With a pristine beach, roadside stalls and a spectacular shrine, holidays to Kalutara give you Sri Lanka at its traditional best.
A 40-kilometre drop down the coast from Colombo, Kalutara was once a major spice-trading hub. These days, it’s known for producing some of Sri Lanka’s best mangosteens – a purple-coloured fruit. But, it’s got an ace up its sleeve – an idyllic stretch of shoreline. For such a bustling town, Kalutara’s beach remains remarkably untouched, with just a few plush hotels lining the sands.
Kalutara’s beach keeps things traditional. It’s a long, sweep of sunset-coloured sand, backed by palm-sprinkled greenery. Tourists are few and far between, so you’ll probably spot more fishing boats than people. That said, every so often you might come across an authentic eatery or stall.
Close to Colombo
Just over an hour’s cab or train ride will land you in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. A world away from laid-back Kalutara, this full-of-life city brims with colonial buildings, markets, and modern restaurants and galleries. Pick up sarees and fresh fruit from Pettah Market or take a stroll along the seafront promenade. The whole place is punctuated with lakes, parks and standout Buddhist temples – ripe for sightseeing.
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