Lay down on the soft white sandy beach, soak up the sun and allow the warm sea breeze to caress your skin… Listen, to the sound of the waves crashing before your eyes, and watch the blue skies, reflecting its glory upon the clear turquoise waters… Oh, darling! Just imagine…Perfect, isn’t it?
Topping the (Lonely Planet’s) list of best places to go in 2019, Sri Lanka has now become every traveller’s dream. A tropical paradise that is totally travel-worthy!
Surely you have noticed your favourite influencers upping their Instagram game with some amazing captures from around Sri Lanka. Based on recent research that was carried out, taking into consideration 1.3 million social media posts, Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, was recognized as the must-photograph destination of 2019. Besides this vibrant metropolis, Kandy – the last kingdom of ancient Ceylon, Galle- the eccentric living Fort and Yala – the second largest national parks are among the most photographed location in Sri Lanka.
It is amazing how a small land area of 65,610km², despite its compactness has so much to offer her visitors. From breathtaking views of the countryside to the beautiful beaches that surround the island of Sri Lanka and everything in between, one could enjoy the quaintness and the adventure to the heart’s content. With the availability of various types of accommodation from star class hotels like Anantara and Shangri-La to luxury boutique properties like Taru Villas, not forgetting the private villas and bungalow, your stay in Sri Lanka can be worked out to suit your budget.
As a Sri Lankan myself, I am proud of what this country has to offer – heritage, culture, cuisine and primarily the aesthetics of her landscapes… I absolutely love exploring every nook and cranny, whenever time permits. So here’s a little bit about my recent travel to the deep down south of Sri Lanka.
The last weekend was one of those long weekends, we(Sri Lankans) have been eagerly waiting for. I too was on the lookout for a villa/bungalow to spend a few nights with my family. We didn’t really have an exact destination in mind but was looking at a few accommodation options along the southern coast. Unfortunately, most places were either fully booked or out of my price point. With complete disappointment, I gave up.
Then, I randomly came across this villa in Tangalle on Facebook. Judging by the photographs, I thought it looked nice. Phoned them up and it was available and luckily was within our budget as well.
Although I have been to Tangalle a couple of times before, I hadn’t stayed overnight. So, I was pretty excited thinking about all what we could do while in Tangalle.
From watching the turtles come ashore to lay eggs at Rekewa beach to the visiting the magnificent Mulkirigala rock temple, there are so many things to do and see in and around Tangalle.
We left quite early, with a breakfast stop mid highway, it took us about four hours to reach the Tangalle town. From there it probably took us another fifteen minutes to get to our villa.
Nestled on a narrow by-road, just two minutes away from the stunning Seenimodera bay was the Esperanza Agora, beautifully accentuated with pops of vibrant colours.
I loved how everything was simple but clean, comfortable and spacious. Whitewashed furniture, white doors, windows, walls and ceilings contrasting with reds, pinks, blues and blacks of the throw pillows and paintings… was quite appealing. Bathrooms were also spacious and clean. Agora would be ideal for a family with kids as it has an adjoining room. The villa staff can also provide a crib, upon request.
If you are not looking for five star luxury, but just a place to hang with your friends or family and spend more time sipping cocktails by the beach and/or chilling on a hammock under a coconut tree, you must check this place out!
They also have another villa with four or five rooms(including a suite room), facing the pool/ocean. This seemed a more practical and rather convenient option, although, at the time of our inquiry, it wasn’t available. With direct access to the pool, beach, lounge and the restaurants, we would have really preferred this one. Especially because, we were travelling with the little one. I was told that the room interior of both properties were more or less alike. The placement and colours were somewhat identical. It was fully booked so, I couldn’t really have a look at the rooms.
What’s even more amazing about staying over at Esperanza is that this initiative was founded with the intention of raising funds for cancer patients in Sri Lanka. So, it felt nice to have contributed to this worthy cause even in the tiniest way possible.
There were a few shortcomings though; like the food at the restaurant was overpriced and the choices were limited. Which was a bit of a bummer but we soon discovered there are lots of nice restaurants in Tangalle. Sihara’s The Cafe On The Highway and Red Beach Cafe and Restaurantand both served some amazing food at a reasonable price and was just around the corner (just a few miles away from the villa). The ambience and friendliness of the staff at Red Beach were commendable.
November through March is the ideal period to visit this part of the country.
Seas are much calmer during the European winter months and you can walk up to about 50 to 75 meters into the waters. But, be cautious, especially if you are hitting the waters with kids. As a practice, we usually check with someone from the hotel/villa or even a local from around that area if the sea has been rough and if it seems advisable to have a sea bath. I think its best, just to make sure. Generally speaking, this time around the ocean is much calmer.
Many heads towards Mirissa to get a glimpse of the gentle giants during this time:
My husband and I couldn’t make it because we realised that baby Belle was too small to get on a boat right now. But my parents and siblings wanted to go, so we called Mirissa Water Sports and made a booking for the next day morning. They left Esperanza Agora around 6am and had reached that point by 6.30 am. The cost per person for the whale watching in Mirissa was Rs. 4000 and according to my family, the price was inclusive of breakfast, tea/coffee, unlimited water and juice bottles. They had set sail around 7am and returned to the shore by about 12pm. I cannot comment on the experience or the sightings but this is a recording that was done by my father. Have a look! Just to give you an idea of what to expect.
The sunset in Tangalle is a spectacle of its own grandeur… In fact, it was the most whimsical thing I’ve seen since I watched the sunrise from a chalet in Marble beach, Trincomalee many years ago.
To be honest, although I had a lot planned, all I wanted to do was just be there – with sand between my toes and sun kissing my cheeks… May be next time, I will, stay a little longer…
Have you visited Tangalle? If not, would you? Share your favorite beach destination with me…I would love to hear all about it…and if you are planning a visit to Sri Lanka anytime soon, do let me know on the comment section… ❤