Tangalle will transform your dreams and visions of a tropical paradise into reality. Located on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, Tangalle is an idyllic beach catering to travellers seeking seclusion and serenity, worlds away from the hustle-and-bustle of your daily routine.
Tangalle is a splendid underdeveloped city stretching along the southern coast of the scenic Sri Lanka island. Once a fisherman’s village, Tangalle has preserved the unique charm of the old world and imposes its visitors timeless feel.
Most of the families living in Tangalle still make their living from fishing, though, the tourism industry has started to slowly develop. Of course, such a fabulous coastal town has already gained the reputation of the most stunning beach retreat attracting more and more travellers to revel in its pristine shoreline, peaceful atmosphere and the scenic natural surrounding.
When arrived in Tangalle you will immediately notice attractive beachfront cafes, numerous basic guest houses and more comfy hotels, and, of course, stunning private villas available for rent for a very affordable price. Tangalle features with a reef-protected beach catering to families with younger children, who can safely frolic in the coastal waters without risking of being swiped into the ocean.
WHAT WE LOVE
Splendid, deserted, wide beach
Fabulous villas to suit all budgets
Beachfront seafood restaurants
Reef-protected area for swimming
Peaceful and serene atmosphere
Situated towards the south of Colombo International Airport (a.k.a Bandaranaike International Airport) in the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, Tangalle is an ideal base to revel in the serene beach retreat and take in all sights of the South Sri Lanka.
Although it is possible to get to Tangalle, Sri Lanka over land or water, the best way is to fly:
It can take anywhere between 3,5 hours to 4 hours to reach Tangalle from Colombo International Airport depending on traffic. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival and escort you to your villa.
Alternatively, there is a taxi desk at the arrival level which arranges one-way fares at a fixed-price. It is recommended to negotiate about the price before getting into the car, as metered taxis do not travel long distances from Colombo.
If you are travelling in a larger group, hired minivan is the best option to reach Tangalle. The service is available through the travel agencies in the Colombo airport at the arrival level.
The train departs from Colombo Fort, and it can take between 3 hours and 3,5 hours to arrive in Kamburugamuwa city, which is around 50 km away from Tangalle. From Kamburugamuwa train station take a tuk-tuk or taxi to get to Tangalle. The road is usually less congested in that direction, so you can expect to get to the city from Kamburugamuwa within one hour.
You can take a domestic flight from Colombo airport to Mattala airport, which is the fastest, yet, most expensive mode to get to Tangalle. The flight takes only 40 minutes and touches down at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which is 1,5 hours away from Tangalle.
Buses depart from Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus terminal every two hours and go directly to Tangalle. The trip takes approximately six hours with two stops on the way.
There are plenty of options, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers:
Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. Depending on which villa you are staying in, the cost for the private car and chauffeur can vary, so it’s recommended to contact our Ministry of Villas team to get the complete information about the private transfers.
The centre of Tangalle can be easily covered on foot, although, if you are planning to explore beyond the town, you might need to rent some transport.
If you are planning to travel further afield, tuk-tuk is a convenient and a very affordable mode to explore the nearby locations. You can simply flag one down the street, but before getting into the vehicle always negotiate the price. Also, if you can drive the tuk-tuk, there are a couple of rental shops, where you can hire three-wheelers at a reasonable cost.
Motorbike rental shops are plentiful in Tangalle. Take into account that the traffic is very chaotic in Sri Lanka, so a certain level of experience is required. Moreover, you should have an international driver license on your person at all times, and for your safety always wear a helmet.
Tangalle houses one luxurious Walatta House Ministry Approved villa. Providing guests with the direct access to an exclusive stretch of a paradisal beach, this gorgeous eco-friendly villa redefines the idea of a modern luxe. The stunning 3-bedroom property is also an affordable accommodation option as it costs only USD $450 per night, and accommodates up to 6 guests.
Walatta House also has dedicated staff including butler, chef, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and many other services you won’t find in a hotel. This is why we say “Spend just one night in a villa and you’ll never stay in a hotel again.”
Tangalle beach is generously dotted with numerous local seaside cafes and seafood restaurants. Needless to say, seafood in coastal Lankan towns is always a perfect choice, as it is savoury, fresh and diverse on the island.
There are a couple of roadside restaurants, which serve sumptuous bargain-priced Lankan food in an authentic manner: with rice and hot spicy sauces aside. Must-try are local curries with fresh seafood, chicken or vegetables on choice. A combination of different tastes – sweet coconut milk, spicy chilli sauce and salty seafood – makes the fare unique and delicious.
Tangalle also houses a couple of fine-dining where the interior decor and the quality food perfectly accomplish the great atmosphere and attractive menus. Besides the genuine local cuisine, these high-end venues serve an ample selection of Western favourites too.
Tangalle is a laidback and tranquil coastal town with a rather low-key nightlife. There are several beach bars, more sophisticated establishments within hotels, and popular roadside venues; they all provide a relaxed and chilled out atmosphere.
The vast golden-sand beach is an excellent place to watch the sunset and sip a cold beer from one of the hippie-style bars lining the beach.
The elegant and trendy atmosphere of the hotel bars attract travellers wanting to get a more sophisticated evening out. There aren’t hectic clubs in the area, so if you are searching for the vibrant nightlife experience, opt more popular Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa towns.
Tangalle is a home to a bustling local market – a favourite place among Lankan people to shop and entertain. Located in the centre of Tangalle town, the open market sells fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, flavours and spices and many other products.
Also, you will find here a couple of stalls offering beach-wares and typical souvenirs to bring back home. You can even be fortunate to fish out some unique bargain-priced handmade item.
Apart from the local market, there aren’t many standalone shops in Tangalle, only a couple of local brand stores selling clothes and accessories, jewellery shops and tiny souvenir stores.
Tangalle features with tan-coloured sand beaches, turquoise waters fringed with swaying palms and numerous crescent-shaped secluded bays, where you can get all sands for yourself. Arguably referred to as the most beautiful beach in Sri Lanka, Tangalle provides an excellent beach retreat.
Besides the calm bays, protected by artificial breakwaters, which are excellent and safe for swimming and snorkelling, there are numerous surf breaks around the city, where various spots will suit all surf level riders.
Tangalle is also an ideal base to take a day trip to the nearby fascinating Yala National Park, which is a must-visit place for all travellers. A vast territory of the park houses thousands of exotic and even dangerous animals, which can be observed in their natural habitat while riding in high jeeps around the park.