Soul & Surf
By Joanne Rogers
As my daughter was growing up as a child we had many holidays together that were activity based, snowboarding, wake boarding, body boarding etc but neither of us had ever learnt to surf properly. As it had been a few years since we’d taken a holiday together and it was the year of her thirtieth birthday, an adventure was calling. I decided to whisk her away and go somewhere different, somewhere we could re charge our batteries have a new experience and relax. Soul & Surf in Sri Lanka popped up on my browser and before I knew it the trip was booked.
Soul & Surf is situated in the heart of the jungle near to Anhangama on the South West coast of Sri Lanka and is one of the very few places on the island to enjoy both surfing and yoga, offering week-long breaks in luxury villas designed for you to relax, rejuvenate and revitalise.
The spacious, clean accommodation is found at the foot of a lazy river is spread out between the two stunningly beautiful Duwa Villas with their own pool. Each bedroom is en suite with either verandas overlooking the river and gardens or big bath tubs open to the stars.
The wildlife is astonishing, with the chatter of monkeys in the trees, cheeky mongoose in the undergrowth, lizards, sea turtles and the occasional creepy crawly that might look a bit scary but is perfectly safe.
Each day is typically welcomed with an invigorating morning yoga session followed by a Tuk Tuk ride with surf boards attached for a two-hour surf lesson on some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable. After a delicious and healthy breakfast, afternoons are dedicated to gentle stretching and breathing with guided meditation and Pranyanma under the yoga canopy to help calm the body and mind, followed by an amazing authentic Sri Lankan prepared lunch.
There’s still plenty of time for lazing around the pool and relaxing before the evening draws to a close with an evening surf session and a fabulous evening meal with like-minded travellers, fast becoming new friends.
The staff were faultless and so friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble. From management to housekeeping and surf crew to yoga instructor, photographer, masseuse, Tuk Tuk drivers and the chefs who fed us the most beautiful fresh and wholesome food every day, everybody was there to make sure you had the best experience.
The communal style of eating was laid back and pleasant and the way the staff hosted the meals meant that you had the time to get to know them and chat about your days surfing.
Wednesday is a day left free for you to do your own thing. Believe me your tired and achy body will be glad of the rest. A SUP session was on offer at dawn that took you on a guided tour around the river which was magical. The day is then your own to either relax by the pool or get a bit of sight seeing in.
We went at the beginning of November when the worst of the monsoon season had come to an end but you may get the occasional tropical rain shower, happily the temperature stayed around 30 degrees, nice and warm but not crazy hot. It’s also the perfect time for beginners to learn to surf with consistent rolling waves, powerful enough but not overwhelming. As long as you enjoy being active and are happy being socially active you will love this trip.
I cannot recommend this experience enough whether you are a solo traveller, group or a family. It is a fantastic, magical island that has left me with some beautiful memories of our time together that I will treasure for ever, and one day I will return to visit this amazing place.