For travellers looking for some much needed sun, surf, sand, and tropical vibes, there’s only one choice these days… Sri Lanka.
If you’re on the hunt for great waves without the crowds, or maybe just a nice stretch of horizon to kick back and relax on with a good book and cold drink in hand, look no further.
Here are our top picks for the best beaches in Sri Lanka:
A horse-shoe shaped slice of heaven nestled on the south coast, Hiriketiya is barefoot bliss at its best. There’s plenty of room to catch some rays and some fun waves suitable to surfers of any experience level. Still relatively remote but not un-discovered, you have the best of both worlds: less tourists and a tonne of great cafes, bars and restaurants.
Quirky and relaxed, with palm-tree lined beaches and pumping waves, Arugam Bay is essentially Sri Lanka’s version of Byron Bay. Eschewing major hotel chains, there are plenty of awesome independent guesthouses and casual bungalows, big surf, and a vibrant night-life. Definitely worth checking out.
“It reminds me of a young Bali, before the crowds, really clean, great food and the locals are very very friendly.”
– Tariq Sims, St. George Illawarra Dragons
Relatively undeveloped, this stretch of white sand is great for holiday makers looking to unwind while remaining undisturbed. Though a bit off the beaten track, it is rising in popularity among whale watchers and scuba divers – yet it still has that simple beach life vibe among locals. Think peaceful lapping waves, ocean breezes, and fresh seafood for days.
Known for its coral reefs and unbelievable sunsets, this beach town may be popular, but it’s for good reasons. Only 6km from the historic dutch colonial city of Galle, it’s home to a variety of exotic wildlife, pristine turquoise waters and incredible tropical vistas. While definitely energetic it’s not overwhelming and still a great place to have a swim and enjoy a sunset cocktail.
Sometimes it’s not just about the top beaches for humans to frolic in the sea – but all the other creatures as well. Mirissa Beach is the best place in Sri Lanka to spot blue whales, dolphins, and sperm whales and is home to plenty of amazing land creatures as well. Adorable monkeys, squirrels, peacocks, parrots and more. Add in crystal clear waters and restaurants serving delicious hot curries and you’ll soon see why Mirissa is a Sri Lankan favourite.