Best tourist beaches in Sri Lanka

Best tourist beaches in Sri Lanka

Ever dreamt of relaxing on a secluded golden sandy beach fringed with gently swaying coconut trees and simply enjoying the warmth of the sun on your back? Then Sri Lanka is definitely the country for you. The best part is that not all the beaches are the same and the island has got quite a few unique hidden gems for you to discover. And we want to tell you about some of the best beaches that this paradise island has got that you must simply explore.

The turquoise waters, the secluded golden beaches, the unique rock formations of beaches in Mirissa is a must explore. This town is the largest fishing port on the south coast and is perched right on the southern tip of the island. The water is warm and clear, the sand fine, soft and bright and the waters a light, alluring blue making it an ideal spot to swim and surf. Mirissa is also famous for whale and dolphin watching where these delightful creatures are often spotted close to the shoreline but you can also take a boat out and cruise right next to these gentle beings, ideally in February and March. There are a number of hotels and guest houses located right on the beach as well where one can literally live on the beach and get the ultimate island experience. 

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Located midway between Galle and Colombo just one hour away from the country’s commercial capital is Bentota – a popular resort town that boasts of the magnificent Bentota lagoon and also some of the best beaches in the south coast. It is also Sri Lanka's water sports hub offering many activities from kayaking, jet-skiing, kitesurfing and even parasailing options while the less adventurous can opt for a peaceful boat ride along the famous Madu river to explore its many island and also to witness the lush mangroves which boast some of the best birdlife in the area. Nearby attractions include temples, remnants of the country’s colonial past and also if you are a foodie, chances are that you will come across some of the best seafood in the island at great prices. (Sherman, n.d.)

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If you fancy yourself some activity, light music at night and a great meal on the beach accompanied by amazing ambiance, the Unawatuna beach is the place to go. The beach is large and curving and it also has a large coral reef offshore. You can find a great number of quaint restaurants dotting the beach where you can sip your favorite cocktails and watch a beautiful sunset or sway right into the night with some of the best parties in Sri Lanka happening right on the beach.  

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Probably not as popular as the beaches located along the southern coast but nevertheless one of the most picturesque and peaceful beaches the country has on offer, not even one hour away from the airport. A peaceful fishing town, Negombo’s shoreline offers a number of restaurants and shops and also offers a considerable array of great accommodation options if you wish to stay. The beach is wide and flat and does not offer much interesting rock formations but you can indulge in a large array of water sports and activities or simply sit back and relax on the beach, sprawled out with the best of food and drinks to your heart’s desire.

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Arugam Bay
Moving on to the East coast of the island we have Arugam bay - a rather dramatic beauty of interesting rock formations, secret beaches and amazing marine life. Over the years Arugam Bay has built a reputation for itself as an international surfing destination because of its amazing surf breaks. This lively little town has a vibe of its own and is quite safe with a designated tourist area which is patrolled by tourist Police frequently. Some of the best parties in the island take place here with the shoreline being dotted with eccentric cafes, interesting restaurants and some of the best seafood and cuisine from all over the world that is sure to blow your mind. If you are an avid beach fan, we’d also advise you to drive a little further up and explore the Panama beach as well where the jungle meets the sea in a fascinating mélange of ultimate tropical paradise. Climb up the elephant rock for the best of sunsets. And while up there, don’t be surprised if you spot an elephant or two wading the lagoon to get to the other side of the jungle.   (Sarah, 2021)

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By Jayani Senanayake

Sarah, 2021. Top five beaches in Sri Lanka. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 25 February 2021].

Sherman, F., n.d. 12 Top-Rated Beaches in Sri Lanka. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 25 February 2021].

Image Reference
Cover Photo : Photo by Tomáš Malík on Unsplash