Crystal clear waters and powder beaches – shame about the rash of modern development. Roads are slow, those in a rush should fly (see V. Useful). Surfy Arugam Bay (see Galle Activities/ Surfing) draws the closest to crowds especially during Aproct (it’s monsoon the rest of the year). More wicked waves break just north at Pottuvil Point, which also lures wild nellies, crocs and a bevy of birds to its pristine lagoon – stay at Hideaway Resort / Pottuvil / 077 459 6670 / hideawayarugambay. com. To the far north, around Trincomalee, the best beds are at Jungle Beach / 026 567 1000 / ugaescapes.com. Dine on grilled jumbo prawns at Nilaveli Beach Hotel / 011 242 2518, while good espresso and pasta can be found at Palm Beach Resort / 12 Alles Garden / Nilaveli Rd / 026 222 1250 / dinner Feb-sep. Gowhalewatchingresponsiblyorsnorkeloffpigeonisland under the wise guidance of Daya / Nature Odyssey Travel / 011 230 6421, or go deeper into the blue at Poseidon Diving School / 4 Irrakkakandi / Nilaveli / 071 706 9442 / Apr-oct / divingsrilanka.com.