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Whale Watching, Mirissa (Colombo)

One of the best places in the world to spot Blue Whales is Sri Lanka. Just 3hrs drive from Colombo, you can join a group of whale watchers departing from Mirissa fisheries harbour, in Matara, just beyond the fort town of Galle. The ocean shelves steeply just 45 minutes from shore, so within sight of land, you can be among these fascinating creatures we still know so little about.

Good times of the year to go: December, January and April

There are also spinner dolphins and sperm whales to watch out for.

Just before you get to Galle it is worth visiting the Bawa designed Lighthouse Hotel - very expensive accommodation, but very welcoming staff if you just want a quick look around and a coffee looking over the ocean. The situation is magnificent.

Galle is great to visit too, especially wandering about the streets and on the fort walls. The Galle Fort Hotel is a nice spot for a snack lunch.

If you have a couple of days spare, this is a highly recommended weekend away.