Matara is located 160km south of Colombo, in the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
Matara can be reached by main Colombo-Galle-Matara motor road as well as by the railway line.
River Nilwala Ganga flowing into the Indian Ocean at the beach of Matara divides the city into two areas: the old town, set in the estuary of the river and the new town located in the main land. The six-lane Mahanama Bridge connects the mainland with the estuary.
New town of Matara in the mainland sprawls in all directions. Train station, banks, shops, cricket ground and Dutch Star Fort occupies prominent locations.
Old town of Matara or the old colonial district in the estuary called Fort is home to old rest house, Dutch Reformed Church, bus station, market and a mosque.
Matara, the transportation hub of the region
Matara is the major transportation hub of the Southern province with well-organized bus station in the old town.
Accomodation at Matara
The preferred location of accommodation at Matara is Polhena and Medawatta beaches.
Polhena Beach & Medawatta Beach
While Polhena beach offer good snorkling opportunities, Medawatta is good for surfing.
About Matara District
Matara is a city on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, 160 km from Colombo. It is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. The town contains many remnants of Sri Lanka is colonial past and is divided by the island?s third longest river, the Nilwala Ganga, Blue River a beautiful, wide expanse of water that splits the old town from the new.
In 16th and 18th centuries Matara was ruled by Portuguese and Dutch respectively. The culture and architecture can be still seen in the area. The popular Light house in point Dondra was built by Dutch and it is considered as one of the most beautiful and oldest light houses in Sri Lanka.
About Southern Province
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is a small geographic area consisting of the districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Subsistence farming and fishing is the main source of income for the vast majority of the people of this region.
Important landmarks of the Southern Province include the wildlife sanctuaries of the Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, the holy city of Kataragama, and the ancient cities of Tissamaharama, Kirinda and Galle. (Although Galle is an ancient city, almost nothing survives from before the Portuguese invasion.) During the Portuguese period there were two famous Sinhalese poets called Andare who was from Dickwella and Gajaman Nona who was from Denipitiya in Matara District, composing poems on common man.