Part of the reason that makes Sri Lanka a very popular destination among travellers is the endless number of Sri Lanka beaches that cover almost the entire coastline of this island nation. Well-known for their serene ambience and the beautiful scenery they have to offer, visiting the many beaches is one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. From the east to the west and the south, the beaches vary from golden sand destinations to destinations with the best wind and wave conditions for surfing. All in all, when you visit the country on a Sri Lanka tour package, you’re sure to find the beach that feels perfect to you.
To help you out in this endeavour, here’s a list of some of the top beaches in Sri Lanka to help you plan your itinerary: –
1. Mirissa Beach
Among the many beaches of South Sri Lanka, Mirissa is a place that attracts all kinds of travellers. As one of the top beaches in Sri Lanka, Mirissa has something for everyone; from the swimmers and surfers to the sunbathers. This is a 2 km long stretch of sand that is divided by the Parrot Rock and is full of some great restaurants and bars where you can enjoy some delicious local fare.
The left side of the bay here is most popular for snorkelling while the right side is a well-known surfing spot. Mirissa also has a secluded secret beach that you can ask the locals about. Reaching the secret beach will involve a steep 10-minute walk.
2. Hiriketiya Beach
Hiriketiya Beach is also a popular South Sri Lanka beach which is also known as Hiri. This is a small bay that is great for chilling out or surfing. The water at this beach is beautifully clear and for your taste buds, there are a few good bars near the beach that you can head out to. Hiri is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka and is getting more and more famous by the day for the perfect waves that make it a great surfing spot. You can get surfboards on rent here and even get a couple of lessons in. The best time for surfing here is from August to April.
3. Arugam Bay
Known as one of the best beaches on the East Coast of Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is, yet again, famous for being a surfers’ paradise. With all that the place has to offer, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is one of those areas in the world that you have to visit at least once in your life. The Yala National Park is right next to Arugam Bay. This makes the area a good place to spot some wildlife as well, including monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, and more. One of the most famous beaches in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay can get quite crowded during high-season so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
4. Unawatuna Beach
Unawatuna is about an hour’s drive away from the capital city of Colombo. While the area itself is home to one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, the town too has a lot to offer, including trendy restaurants, shopping avenues, and more. Unawatuna Beach, on the other hand, is one of those Sri Lanka beaches that you may have heard about. With swaying palms and a few dozen restaurants and beach bars, the narrow sandy beach is one of the best places in the area to spend the day. Located in a bay, the beach is also very safe for swimming.
5. Wijaya Beach
There is no doubt that Wijaya is one of the most famous beaches in Sri Lanka. This is a clean white sand beach that is full of palm trees that bend enticingly over the water, making for a view that you won’t forget. This is also one of those Sri Lanka beaches where you can spot some turtles popping their heads out of the water towards the end of the day. There is also a coral reef in front of the beach that forms a natural swimming pool, which is quite safe for swimming.
6. Trincomalee Beach
Home to one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is an amazing town on the east coast of the island. At this east coast beach in Sri Lanka, you can enjoy the beautiful white sand as you frolic in the water. Since the east coast of the country is an up and coming area, it is relatively secluded and quieter as compared to the southern part. The Trincomalee Beach and Nilaveli Beach are hardly 10 minutes away. If you visit the place from March to August, you may also be able to spot some dolphins or whales at this beach.
7. Tangalle Beach
Tangalle is another one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. It almost seems as if it has been made especially for paradise seekers. Hidden on the south-eastern coast of the country, Tangalle is a little difficult to reach as it is slightly dislocated from the usual route that covers the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Tangalle Beach is a very quiet destination with only a few resorts. However, if you are planning a visit sometime from September to October, keep in mind that the big waves during these months make swimming quite difficult.
8. Koggala Beach
Relatively unknown and located in the deep south of Sri Lanka, Koggala is another one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. This beach paradise is located between Unawatuna and Mirissa and is replete with the most beautiful white sand and fewer crowds. Once you are here, you might just want to stay back for a few days. Koggala also has a small rainforest reserve where you can take a boat trip to explore the area. Among Sri Lanka beaches, Koggala may not be one of the most famous but it is definitely among the most serene ones.
9. Hikkaduwa Beach
This is one of the beaches on Sri Lanka’s west coast that is closest to the capital city of Colombo. The beach is a great spot for surfing and you may even be able to spot some of the huge turtles that swim here. However, being the closest beach to the capital city, it is also quite crowded and is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for a one-day trip from the main town. Hikkaduwa Beach can get quite crowded but has some of the best sunsets to offer.
10. Uppuveli Beach
If you’re looking for the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, you cannot miss out on Uppuveli. Located just north of Trincomalee on the east coast, Uppuveli is a sleepy and laid-back little village that is home to a beach that is well off the beaten track. Close to the former civil war zone, this stretch of endlessly soft white sand has managed to remain completely unspoiled. A great destination for whale watching and diving, this is a destination that will definitely make you want to change your definition of what the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka have on offer.
This Sri Lanka travel guide of the best beaches isn’t the only thing to look forward to. The whole country has so much to offer for the perfect beach vacation. Apart from the beaches, Sri Lanka also has a proud heritage and culture to share with its visitors, making the island nation one of the best destinations for planning your next vacation. Make sure you do your research well in time; you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the destinations that this beautiful country has to offer!