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.
This 5-bedroomed colonial-style hilltop villa near Koggala is enveloped by an expansive tropical garden and is a paradise for exotic wildlife and birds. The villa, which has a blissful 10m swimming pool, is fully staffed and incredibly private, and beaches are only a ten-minute drive away.
Charming 4-bedroom colonial villa with pool near Koggala Lake and not far from the beach; highlighted by a spacious tropical garden abundant in plants, trees and wildlife. A nature lover’s paradise and a great family home, Malgedara is serenity in an authentic village setting, ideally located to explore the Galle region.
Sited on the verdant banks of the picturesque Koggala Lake, just five minutes from the beach, Mandalay is a gorgeous 3-bedroomed staffed property that’s fabulous for families but equally terrific for two. Its large swimming pool is a treat and its glorious lakeside situation is tranquil and sure to inspire.
This idyllic 2-bedroom beach pad near Galle sits before an impressively wide strip of south coast sand. Featuring a huge ground floor living space bedecked with loungers, which spills onto a deep dining veranda and beyond, to an azure pool, there’s also a west-facing pavilion topping the lush green lawn.
Standing on an idyllic sandy swathe of beachfront near Galle, the fabulous 4-bedroom Skye House is blessed with a lovely pool, tropical gardens and a full complement of staff. An additional kids’ bunk room (sleeping 6), plus a dedicated playground and plentiful toys make this house exceptional for families.
Elegant, fully staffed 3-bedroom seaside villa on small private headland in Kathaluwa, footsteps from a gorgeous reef-protected swimming beach. With a selection of living and dining areas both inside and out, plus swimming pool amidst a grassy garden, South Point Villa works well for families and groups as well as couples.
Set on the fringe of Habaraduwa facing a sultry stretch of sand, Saldana is a tropical, 3-bedroomed, staffed villa with swimming pool that’s perfect for a family or a small group of friends. There’s a spacious central living room with TV lounge and a great kitchen that’s well-equipped for cooks.