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Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Sailing trips & boat tours

Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Sailing Trips & Tours

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

1. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

2. 2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

The sea off Mirissa between Galle and Matara is one of the best places in the world to see endangered blue whales. This two-day tour also gives you the opportunity to see some of the important places in the southern coastal belt such as Galle fort, Unawatuna beach, sea turtle hatchery and more. On day one, meet your tour representative and proceed to your hotel in Mirissa, En-route enjoy a Bentota and Galle sightseeing tour. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination in the island. Galle is one of the ancient sea ports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. It was later discovered by the Portuguese where they built a fortress and the Dutch that succeeded them fortified it further. This fortress is today a World Heritage Site. During the Galle city tour, visit Galle Fort, Bentota Beach, Galle coastal area, Galle lighthouse, Kande Vihara, Cinnamon Island, a handicraft center and mask carving center. Visit a sea turtle hatchery project, spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown. Then take a Madu Ganga boat ride to discover this Ramsar Wetland. Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean. Overnight stay in Mirissa  Day two is filled with whale-watching experiences. Miriissa off the southern Sri Lanka coast is one of the best-known places for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet – lunge-feeding humpback whales and blue whales. Groups of whales construct enormous circular fishing nets with bubbles to catch vast shoals of herring and then launch themselves high into the air with their mouths wide open. This activity is most prevalent from November to April, but can be observed throughout year. 

Colombo: Bentota Beach and River Mangroves and Wildlife Tour

3. Colombo: Bentota Beach and River Mangroves and Wildlife Tour

Take a safari adventure on the Bentota river with this tour from Bentota beach in Colombo. Explore the lush habitats of the river in a powerboat. Learn about your surroundings from a local guide.  Meet your guide at the beach and hop aboard a powerboat. Capture stunning pictures of Bentota beach as you leave the shore. Follow the river through mangroves that provide a rich natural habitat for local wildlife and which help smaller fishing communities to thrive.  Keep an eye out for giant crocodiles, sea eagles, monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, and graceful egret herons. Relax and connect with this natural setting and immerse yourself in the biodiversity of this unique eco-system. Return to Bentota beach.

From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

4. From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

Spend a day exploring Handungoda, Ahangama, Galle, and Kosgoda in Sri Lanka on this guided tour. Visit a local tea factory in Handungoda, meet stilt fishermen in Ahangama, tour the coastal city of Galle, and interact with sea turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Start by getting picked up from your hotel in Colombo by your chauffeur. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you if you did not have a meal at the hotel. First, stop at Handunugoda Tea Factory, a factory known to create some of the most luxurious teas in the world. While Sri Lanka has many sought-after teas, this tea factory is famous for a different reason. The factory has reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating virgin white tea that is untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During your tour of the factory, see how this mysterious process takes place. Next, travel to Ahangama to meet with stilt fishermen, one of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. Watch them fish and learn about the process from the fishermen themselves. Later, get free time for an optional lunch break at a place of your choice. After, head to the coastal city of Galle. After withstanding three foreign invasions, Galle grew from a bustling port to a fortified yet scenic city with many monuments that have withstood the ravages of time. Marvel at Galle Fort, a World Heritage Site. See the Galle Lighthouse, National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets, and many more colonial remnants. At the end of your city tour in Galle, head to the final stop on the itinerary: the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Learn about the five types of sea turtles that visit Sri Lanka for nesting and how the nests are protected. Interact with baby turtles and see some of the fully grown turtles that are getting treated for injuries here. After spending time with your new turtle friends, get a return transfer back to your hotel in Colombo.

From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

5. From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is the Kothduwa Temple. This Buddhist temple is located on the island and is known as the Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The island is within the Madu Ganga Estuary. Madu Ganga is an archipelago of fifteen different islands and a lagoon. It is believed that a Relic of Lord Buddha was once sheltered in the Kothduwa temple circa 340CE.  Enjoy lunch then visit the Lunuganga Garden. Geoffrey Bawa was one of Asia's finest architects. He passed away in 2003. Lunuganga was Bawa’s country home. It sits in an enchanting atmosphere with glorious views. It is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. Admire the home’s features and blissfulness. It is now run as a country hotel and the proceeds go to Negombo.

Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Negombo

6. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Negombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

7. From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

You'll be picked up from your hotel in Negombo, Colombo, or Mount Lavinia at 7:30 AM to drive to Galle and visit the Dutch fort. The fort is a historical, archaeological, and architectural heritage monument. Even after more than 400 years, it remains intact and well maintained thanks to the extensive reconstruction work done by Sri Lanka's archaeological department. Next, you'll visit Ambalangoda, known for its exquisite collection of native masks. Many generations of artisans have carved these beautiful artifacts. Afterwards, drive on to Balaptiva for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, you'll take a boat trip on the Madu Ganga River. Discover the unspoiled beauty of the Madu Ganga estuary, a wetland ecosystem that opens to the Indian Ocean. Finally, you'll visit a turtle hatchery in Kosgoda before heading back to your hotel. Visitors can see the newborn turtles and even be a part of the process of releasing them into the sea!  

From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

8. From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

Check out some of Sri Lanka’s most gripping scenery while experiencing firsthand the flora and fauna of this stunning region. Marshy wetlands, river islands, baby turtles and fish foot massages await you in this sultry, exotic wonderland. First stop: Bawa’s estate in Lunuganga. Sir Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned lawyer-turned-architect, made this place his country home and experimental lab from 1947 till his death in 1998. See the surrounding exotic gardens of this partial country inn, as well as Bawa’s many architectural additions. Next stop: Kosgoda for an exciting visit to a real turtle hatchery. Learn about the conservation of sea turtles and dip into touch pools, deep tubs of seawater where curious guests can actually handle the baby versions. Proceed to Balapitiya and enjoy a lovely boat safari on Madu River. This is a high biodiversity zone that relies on the lagoon created by the river as it flows into the Indian Ocean. See the dense mangrove forest that grows along the marshy banks of the river, as well as several free-standing islands. On one such island you will find an old Buddhist monastery. The locals work harvesting cinnamon, and here you can experience the famous fish massage at a ‘massage parlor’, or hut on stilts. Relax while the fish work their magic on your toes. Afterwards, stop for lunch on your way back to Kalutara.

Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

9. Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your Colombo hotel to be transferred to Bentota. Once there you will enjoy some water sports, before taking a river safari down the beautiful Madu River. This river is a wetland estuary spreading over 900 hectares of which 770 hectares are covered with water and inhabited with 64 islands. This boat ride is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem, which is a UNESCO-listed site. The area is also protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest. Once having explored the wetlands, you will transfer to Kosgoda to visit a turtle hatchery where you will see various breeds of sea turtles. Lunch at a recommended restaurant will follow before you transfer to Meetiyagoda, where you will visit the Moonstone Mine and workshop. Following the mine, you'll head to Hikkaduwa Beach to visit the Galle Dutch fort, which was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was later extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century, and in the modern age has become UNESCO-listed. At the conclusion of your cultural experience, you will transfer back to Colombo.

Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

10. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

The guide showed up on time in the morning and he was very polite and informing. They took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch near the ocean and the food was delicious. Whole tour was satisfying with very nice views, herbal garden visit and boat tour on Madu River.

Our guide Jeev was amazing. I actually enjoyed interacting with the guide more than the excursions. As far as the excursions we enjoyed the boat tour. It was informative and interesting. We also enjoyed the restaurant that the guide chose to eat lunch. Mama Coral Reef.

This was a day so well spent! With lots of places and experiences included along the way, our guide (Aron I believe was his name…hope I’m not mistaken) was so accommodating. Definitely recommend this one for a one day trip outside of Colombo!

Versatile excursion and transport smoothly along the highway.