The waters of Weligama Bay are relatively exposed, and suffer from pollution close to the town – ask at your guesthouse about where’s safe to swim. The bay’s most prominent feature is the minuscule island of Taprobane, just offshore, virtually invisible under a thick covering of luxuriant trees. The island was owned during the 1930s by the exiled French Count de Maunay, who built the exquisite white villa that still stands, its red-tiled roof poking up through the trees; the whole lot is available for rent via The Sun House in Galle. The prettiest part of the bay is around Taprobane, where dozens of colourful outrigger catamarans pull up on the beach between fishing expeditions; you may be able to negotiate a trip round the bay with one of the local fishermen.

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