Holidays in Kalutara offer laid back relaxation and a generous helping of authentic Sri Lankan culture, not to mention a dash of old colonial charm. This is an up-and-coming resort with a wonderful, palm fringed beach, although the nightlife remains pretty low key, so you won\'t get dancing \'til dawn. What you will get is plenty of beautiful, tropical scenery and several interesting sights, like the world\'s only hollow Buddhist shrine and an elegant plantation mansion, rather grandly named Richmond Castle.
If you\'re looking for cheap holidays to Kalutara, you may be lucky. But the hotels are mostly luxury, resort-style properties, so it\'s not the kind of place that caters much for those on a very tight budget. Typical are the Kani Lanka Resort and the Royal Palms Beach Resort, both of which have superb facilities, including health spas. As for all inclusive holidays to Kalutara, there\'s the Ramada Resort, where you can top up your tan, play a couple of sets of tennis, have a work out, revitalise with a massage and round off the day with a slap-up meal in one of the hotel\'s two fine restaurants.
Tell people you\'re going to travel to Kalutara and, if they know Sri Lanka, they might mention the resort\'s main claim to fame ? the mangosteen. A slice of this luscious purple fruit with juicy white flesh is not to be missed, particularly if it\'s washed down with a glass of arrack, the local fire water made from sweet, milky coconut blossom
Kalutara Sri Lanka Highlights
\'With its mystical shrines, relaxed vibe and soft, palm-fringed sands, Kalutara captures the tropical spirit and culture of Sri Lanka in a nutshell.\'
A sprinkling of colonial history. A fascinating window into the inner peace offered by Sri Lanka s\' Buddhism. Kalutara presents some tasty holiday side dishes. But the main course is undoubtedly the highlight ? those whiter-than-white sugar-soft sands. Originally a spice port governed by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, its main claim to fame now is undoubtedly its gorgeous long beach bordered by verdant palm plantations. Here, it\'s easy to cast your cares aside and lose yourself in a book or the incredible panorama. When you feel reality creeping back into your idyll, park yourself at one of the good quality beachside restaurants for a steaming platter of the plump, pink tiger prawns or lobster fished from the warm crystal-clear waters. Wash it down with an ice-cold beer or wine, let the laid-back vibe take over again and head back to the sands. Inland visit Richmond Castle, a grandly named British plantation mansion. A stroll in the gardens will whisk you instantly back to a long-gone colonial age. Or tune into the tranquil contentment that fills the Gangatilaka Vihara, the world\'s only hollow Buddhist shrine. Outside, crowds make offerings of food, flowers and prayers. Tiptoe inside to gaze at the 74 brightly painted wall murals depicting the sacred man\'s life story. Elsewhere, jovial shop owners and roadside vendors hawk Kalutara\'s famous basketware ? bags, mats and artifacts woven from stiff palm leaves. And if you\'re here at the right time of year, sink your teeth into the town\'s juicy mangosteens, considered the finest on the island.