Given its location, many of Weligama's attractions center around the sea. Surf the nearby waves; visit the unique Taprobane Island, once home to a quirky, wealthy Frenchman; relax on the beautiful beaches; and watch stilt fishermen at work.
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Unique to Weligama are stilt fishermen, who, rather than casting nets into the sea, perch atop the waves on long, thin stilts and throw fishing lines into the waves. Like many other trades, this profession is passed down from father to son, and the stilts themselves are a source of pride for the families.
With several easy surf breaks, a shallow, sandy bottom, and an offshore coral reef, Weligama is perfect for beginners seeking to try out longboards for the first time. While the reef is shallow and does merit caution, the waves are frequent, and for the most part, fairly gentle. More advanced surfers may wish to charter boats out to the offshore reef, where the swells and breaks are considerably longer, higher, and stronger.
Take a boat trip out of Mirissa Harbor, home to an Indonesian fishing trawler that has been restored for leisure cruising in Weligama Bay. Go swimming and snorkeling from the boat, and try fishing with a hand line.
Named after the ancient Greek name for Sri Lanka, Taprobane Island is a tiny rock isle attached to the island of Sri Lanka by a small strip of sand, which is often submerged by rising tides. Developed into a residence and tourist resort by the self-styled Count De Mauny-Talvande, Taprobane was one of the first European-built tropical residences to seamlessly blend into its verdant environs. Throughout the centuries, Taprobane hosted a number of dignitaries and VIPs, from aristocrats to business tycoons; today the villa is a luxurious, modern dwelling open to guests.
From December to April, Weligama Bay is home to migratory populations of blue and sperm whales who winter in the warm, nutrient-heavy waters of southern Sri Lanka. In addition to the numerous whales, pods of spinner dolphins swim in the area. Often, boat operators will stop several hundred meters away and wait for the whales and dolphins to swim up to the boat out of curiosity.
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