Southwest Coast Holidays

Unplug and unwind on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast where coconut palms and golden sands meet salt-licked surf and sunset shows.

With the Indian Ocean lapping butter-coloured beaches, the southwest coast is the ideal spot to start or end a Sri Lanka holiday car and private driver tour. Go from wildlife-rich national parks and Ceylon tea trails to drowsy, sun-soaked beauty where you’ll be sipping from king coconuts, kayaking across lagoons and paddleboarding at sunset.

From Mount Lavinia down to Bentota you’ll find family-friendly resorts, luxury hotels and swoon-worthy spas with an Ayurverdic focus. There’s body surfing in Bentota, traditional Sri Lankan sailing in Kalutara and wave-riding in Hikkaduwa. Buddhist temples, tropical markets and fishermen unloading catch-of-the-day are great ways to experience local life, but most people come for the uncrowded honey-hued beaches, to snorkel among confetti-coloured fish and switch off in style, cocooned by the warm waters of a luxury pool.

Let us craft you a carefree getaway to Sri Lanka where spas, watersports and golden sands take centre stage.

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Southwest Coast Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Southwest Coast

Cinnamon Bentota Beach

A makeover of a classic property has brought an increased level of luxury to the Bentota coastlin...

Jetwing Saman Villas

With spectacular coastal views and Bawa-influenced architecture, this idyllic boutique beach reso...

Haritha Villas + Spa

This secluded hillside boutique bolthole surrounded by nature offers an away-from-it-all atmosphe...

Glenross Living

Whisk away to a remote and verdant sanctuary where a former colonial planter’s bungalow has been...

Anantara Kalutara

Head off the beaten track to this under-the-radar Sri Lankan hideaway, where river meets the ocea...

Taj Bentota Resort & Spa

A stylish hotel with a variety of facilities, attentive service and wonderful views.

AVANI Kalutara Resort

Enjoy a combination of modern architecture, great facilities and a wonderful natural setting.

Mount Lavinia Hotel

This beautiful hotel steeped in history is on a stunning promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa

A modern and fun-filled hotel set on a golden sand beach and backed by a meandering river.

The Blue Water Hotel & Spa

A laidback west-coast retreat with attentive service and beautifully renovated interiors.

Holidays in Southwest Coast

hotel
  • Sri Lanka
  • 5 Star

A makeover of a classic property has brought an increased level of luxury to the Bentota coastline.

From £1,671 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 5 Star

With spectacular coastal views and Bawa-influenced architecture, this idyllic boutique beach resort is an effortlessly romantic hideaway.

From £2,406 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 5 Star

This secluded hillside boutique bolthole surrounded by nature offers an away-from-it-all atmosphere and exceptional customised service

hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 4 Star

Whisk away to a remote and verdant sanctuary where a former colonial planter’s bungalow has been reimagined into a tranquil retreat.

From £2,031 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 5 Star

Head off the beaten track to this under-the-radar Sri Lankan hideaway, where river meets the ocean.

From £1,686 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 5 Star

A stylish hotel with a variety of facilities, attentive service and wonderful views.

From £1,324 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 4 Star

Enjoy a combination of modern architecture, great facilities and a wonderful natural setting.

From £1,438 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 3.5 Star

This beautiful hotel steeped in history is on a stunning promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean.

From £1,243 p/p
hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 4 Star

A modern and fun-filled hotel set on a golden sand beach and backed by a meandering river.

hotel
  • Southwest Coast
  • 4.5 Star

A laidback west-coast retreat with attentive service and beautifully renovated interiors.

From £1,294 p/p

Kandy’s Highlights

Whether time is of the essence or you’re after an introduction to this vibrant city that’s brimming with history and culture, this half day excursion will ensure you don’t miss any of Kandy’s major attractions. Discover one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines at the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, where the relic tooth of Buddha is housed and explore the spectacular Royal Palace complex – the perfect backdrop for some holiday snaps. Dating back to 1821, finish your trip with a meander through the delightful Royal Botanical Garden where you’ll find over 100 endemic plants before exploring the rest of the city at leisure or returning to your hotel to unwind.

• Duration: half day
• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and Kandy hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Beruwela, Kalutara, Bentota & Negombo

Good to know
This trip is suitable for all, but legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when entering the temple.

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Get to know Sri Lanka' Southwest Coast and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT +5½ hours

CURRENCY

Sri Lankan Rupee

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

Colombo 10½ hours

RELIGION

Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity

LANGUAGE

Sinhala and Tamil

Bentota
A feel-good beach destination boasting a calm lagoon, a mangrove-lined river and golden sands, Bentota is a place for skimming waves, snorkelling among technicoloured coral reef and trying water skiing and windsurfing. For something mellow, there are yoga studios with drop-in classes, spas with lengthy lists of Ayurvedic treatments and river cruises in the company of baby crocodiles. For local adventure, visit the larger-than-life sorbet-coloured Kande Viharaya Buddhist temple and nearby Ambalangoda for the island’s famous devil dance shows.

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Beruwala
One of Sri Lanka's first Muslim settlements, the small fishing village of Beruwala comes with plenty of traditional flavour and is just a 20-minute drive from Bentota. Golden Mile Beach glistens like honey and the pace of life matches. Coral reef just off the seaboard is a snorkeller’s dream on calm water days, and the bustling port, lined with Crayola-coloured boats, is where you can watch fishermen bring in catch-of-the day that you’ll later taste in one of the beachfront restaurants.

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Kalutara
A cool coastal retreat that’s as family-friendly as it is romantic, Kalutara has the watersports, the waves and the plush hotels with all the creature comforts. Stay at Anantara Kalutara Resort and you’ll be ziplining above the lagoon, sliding into water skis and heading out on a traditional Sri Lankan sailing boat before chef whips up a meal with your catch of the day.

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Hikkaduwa
In raw-edged and rustic Hikkaduwa piles of surf boards are stacked on the beach, palm trees lean over the Indian Ocean and healthy coral reef gives you a chance to see turtles in their natural habitat. This is the surfing soul of Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, with small waves ideal for beginners and bigger breaks as you paddle out. Get your beach eats in shabby chic restaurants which slowly melt into mellow late night bars as the sun goes down.

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Food & drink
Roti, rice and curries are staple dishes, infused with spices including cinnamon, turmeric and tamarind. Being on the coast, fresh seafood is a main player, with prawns, crabs and lobster grilled or barbecued. You’ll find local stalls selling king coconuts, antioxidant-rich mangosteen and sweet sugar apples. Sri Lankan hoppers – bowl-shaped crumpet-style batters filled with a fried egg – are a breakfast favourite and kottu roti, a jumble of ripped up flatbread, vegetables and meat, is a dinnertime go-to. Made from the distilled sap of the coconut flower, Arrak is the spirit of choice and teas come in flavours including ginger, cinnamon, apple and vanilla.

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Southwest Coast Weather

Dec - Mar

January
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April
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October
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December

Southwest Coast Weather by Month

Our experts have curated a wide range of handpicked Southwest Coast Sri Lanka offers to make your next holiday extra special. Make the most of great-value savings, exclusive upgrades and bespoke touches. 

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