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Top things to do in Southern Province

Name
Lanka Tracker (Matara)
Ranked #1 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Tours; Zoos/Aquariums
Map | Visitor photos (67)
Ranked #2 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Boat Tours; Zoos/Aquariums
Owner description: We are a local family, providing environmental and sustainable whale watching in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. We are very keen on... more » Owner description: We are a local family, providing environmental and sustainable whale watching in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. We are very keen on protecting the whales and also have been doing research about them for many years now. We are very proud that we are recommended in the new Sri Lankan lonely planet and by so many users of tripadvisor. Please help to protect the whales!For bookings please send us an email (anytime) or give us a call between 2 pm and 8 pm. « less
Map | Visitor photos (95)
Galle Fort (Galle)
Ranked #3 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Travelers' Choice™ 2014 Winner Attractions
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
Owner description: Galle Fort: a journey to the past See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. . . . Galle has been the... more » Owner description: Galle Fort: a journey to the past See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. . . . Galle has been the emporium of foreign trade since the dawn of commerce. The Dutch Fort, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, surrounds the older part of the town and is situated on a headland of which three sides overlook the sea. The ramparts of the Fort are over 2.5 km in circumference and provide a pleasant and interesting walk. The historian Sir Emerson Tennant claimed that Galle was the ancient biblical city of Tarshish. This city is said to have traded with King Solomon, the Persians and the Egyptians. In 1505 a Portuguese fleet led by Lorenzo de Almeida heading for the Maldives drifted accidentally into Galle. It is said that on hearing a cock crowing (cock means "Galo" in Portuguese) they gave the town its name. Another explanation for the name is from the Sinhala name for rock 'Gala', plenty of which are found in the harbour area. When the Portuguese arrived the town was already a thriving trader's port and an entrenched settlement in the lowland territory of the Kandyan Kings. It was however not until 1587 when the Portuguese were able to control Galle. The Dutch then arrived, overthrew the Portuguese and took control of Sri Lanka in 1640. It was the Dutch who had a major impact on Galle and the town still retains its characteristic Dutch architecture, the streets differing little from the times of Dutch occupation. There is Leyn Baan Street (Lijnbaan meaning rope walk in Dutch), Lighthouse Street (previously known as Zeeburg Street) and Great and Small Modarabaay Streets (Modderbaai meaning mud bay). The Galle Fort built by the Dutch in 1663 was handed over to the British in 1796 'in a state of complete repair' as certified by the officer taking charge. The British did not alter Galle as they concentrated their efforts on Colombo. Therefore the Fort remains a significant monument from the Dutch era. « less
Map | Visitor photos (367)
Ranked #4 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Architectural Buildings; Historic Sites; Landmarks/ Points of Interest; Cultural
Map | Visitor photos (489)
Ranked #5 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Travelers' Choice™ 2014 Winner Attractions
Category: Religious Sites; Cultural
Map | Visitor photos (192)
Tangalle Lagoon (Tangalle)
Ranked #6 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (27)
Mirissa Beach (Mirissa)
Ranked #7 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (86)
Ranked #8 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: National Parks; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (91)
Ranked #9 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Specialty Museums; Museums
Map | Visitor photos (19)
Bentota Beach (Bentota)
Ranked #10 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (7)
Hikkaduwa Beach (Hikkaduwa)
Ranked #11 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (14)
Ranked #12 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Outdoors
This national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Map | Visitor photos (193)
Lunuganga (Bentota)
Ranked #13 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Other; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (51)
Ranked #14 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Mountains; Outdoors
Visitor photos (20)
Ranked #15 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Gardens; Outdoors
Visitor photos (145)
Ranked #16 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (17)
Yala National Park (Tissamaharama)
Ranked #17 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (287)
Ranked #18 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (187)
Ranked #19 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Churches/ Cathedrals; Cultural
Map | Visitor photos (55)
Ranked #20 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (89)
Ranked #21 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Religious Sites; Cultural
Visitor photos (49)
Ranked #22 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Visitor photos (35)
Medaketiya Beach (Tangalle)
Ranked #23 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (3)
Snake Farm (Matara)
Ranked #24 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Zoos/Aquariums
Visitor photos (3)
Ranked #25 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Map | Visitor photos (37)
Ranked #26 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Religious Sites; Cultural
Visitor photos (10)
Turtle Hutchery (Hikkaduwa)
Ranked #27 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Zoos/Aquariums
Map | Visitor photos (110)
Jungle Beach (Unawatuna)
Ranked #28 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Category: Beaches; Outdoors
Map | Visitor photos (146)
Ranked #29 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Visitor photos (23)
Ranked #30 of 79 attractions in Southern Province
Visitor photos (9)