The Best Beaches in Sri Lanka
The Best Beaches in Sri Lanka
When we were planning our trip to Sri Lanka we wanted to feature some down time on the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Somewhere small and relaxed with good food and nice places to stay. But we had no idea about the beaches in Sri Lanka and there are a lot to choose from. In the end we were really happy with Dikwella beach, the beach we ended up at but what we needed was a guide to the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
So I enlisted the help of some other bloggers to come up with a list of the best beaches in Sri Lanka to help you choose where to stay during your trip.
Here is a map of where the best Sri Lanka beaches are located. Read on for more information about each one including activities and accommodation options.
Goyambokka Beach – Tangalle, one of the most beautiful Sri Lanka beaches
Goyambokka beach in Tangalle is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. There are many cafes and hotels nearby but, it gets very quiet during the off-season (May-November). We were there in September last year. Only a limited number of cafes are open during the off-season and the sea is quite choppy but the beach is still beautiful. During the season which runs from December-April, it’s perfect to swim and have a quick dip.
We stayed at Palm Paradise Cabanas and Villas, a gorgeous eco-friendly cabana style accommodation by the beach. The hotel has their on-site restaurant and offers both Sri Lankan and Western meals. Even during the season, Tangalle is relatively quiet compared to other popular beaches such as Unawatuna, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa. If you need a little off-beach time, Yala, Bundala and Udawalawe national parks are only a few hours away from Tangalle.
Sri Lanka is way much more beyond beaches but mostly when we think of Sri Lanka, we think of beaches. The Pearl of the Indian Ocean has some of the most beautiful beaches that promise to take your breath away. No matter what type of beach bum you are, you’ll find your little paradise here. Just about 5 km from the lovely colonial town of Galle and 140 km from Colombo along the southern belt of Sri Lanka settles this lively town of Unawatuna. Ever increasing commercialisation and the ever-growing number of tourists have taken away the rustic charm of the town; it still holds the coastal charm despite all the hustle and bustle.
Unawatuna Beach is a busy crescent bay beach edged by the delightful groves of coconut palm trees, protected by twin reefs and supported by impressive rocky outgrowth. It is known for its year-round calm waters. With beach side bistros and restaurants serving up tempting seafood, thumping discos promising a fun for nightlife lovers, enough action (diving, snorkeling and surfing) for water sports lovers and inescapable charisma of sun, sea, sand and relaxation, you are sure to fall in love with Unawatuna beach. If you are lucky enough, you may see turtles lay eggs along the shore.
Hotels are quite costly in Unawatuna during peak season. We stayed at Thaproban Pavilion Resort which is good value for money.
If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, I bet Unawatuna beach is on your must-see list. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations has its advantages and disadvantages. Unawatuna with its many cafes, restaurants, and guest houses is pretty crowded. If you want to escape for one day to a smaller, more secluded place, Jungle Beach (a short drive from Una) is a great option.
Seven years ago, when I first came to Jungle Beach it was a true paradise with no people whatsoever. Today a steady stream of locals and tourists comes here. Even so, Jungle beach is still one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka with transparent blue water and soft yellow sand. Located in a bay, this beach is a good option for families with small kids since there are almost no waves.
From Unawatuna you can take a tuk-tuk to Jungle Beach. After it drops you, you’ll have to walk through the jungle (hence the name) for about 5-10 minutes. The road is very clear and it’s impossible to lose your way. You’ll still have to find accommodation in Unawatuna for the night. Thaproban Beach House is my go-to option.
Nilwella, between the bigger and more known Tangalle and Dikwella, is home to some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. This quiet fishermen village is the ideal place to relax away from the crowds for a few days. The most popular beach in the area is Blue Beach, a long sandy beach with the softest white sand and a gorgeous backdrop of thick palm trees. As it is less frequented than other beaches in the country, it is actually very clean. It’s a wonderful spot for surfing too, as it gets really good waves.
There is a small kiosk, some abandoned buildings right on the beach – presumably hit by the tsunami of 2004, and a couple of places from where it is possible to rent umbrellas and even surf boards. The nearby Blue Beach Island is a tiny stretch of land that links to a small island from which there are beautiful views of the sea. As the island creates a bay, it is quite protected and there are no waves here. The water is clear and clean, and there are virtually no tourists.