“A land like no other.” Sri Lanka Tourist Board
The last stop on our Sri Lanka Southern Province tour was the stunning private colonial style Olanda Beach House located in Talpe on the main Colombo to Galle Road, just minutes away in a tuk tuk from the more touristy coastal town of Unawatuna.
Talpe is a quiet fishing village with lots of private villas and boutique hotels. The palm lined secluded beach may look picturesque but the water on our stretch was unsafe for swimming due to the ferocious waves, rocks and undercurrent. The small coral reef attracts the local fisherman who spend hours knee deep in the water waiting patiently in the sourcing sun for their catch.
Olanda Beach House is a charming villa set in a garden of coconut palms, an elegant property in a secluded spot that’s perfect for relaxing and being pampered. The villa had its own staff including a chef so we were spoilt rotten with fresh local produce bought daily and cooked to our requirements, amazing! A masseuse would come every evening to provide a menu of massage services.
We did venture out for a day in Galle and to nearby WB (Why Beach), another almost concealed private villa that was literally a two minute walk from ours. WB has a small modern restaurant housed in a glass cube in its garden overlooking the beach where you can enjoy delicious Italian-inspired cuisine and fine wines at a fraction of the cost we are used to paying here in the UAE. Fine dining and a beautiful setting with a backdrop of crashing waves made for the perfect last night in Sri Lanka.
Unawatuna was once a beautiful beach but it’s now blighted by over-development, budget accommodations and way too many tourists looking to party. We went for sunset drinks at one of the many bars with tables that stretch to the shoreline where we were constantly approached by local vendors selling cheap textiles and trinkets. A very small part of the beach has been saved from the glut of ugly hotels and cafes but it’s too late for most of the area. If you are looking for a sunset holiday snap with a huge python wrapped around your neck whilst holding a monkey wearing colourful trousers, Unawatuna is your place.
The road from the beach to the main road is lined with small shops selling traditional souvenirs, beachwear, art, jewellery and inexpensive colourful elephant adorned clothing. Fresh fruit and coconut stalls are dotted about along the busy tuk tuk filled beach road that’s also home to many cheap and cheerful guesthouses.
If you are looking for a special place to kick back and relax check out the private villas that line the Talpe coast. It’s an ideal spot to while away some hours/days basking in the Sri Lanka sunshine, witnessing incredible nightly sunsets and for exploring nearby Galle.
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Three additional photos used with courtesy of www.whybeach.com