Sun, Sand & Surf: Pristine Beaches To Visit In Sri Lanka

The land of mythical Tales is home to the most gorgeous beaches. From surfers to whale watchers to beach bums, there are some very nice beaches in Sri Lanka.

Published On Mar 26, 2024 | Updated On Mar 26, 2024

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This beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean boasts numerous stunning beaches, making it hard to decide where to begin. You can explore busy and charming Negombo right after landing, experience the bohemian surf culture and stilt fishermen along the southern coast, watch for whales in Mirissa, or mingle with locals on the long sandy stretches in the east, near Trincomalee. Whether you prefer a secluded area without other people, social spots with restaurants and bars by the shore, or surfing activities, you'll find a spot that you'll love. So, go ahead and read our guide to Sri Lanka's best beaches, narrow down your options, and find your ideal match.

Here are the best beaches in Sri Lanka

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One of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, the shallow waters of Bentota Beach are perfect for taking a dip. Bentota is a perfect hub for tourists with a plethora of luxury stay options, restaurants serving authentic Srilankan foods and activities like boat safaris, windsurfing, canoeing and jet skiing to make this beach a perfect summer escape.

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The most famous spot in Sri Lanka for whale watching and dolphin spotting, Mirissa is a quaint beach town in Southern Sri Lanka also famous for its Ayurvedic massages. If you are looking to witness aquatic lifestyle in their natural habitat, Mirissa is one of the most promising beaches to visit in Sri Lanka. Take their dolphin and whale watching tour to experience the magic of the expansive sea and the beauty of dolphins up close. If you are lucky, you might spot the spout of a whale or two! A visit to the coconut hill promises panoramic views of the ocean with tall palm trees towers over to create the perfect scenery.

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One of the tiniest beaches to visit in Sri Lanka, Koggala in Galle district was built after the Second World War after the Japanese bombing. A visual treat, especially around sunset, stilt fishermen stand tall with their reels to catch fish and earn their livelihood. If you are lucky, they might even pose for you. Spot the rarest breeds of turtles: Loggerheads and the Leathery turtle in Koggala. Located a short motorboat ride away is a cinnamon farm and a Buddhist temple. You can also learn about Sri Lankan culture by visiting the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum.

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Looking for an Instagrammable beach getaway? Hikkaduwa is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka with an exciting shopping scene. You can find a wide variety of silver jewellery, explore Sri Lankan food in the quaint beach cafes, take a boat ride with a glass bottom boat to the Coral sanctuary and witness the tranquil aquatic life and party all night in the nightclubs of Hikkaduwa.

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Trincomalee's Bay is famous for trade, cargo, and a beautiful beach that offers ancient temples, water sports, and scenic views. Visitors can explore hot springs, Hindu shrines, a Buddhist temple with a frontal bone relic of Buddha, and circular shrines, and enjoy water sports like diving and surfing at the marble bay.

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Arugam Bay is one of the most exotic beaches to visit in Sri Lanka known for surfing and fishing. You can rent surfing equipment from local shops and go surfing. Take a lagoon tour, visit the Elephant Rock, Hulannuga Caves, and Yala East National Park to see elephants and leopards. During the off-season, millions of migratory birds can be spotted.

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Galle is a popular beach destination in Sri Lanka known for its architectural beauty, tropical weather, and aromatic spices. The old town of Galle is a must-visit to witness its rich history and architecture. The Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex is a great place to experience Sri Lankan culture. For adventure seekers, there are options like exploring the city on a bike, visiting the Japanese Peace Pagoda, or enrolling for yoga and Pilates classes in Niyagama House. Deep-sea fishing tours and whale-watching tours are also highly recommended. If you want to see Sri Lankan wildlife at its best, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a must-visit.


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