Discover: Matara

December 8, 2016
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Unlike its more popular counterpart, Galle, there are a lot of things about Matara that has either not been recorded or recorded but not as publicised for reasons that are yet to befall us.

Possibly given its lesser number of tourist activity (in comparison to Galle) it’s ordinary to assume that there isn’t much to do in Matara. However, that statement is no longer true. Here are some of the best places to visit in Matara.

Polhena Beach

Polhena Beach is probably the most popular beach in the district and is celebrated for its blue-green waters and picturesque scenery. Approximately 04km from the Matara beach, the Polhena Beach is definitely a beach bum’s playground with its waves, water and sand. The area is also known for snorkelling.

The Matara Fort

There is a Fort in Matara. Quite a big Fort as it turns out and more residential compared to the one you would see in Galle. There is also a magnificent lighthouse that is also worth its own grid on Instagram.  Matara fort was built by the Portuguese, and was later re-built by the Dutch.

Nilwala River

Walking down the Fort, unless you speak Sinhala or have Google maps with you, there is a fair chance of getting lost inside it, until you find yourself catching a glorious sunset overlooking the Nilwala River.

Matara Beach

The area surrounding the Fort also provides direct access to the Matara beach. It ‘s probably not the best to go wandering around alone, because you might either find yourself awkwardly amidst couples who steal time away behind coconut trees or an unknown group of locals. The beach by the Fort is not a good place to catch the sunset however, given that the sun well, sets from the West. If you are a beach bum, this is probably a 7/10 given the grainy texture of the sand, however, it’s really great for long walks, pondering and relaxing.

There are no Matara Bath Kadeys* in Matara

You guessed it! All bath kadeys in Matara are unofficially Matara Bath Kadeys so don’t go looking for them in specific and make things awkward for yourself.


If you are observant enough, you would notice that a lot of the structures in Matara have managed to retain a good deal of their existing architecture from back in the day. The Fort in itself have many walauwas or colonial type houses from back in the day and some of which are actually left uninhabited.

Happy travelling!

* “Matara rice shops” used as a generic name for street-side restaurants in other parts of the country