Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. There's the ancient Sinhalese ruins of the Cultural Triangle; the Hill Country's colonial plantation bungalows, misty peaks and endless tea; Kandy's revered Temple of the Tooth; national parks where leopards, elephants and bears roam free; and the warm turquoise seas where you can see whales and dolphins, and scuba to coral reefs.
This island's endless swathes of un-spoilt palm-speckled beaches are its biggest draw. The sultry south-west stretch linking the water sports capital of Bentota, the historic 17th century fortified city of Galle and the rustic shoreline of Tangalle is the most developed, accessible and popular, and also where most of the island's villas – many atmospheric heritage homes - can be found.
Sri Lanka's relatively small size means that you can take in the best of the island's attractions within a few weeks. The south-west coast and hill country are at their climatic best between December and April, which is when the majority of visitors come. The inter-monsoonal northern summer months are not to be avoided either as quick downpours intersperse long sunny days.
A 4-bedroomed family house just five minutes from Unawatuna Beach and ten from Galle. Featuring high timber ceilings, polished cement floors, antiques and warm furnishings, Kurulla Villa is a spacious fully-staffed property enveloped by large gardens with grassy lawns, palms and fruit trees, and enhanced by a fabulous swimming pool.
An elevated 2-bedroom house overlooking a lush tropical garden boasting uninterrupted views across tranquil paddy fields. Only five minutes from the beach, The Petalsis a perfectly peaceful base for couples or a small family looking to explore the Galle region; best of all, it comes with an excellent cook.
Just south of Galle, Villa Tusk is a private getaway offering simple beachside living. Blending serenity with the convenience of having lots to see and do nearby, Villa Tusk is fully staffed and features four bedrooms and a palm-shaded ocean-facing lawn, plus plenty of relaxing spots both inside and out.