Sri Lanka, an island situated in the middle of Indian Ocean is well known for its beaches. This beautiful Island offers a tropical climate where you can enjoy sunshine and warm weather all year around. The warm blue waters, surrounded by sandy shores and fresh greenery of coconut and palm trees is a sight to behold. Whether you are a globe trotter or not, you must visit this Island, just for its beaches which is unlike any other you would have ever visited. Take a look at 20 best beaches in Sri Lanka below:
1. Arugam Bay Beach
All water enthusiasts must visit Arugam Bay. It is one of the best places to catch a wave for surfing and is an internationally recognized spot for it. If you are not well versed with surfing, do not worry! There is a surf school with qualified instructors that could soon teach you to master the art of this water sport. You need not even bring your own equipment as there will be many shops from which you can rent them. Make sure to head that way during the surfing season which is April to October. But if you wish to spend a more relaxing holiday with fewer crowds, November to March is the low season.
While at Arugam bay, you can visit Muhudu Maha Viharaya and Magul Maha Viharaya, two ancient Buddhist temples with beautiful architecture and rich history. Also Pottuvil Point and Crocodile Rock, where you will be able to spot some wild elephants and indigenous birds. Yala East National Park too is close by, if you wish to observe leopards in their natural habitat.
2. Bentota Beach
The beach at Bentota is popular among tourists especially as they like to stay at the beach resort that is situated between the sea and the lagoon. The resort is well known for spa and Ayurveda treatment facilities that it provides, which helps you to have the most relaxing holiday ever. It is a relatively less crowded beach with clean water and white fine sand. Though it is a safe beach to swim at, when the tide is strong, you will see red flags which indicates you to stay away from swimming. Because it attracts tourists, there are many facilities like banks, accommodation and transport and food restaurants available conveniently.
Canoe Rock is a site that all divers must visit at Bentota to enjoy an adventurous dive into the deep blue Ocean and observe natural beautiful coral reefs. You can even observe corals and colorful fishes by taking a ride on a glass bottomed boat. A romantic river safari is an activity that you can enjoy with your partner on the Bentota Lake which is not too far from the beach. Bentota, makes up for an ideal honeymoon destination or simply for a romantic getaway.
3. Beruwela Beach
Golden mile beach is another name given for the Beruwela beach owing to its golden, silky sand that stretches along its long stretch of sea with the palm trees on the landside swaying to the tunes of the wind. The town of Beruwela was founded by the Arab traders where they established a Muslim settlement in the 8th century. The beach is ideal for many water sports facilities like water skiing, parasailing and wind surfing. It is a relatively safe beach that would be ideal especially for children.
While you stay in the city of Beruwela, visit the fishing harbor early in the morning to see how the fishermen display their fresh catch of fish, prawns, lobsters and many other sea food. Purchase some and take back to your rest house and have them cooked to enjoy their authentic flavors. Also pay a visit to the lighthouse, China Fort, Kachimalai Mosque and Galapata Temple which reflects the strong cultural values of this Island. Beruwela is not too far from the city, Colombo, thus making a great spot for a day vacation.
4. Dickwella Beach
For those who don’t like to be bothered with big crowds, Dickwella is ideal. Dickwella beach is very secluded and perfect for a calming and relaxing beach experience. The water is crystal blue and the seaside is surrounded with fresh greenery of palm trees. While swimming in this sea, you can enjoy the company of turtles swimming beside you. If you wish to spend time taking part in water activities like surfing and snorkeling, walk a few distance away from Dickwella beach and find Hiriketiya bay, which is also known as Paradise. There you will have many beach huts offering surfing equipment and lessons and also small restaurants that serve fruit juices and pancakes. Hummanaya, is a natural blowhole that spray sea water due to high pressure that builds up underneath. The spray of water can reach up to 40 or 50 feet high. This is located in Mawella and is commonly seen in the monsoon period.
Dickwella is also known for their lace making; this craft is practiced by the people of Dickwella using an old traditional method called Beeralu and is quite authentic to the village. Purchase some as a souvenir to remember your visit here.
5. Hikkaduwa Beach
A fun and lively place to be enjoyed by people of all age groups is the Hikkaduwa beach. It is a common tourist attraction but is also frequently visited by locals. There are activities to be enjoyed both at day and night time. During the day, it is an ideal place for surfing and snorkeling. The waves at Hikkaduwa beach range from 4 to 11 feet, thus suitable for surfers of all levels of expertise. The coral reefs found at Hikkaduwa are very shallow, thus being able to see on a ride from a glass bottomed boat. There you will see multicolored corals and plenty of fish and other aquatic life. In the evening, Hikkaduwa beach is known for the exciting night life which includes raves, musical shows, and parties. The coral sanctuary and Turtle hatchery must be visited during your stay at Hikkaduwa.
If time allows, take a boat ride on the Hikkaduwa Lake to enjoy the birds and mangroves. It is unlikely that you will ever leave this place without purchasing souvenirs from one or more of the many small boutique shops selling antiques, gems, jewelry and other.
6. Induruwa Beach
Plan your next relaxing family vacation at Induruwa beach. Here, you won’t find a big crowd, which makes it the ideal spot for a long walk, a picnic, a swim or sunbathing. It is a beautiful beach with breathtaking scenery, where the sunset is a sight to behold. Take a walk around the small fishing village of Induruwa, where you will find many local markets that offer fresh produce and jewelry in a nearby village called Batugedara. You can also visit the caves of Batatotalena known for its cultural value and the Madhu River which is close by to catch a glimpse of the birds and aquatic life in and around the river.
There are many options of accommodation available at Induruwa for tourists. Hotels, guesthouses, resorts are some of them. They may be a little distance away from the beach but it will only take a small walk to get to the secluded beach which is worth it once you get there. The hotels and resorts at Induruwa offer spa and Ayurveda facilities that will keep you feeling relaxed and calm in both mind and body.
7. Kalpitiya Beach
Kalpitiya beach is frequently visited by tourists for its natural beauty. The beach has the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka, thus a must-go destination for those who love to snorkel and deep dive. Kalpitiya Sea is home to sperm whales, blue whales and spinner dolphins which you can observe while enjoying a boat ride on the sea. These boat rides can leave you with sea sickness, thus have yourself prepared before attempting them! Though you must get lucky to spot a blue whale in here, between December and April, the chance of spotting a sperm whale is very high. It is best to plan your trip to Kalpitiya around this time. You can also take a boat ride in the lagoon and enjoy canoe trips in its rivers to experience the complete essence of Kalpitiya.
While in the town of Kalpitiya, pay a visit to the Dutch Fort and St. Peter’s Kerk church, which represents the cultural influences left by the invasion of western powers in the past on this small Island.
8. Kirinda Beach
A small village that is very rich in cultural significance is home to Kirinda Beach. It is a small port a few distance away from Tissamaharama and is a lonely but beautiful area for tourists to visit for a relaxing experience. The beach has many rocks in the surrounding but there is one rock which is very large and on top of it stands an ancient temple, called Kirinda Rajamaha Viharaya that was built by King Kavantissa. Kirinda is where Viharamahadevi, the queen of King Kavantissa was welcomed by him and therefore represents the beginning of their love story.
The surrounding area has many statues and other religious monuments like statue of Viharamadevi, Dagoba and carving of King Kavantissa’s royal coat of arms, depicting the rich Buddhist culture and history of the Island. For this reason, it is often visited by pilgrims. There is also the lighthouse which stands on the great basses reef which looks like a needle from afar on a clear day.
9. Koggala Beach
Many surfers find themselves enjoying the beach of Koggala in Sri Lanka. Koggala is a fascinating place where you can do many things apart from just enjoying its beautiful beach. There is the Koggala Lake with small islands out of which one contains an old Buddhist temple, and another with cinnamon plantation. A ride around the river can help you to see these and enjoy the birds that visit them as well.
Martin Wickramasinghe folk art museum is also a place you must visit while you stay at Koggala. Martin Wickramasinghe was a famous Sri Lankan author who has written many novels, dramas, poems and other. The museum has descriptions written in English, so can be enjoyed by foreigners as well. Handungoda Tea Estate, Turtle Hatchery, Kataluwa Purwarama Temple are all sites that can be visited during your stay here. The Turtle Hatchery helps conserve the eggs of turtles found by fishermen without letting them be sold for food. When you visit this place, do make sure to release an egg back into the sea just to become a part of the movement that helps conserve this species.
10. Mirissa Beach
To enjoy the best beach vacation, a visit to Mirissa is essential. Mirissa attracts a large crowd, but because it is quite spacious, it does not make you feel crammed up. The water of the sea takes a beautiful mix of blue and green colors, while the sand is golden and white. Water sports like surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving are enjoyed by all who visit this lively beach. There are instructors and shops renting equipment making it all easy for you. The nightlife in Mirissa is exciting and vivacious. Music plays by the beach where people enjoy themselves by dancing, feasting on good food and observing fireworks. Because it attracts a lot of tourists, there is many accommodation options around the beach. If the tide is not too high, climb the Parrot rock and see the span of the sea below.
A few meters away from the beach there is a coconut farm that you can visit, but beware, coconuts may fall on your head! Around the beach there are many restaurants that serve authentic Sri Lankan food like roti, pittu, string hoppers which are rich in carbohydrates. But for those who wish to be a bit healthier, they also serve fresh fruits, coconut water and smoothie bowls as well.