Sri Lanka // The south //

Dalawela and Thalpe

A few kilometres east of Unawatuna, the beautiful and unspoilt beaches at DALAWELA and THALPE are becoming increasingly popular with visitors turned off by the hustle and bustle of Unawatuna. Dalawela is home to a handful of good mid-range guesthouses and hotels while a succession of high walls on the ocean-side of the Matara road at Thalpe, 2km further on, conceals a raft of luxury beachfront villas belonging to (mostly) foreigners and available for rent; there are also a few small upmarket hotels.

Accommodation aside, there’s very little to either village apart from the beach and a few clusters of fishing stilts – perfect for Robinson Crusoe types who enjoy counting palm trees and also hugely popular with Galle’s expats, who flock here for a trio of lively beach hangouts.