"Matara, a working town" Matara by Maxus
Matara Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 80 photos
I like Matara, it's got just about everything you need - like banks, shops, restaurants, internet cafes, good transport links, the odd historical monument and a good little beach at Polhena but it doesn't have much of what you don’t need like the touts which haunt places like Negombo and towns adjacent to tourist resorts such as Aluthgama.
Matara sits on the south coast of Sri Lanka at the terminus of the coastal railway line it’s about four hours from Colombo (one and a half from Galle) and on a good day train is a great way to travel as you get to see the best of the coast.
Matara does have beaches of it's own but they are'nt up to much, Polhena however, which is within walking distance of the town, has a great little beach and if you are going to stay in the area it’s probably Polhena you want.
Polhena beach gets busy with Sri Lankan people most afternoons and at weekends but it the morning you will probably have it to yourself. An offshore reef, which you can swim out to, protects the beach from all but the gentlest waves (surfers need to go along the coast a little) the water is shallow and almost perfect except for some patches of coral, so you might want to put something on your feet.
There is plenty of accommodation in every price range, the main hotel has a bar which is open to non-residents, in other places you need to order your booze in advance and the staff will go and buy it for you .
Polhena was hammered by the tsunami and the evidence is still apparent and the locals all have tales to tell but like elsewhere Polhena is bouncing back and getting on with life.
I intend to add to this page, in the meantime if you have any questions email me and I will do my best.
- Pros:Polhena Beach (in the morning)
- Cons:Like most Sri Lankan towns, Matara is a traffic nightmare
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