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Take one step from the door of the Mango House Villa and you are entering the rich landscape of Sri Lanka, which offers you a breathtaking choice of wonderful holiday experiences.

Mango House has four double bedrooms all with hand carved mahogany four poster beds and ensuite wet rooms Mango House has four double bedrooms all with hand carved mahogany four poster beds and ensuite wet rooms Enjoy panoramic views over the Peelagoda temple from our terraces The golden sands of Unawatuna, voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by the Discovery Channel and Mark Ellingham, founder of 'Rough Guides'.Enjoy panoramic views over the Ganahena temple from our terraces

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Colonial History Print

Unawatuna has a colonial history as well. The Dutch, having defeated the Portuguese at Negombo, sailed south and landed at Unawatuna in 1640 prior to advancing on Galle. The Portuguese met the Dutch at the adjacent village of Magalle, where there was a pitched battle in which many on both sides died. The surviving Portuguese took refuge in the fort of Galle, but surrendered after a four-day siege. Subsequently, the Dutch housed many of their officials in Unawatuna. Some of these mansions can still be seen, the most prominent being the Bathfield House, or Nooit Gedatch, the Dutch Commander’s lodge, now a hotel situated near the Unawatuna junction.


Heading north from Unawatuna is the historic city of Galle, which is only 20 minutes away. You should swap your flip-flops for trainers and take an evening walk around the huge ramparts of the Fort, a UNESCO living heritage site that encloses around 200 houses. Originally built by the Portuguese at the end of the 15th century, it was strengthened by the Dutch when they took it over in 1640.

A walk down Church Street towards the Lighthouse will show you the main buildings in the Fort. You will pass the Galle Cultural Museum, the New Oriental Hotel, the Dutch Reform Church built in 1754, the Library, and the All Saints Church built in 1868 as a result of pressure by the English population. The area around the British-built lighthouse is the Arab Quarter where you can see a beautiful white mosque. The National Maritime Museum (The Old Dutch Gate; Tel: +94 (091) 224 2261; Open 9-5, Sunday to Thursday) is also worth a visit, just off Queen’s Street.

If there is an important cricket match being played, head to the Galle International Cricket Stadium to experience a big game and watch the singing, dancing and banging of drums of the Sri Lankan fans. You can go inside the stadium, but I recommend you sit on the Fort ramparts by the main gate near the Sun and Moon bastions to get the best vantage point of the game. Beer, soft drinks and snacks are sold up there too!

The colourful fruit, vegetable and fish markets in the new town and any of the shops along the main street past the equestrian statue are also worth a visit, as is Victoria Park.




Hot Travel News

The Sunday Times Travel

Last One in's a... Beach bum? Culture vulture? Intrepid adventurer? On Sri Lanka’s south coast, you can be all three. By Jeremy Lazell published on Sunday 21st September 2008 in The Sunday Times travel guide.


Rough GuidesMark Ellingham, founder of Rough Guides votes Unawatuna the best tropical beach for The Guardian Travel Edition on Saturday May 24 2008