Welcome to Matara, a hidden gem nestled in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. With its pristine beaches, cultural charm, and natural wonders, this coastal city offers a truly remarkable travel experience.
Matara boasts an array of stunning beaches that stretch along its coastline. The palm-fringed shores of Polhena Beach are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant marine life. For a serene escape, Mirissa Beach offers picturesque vistas and a tranquil atmosphere. Wildlife lovers will be thrilled to spot majestic blue whales on a thrilling boat safari from Matara.
Steeped in rich history, Matara displays a fusion of colonial influences and Sri Lankan architecture. A visit to the iconic Dutch Fort will transport you to the colonial era, while the historic temple of Weherahena showcases magnificent Buddhist murals and a unique underground tunnel experience. The architectural masterpiece of Star Fort, built by the British in the 18th century, is another must-visit.
Embark on a scenic journey by tuk-tuk to explore the lush landscape outside the city. The tranquil beauty of Dondra Head Lighthouse, standing tall at the southernmost point of Sri Lanka, is bound to captivate you. Visitors can also witness colorful traditional stilt fishing, a unique fishing technique practiced by the locals.
Indulge your taste buds in the local culinary delights of Matara. The city is renowned for its fresh seafood, especially the delicious crab dishes. Don't miss out on a delectable dining experience, savoring authentic Sri Lankan flavors.
Matara provides an authentic and immersive experience, allowing travelers to relax, explore, and connect with its rich heritage. From its breathtaking beaches to its vibrant culture and cuisine, Matara is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Food in Matara
When it comes to satisfying your taste buds in Matara, Sri Lanka, you are in for a treat! This coastal city offers a delectable range of dishes that will leave you craving for more. From traditional Sri Lankan cuisine to a variety of international options, Matara has something to please every palate. So, let's dive into the culinary delights that await you.
1. Rice and Curry: This is a staple dish in Sri Lanka and a must-try when in Matara. Indulge in a plate of fragrant rice accompanied by an assortment of curries made with vegetables, fish, chicken, or beef. Don't miss out on the mouthwatering flavors of the local spices and savory accompaniments like sambal, pickles, and papadums.
2. Seafood Extravaganza: As a coastal town, Matara is renowned for its fresh seafood. Head to the local fish markets or seafood restaurants to savor a wide variety of ocean treasures. From succulent grilled prawns to spicy fish curry and mouthwatering seafood platters, the options are endless.
3. Kottu Roti: A popular street food, kottu roti is a delicious and satisfying dish made from shredded roti bread, vegetables, and a choice of meat. The rhythmic clanging of the knives as they chop and mix the ingredients together is a unique experience to witness.
4. Hoppers and String Hoppers: Don't miss the chance to savor these delightful Sri Lankan breakfast options. Hoppers are bowl-shaped pancakes made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. String hoppers, on the other hand, are steamed rice noodle cakes served with a variety of curries.
5. Tropical Fruits: Sri Lanka is renowned for its exotic fruits, and Matara is no exception. Take a stroll through the local markets and try some juicy mangoes, papayas, pineapples, and various other tropical delights. Whether enjoyed as a snack or finding their way into refreshing smoothies, the fruits are incredibly flavorful.
6. Roti and Egg Hoppers: These unique variations of traditional hoppers are a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Roti hoppers are made by adding a layer of crispy roti on top of the regular hopper, creating a delightful contrast in texture. Meanwhile, egg hoppers have a whole egg cracked into the hopper, adding rich flavors.
7. Street Food Delights: As you explore the vibrant streets of Matara, keep an eye out for local street food vendors. From tasty samosas and crunchy snacks to spicy chili bites known as "miris kadala," these quick bites are perfect for satisfying your cravings on the go.
While this list provides a glimpse into the culinary wonders of Matara, Sri Lanka, it merely scratches the surface. The city's diverse culinary scene has so much more to offer, and it's up to you to embark on a flavorsome adventure that suits your taste. So, grab your appetite and get ready to explore the tantalizing food options Matara has to offer!
Amazing places to visit in Matara
Matara, a charming coastal city located in southern Sri Lanka, offers an array of attractions that will mesmerize any traveler. As you explore this vibrant city, you will be enchanted by its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Here are some must-see places in Matara:
1. Matara Fort: Start your journey by visiting Matara Fort, an iconic colonial-era fortress that stands majestically overlooking the Indian Ocean. With its picturesque architecture, ancient ramparts, and breathtaking views, the fort provides a glimpse into the city's heritage.
2. Dutch Reformed Church: Situated within Matara Fort, the Dutch Reformed Church is a testament to the city's colonial past. Built in the 1700s, this historic church displays stunning architecture and houses an intriguing collection of tombstones, showcasing the Dutch influence of bygone eras.
3. Parey Dewa Temple: Matara is known for its religious sites, and Parey Dewa Temple is an impressive example. Perched on a small island off the coast, accessible by a footbridge, this beautiful Buddhist temple offers serenity, scenic views, and a chance to observe local religious practices.
4. Matara Star Fort: Another historical gem is the Star Fort, located near the city center. Built by the Dutch in the 18th century, this fort played a significant role in defending the city against invasions. Today, it stands as a symbol of Matara's resilience and offers panoramic views of the surroundings.
5. Weherahena Temple: A short distance from Matara lies Weherahena Temple, also known as the "Raja Maha Vihara." This magnificent temple showcases a giant Buddha statue, intricate murals, and a unique tunnel adorned with colorful depictions of Buddhist teachings, making it a paradise for both spiritual seekers and art enthusiasts.
6. Polhena Beach: Matara is blessed with stunning beaches. Polhena Beach, in particular, is known for its idyllic setting and tranquility. Sunbathe on its golden sands, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or go snorkeling in the coral reef that rests just offshore—the perfect spot for relaxation and underwater exploration.
7. Mirissa: Just a short drive from Matara, the coastal town of Mirissa beckons with its vibrant atmosphere and breathtaking beaches. Famous for whale watching, Mirissa offers the opportunity to witness majestic blue whales and playful dolphins. It's an experience you won't want to miss.
8. Dondra Head Lighthouse: Adventure seekers should head to Dondra Point, the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka, where the Dondra Head Lighthouse stands tall. This iconic beacon has been guiding ships for centuries and offers a stunning coastal view, especially during sunrise or sunset.
Matara, Sri Lanka, promises a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural exploration. Embark on a journey through time, immerse yourself in the local traditions, and be captivated by the wonders this coastal gem has to offer.
Best time to travel
Matara, a charming city located in southern Sri Lanka, offers a plethora of attractions and natural beauty. The best time to visit Matara largely depends on your interests and preferences. However, there are a few periods during the year that tend to be more favorable for tourists.
One of the most ideal times to visit Matara is during the months of December to April when the weather is warm, dry, and pleasant. This period falls within the region's dry season, making it perfect for explorations and outdoor activities. The skies are often clear, allowing visitors to witness breathtaking sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
During this time, you can soak up the sun on Matara's stunning beaches, such as Polhena Beach, which is known for its calm waters and vibrant marine life. It is an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Unawatuna Beach, located nearby, also offers pristine sands and turquoise waters.
If you're interested in experiencing local traditions and cultural festivities, visiting Matara during the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, celebrated in mid-April, is highly recommended. This vibrant celebration showcases traditional games, music, and delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.
Another favorable time to visit Matara is from July to September. Although it falls within the monsoon season, the southern region experiences less rainfall compared to other parts of Sri Lanka. It is a great opportunity to witness the lush greenery that the rains bring while avoiding heavy downpours.
During these months, you can take a leisurely stroll through the scenic gardens of the Matara Fort, built by the Dutch in the 17th century. The fort offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and serves as a reminder of the city's colonial past. It is an ideal spot for history enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the city's rich heritage.
In conclusion, the best time to visit Matara, Sri Lanka for tourists is during the months of December to April and July to September. These periods offer favorable weather conditions, allowing visitors to make the most of the city's stunning beaches, cultural festivities, and historical sites. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural exploration, Matara welcomes you with its warm hospitality throughout the year.