Top 5 Beaches in Sri Lanka

Top 5 Beaches in Sri Lanka

By Candice SongUpdated Jul. 7, 2021

Sri Lanka has a coastline that stretches for 1,239 kilometers with beaches of golden sand. If you’re looking for quality surf, pristine water, golden sand, tall palm trees, and gorgeous sunsets, you’re guaranteed to find exactly what you’re searching for at these beaches in Sri Lanka!

October to April is the most beautiful time on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.

Take the small train all the way along the coastline and find the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka.

Bentota Beach

Bentota, 60 kilometers away from the capital of Sri Lanka, is a coastline town and the gateway to the southern province. Known as "the paradise of Sri Lanka", Bentota is also one of the best beaches on the west coast and was once known by the European tourism association as "the most beautiful beach in the world".

Bentota Beach is well-known for its beauty, being pristine, natural, and tranquil with picturesque landscapes surrounding it and coconut trees swaying in the gentle breeze. The soft beach has clear blue water but the current can sometimes be slightly strong.

Bentota is an ideal place for people who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It offers a variety of water sports, such as surfing, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, canoeing, banana boat rides, and deep-sea fishing. Whatever your preferences are, you will be satisfied.

What else you can do in Bentota? You can have a nice walk along the beach, go on a cycling tour to a fishing village, taste the fresh catch from the sea, go to a beach party at night, take a boat ride along the Madu River and drift alongside the mangroves, see the herons, crocodiles, and various rare wild animals living in Bentota, and visit the Buddhist towers and temples.

How to get there: You can easily take a train ride from Colombo to Bentota. Alternatively, go by car or bus. It takes about 2 hours to drive by car from Colombo to the beach.

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Hikkaduwa Beach

Hikkaduwa, located 98 kilometers south of Colombo and 14 kilometers from Galle, is the most developed beach resort in Sri Lanka, known for its surfing, diving, and beach bars.

Hikkaduwa Beach is the best place to unwind. It offers perfect sunsets, incredible sand, warm blue water, and great bars and restaurants. It is perfect to take a walk there in the early morning hours.

Hikkaduwa is called a surfing paradise in Sri Lanka. From November to April, the water is clear and warm and the waves are perfect for surfing. People from all over the world go there to surf.

There are numerous snorkeling and diving centers along the beach with very competitive prices. You can experience snorkeling or diving to see the underwater world with colorful fish and coral. You also can take a glass-bottomed boat ride.

How to get there: It takes about 1½ hours by train from Colombo, about 30 minutes by train from Galle, about 40 minutes by coach, and then it costs 20 LKR to take the bus to the coastal area.

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach, located 140 kilometers south of Colombo and 5 kilometers southeast of the suburb of Galle, is known as one of the top 12 beaches in the world.

Unawatuna, a crescent-shaped beach that stretches for 1 kilometer, is an ideal vacation beach. Featuring crystal clear blue water, soft golden sand, and various beachfront inns, bars, resorts, and small souvenir shops dotted along the coastline, it is also a great place for surfing.

Unawatuna Beach is not only popular with tourists but also with locals due to its short distance from Galle. The locals go there for weekends. Bars and lively music make the nightlife a lot of fun.

Unawatuna is also known for its sea turtle breeding base. In the sea turtle breeding season, sea turtles flock to the beach to lay their eggs. Walk around the beach and you will see many cute little turtles.

If you are a turtle lover, don’t miss the turtle volunteer trip at Unawatuna Beach, which is fun.

How to get there: From Galle, take the bus in the direction of Matara, get off at Unawatuna Station, and walk for 15 minutes. Alternatively, take a taxi ride from the Old Town of Galle for 15 minutes.

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Weligama Beach

Weligama Beach is located 143 kilometers south of Colombo and 30 kilometers east of Galle on the southern coastline of Sri Lanka. It used to be a quiet fishing village but now it is one of the most popular beaches for travelers.

Weligama is well-known for its stilt fishermen who use a unique style of fishing there. Every day, the fishermen sit on one wooden stick in the shallow sea, holding fishing rods without any bait. They spend hours waiting to hook the fish, then sell them or use them for daily meals.

The stilt fishermen used to be the poorest people in Sri Lanka but have now become a big tourist attraction there. You can pay a small fee to experience the stilt fishing and the fishermen will take your photo.

Weligama is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the Indian Ocean, dotted with many well-known surfing spots along the beach. Laceworks and handicrafts are good souvenirs to buy there, such as lace shirts, tablecloths, table mats, and so on.

How to get there: It takes 20 minutes by taxi from Galle.

Mirissa Beach

Mirissa Beach is located 146 kilometers south of Colombo. It is the largest beach in southern Sri Lanka. The seawater is clear and the beach is lined with green palm trees and coconut palms. There, you can see the best sunrise and sunset in Sri Lanka.

Mirissa is a beach paradise. It is cozy to slide into a hammock and gently sway in the breeze, taste a sip of fresh coconut juice, and enjoy the sunset on the beach.

With the laid-back atmosphere, there are many nice restaurants and cafés along the beach, serving tasty fresh seafood. After dark, the restaurants put out tables on the beach, light lanterns and candles, and serve seafood barbecues. What a wonderful life.

The water is very clear, which makes it perfect to go snorkeling around the small reefs and rocks. The west bay is the ideal place because of the big waves.

Mirrisa is one of the best whale watching places in the world. From November to April each year, many blue whales travel from the Antarctic to the Indian Ocean to breed.

It will be fun to join a whale watching tour in Mirrisa.

The peak season for seeing whales in Mirissa is between December and March.

How to get there: Take a 4-hour car journey or bus ride from Colombo, or travel by train to Galle and then by car to Mirrisa.

Discover Your Sri Lanka Beach Tour with Us

Sri Lanka is a beach paradise. The beaches are warm and quiet with blue water and soft sand. Everything in Sri Lanka is far beyond your imagination.

Asia Highlights offers tailor-made tours, accommodation bookings, and transfers for all the beaches that have been mentioned in this article. Please send your tour inquiry to us if you need any of our tour services. Happy travels!

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