Absolutely Best Things To Do In Tangelle In Sri Lanka

Wondering what are the best things to do in Tangalle in Sri Lanka? Visit some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, experience turtle hatching in Sri Lanka and so much more. We loved our visit to Tangalle, a fantastic alternative to visiting busier beach towns in Sri Lanka.

After a good 10 days travelling non stop around Sri Lanka, we were exhausted. The beach had our names written all over it so we made a beeline from Ella down to the beach town of Tangalle (pronounced Tangalla).

We decided on visiting Tangalle because we heard it was a quieter beach in comparison to Mirissa in Sri Lanka and more chilled out. It also made sense directionally to start there, then head across to the other beaches on our way back to Colombo.

How To Get To Tangalle From Ella In Sri Lanka

We hired a private car (mini van) to take us to Tangalle

There’s a direct bus from Ella to Tangalle which takes about 4 hours but after our horrendous train journey to Ella, we decided to splash out and we paid 9,500R (about AU$80) for a private car to drive us 3.5 hours to the beach. I’m glad we just paid it because we were exhausted and I couldn’t even imagine standing for another 4 hours again.

When we got to Tangalle, the temperature had risen considerably and it was super hot!

Tangalle Hotels

The view from our balcony at The Mars Hotel, Tangalle

We stayed at The Mars Hotel in Tangalle, an upper end hotel right in the middle of the small city off the main road and in a quiet area, where rooms start from AU$40 a night. The location was fab, and perfect to nip out for a cheap bite to eat or to catch a tuk tuk to the beach.

The hotel staff were lovely and when we were greeted by them, we were also greeted to the most beautiful view of the beach. It felt great to be back by the beach again!

Our room was big and spacious with the best shower I experienced in the whole of Sri Lanka with hot water too!! We also had a balcony to really enjoy the view of the beach.

A lot of tourists stay in the area of Medaketiya which was more of a holiday vibe and just down the road. More on that later in the post. 

Breakfast views don’t get much better than this!

Best Tangalle Beaches

Mediketiya Beach 

After we checked into our accommodation, we hopped into a tuk tuk and asked them to take us to Goyambokka Beach in Tangalle, a beach I heard is supposed to be stunning. When we arrived, it had clouded over and we were surprised to see so many people on it. I’m sure it would have looked beautiful if it was sunny. 

 Goyambokka Beach: I found the photo above from John Henderson blog which was taken in 2015. It’s much more busier now with various beach restaurants and more sun loungers. 

But, the best beach for us was Silent Beach in Tangalle, a beach located just next door to Goyambokka Beach. We couldn’t believe the difference in the two beaches as there were hardly anyone on this beach.

It was absolutely beautiful, a beach which was what we hoped Sri Lankan beaches would look like with white sand, crystal clear, turquoise waters and palm trees everywhere. It was without a doubt one of my favourite beaches I saw in the whole of Sri Lanka. 

Easily one of the beach beaches in Sri Lanka is Silent Beach in Tangalle.

Both Goyambokka Beach and Silent Beach had resorts on them but they were still lovely.

Drone shot of Silent Beach

We also went to check out Medaketiya in Tangalle which was where a lot of the holiday makers stay. It was quite fascinating seeing the difference between the small city of Tangalle and once you drive 30 seconds down the road, you come to the holiday street of Medaketiya.

The beach at Medaketiya

It actually had a nice vibe although the restaurants were always dead. The beach wasn’t anything to write home about but would be worth staying if you wanted that ‘I’m staying opposite the beach’ feel.

Great dinner spots at Medaketiya beach 

Turtle Hatching in Rekawa Beach Sri Lanka

We also decided to stay two nights on Rekawa Beach which was just twenty minutes away from Tangalle. This is the place in Sri Lanka to see the turtle hatching at night time.

It’s a nightly occurrence where turtles come back to where they were born to lay their eggs before leaving their babies to return into the ocean. 

It was amazing to stay in the country and get away from the noise of the city for some peace and quiet. The Rekawa Beaches are beautiful and deserted, somewhere you could easily spend a good few days in.

Unfortunately our time went a bit worse for wear when I stepped onto a sea urchin in a rock pool. Before I knew it, I was in the operating theatre having the spines taken out.

At the hospital waiting for surgery

But, we returned back to Rekawa Beach to finally see a turtle one night laying her eggs. We all had to pay 1000R (about AU$8) each to be taken down the beach in the evening.

Everyone waiting before the walk to find the turtle.

We only got a few minutes with the turtle and it was a really cool experience to witness.

The turtle hatching in Rekawa Beach Sri Lanka

Reasons To Visit Tangalle Beach In Sri Lanka

  • Go to Tangalle if you want to get away from the crowds and still have a mix of authentic Sri Lankan culture and a holiday vibe.
  • The local people in Tangalle were the nicest people we came across in the whole of Sri Lanka. It honestly felt like we had arrived in another country. Suddenly every single person we came across waved hello to us from policemen to men sweeping outside of their homes.
  • If you want to visit a beautiful and quiet beach, go to Silent Beach in Tangalle. It was easily one of the best I saw in Sri Lanka.
  • If you want to get some cheap food then Tangalle is great as there’s loads of cheap local places to eat at. I’d stay away from the beach restaurants unless you . want to go for a drink. Note, it’s not a party town from what we could see.
  • If you want to do Yoga, I saw a yoga place in Medaketiya on the beach with two sessions a day.

Read More Sri Lanka Posts

We’ve written a lot of Sri Lanka guides, here’s a few to get you started below.

Absolutely Best Things To Do In Tangalle Sri Lanka


If you found this post helpful, please share it below 🙂