Sri Lanka is a small country, which makes beach hopping so much easier but not at all boring if that's what you think. The beaches of Sri Lanka are all beautiful and so diverse even when they are only a few hours apart! Sometimes they are only ten minutes apart but it could just as well be two different countries. Here's a guide to my favourite beaches in Sri Lanka!
I started my Sri Lankan adventure in the north/middle of Sri Lanka with mountains, tea plantations and beautiful green colors everywhere! The second half I spent beach hopping all the way from Tangalle in the South to Negombo in the West and I fell in love with the diversity of then southern coast.
Dalawella Beach, Unawatuna
Dalawella is a small beach near Unawatuna (you can get there for 300 rupees by tuk tuk), but nevertheless a great beach! The water is crystal clear and surrounded by mangrove or rocks, which means that the water is completely still. The small beach has soft pretty sand surrounded by palm trees. In the eastern end of the beach, you might be able to see some sea turtles tumbling around in the water. Here you can also get some picture-perfect pictures at the famous beach swing! It was 200 rupees to try when I visited. The man who watched the swing took photos for me since I was traveling alone, which was really nice of him to do so and the pictured turned out okay-ish - considering he'd never held a smart phone before.
Hikkaduwa Beach, Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa Beach is not that spectacular looking from land, however, the beach through goggles and a snorkel is a whole other thing! There’s fish everywhere! All kinds of smaller fish and maybe a turtle if you are lucky. You don’t have a snorkel? You can rent snorkel gear everywhere on the beach and it’s not expensive. There’s a small reef on the northern side of the beach - that’s the best place for snorkeling.
Turtle Point, Hikkaduwa
On the southern side of Hikkaduwa is a little point, called Turtle Point, which deserves a post for it self. Named after the big possibility to see turtles here. HUGE sea turtles come into shore and you can swim with them. But DO NOT touch them. It’s really cool to see these magnificent animals, however, the place will most likely be crowded with tourists and there GoPros on a selfie stick which kinda spoils the moment. But you can't really blame them for wanting a picture as well. Try early in the morning and see if you’ll get lucky!
Sahana Beach, Unawatuna & Galle
If you want to learn to surf or if you are a beginner surfer and want to practise THIS is the PLACE to be. A guy at my hostel took me here and taught me to surf. The beach is perfect because it's very wide and there's not many people. Most people go to Weligama Beach and the water is completely crowded with people. Here you have the waves all to yourself! You can rent a surf board on the beach and if you want/need a instructor, you can get one here as well. The waves are small - just the perfect size for beginners - in the morning (around 8-10am). I absolutely loved it here!
Jungle Beach, Unawatuna
In Unawatuna on the western side of the city is Jungle Beach located hidden inside the jungle. It’s a bit of walk up and down hills - not for the weak - but the beach is perfect for a day in the shade. The small secluded beach is surrounded by jungle and clear blue water. It’s a perfect break from the touristy Unawatuna Beach.
Tangalle Beach, Tangalle
The Tangalle area is full of beautiful beaches - some for swimming, some for a stroll along the beach. If you have time, It’s a perfect place for beach hopping. I went to the 6 kilometer long Tangalle Beach. They call it a couple’s paradise and I get why. The beach was as far as the eye could see and completely deserted! Some places along the beach you are almost surrounded by water. With the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other. Perfect for a stroll along the beach with your significant other! Most of the beach, however, is no good for swimming. But if you walk for a bit you’ll find a mangrove where it’s safe to take a dip.
Secret Beach, Mirissa
When you get tired of all of the people on Mirissa Beach, head to Secret Beach just next to it on the western side. It's a tiny beach with a single beach bar. It's called Secret Beach but it's really not that big of a secret. You'll find wooden signs along the way and you can even find it on Google Maps! However, it's a bit further away and more hidden, which means you can get it almost by yourself. At least in the morning. More people start showing up around noon.
Mirissa Beach, Mirissa
A big beautiful beach with nice soft sand. Perfect for swimming, just relaxing or watching the sunset. The sunset is beautiful from Parrot Island on the east side of the beach. At night, the beach turns into a huge party. Bear in mind, Mirissa is a tourist town and a party town, so don’t be surprised to see lots of people. But if it’s a party you are looking for, then you’re the right place! However, I gotta say… Compared to the European beaches I’ve been to through my life it’s not that crowded!
Negombo Beach, Negombo (Colombo Airport)
Not really that great of a beach compared to the rest of the list unless you like windsurfing, however, if you have an early flight home (like I had) or you want to relax after you arrive in Colombo Airport, then this is the place to be. It’s 20 minutes from the airport, which makes it a lot more nearby than Colombo City. Thereby, you can skip the chaotic city and just chill before your departure or after your arrival.
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