“A drop in the Indian Ocean” – Sri Lanka is any beach bum’s paradise. Surrounded by the best oceans and best beaches, whether you’re traveling to the North, South, East, or West or not, everything is beautiful. When you travel along the coast, you are sure to find many beautiful beaches and even stop by some. As an island girl, who loves spending time at the beach, enjoying the many breath-taking sunsets and sometimes sunrises each has to offer, here are a few of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
Firstly, there is Hiriketiya, fondly known as ‘Hiri,’ which is the most popular stretch of beach that wraps around the horseshoe (or mushroom) shaped bay located in Dikwella, on the country’s South Coast, and it is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. The secluded beach is now lined up with so many lovely things; for instance; little beach-side cafes and bars, each serving its own unique vibe with the clear water and calm sea, making it a great spot to catch a wave or soak up the sun.
2. Dalawella Beach
Dalawella beach, which gained its popularity due to the beachfront establishment, Wijaya Beach, situated there, is on the Galle (South) coast. Apart from being famous for its wood-fired oven, thin-crust pizzas, it is also known for the serene white sand beach and clear blue water. The surrounding coral reef forms a natural pool for swimming, and you may even spot turtles! If you happen to spend the day here, be sure to catch one of the amazing sunsets whilst sipping on a cold beer. Then, realize you are having the best time on one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka!
The most popular beach in the country and one of the biggest tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Just 1.5-2 hours away from Colombo, it is usually crowded with tourists and locals. It’s a great spot for swimming and lounging in the sun, as most places along the beach have sunbeds for rent. The Wella Devala Road, in the center of Unawatuna, is full of little restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops. Besides being the biggest and most popular, it is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka with everything it offers!
One of the other best beaches in Sri Lanka, Mirissa, located on the South Coast of the country, apart from its turquoise waters ideal for a dip, is famous for whale watching (depending on the time of year). Parrot Rock, a small rock island 50 feet away from the beach, is ideal for getting a panoramic view of Mirissa beach. Getting to the island can be a little tricky depending on the tide and the time of day, though the best time to go would be to catch the sunrise or sunset.
This spectacular beach lies a few kilometers away from Pasikudah Bay, an untouched paradise on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. The beach lined with coconut trees gives a great backdrop to the soft white sand and shallow turquoise waters that you could wade into. Apart from the occasional fishermen, this beach is remote. You can not only enjoy it in silence, but it is also perfect for couples who want to enjoy each other’s time. If you want to catch stunning sunrises on one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, the best time to head to the beach would be at the break of dawn!
The Kalpitiya peninsula (consisting of 14 islands) is in the Puttalam district, North West of Sri Lanka, 2.5 hours away from the Bandaranaike International Airport and 4 hours away from Colombo. Since the lagoon and the beach surround it, there are plenty of activities, the main being dolphin and whale watching, snorkeling, kite surfing, and windsurfing. The beaches are secluded, with calm waters and one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka to watch a beautiful sunset.
7. Dewata Beach, Galle
As you get off the Southern Expressway Access Road and head towards the Galle Fort along the coastal road, you come across Dewata Beach. The beach is by the town of Dewata and surrounded by many beachside restaurants and surf shops. It is a beach break when you want to go to a well-known surf spot and one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka to hone those surfing skills, especially if you’re a newbie!
Because it is situated very close to the airport and just an hour’s drive from Colombo via the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, the Negombo beach is one of the most frequented. Access to the beach is from the main road (Porutota Road), full of character and life, lined by hotels, little souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars with brightly lit neon signboards. However, be cautious about swimming in the sea here since the currents are strong, and it tends to be rough.
9. Nilaveli Beach
If you go towards the East coast of Sri Lanka, in the Trincomalee district, here lies the Nilaveli beach. Its white sandy beach and calm waves make it ideal for floating and allowing the lull of the waves to move you. Then, there is Pigeon Island, a national marine park, is located 1km into the sea (off the coast of Nilaveli). With its coral reefs and crystal-clear waters, Arugam Bay is also an ideal place for snorkeling. While you are making the best of the different activities in Nilaveli Beach, you realize that you are on one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, and you are having a great time!
10. Arugam Bay
Lastly, synonymous with surfing, Arugam Bay is the one of best beaches in Sri Lanka and an international surf destination. Situated on the East coast of the island, its easy-going vibe is what has made it an attraction to surfers and anyone looking to soak up some sun. The high season (when waves are at their finest) starts in April, and it peaks from June to August. At the end of the bay is Elephant Rock, which offers an amazing view of the beach, as well as a stunning sunset.
If you enjoy this article and you love exploring different places and gorgeous beaches all around the world, you can also check out some of the other best beaches around the world!