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The 16 Best Beaches in Sri Lanka for Every Type of Traveler

The 16 Best Beaches in Sri Lanka for Every Type of Traveler

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. It is also home to some of the best beaches in the world, making it a great destination for a beach vacation. From the long, sandy beaches of the west coast to the secluded coves of the east coast, Sri Lanka has a beach for everyone.

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, so the weather is perfect for beach vacations year-round. The average temperature in Sri Lanka is 27°C (80°F), with a warm sea breeze that keeps things comfortable. However, the best time to visit Sri Lanka for beaches is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and clear, with very little rain.

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No matter what you are looking for in a beach vacation, Sri Lanka has something to offer. Whether you’re looking for white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, or opportunities for surfing, snorkeling, or diving, you’re sure to find it in Sri Lanka. So pack your bags and explore the best beaches in Sri Lanka today!

Here are 16 of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, so you can start planning your perfect beach vacation today!

Hiriketiya Beach

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Hiriketiya is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It is a stunning little horseshoe bay on Sri Lanka’s south coast. It is becoming increasingly popular with travelers looking for a more laid-back and unspoiled beach experience than the more developed areas to the west. The beach is backed by a small selection of great places to stay, including The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf Retreat, which is just a 3-minute walk away.

The beach is known for its excellent surfing conditions, with waves that are suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. It is also one of the best places to learn to surf in Sri Lanka. There are also a number of other activities to enjoy in the area, such as swimming, sunbathing, and stand-up paddleboarding.

If you are looking for a beautiful and uncrowded beach to relax on, or if you are a keen surfer, then Hiriketiya is a great place to visit in Sri Lanka.

Arugam Bay On the East Coast

Main point beach arugam bay Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is a great beach, and it is our second choice for the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It is a laid-back village on Sri Lanka’s east coast with a beautiful palm-fringed beach. Arugam Bay is a popular destination for independent travelers, especially surfers, who come for the excellent waves. The beach also attracts visitors who are looking for a relaxing and offbeat destination.

There are a number of things to do in Arugam Bay, in addition to surfing. Visitors can take tours of the nearby Pottuvil Lagoon, go motor-boating in search of dolphins, or simply relax on the beach.

The local community has successfully resisted the development of major hotels in Arugam Bay, which has helped to preserve its charm. There are a number of quirky village guesthouses in Sri Lanka, as well as relaxed beachfront bungalows and cabanas with stunning views of the ocean.

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Nilaveli Beach

Nilaweli beach pigeon island - Sri Lanka tour package

Nilaveli is a small settlement on Sri Lanka’s east coast, about 10 kilometers north of Uppuveli. It is home to one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka that is largely deserted, with only a few guesthouses and hotels scattered along the coast.

The area has a very laid-back and back-to-basics atmosphere, making it a perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of more popular tourist destinations. Visitors can spend their days wave-gazing, beachcombing, snorkeling, and hanging out with the locals.

If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful beach destination in Sri Lanka, then Nilaveli is a great option. It is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a more authentic Sri Lankan experience.

Here are some additional things to do in Nilaveli:

  • Visit Pigeon Island National Park, which is a short boat ride from the beach.
  • Go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the surrounding reefs.
  • Take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Sri Lankan dishes.
  • Hike to the top of Koneswaram Temple for stunning views of the surrounding area.
  • Visit the local market to buy souvenirs and fresh produce.

Unawatuna Beach

Plan your trip to Unawatuna beach

Unawatuna is a one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It is a beach town, about 5 kilometers southeast of Galle. Unawatuna is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beach, laid-back atmosphere, and vibrant nightlife.

The beach at Unawatuna is a horseshoe shape, about 1 kilometer long. It was severely damaged by the 2004 tsunami, but has since been restored with sand from the seabed. The water at Unawatuna is safe for swimming year-round, thanks to the offshore rocks that break up the waves.

In addition to its beautiful beach, Unawatuna also has a number of restaurants, bars, and shops. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the Sri Lankan sun and sand, or to party late into the night.

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Here are some additional things to do in Unawatuna:

  • Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist monument that offers stunning views of the town and the beach.
  • Go surfing or stand-up paddleboarding in the waves off Unawatuna Beach.
  • Take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Sri Lankan dishes.
  • Hike to the top of the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the local market to buy souvenirs and fresh produce.

Bentota Beach

Sun bathing Bentota Beach

Bentota Beach is a beautiful beach on Sri Lanka’s west coast. The southern end of the beach is home to some of the most appealing upmarket accommodation along this coastline.

Bentota is also Sri Lanka’s watersports hub. The calm waters of the lagoon behind the beach are perfect for kayaking and jet-skiing, while boat trips up the river to explore the mangroves and tangled waterways are easy to arrange.

Lying halfway between major destinations such as Colombo and Galle, Bentota is a great place to stop off as part of an Insight Guides Sri Lanka Family Adventure trip. It is a beautiful and relaxing beach destination with plenty of activities to keep families entertained.

Mirissa Beach

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Mirissa Beach is the one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka’s south coast. It is known for its fine white sand, palm trees, and clear waters. The beach is also a popular spot for whale watching, as blue whales and other large marine mammals are often seen in the area.

There are a number of tour operators in Mirissa that offer whale watching boat tours. The best time to go whale watching in Mirissa is from December to April, when the water is calm and the whales are more active.

In addition to whale watching, Mirissa Beach is also a great place to swim, surf, and relax. Visitors can enjoy the calm waters of the bay for swimming, or try their hand at surfing on the nearby reef breaks. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in the area, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options.

Uppuveli Beach

Uppuveli Beach

Uppuveli is amongst the best beaches in Sri Lanka’s east coast. It is a sleepy village with a seemingly endless swathe of soft white sand. The beach is well off the beaten track, as it is located close to the former civil war zone. This has helped to preserve the beach’s natural beauty.

Uppuveli is also becoming a popular tourist destination for whale watching and diving. There are a number of tour operators in the area that offer boat tours to see whales and dolphins. The best time to go whale watching in Uppuveli is from March to July.

Development in Uppuveli is happening gradually, but there is now a reasonable selection of guesthouses and casual hotels to choose from, including some with stunning views of the beach. If you are looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay, Uppuveli is a great option.

Hikkaduwa Beach

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Hikkaduwa Beach is a popular beach on Sri Lanka’s south coast. It is known for its energetic atmosphere, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. The beach is also a popular destination for surfers, as the waves are good for both beginners and experienced surfers.

In July, Hikkaduwa hosts Beach Fest, a five-day music festival that draws international DJs and revelers from all over the world. The festival is a great place to party and dance the night away.

Hikkaduwa is also a great place for snorkeling. The Coral Sanctuary, which is just a couple of hundred meters offshore, is home to a variety of coral reefs and marine life. It is a great place to see colorful fish, turtles, and other sea creatures.

A word of advice, it is illegal to take coral and shells out of the country. Please be respectful of the environment and leave the natural beauty of Hikkaduwa Beach intact for future generations to enjoy.

Tangalle Beach

Tangalle Beach

Tangalle Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline in southern Sri Lanka. It is known for its calm waters, white sand beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. The beach is lined with a mix of simple guesthouses and upmarket hotels and villas.

Tourism in Tangalle has never taken off as much as in other parts of Sri Lanka, which has helped to preserve its charm. The town is still relatively quiet and uncrowded, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the beach.

In addition to the beach, Tangalle is also home to a number of other attractions, such as:

If you are looking for a beautiful and relaxing beach destination in Sri Lanka, then Tangalle Beach is a great option. It is one of the Best Beaches in Sri Lanka where you can enjoy the beach without the crowds and also explore the surrounding countryside.

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Trincomalee Beach

Trinco Blu By Cinnamon Beach

Trincomalee Beach is a popular spot in the town of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. It is located along Fort Frederick Road, which offers fine sea views. The beach is especially popular around dusk, when locals and tourists gather to enjoy the sunset and promenade along the seafront.

Beyond the beach, there are a number of charming colonial villas with colorful facades in shades of pink, blue, and yellow. These villas are a great place to wander around and take in the local atmosphere, with their verandas shaded by swaying palm trees and their gardens bursting with tropical flowers.

It is also worth visiting the colonial-era St Mary’s Cathedral, which is an imposing blue structure buried amid lush gardens. The cathedral is a beautiful example of colonial architecture and is well worth a visit.

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Dickwella Beach

Dickwella Beach

Dickwella Beach is a one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka’s south coast. It is known for its calm waters, white sand, and laid-back atmosphere. The beach is home to a number of plush resorts, making it a popular destination for honeymooners.

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The best time to visit Dickwella Beach is from February to April and August to October, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller. The beach is also a great place for swimming, snorkeling, and learning about lace making.

In Dickwella, you can visit the Dickwella lace center to see and learn the techniques of lace making. The lace center is a great place to experience the local culture and learn about a traditional craft.

After a day at the beach, you can enjoy some delectable dishes in Dickwella, mainly seafood pasta and vegetarian curries. The food in Dickwella is fresh and flavorful, and it is a great way to end a day of exploring.

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Galle Fort Beach

Galle Fort Beach

Galle Fort Beach is a beautiful beach located in the city of Galle, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most visited beaches in the country, and is known for its stunning views of the fort, its calm waters, and its laid-back atmosphere.

The best time to visit Galle Fort Beach is from September to March, when the weather is warm and sunny. The beach is also a great place to visit during the off-season, as it is less crowded.

Here are some things to do in Galle Fort Beach:

  • Visit the old town of Galle to see its architectural beauty. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best-preserved examples of European colonial architecture in Asia.
  • Take a tour of the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex to experience the rich Sri Lankan culture. The museum is home to a collection of artifacts that showcase the history and culture of Sri Lanka.
  • Visit the Japanese peace Pagoda, a beautiful Buddhist monument that offers stunning views of the city.
  • Visit the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last remaining rainforests in Sri Lanka.
  • Go on deep sea fishing tours and whale watching tours. These are a great way to experience the natural beauty of Sri Lanka.

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Koggala Beach

Koggala Beach

Koggala Beach is a small town in Sri Lanka that was built around the Second World War. It is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, rare species of turtles, and adventure sports.

The beach is located in the Galle district, about 12.9 kilometers from the city of Galle. It is a long and wide beach with white sand and clear waters. The waves are gentle, making it a safe place for swimming and snorkeling.

Koggala Beach is home to a number of rare species of turtles, including loggerhead turtles and leatherback turtles. These turtles can be seen nesting on the beach during the months of November to April.

In addition to swimming and snorkeling, there are a number of other adventure sports that can be enjoyed in Koggala Beach. These include surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Koggala Beach to suit all budgets. There are also a number of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.

If you are looking for a beautiful, relaxing, and adventurous beach destination in Sri Lanka, then Koggala Beach is the perfect place for you.

Here are some additional things to do in Koggala Beach:

  • Visit the Koggala Lake, which is a beautiful lake located just behind the beach.
  • Visit the Spice Garden, which is a spice garden where you can learn about the different spices grown in Sri Lanka.
  • Take a boat trip to the nearby islands, where you can go snorkeling and see the variety of marine life.
  • Visit the Martin Wickramsinghe Folk Museum, which is a museum that showcases the culture and history of Sri Lanka.

Polhena Beach

Polhena Beach

Polhena Beach is a beautiful beach in Sri Lanka that is both a treat to the eyes and a great place for water sports. It is one of the few beaches in Sri Lanka that is suitable for swimming, as it is protected by a coral reef.

The beach is located in the Matara district, about 3.8 kilometers from the town of Matara. It is a long and wide beach with white sand and clear waters. The waves are gentle, making it a safe place for swimming and snorkeling.

The coral reef off the coast of Polhena Beach is home to a variety of marine life, including turtles, fish, and coral. This makes Polhena Beach a great place for snorkeling and diving.

In addition to swimming and snorkeling, there are a number of other water sports that can be enjoyed in Polhena Beach. These include surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Polhena Beach to suit all budgets. There are also a number of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.

If you are looking for a beautiful, relaxing, and adventurous beach destination on the south coast of Sri Lanka, Polhena Beach is one of the best beaches in the country.

Wijaya Beach

Wijaya Beach

Wijaya Beach is a hidden gem in Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful beach with white sand, clear waters, and an uncrowded atmosphere. This is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and makes it a great place to relax and enjoy a beach holiday.

The beach is located in the Galle district, about 2.7 kilometers from the town of Unawatuna. It is a small beach, but it is long and wide, so there is plenty of space to relax and spread out. The sand is soft and white, and the water is clear and blue. The waves are gentle, making it a safe place for swimming and snorkeling.

There are no big resorts or hotels on Wijaya Beach, which contributes to its uncrowded atmosphere. There are a few small guesthouses and restaurants, but they are all very low-key. This makes Wijaya Beach a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of other beaches in Sri Lanka.

If you are looking for a beautiful, relaxing, and uncrowded beach in Sri Lanka, then Wijaya Beach is the perfect place for you.

Mount Lavinia Beach

Mount Lavinia Beach

Mount Lavinia Beach is a one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka that is known for its beautiful white sand, clear waters, and lively atmosphere. It is a great place to relax and enjoy a beach holiday.

The beach is located in the Western Province of Sri Lanka, about 12.8 kilometers from the capital city of Colombo. It is a long and wide beach with white sand and clear waters. The waves are gentle, making it a safe place for swimming and sunbathing.

Mount Lavinia Beach is also a popular spot for water sports, such as surfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Mount Lavinia to suit all budgets. There are also a number of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.

If you are looking for a beautiful, relaxing, and lively beach destination in Sri Lanka, then Mount Lavinia Beach is the perfect place for you.

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FAQs about Visiting Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

When is the best time to visit the beaches in Sri Lanka?

The best time to visit the best beaches in Sri Lanka is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and clear, with very little rain. However, the beaches are still pleasant to visit during the monsoon season (May to October), as the rain usually falls in the evenings and mornings.

What are the activities that I can do at the beaches in Sri Lanka?

There are many activities that you can do at the best beaches in Sri Lanka, include Swimming, Sunbathing, Surfing, Snorkeling, Diving, Fishing, Boating, Stand-up paddleboarding, Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Whale watching, Relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

What are the safety considerations for visiting the best beaches in Sri Lanka?

Our list of 16 best beaches in Sri Lanka are generally safe to visit. However, it is important to be aware of the following safety considerations:

Be aware of the tides and currents.
Do not swim alone.
Be aware of the sun and wear sunscreen.
Be aware of the jellyfish and other marine life.
Be aware of the local laws and customs.

Where can I stay near the best beaches in Sri Lanka?

There are many hotels, resorts, and guesthouses to choose from near the beaches in Sri Lanka. When choosing a place to stay, it is important to consider your budget, your interests, and your desired location.

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What are the costs of visiting the best beaches in Sri Lanka?

The costs of visiting the best beaches in Sri Lanka vary depending on your budget and your desired activities. However, in general, Sri Lanka is a relatively affordable destination.

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