This is the place for stylish hotel honeymoons, chilled family villa holidays, or to hire a beach house with friends to surf the local breaks, visit yoga centres of excellence, and go diving amid wrecks and reefs.
Between Unawatuna and Weligama, you can still see the famous stilt fishermen at work, perched on stakes in the water fishing with a rod and line - the best place to see them is Ahangama. And don't miss the charming fishing towns of Tangalle and Habaraduwa and their surrounding beaches - much quieter than busy Mirissa.
If you're a beginner, hire a board and take lessons at Weligama; its horseshoe bay and gentle swells are perfect to find your confidence. More experienced borders can head to Gurubebila beach, where the local surf breaks hold up to 5ft on a good day between October and April. Midigama, Kabalana and Madiha, with their more challenging swells, will suit the most daring of surfers.
Spy blue whales, spinner dolphins and killer whales on a tour with Mirissa Watersports, our recommended whale-watching operator in Mirissa. They can also take you snorkelling and sports fishing, and all activities are carefully designed to promote responsible ecotourism.