The pandemic that swept the world in 2020 will force people to abide by restrictions on transportation and travel. As the situation stabilizes and the vaccines are developed and are becoming widely available, travel demand will surge again. At the same time, people’s attitudes towards tourism have also changed. The demand for natural retreats, as well as for traveling to visit friends and family, is becoming stronger. Recent research by Airbnb shows that guests are increasingly choosing to stay in private homes within their bubble to reduce extraneous social interactions. All this means it may be time to set up travel plans before the huge spike in demand and, consequently, prices surges in.
With its outstanding geographical location and tourism resources, Sri Lanka is loved by tourists the world over. Ceylon black tea and Lanka gems are world-famous, and people can not help but explore. If you want to relax by the sea within a few days of vacation, Mirissa Beach in southern Sri Lanka may be your best choice.
Mirissa is perfectly placed for whale-watching expeditions, thanks to its proximity to the world's great cetacean migratory routes. With sightings of these majestic creatures almost guaranteed for a large part of the year, it is highly probable to see Bryde's whales, Killer whales, Sperm whales, and Blue whales (as well as spinner dolphins) on a single trip, with December to April being the best months.
Sri Lanka is home to five kinds of turtle species, including Green turtles, Leatherbacks, Olive Ridleys, Hawksbills, and Loggerheads. All of them regularly visit Mirissa Beach to lay eggs and build nests. Situated on the beach, The Coast Guard Turtle Conservation Project was founded to preserve and raise awareness of sea turtle conservation. The coastguards move the eggs to safer areas, and once they hatch, visitors are invited to release the baby turtles back into the sea at sunset time.
Another exciting activity is surfing. Weligama Bay (approximately 10-15 minutes away from Mirissa by rickshaw) is one of the world’s top 5 destinations for learning to surf and practicing other types of water sports.
However, if you think that Sri Lanka is all about beach activities, you are making a big mistake. Vintage lovers would probably enjoy the coastal railway, which would take them from Colombo to Mirissa in about 2.5 hours. There are also many local accommodation options. Traditional resort hotels and local B&Bs are the main choices. However, independent villas are currently favored by more and more tourists due to privacy concerns.
So where to stay during the escape from the hustle-and-bustle of our daily lives? Your Dream Home & Your Dream Bungalow are two single houses situated in a quiet private area but still only approximately 5 minutes away from the beach, run by Bryan Azzopardy - an English-born cinematographer and a wedding filmmaker living in Malta.
In 2012, he and his wife took their first trip to Sri Lanka and fell in love with the beautiful island and the warmth of the Sri Lankan people. Thus, they decided to start their first Home here. Next year, 'Your Dream Home’ was open, and 7 years later, in 2020, the second House ‘Your Dream Bungalow’ was launched.
Since then, they have welcomed visitors from all over the world. The local host, Miss Rani, and her daughter Lanka are the housekeepers who take care of the guests while they are staying in the Houses.
Your Dream Home - Mirissa consists of three bedrooms, two Queen beds, and one Twin bed. The house is ideal for groups of friends or families with small children, boasting a large tranquil private tropical garden with views of the countryside and sunrise. The guests have the full house at their disposal. It sleeps six guests, plus the option to add a baby cot.
Your Dream Bungalow – Mirissa combines the luxury of a magnificent villa with the modern conveniences of a five-star hotel. Compared to the other House, it is a more intimate home aimed at couples. It is equipped with a Queen sized comfortable double bed. The house is completely at guests' disposal, together with the private entrance and a private garden. It sleeps two guests, plus the option to add a baby cot.
In addition to the beach, the gardens here are a paradise for wildlife lovers. Sitting on the terrace, the guests can spot all kinds of exotic animals and birds, such as finches, kingfishers, parrots, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, peacocks, monkeys, meerkats, porcupines, and lizards. Fruit bats fly in silence, and fireflies fly out of the forest in swarms. These magical experiences are truly fascinating.
Another breathtaking sight is Lake Garaduwa situated just two minutes away from the Houses. Romantic sunset boat trips with a local fisherman are usually a hit. The natural splendor includes chipmunks, peacocks, monkeys swinging on trees, mongooses, porcupines, iguanas, and a variety of land and water monitor lizards. Sri Lanka is also a bird lover's paradise, with over 420 resident species that appear to enjoy visiting the lush lake and the surrounding mangroves.
Overall, it is safe to say that the island and the tranquil private lodging could revamp and refresh even the most stubborn workaholic, which is certainly something that most of us need after a long and difficult year of adaptation and assimilation to the new normal.