Kalutara holidays take you to old-world spice country, where natural landscapes and a thriving culture prove there's plenty of flavour outside of Colombo.
Once an old spice-trading hub, beachside Kalutara in south-west Sri Lanka
has a variety of stays from cosy villas to high-class hotels. With lush greenery on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, you're sandwiched between Sri Lanka's two best assets.
Wood and gold
For a taste of Sri Lankan culture, check out the woodcarving museum and local art scene, then wander through the gilded gates at the Buddhist temple. Animal lovers can set off in search of elephants on a one or two-day safari trip to Udawalawe National Park, around three-and-a-half hour's drive away.
The first port of call for relaxation's Kalutara Beach, where soft golden sands just wait for lazy afternoons. A 25-minute drive inland will bring you to more H2O, in the form of the Thudugala Ella waterfall. Visitors in the mood for climbing or archaeological adventure should explore the prehistoric cave at Fa Hien, an hour's drive from the beach.
An hour's drive away, nearby Colombo injects some bustle and glamour into the mix. Dine on sumptuous seafood at a local restaurant, or tour the historic halls of the National Museum. The city also boasts parks, lakes, temples and markets galore, making it perfect for urban daytrips.