Holidays to Waikkal put the big beach towns in the rear-view mirror, offering hotels secreted away between serene beaches and colonial canals.
West coast beaches
Waikkal is a budding beach town on the west coast of Sri Lanka with a wholly different approach to life than its energetic neighbour Negombo. Newly minted hotels sequester themselves among peaceful palm forests and waterways – and they’re rarely more than a few footsteps away from an immaculate sandy beach.
Colonial canals and railways
Dutch and British colonists put their stamp on Waikkal in the 18th and 19th centuries, carving canals and railways through the tangled inland forests. These days the canals are home to the odd restaurant and over-the-water villa. The railways, on the other hand, are busy with commuters and day-trippers rattling south to the Sri Lanka’.
Day trips to Negombo and Colombo
The Sri Lankan capital of Colombo is less than a two-hour train trip from Waikkal. The Fort neighbourhood in particular wears its colonial history on its sleeve, pulling together Portuguese churches, colonnaded Dutch mansions and a British city hall. Negombo – ten minutes’ south of Waikkal – also makes an easy day trip. The main strip runs along the beach road, where rooftop restaurants and sand-side hotels stand to attention.
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