Tangalle (pronounced ten-gol) is a blissfully quiet little south coast village, with a to die for beach, full of little coves and welcoming guest houses and the newly restored Tangalle Bay Hotel, shaped like a ship and with a fantastic position overlooking one of the nicest bays in Sri Lanka.

Tangalle is a place for the quintessential beach holiday of good books, long lunches, swimming and topping up the tan. There can be few more relaxed places in the world. Medaketiya Beach is two miles long and at any time of the year you can find your own palm fringed bit of sand- it really is a place of tropical fantasies.

South west of Medaketiya Beach there are numerous little coves that are almost to perfect. Sadly Tangalle was absolutely devastated by the Tsunami and the rebuilding progress has been slower here than elsewhere. The only positive of this tragedy is that you really can feel that you are on your own private tropical island.

The waters are probably the clearest of anywhere in Sri Lanka and Tangalle is an absolute haven for snorkelers and for the more experienced, deep sea diving. The stretch of beach outside the Tangalle Bay Hotel is perfect for swimming.

It is hard to imagine anyone but the most active of souls not falling for Tangalle’s charms, but if by mistake you one of these souls and have ended up in Tangalle a trip to the rock temple at Mulkirigala will do the trick. Caves, reclinming Buddha’s and the original manuscripts of the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle) which unlocked the pre-colonial history of Sri Lanka for Europeans will fascinate.