Looking for the Best Beaches in Sri Lanka
When you live on a sunny, tropical, island, finding a beach is as easy as pie. Sri Lanka, bedazzled with golden shores, swaying, towering coconut trees and cerulean waters reminds you of those scenic postcards. That’s exactly what beaches in Sri Lanka look like – on most days. Though there are many things to do in Sri Lanka, a beach-cation should be added to your list while you’re here. Getting your dose of vitamin sea is just a hop, skip and jump away!
Unawatuna beach has over the years seen plenty of tourists and beach lovers basking in the sun. However, if you head a few kilometres away from Una, you’ll find a quiet, lazy stretch of golden sands, a reef and a tree swing. Wijaya Beach is mostly known for Wijaya Beach Restaurant and their mouth-watering oven baked pizza. The sea (towards the left) is perfect for swimmers of all ages and skill levels, as the reef acts as a breaking point for the waves and creates a little pool for everyone to enjoy! This beach is definitely my one of my favourite beaches in Sri Lanka, as you can enjoy a leisurely swim without being crushed under a wave!
The coconut tree swing – the second of its name – on this stretch of saffron sands, is something that should not be missed. The swing is currently owned by a little B&B, who charged us Rs.150 per person for a ride on the swing. After everyone had a go at it and a quick dip in the sea, we were on to the next beach!
A quick stop at a local thambili stand was just what we needed to refresh ourselves.
How to get to Unawatuna
Unawatuna is a few kilometres away from the historic city of Galle. If you’re travelling by train or on a highway bus, get off at the Galle bus station, take a tuk for about Rs. 500 or another bus heading towards Matara for less than Rs.80. If you’re travelling by car, once you get off the highway, take a left turn and drive along the coast. Wijaya beach is in Dalawella. You can access the beach by entering through Wijaya Beach Restaurant.
On the way to Mirissa, we stopped at Weligama for a quick break on a scenic pier surrounded by fishing boats. Mirissa beach, a couple of kilometres after Weligama is a sun-kissed stretch of pristine sands and coconut trees. Though the current was slightly strong, the waters here are refreshing and perfect for swimming. Thankfully, the beach was surprisingly empty which made it look even more surreal and perfect. Known to be one of the few shallow beaches in Sri Lanka, Weligama Bay is ideal if you want to learn how to surf.
Palm Tree Dome
Instagrammer’s latest spot – the palm tree dome in Mirissa has become one of the best things to do in Mirissa. A domed hill overlooking the azure, clear waters of the Indian Ocean and untouched beach sands. Look for the Sea Star Hotel when you’re coming in from the road, and walk up a steep pathway, crawl under a wired fence, and you’ll find yourself with a mesmerizing view of the sea!
Hangover Hostels was our go-to spot for lunch. A little after noon and the troop was tired and hungry. Hangover Hostels, located in Mirissa, Ella, Colombo and near the Airport are a collection of hostels offering bunk-bed type accommodation with some mini luxuries. Try out the Surfer Burger when you’re dining in. Perfectly baked chicken patties sandwiched with tomatoes and lettuce and two chunky buns, served with some fries is the ideal way to boost your energy! The staff were friendly, attentive and the service was a breeze! Before we knew it, our 11 orders were right out in front of us.
How to get to Mirissa
A quick and convenient way of getting to Mirissa is either on the highway bus or by car. Look out for the Mirissa bound highway buses or drive down here.
Driving past Matara after lunch, we were ready for our next conquest – Hiriketiya Beach. I’m not sure how we got there, thanks to a quick nap, but when we did it was spectacular. Hiriketiya beach is a surfer’s bay offering ginormous waves, cute beach-side restaurants and plenty of sunbeds. The sea was incredibly rough, we were tumbling and rolling and drinking our body weight in seawater, even though we were almost near the shore. We even spotted a baby black tip reef shark swimming next to us!
Dinner was spent in one of the cute beach restaurants known as Beach House. Their menu was somewhat diverse, but we opted for pizza and beer. Oven-baked pizzas and chilled Lion beers were the perfect end to a day out in the sun. The staff were down to earth and friendly. As a plus, the restaurant is dog-friendly! The restaurant was open till around 10:30 pm when we wrapped up and were ready to leave back to the city life.
Beach hopping in Sri Lanka definitely opens your eyes to the untouched beauty that the island has in store. You just gotta go off the beaten path with a troop of explorers and you’ll find things you weren’t expecting to find.