By Sanath Weerasuriya
Listed as one of the seven most beautiful beaches in the world, Unawatuna is an ideal holiday destination for both the budget minded as well as the more up market travellers.
Sri Lanka holiday makers have identified Unawatuna as the best beach in the West and South West part of the country.
New York Times, in its travel section of the 10th Sunday issue has nominated Sri Lanka as the 'Best Destination' to visit in the year 2010. A special mention has been made about Unwatuna Beach in the article giving the edge over the rest of the sandy areas in the country.
Sea View Resort is one of the popular places for travellers to the area. This family friendly 'Guest-House' with a range of rooms includes two bungalows, ideally located for a holiday of unlimited sun and sea overlooking the Ocean. The Resort was developed from some old rooms in the garden to a new wing with a marvelous view over the bay.
Sea View has thirty rooms to its credit in three different units.
'This is my 'maha gedara' and from a couple of small rooms in early eighties, I have managed to come up to this luxury level of hospitality. 2004 tsunami was a temporary set back but we managed to over come the difficulties' said Deepal Yatawara, the proprietor of the Sea View
A truly relaxing environment situated in the midst of a lush tropical garden, Sea View offers an atmosphere of comfort, safety, and friendly ambience. In the Sea View Garden you'll experience a wide variety of bird life, tropical fruit trees and you might see the giant land monitor lizard or his cousin, the iguana, taking a leisurely stroll or sunning them on a nearby rock. Monkeys are frequent visitors to the garden.
The Restaurant which is situated directly on the beach offers traditional Sri Lankan dishes and also Western cuisine. Both can be selected from a rich menu card for the lunch or dinner.
Relaxing with a drink at the beach restaurant that is overlooking the Indian Ocean, while the waves gently lap against the shore when the tropical day is reaching its end is the best way to begin your evening. Sea View's Restaurant boasts wholesome breakfasts, delicious lunches and relaxed, informal dinners directly on the beach.
'The fish you order will most likely have been caught that afternoon just outside your door and prepared in a truly memorable traditional Southern Sri Lankan curry. Besides authentic Sri Lankan preparations, a variety of Western meals is also available' said Yatawara
Visitors can either like to explore the placid Indian Ocean with its wealth of underwater miracles, or can watch the over 60 species of endemic birds in the surrounding jungle - Unawatuna has a lot of choices to offer.
The end of the day finds guests taking a five minute climb up the Rocks (on steps) to Rock Hill. A spot on the beach that offers a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean and a breath taking sunset and unique in the way the village is positioned, Unawatuna is one of the few places on earth where you can watch the sunrise and the sunset, both over water.
This is not for foreigners only, but most of the Sri Lankan travellers like to indulge the magic of Unawatuna' said Deepal Yatawara.
'Your patronage also helps us to employ young people in the Village which in turn helps them to get back on their feet. Give us the opportunity to serve you and to make your holiday the best ever' he added.
Unawatuna sits in a sheltering cove on the inside of a protective coral reef, the home to many tropical fish. Complete snorkeling equipment is available and a glass bottom boat tour can be arranged.
Because the shallow end of the bay is protected by the reef, it makes it a very safe spot for the children to enjoy a swim in the crystal clear water. And breaking across the reef you'll find enough surf for the novice surfer.
Apart from this, there are other excursions too are available.
Canoe ride in Koggala Wewa, travel to Bird Island at dusk, watching stilt fisherman in the evening at Weligama Beach , a trip to the Sinharajah Rainforest or the old Dutch Fort in Galle are some of the popular excursions for both Sri Lankan and oversea travellers..
'The tours to lower country Tea Plantation, the turtle hatchery or up the coast to Ambalangoda to see traditional Lankan craft work can be arranged for you with AC or non AC vans' he added.
Pix by Nilan Maligaspe
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