Asian island nation of Sri Lanka has a coastline fringed with numerous golden beaches. Wondering which of these sun-kissed sandy stretches to visit? Read on for our overview of each of the country's coasts and to discover which beach is the one for you
Weligama refers to ‘Sandy Village’ in the local dialect and is a small fishing town that has recently gained popularity with travellers. Known as the ideal place for beginner surfers, Weligama Beach offers beachgoers ample space to soak up the sun or frolic in the refreshing waters. A shallow bay taking the shape of a half-moon provides gentle waters which makes it safe for swimming and a great spot to learn how to surf – there are a number of local surf schools to aid you in this process too! The best time to visit and swim in Weligama Beach would be between the months of October to April, where the sea isn’t too rough and the weather is perfect.
Weligama Beach is located approximately 15 minutes away from Mirissa and 40 minutes from the historic city of Galle. The golden shores are dotted with a number of beach-side cafes and restaurant shacks along with local surf schools. Grab a refreshing king coconut and enjoy the sun, sand and sea when you’re on Weligama Beach. Most local shacks have day beds on offer for those who prefer it to the warm sands! Accommodation near Weligama Beach
Just an hour away from Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo, this beach is a heaven for beach bums. With fancy restaurants, bars, shacks, beach properties, shopping streets and fun activities worth engaging in that are carried out in the surrounding areas, Unawatuna beach is a great spot to unwind, ditching the routine. Accommodation near Unawatuna Beach
Bentota, a mere 45 minutes away from Colombo along the Southern express way, hails as a premier resort town with no less than 15 Star class Hotels clustered together plus numerous other less than 10 rooms boutique style hotels with Sun, surf and sand. This gives the visitor an ideal chance to stay in one and savour many different above water activities, Bentota has always been renowned as the water sport capital of Sri Lanka with the hoteliers in the area actively promoting water sports from adrenaline filled speed boat and jet ski riding, wind surfing, boogie boarding, water skiing, kite surfing, to a leisurely ride on a banana boat for the family & kids.
“Lunuganga” and “The Brief” are places where one should visit and meet the renowned landscaper Doolan Silva a gentleman and a friend, who owns the tropical garden with a famous mural done by Australian artist John Friend. Accommodation near Bentota Beach
Negombo, Situated 6Km from the International airport of Sri Lanka, is a characteristic predominantly Christian fishing town with narrow streets and small boutiques and many a historic churches to visit and see, with its routes running back to the arrival of the Portuguese. Negombo is an ideal place to enjoy the traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka, the out rigger canoe, the swifter catamaran and the lagoon famous for its promfret, lagoon crab & lobster during season. A resort town dotted with many hotels and restaurants and the famous lagoon, where one could take a ride in a out rigger sailing canoe and experience the authentic fisherman’s life.Accommodation near Negombo Beach
Mirissa is one of the most popular beach destinations in southern Sri Lanka, and for a good reason! The area has it all, beautiful Sri Lankan beaches, great waves for surfing, and waters teeming with marine life, from turtles to big blue whales. Spend your days enjoying fresh coconuts in your hammock, eating delicious food from beachside restaurants, and zooming around by motorbike. Four days is the perfect amount of time to absorb the laidback culture of this sunny beach town, enjoying all the top things to do in Mirissa. Accommodation near Negombo Beach
The southern coast of Sri Lanka is lined with many big and small scenic beaches. Although the tourists generally tend to flock around the beaches of Unawatuna and Mirissa, but there are many beaches, which are equally as beautiful and worth visiting. Talalla is one such hidden gem of Sri Lanka. Though this place is beautiful in its own way, many tourists and visitors seem to miss out on this little hidden gem.
One of the best things about Talalla bay beach, is the sheltered cove in the shape of a crescent, lined by palm trees and is about two kilometers long. The Talalla Beach constantly receives the South West and the Westerly winds and you can do nothing and relax in this place while having the whole place almost to yourself.
Swimming at Talalla Beach is safe at all times of the day and you can dip in the blue waters whenever you feel like taking a dip. Though there is not much opportunities for surfing at Talalla Beach, but you can still find some decent surfing spots in and around the region. Everything being said, Talalla Beach is a great destination for a family holiday or a weekend getaway from the city life. Accommodation near talalla Beach
Hikkaduwa is one of the best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, offering a clear hot water base. The waves vary in size from 4 to 11 feet. Surfing in the Hikkaduwa area is fairly well known and gets the best surfing during its dry season, which is from November to March. There are 4 hotspots in Hikkaduwa. Scuba diving and diving in clear waters are a major past time along this stretch and is the most ecological way to see the colorful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary along the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water surrounded by a reef, decorated with layers of multicolored corals, and is home to countless colorful fish. Off the beach there is a collection of small islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here. There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore as well as diving shops offering PADI courses and equipment. Accommodation near Hikkaduwa Beach
With white sandy shoreline and turquoise waters, Thite sands, palm groves and the lovely waters, set in a tropical environment is the perfect getaway from the wintertime blues. Located in the south east end of Sri Lanka, Tangalle is the last town within the Sri Lankan border and is home to wide open beaches. Tangalle Beach is the farthest beach in this region and at a 4 hrs. drive away from Colombo. Since the beach is located in an isolated area, it serves as the perfect retreat for relaxing away from the hustle of the city. There are many other beaches near Tangalle beach in Sri Lanka, which you can visit on day trips from Tangalle Beach.This spit of land on the edge of the Indian Ocean is lined with mangrove vegetation with many beautiful lagoons. This beach attracts a lot of budget travelers and visitors throughout the year. The cozy accommodations combined with the sublime surroundings, makes Tangalle Beach a perfect holiday destination. Accommodation near Tangalle Beach
The Nilaveli Beach is situated in the coastal town of Nilaveli, which is about 16 km North of Trincomalee. It is a beautiful white sandy beach with waves ideal for surfing, diving and snorkeling. About 2 km into the sea is the famous Piegon Island and further up North is a cluster of reddish rocks known as the Red Rock Beach. Nilaveli is one of the finest and most beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. Accommodation near Nilaveli Beach
Pasikuda Beach is the perfect spot to explore Pasikuda's fascinating cultural sights and attractions. It is renowned for its many sought-after attractions including Coconut Cultural Park, Pasikuda Beach. Pasikuda Beach is blessed with lively surroundings, fine restaurants, shopping areas and stunning attractions. Accommodation near Pasikuda Beach
Lovely Arugam Bay, a moon-shaped curl of soft sand, is home to a famed point break that many regard as the best surf spot in the country. It's a tiny place, with a population of a few hundred, and everything is dotted along a single road which parallels the coast. So in other words, the epitome of the laid-back beach scene that first drew surfers and sun-seekers to Sri Lanka.
If you’re not a surfer, there are plenty of other draws: beachfront guesthouses, oceanside restaurants and a mellow, swing-another-day-in-a-hammock kind of vibe that’s totally removed from the brash west-coast beach resorts. Arugam Bay also makes a great base for several adventures in the surrounding hinterland. During the low season (November to April) things get extremely quiet and many places close altogether, but it can also be a serene time to visit, with few tourists and verdant landscapes. Accommodation near Arugambay Beach
Note : during Covid-19 there are restrictions on travel and opening hours may vary. Check the latest guidance in Sri Lanka before planning a trip, and always follow local health advice