Midway between Colombo city and Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, Bentota is a byword for ‘watersports’, with some of the best facilities on the island. The area also holds an exceptional array of beaches, most of them surprisingly empty. Our favourite is the one to the south of town, around the headland from the Taj Hotel, where a curtain of corkscrew palms screens a clutch of particularly inviting boutique hideaways.

Don’t expect much in the way of beach life – this is somewhere to stroll along empty sands, soaking up the rays, marvelling at the tropical sunsets and enjoying the wildlife (nearby Kosgoda has a famous turtle hatchery and the birdlife is prolific).




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