How great does an island beach getaway sound? Our best seven beaches in Sri Lanka are the perfect spots for your next trip. Head to this small island nation in the Indian Ocean to experience a unique culture and hang out on some virtually untouched beaches. With privacy, authentic Sri Lankan culture, and of course fresh, locally prepared seafood readily available, a trip to one of these beach towns will be an unforgettable journey.
Unawatuna is regularly considered Sri Lanka’s number one beach, so of course, it’s at the top of our list. This small beach has easy access to other parts of Sri Lanka and tons of things to do on the beach itself. Hang out in the golden sand or take a beach hike to the “Jungle Beach”. The water in Unawatuna is so gentle that it’s perfect for a relaxing day at the beach, or for families with young children. Plus, the clear water makes Unawatuna an ideal spot for snorkeling. Unawatuna is walking distance to one of Sri Lanka’s top tourist destinations: the city of Galle. Check out the historic fort in Galle or just explore the streets and markets.
2. Arugam Bay Beach
Looking for good surf? You’ll definitely find it in Arugam Bay. Set in a remote village in eastern Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is a hidden gem in this island country. The beach is a surf haven, with good waves all year. The waves are good for surfers of all levels, so don’t be intimidated if you’re not an expert. Arugam Bay is a great spot for non-surfers, as well. The charming village has plenty of activities and sites for you to explore, as well as a list of top-of-the-line hotels and restaurants lining the golden shores.
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Check out one of southern Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches in Mirissa. This beach is great for a wide range of activities. With shallow waters and an on-duty lifeguard, this spot is ideal for those, especially those with kids, who want to just go for a swim. The “Surfer’s corner” gets the bigger waves, on the other hand, making it a great surf spot. Mirissa is also the spot for whale watching during the right season. The sleepy village of Mirissa itself is home to charming guest homes, shops, and restaurants with authentic and local food.
This beach town has some of the most picturesque beaches you’ll find in Sri Lanka. Take the boat over from Sri Lanka’s Pigeon Island, and enjoy a day on the peaceful Nilaveli beach. Relax in the soft white sand or go for a swim in the clear turquoise waters. The charming, quiet beach is perfect for some R&R. Nilaveli is also not far from the port town of Trincomalee, which is full of seafood restaurants to satisfy your stomach after long days on Nilaveli’s classic beaches.
Easy access to the capital city and to the clear blue waves of the Indian Ocean? Of course, that’s what you need. Negombo is just a short six miles from the capital city, Colombo, and lets you escape all the hustle and bustle with some rest and relaxation on the beach. The beach can get crowded in December and in April, the peak seasons for Sri Lanka’s beaches, but walk along the coast enough and you can find some isolation and privacy from the crowds of fellow tourists.
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If it’s isolation you’re looking for, try Weligama. This beach is typically far less crowded than some of Sri Lanka’s other beaches, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in beauty at all. Weligama is ideal for swimming or surfers – especially beginners. The area is lined with surf schools if you’re just starting for the first time. The area is also famous for Sri Lanka’s “stick fishermen”, a traditional method of fishing native to the region. A trip to Weligama is just about the perfect combination of beach retreat and authentic Sri Lankan experience.
7. Uppuveli Beach
Uppuveli Beach is one of Sri Lanka’s best-untouched beaches. It’s location, near to a former war zone, means that it managed to escape large-scale tourism and retains an incredibly sleepy and relaxed atmosphere. Now is the time to visit, before the tourism industry clocks-on.