Beaches in Sri Lanka
The most beautiful beaches
The long beach of Bentota has long been known to travellers and offers a perfect balance between entertainment and tranquillity. Less than two hours south of Colombo on the west coast, it has the advantage of offering beautiful sunsets. Surprisingly, this immense expanse of white sand is almost deserted. In Bentota, it is possible to practice different water sports such as water skiing or jet skiing.
On the southwest coast, Hikkaduwa is one of the most important surf spots in Sri Lanka, where the hippies used to meet in the seventies. Today, the atmosphere has evolved and the magnificent beach of Hikkaduwa has become a trendy seaside resort. From October to May, restaurants, bars and beach parties attract surfers and divers. Offshore, the coral reef offers outstanding seabed and old wrecks of English ships.
Surfing | Diving
Near Galle, Unawatuna Bay is a magnificent place, although a little too crowded. In a real postcard setting, the beach ends at the end with a rocky point topped by a sparkling white stupa. This family seaside resort has the advantage of offering a wide choice of accommodation. Nearby, Dalawella Beach is a small wild paradise. In a natural lagoon at low tide, swimming is safe and it is not rare to encounter some sea turtles.
Mirissa's beautiful beach is and remains less developed than its neighbours, Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna. This idyllic bay, lined with coconut trees, is protected and allows you to swim in all peace and quiet. From the small port of Mirissa go on sea excursions to observe whales. At the end of the bay, the spot is known for its waves attracting surfers of all levels. In the evening, the bars and restaurants come alive and offer fresh fish to enjoy with your feet in the sand. For more tranquillity, go a few miles towards Matara, on the small beach of Polhena.
On the east coast, Passikudah Bay looks like a postcard. From April to October, the sea is calm and suitable for swimming. With its recently built high-end hotels, Passikudah Beach has become a popular stopover for travellers. A few kilometres to the south, visit the town of Batticaloa to discover the local Sri Lankan life.
Tangalle is one of the large wild beaches in the south of the island, between the city of Matara and Yala National Park. Against a backdrop of palm trees and mangroves, the long stretches of white sand follow one another as far as the eye can see. Be careful, waves can be very powerful and currents strong. Further east, on Rekawa beach, you can observe the laying of marine turtles at night.
Uppuveli and Nilaveli
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, travellers have been pouring more and more each year to the east coast to discover the magnificent beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, a stone's throw from Trincomalee. The large expanses of fine sand, the peaceful atmosphere and the calm sea attract many people during the summer months. Off Nilaveli, the Pigeon Island Marine Reserve is a real open-air aquarium, a must-see snorkelling spot in Sri Lanka.
In the south-east of the country, Arugam Bay owes its reputation to its world-renowned surf spot. Very lively between June and September, the small seaside resort offers a relaxed atmosphere with its bars and restaurants facing the beach. The surroundings are still very well protected. Take the opportunity to explore the Sri Lankan countryside by scooter and don't miss a safari in Kumana National Park.
To the north of Colombo, the Kalpitiya peninsula remains away from traditional tourist routes. Brushed by the winds, its lagoon is the meeting place for kitesurfing enthusiasts. Quieter, Alankuda beach welcomes travellers in beautiful accommodation facing the sea. A boat trip allows you to admire the dolphin dance and even some whales for the luckiest ones.