Safaris, yoga, surfing, swimming, sunbathing, getting drunk…: There are so many things to do in the picturesque Sri Lankan south. Please take me back to this happy place!
Surfing in South Sri Lanka
Surfing is probably the first thing that pops to your mind when you think of Sri Lanka, and for now I can surely not think of a better place for my first surf adventure. I have not been to one of the world’s most legendary surfer spots – Arugam Bay in the east of the island – due to rainy season, but the south coast alone offers more than a gazillion beautiful spots for all levels (full list here).
You can either check in to one of the surfcamps (read all about my stay at Talalla Surf and Yoga Retreat) or hit the waves on your own. Another option which I highly recommend – especially if your surf skills are as ridiculous as mine – is to take private lessons with a local coach. There are numerous surf shacks on Weligama beach, and you can take lessons or hire a board whenever you need – no reservation needed.
I enjoyed surfing with my coach Loco so much that I actually ended up hitting the waves there every morning and evening for almost an entire week. Loco is the nicest guy on earth – he even helped me send my overweight stuff back to Austria by post, which sounds so much easier than it actually was! – and I was more than sad when it was time to say goodbye. Not before sharing a beer and cigarettes on my last evening and a hearty breakfast in a local teashop before it was really time for me to leave, of course.
After a week of surfing with my awesome coach April at Talalla, the private sessions with Loco in Weligama were the perfect way to improve my skills.
Travelling South Sri Lanka – Good to know
The towns are all relatively close to each other, so in my opinion it does not make sense to constantly move all your belongings from town to town. Staying in Mirissa is probably the best option, especially if you don’t have tons of time. It’s very easy to make day trips by bus or tuktuk to the neighbouring villages and Mirissa also has a decent amount of beach bars, restaurants and spas to offer. There are numerous excursions starting from Mirissa as well, such as whale watching or safaris.
Busses go regularly between Matara and Galle, and you could even take the train to get around (even though highly unrealiable so probably not the best option).
If you know how to drive and are not scared of the crazy Asian traffic (watch out for the high speed busses in the middle of the freaking road!), then renting a scooter is a very good idea as well.
Two places I can really recommend – not exactly for their perfect locations, as there is not much to do in these towns, but rather for their welcoming hosts and delicious food, are Asanka’s guesthouse in Midigama and Buddhika’s guesthouse in Matara (read all about my wonderful first day in Sri Lanka with Buddhika and his family here). We were lucky to stay in Sri Lanka during Buddhist new year, and Asanka and his family kindly invited us to celebrate the traditional festivities with them in their house. This involved a lot of food and my newfound Swiss friends and I were very full, yet very happy afterwards.