visit Tangalle Beach from May to October. During this time, there are fewer visitors, but the sea can be rougher.

What are the nearby attractions you can visit from Tangalle?

Pristine beach of Tangalle
  • Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project

    Just a short drive from Tangalle, you can visit this conservation project, where you might have the opportunity to witness sea turtles nesting or hatching, depending on the season.

    The conservation site at Rekawa Beach serves as an important nesting ground for sea turtles, attracting five out of the seven endangered turtle species that visit Sri Lanka's beaches. The project focuses on protecting the nesting sites, ensuring that the eggs hatch safely, and facilitating the return of baby turtles to the sea.

    One of the key activities offered by the Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project is turtle watching excursions. Visitors have the opportunity to witness the incredible sight of turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. These excursions usually take place in the evenings, between 8:30 pm and 11:30 pm

  • Mulkirigala Rock Monastery

    This ancient rock temple is perched on a massive boulder and features impressive cave paintings and sculptures. It offers both historical and scenic appeal.

  • Hoo-maniya Blowhole

    Located near Tangalle, this natural wonder is a blowhole that spouts water high into the air. It's a fascinating sight, especially during high tide.

  • Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

    Ideal for bird enthusiasts, this sanctuary is a haven for a variety of bird species and is great for birdwatching.

  • Ussangoda National Park

    The national park is known for its unique geological features, particularly its red soil, which is a significant attraction for visitors. Ussangoda is also bordered by the Kalametiya Wildlife Sanctuary and the Indian Ocean, enhancing its natural beauty and biodiversity. The park's distinct soil structure and flora contribute to its special status in Sri Lanka

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