the Best Beaches In Sri Lanka – Part 01

Best beaches in Sri Lanka

Being a small island in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has been gifted with so many fantastic beaches all around the island, making it an ideal destination for your next beach holiday. Picking the best beach among them is difficult because each of them has something distinctively interesting and lovely about it. So, I’ll tell you about the most popular tourist beaches in Sri Lanka and what you can expect if you visit, so you can choose the beach that best suits your needs. 

By looking at which area of the island the beach is situated in, you can get a broad idea about the experience that you will get by visiting a beach in that part of the island. For example,

West – Coast

The west coast has the most-developed beaches with many hotels, dining options, and leisure activities. These beaches are situated close to the capital of the country. Negombo, Kaluthara, Beruwila, and Benthota are some of the most popular beaches in the West-coast of Sri Lanka.

South – Coast

This shoreline offers a diverse experience including not only sunny, gorgeous sandy beaches, and fabulous hotels, but also national parks where you can go on safaris, waves ideal for learning surfing, diverse marine wildlife and so much more.

The ideal time to visit the beaches in this region is from November to March because there is less rain in the western and southern areas of the island during this season.

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
Endless blue waters and white sandy beaches are yours to enjoy in Sri Lanka. - Photo from Adobestock

East – Coast

The eastern coastline is much less crowded and has unspoiled and untouched beaches that give a more remote beach experience. Also, the East coast has some of the best surf beaches on the island. Trincomalee and Batticaloa have some of the best beaches on the island. The East Coast is also developing to provide tourists with a more comfortable stay in these areas. But, losing these beaches’ natural charm is the price of development.

The best time to visit the East Coast will be from April to September when the weather is at its finest.

Now let’s get to know a little bit more about some of the top beaches in Sri Lanka.


Mirissa beach
Pole or stilt fishing in Mirissa. If you are feeling adventurous, you can climb onto one and take a superb Instagrammable shot for yourself - Photo by Daniel Klein on Unsplash

Mirissa is best known for whale watching and is located on the southern coast not far from Colombo, the country’s capital.

This arrow-shaped beach is made up of soft, white sand that is constantly being kissed by the waves of crystal-clear ocean surrounding it.

The town of Mirissa, which serves as the entrance to this magnificent beach, is located on a little hill behind the beach.

Not only for whale watching, but Mirissa is also perfect for swimming, surfing, or just lying down on the sandy beach surrounded by palm trees and getting a natural tan.

If you visit Mirissa from December to April, don’t forget to get on a boat and go whale watching.

(Best time for whale watching in Mirissa is February and March).

Secret Beach in Mirissa

It is debatable if the name ‘secret beach’ still qualifies as such because of how well-known it has become.

This small, hidden beach which is situated just a 5-minute Tuk-Tuk drive away from the main Mirissa beach has crystal clear waters in a calm bay that is protected by rocks.

Tourists love this beach for its quiet and remote location and unspoiled beach that is great for snorkeling and sunsets.

The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon because during the daytime it gets quite busy.

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
You'll be able to try delicious seafood while enjoying your time on the beach - Photo by Chamindu Perera on Unsplash


Weligama (meaning “Sandy village” in Sinhala) is situated on the South coast, 144 km away from Colombo within close proximity to Mirissa.

If you haven’t surfed before, but are interested in surfing, Weligama is your beach to learn surfing. You can get surf lessons that are run by young locals that know the local breaks very well, and you won’t have to worry about falling off your surfboard because of the sandy bottom.

It has many dining options, accommodations, and surf schools.

It’s popular among tourists as well as locals, so it can get a little busy. 

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is surrounded by white sandy beaches and palm trees - Photo by Sajid Ali on Unsplash


Hikkaduwa is located on the southwest coastline about 95 km away from Colombo making it one of the closest beaches to the capital.

This beach is very tourist friendly and developed, so it is very popular among tourists making it one of the busiest beaches on the island.

You can do many things in Hikkaduwa: enjoy delicious seafood, relax in the sun, swim with the turtles, go snorkeling, and see baby turtles running toward the sea.

The marine national park is something you can’t miss if you visit Hikkaduwa. It has its own coral sanctuary which is so colorful and magical to see with abundant marine life.

Visit iStock by Getty Images for stunning, high-quality photos from Ceylon, captured by a talented Sri Lankan Photographer…

Polhena beach

Situated about 30 minutes drive south of Mirissa, Polhena can be called “The Turtle Beach” because you can snorkel and swim with the turtles as much as you want. Which is amazing news for wildlife lovers like me. 

This beach has crystal-clear water spreading for hundreds of meters that is about 3 feet deep which makes it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. 

But, make sure that you are not disturbing the peaceful day of the turtles by getting too close, trying to feed them, and touching them. 

Also, you can see baby turtles being released from the turtle hatchery that is located on the beach. How the newborn baby turtles run towards the sea like they have been trained before is a sight to see

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
Isn’t it amazing when the ocean matches the sky in color? Just magical! - Photo by Bhanuka Gamage on Unsplash


Unawatuna beach is located about 5 km away from Galle, a southern colonial town in Sri Lanka which is great for sightseeing.

The beach itself is a paradise surrounded by palm trees and a continuously cleansing white sandy beach with turquoise water. 

Unawatuna is perfect for sunbathing by laying on a sunbed to get a natural tan, watching the sunset, and swimming.

The waves are small and the waters are calm due to the offshore reef.

You can pick up some mementos from the little stores that line the side of the narrow street that runs behind the beach as you make your way back from it.

During the peak season, Unawatuna gets quite busy with a lot of tourists, locals, and sellers who are trying to make a living by selling their products to those who visit the beach.

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
While the sun is setting on the horizon, embrace your inner child and swing on this rope - Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

Dalawella (Wijaya beach)

Dalawella, also known as Wijaya beach is situated on the south coast just east of Unawatuna.

Crystal clear waters bounded by white sandy strips and palm trees with fewer crowds compared to Unawatuna makes Dalawella one of the best beach options in Sri Lanka. 

It’s a perfect place to go swimming in the sea with your family as the coral reefs have made a natural swimming pool that is safe to swim in.

You’ll even be able to see huge Turtles.

Dalawella will show mesmerizing sunsets at the end of your beach day, and the swing in Dalawella beach has become an Instagram sensation.

You can get the best experience from this beach if you visit from December to April and July to September.

Visit iStock by Getty Images for stunning, high-quality photos from Ceylon, captured by a talented Sri Lankan Photographer…


Situated on the south coast, this horseshoe-shaped beach surrounded by lush palm trees with clean blue waters offers some of the best surfing opportunities on the island.

Best to visit from November to April if you are a beginner surfer. If you are experienced you can find bigger waves to challenge you from August to September.

The beach has a pretty good collection of eateries for you to dine whenever your appetite commands you to.

Arugam Bay Beach (A-Bay)

Best beaches in Sri Lanka for Surfing
Arugambay and Weligama are the best beaches for Surfing in Sri Lanka - Photo by Croyde Bay on Unsplash

If you love surfing and are looking for the best waves in Sri Lanka, A-Bay is your beach. Situated on the east coast, this beach offers a laid-back, remote, and budget-friendly beach experience that no other beach in Sri Lanka offers.

Surfing in A-Bay is best from May to September.

While visiting this beach you will not only be able to have the best surfing experience but also you will be able to enjoy a relaxing time on an unspoiled beach without having to worry about too much crowd, visit historic temples and maybe go on a safari in a national park nearby.


Nilavei is situated on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka, a short 30-minute drive (13km) away from Trincomalee.

The beach is huge with clean ivory-colored sand surrounded by palm trees. 

The best time to visit is from May to September.

You have the chance to take a boat ride to the Pigeon island national park situated about half a mile off the coast to go snorkeling and scuba diving. Turtles and blacktip reef sharks reside in this national park with so much more marine life. The best way to make the most of this experience is to go to Pigeon Island on a guided trip. You can find a diving school and a tour operator near the beach.

Nearby Trincomalee is a center for Tamil culture and is a great place for sightseeing. 

Uppuveli beach

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
The secluded and untamed beaches on the east coast provide a quiet, peaceful beach vibe - Photo by Charuka Herath on Unsplash

The untouched magical white sandy stretch of Uppuweli is located on the east coast just about 5 km north of Trincomalee.

Even though it’s lesser known currently, Uppuveli is an upcoming tourist attraction as a hub for whale watching and diving.

So, if you want to get the truly remote and unspoiled beach experience from Uppuveli it’s better to visit before it becomes busy as some of the southern beaches. 

Who’s ready to visit Sri Lanka after reading about these amazing beaches? Trust me. They are splendid. Completely worth visiting. 

No matter how hard I try, I wouldn’t be able to describe the true experience unless you saw it with your own eyes. So, I invite you all to visit Sri Lanka and experience this amazing tropical beach experience firsthand.

On that note, I’ll say goodbye to you and hope to meet you soon with another interesting article.

Until then….

නැවත හමුවෙමු😉 (Newatha hamuwemu = Let’s meet again)

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Visit iStock by Getty Images for stunning, high-quality photos from Ceylon, captured by a talented Sri Lankan Photographer…

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