Clear blue waters, golden sands, and the cool breeze from the palm trees make Sri Lankan beaches a tropical paradise. With 1340 km of coastline and isothermal climate, Sri Lanka is a paradise for beach lovers. Being an island surrounded by the beautiful Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has miles of pristine unspoiled beaches as well as beach hotspots filled with trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Whether you are a surfer chasing waves, a wildlife enthusiast wanting to spot exotic sea life, or simply want to relax while sipping a delicious king coconut, Sri Lankan beaches are like no other.
Hikkaduwa is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach holiday, where you can laze on the sand and soak up the sun—an ideal place for travelers drawn to nightlife and water sports. You can enjoy diving, snorkeling, surfing, or a boat trip on the Hikkaduwa lagoon. A visit to a nearby turtle hatchery will give you a fantastic opportunity to pet a baby turtle.
Unawatuna is close to the historical Galle town and the famous Jungle Beach. It is a fine stretch of beach where you can mingle with the locals, street sellers, and souvenir shop vendors. Unawatuna attracts visitors with its laidback charm and year-round swimming. The beach is set in an attractive bay protected at both ends by the headlands. At the beach’s western end is a Buddhist Sthupa, a perfect lookout point for the picturesque surrounding area.
Passikuda is a beach along the east coast of Sri Lanka. This white sandy beach with its clear blue waters is known to have one of the world’s most extended stretches of shallow reef coastline. You can walk into the shallow water for kilometers; the current is relatively weak compared to the rest of Sri Lanka’s coastal regions.
Mannar, meaning ‘the raised place’ in the Tamil language, consists of part of the mainland and Mannar Island, which was formed by the accumulation of sand. The scenic landscape in Mannar includes beaches, woodlands, paddy fields, and palm trees. Mannar Island is connected to Southern India via a coral reef submerged in the Indian Ocean from Thalaimannar, the western tip of the Island, to Dhanuskodi, the easternmost tip of Southern India.
Pigeon Island is in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, which is metres away from the famous Nilaweli beach. This is the only Sri Lankan national park situated on an island and it was declared a national park in 2003. You will find this to be an ideal beach for snorkelling and it attracts visitors throughout the year for this reason. This area consists of two islands which are covered with sand and coral rubble. It is a must visit for all marine enthusiasts and visitors who are keen to walk through a shoreline connected with beautiful beaches.
Just 10km from the Bandaranaike International Airport lies the modest beach city Negombo. The Negombo Lagoon is rich in flora and fauna and is lined with the huts of the friendly local fishing community. The legacy of the Dutch colonial era is still visible in the Dutch built Hamilton Canal and the crumbling remains of the Dutch fort which has now been converted to a prison. Its proximity to the airport and its mix of resorts and restaurants makes Negombo an ideal place to stop over for a mouth-watering breakfast before you set out on your exciting journey through the Island.
Mirissa is home to blue whales, the largest whale on earth. The beautiful beaches and nightlife make Mirissa a popular tourist destination. Mirrissa has great waves for surfing. The water is rich with marine life from turtles to fish and, of course, whales. It is the largest fishing port on the south coast and the island´s main whale and dolphin watching location.
Arugam Bay, the crescent moon-shaped curl of golden soft sandy beach is famous for being the best surf spot in the country. The laid-back Arugam Bay is an ideal place to laze by the beach sipping a king coconut. It is also a great launching pad to explore attractions such as the Lahugala National Park, the Yala East National Park and the forest hermitage in Kudimbigala.