Sandy Escapes and Turquoise Waters: Exploring the Best Beaches of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Beaches
Sri Lanka’s Beaches

Sitting peacefully in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise with a stunning coastline and lots of beautiful beaches!

Whether you are seeking a romantic beach getaway, thrilling water sports, or simply looking for a place to relax, the beaches in Sri Lanka have it all. Let us explore the best beaches in Sri Lanka, revealing their unique experiences related to the sandy escapes and turquoise waters.

Exploring the Best Beaches of Sri Lanka

Mirissa Beach

Sri Lanka's Beaches
Mirissa Beach Coconut Hill

Mirissa Beach is famous for its crystal-clear waters, clean brown sands and the palm-fringed coastline! You can also visit the Parrot Rock, which is a rock formation in Mirissa Beach. Best visited during the low tide, the Parrot Rock is the best place to watch the sunset at the beach. Mirissa is also famous for watersports like surfing, whale watching, and dolphin watching activities. Another alternative option is the Mirissa Secret Beach, with equal beauty but added seclusion.

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach is a banana-shaped beach in Sri Lanka with golden sands and turquoise blue waters. It is one of the most popular southern beaches Sri Lanka has! You can also visit the Peace Pagoda with the big Buddha statue located at the top of a hill near Unawatuna Beach. The views are amazing when you get to the top, but always be respectful since it is a temple. You can also swim with the sea turtles or try snorkeling at the Unawatuna Jungle Beach.

Bentota Beach

The Bentota beach is one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has if you want to enjoy some thrilling watersports! Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, and even deep-sea fishing are possible in Bentota. The best time of the year to enjoy the water sports in Bentota is from November to April so make sure to visit it if you are up for some adventure.

Hikkaduwa Beach

One of the best snorkeling beaches in Sri Lanka is Hikkaduwa. It is famous because of its coral reef sanctuary, with different types of coral formations and vibrantly colored fish. You can arrange for a glass-bottom boat ride if snorkeling is not your thing. However, for anyone who wishes to go deep into the waters, scuba diving is also available! Apart from swimming alongside the fish and the sea turtles, you will also get the chance to explore shipwrecks!

Tangalle Beach

Tangalle is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. Although it is less visited the gorgeous Tangalle beach is no short of beauty with flawless white sands and turquoise blue waters. The atmosphere of Tangalle Beach is calm and quiet when compared to the other beaches in Sri Lanka. So, if you are in search of tranquility and incredible sunsets, Tangalle is the place to be.

Weligama Beach

Sri Lanka's Beaches
Sri Lanka’s Beaches

Weligama Beach is one of the best surf beaches in Sri Lanka. It is located about 15 minutes away from Mirissa. Weligama Beach, with its half-moon shape, is safe for swimming and makes a great spot to learn how to surf – and there are many local surf schools to aid you in this process too! Additionally, Weligama is very child-friendly, even for surfing! Most of the surf schools teach even young kids, and they have smaller boards too especially made for them.

Hiriketiya Beach

Hiriketiya is known as one of the hidden beaches in Sri Lanka. Although it’s not quite the well-kept secret it used to be, Hiriketiyae still has a touch of unique beauty and calmness. With white sands, pristine waters, and palm-fringed beach with local cafes selling delicious cocktails – plus with the surg game what more could you want? Hiriketiya is also suitable for beginner and experienced surfers, however, if you want to enjoy surfing all alone – try going early morning or in the evening hours.

Dickwella Beach

The Dickwella beach is a peaceful quiet and expansive golden sandy beach in the Sri Lankan town of Dickwella. There isn’t much to do at Dickwella Beach, but a long walk all the way to the luxurious Dickwella Resort & Spa while watching the sunset in the evening is a must-do!

Polhena Beach

Another one of the best Sri Lankan beaches to see turtles is the Polhena beach. As turtles tend to be active in the mornings, you will have to get to the Polhena beach early. This is also a great place to some swimming because the waves are so calm and gentle.

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka is one of the top beaches in Sri Lanka for surfers! There are many spots for both beginner and advanced surfers in Arugam Bay. Many companies host surfing competitions as well! You can rent a surfboard and explore the many surf points such as Elephant Point, Main Point, and Baby Point. The best time to surf in Arugam Bay is from June to August so if you are a surf lover, schedule your trip to Sri Lanka after some research on the climate.

Pasikudah Beach

Another one of the best Sri Lanka beaches is the Pasikudah beach which translates to the “Green Algae Bay”. Just like the name suggests, the Pasikudah beach has pristine green-blue waters – and when paired with white sands it is a sight for the sore eyes! The horseshoe-shaped bay, along with the gentle currents makes the perfect swimming destination, even with little kids.

Nilaveli Beach

The Nilaveli Beach is another one of the best east coast beaches Sri Lanka has – located in the coastal town of Nilaveli in Trincomalee. It has a lovely white sandy beach with waves perfect for many activities like surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. About 2 km off the coast of Nilaveli Beach is the Pigeon Island National Park. It is a separate attraction in Trincomalee, however worth the visit! This is because not only do you get to swim with the colorful fish, but also have a chance to see the Blacktip reef shark closeup.

Marble Beach

The beautiful Marble Beach is one of the best-secluded beaches in Sri Lanka. As it is maintained by the Sri Lankan Air Force you will have to pay a small fee to enter the beach. Marble Beach is very sheltered from the rough waves, so it is a great place to do some swimming. Even walking along the beach is a must-do activity as you see different sizes and beautiful colored marbles and pebbles on the beach (hence the name!).

Tip for visiting beaches in Sri Lanka

Exploring the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka can be a fantastic experience. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your beach adventure in Sri Lanka:

  • Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons – the southwest and the northeast monsoonal seasons. Therefore, the best time to visit Sri Lanka beaches on the south coast is from January to April. However, the best time to go to Sri Lanka beaches on the east coast is from June to August.
  • Don’t forget to pack appropriate beach clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to protect yourself from the sun when exploring the beaches. It is also a good idea to keep an insect repellent with you as there are mosquitoes in the evenings.
  • Sri Lanka has a strict dress code even when it comes to beaches. Topless sunbathing is not allowed even in the most popular beach destinations of Sri Lanka. And it is important to wear clothes that are not too revealing when you are not at the beach.
  • Even if you are here to explore only the beaches, pack some clothes (preferably white) that cover the shoulders and knees. This will come in handy when you visit temples, for example, the Peace Pagoda near Unawatuna Beach.
  • You have to be careful when swimming on beaches as there can be strong currents depending on the weather. Some beaches might not have lifeguards so it is always better to swim only in the designated swim areas.
  • Sri Lanka is home to diverse marine life and sea turtles. When snorkeling or diving, maintain a safe distance from the coral reefs and marine creatures. Do not touch or disturb them as it can destroy them.
  • Respect the environment by disposing of your trash properly and avoiding single-use plastics, especially when you are on the beach.

Concluding thoughts….

Exploring the beaches of Sri Lanka means that you will have an amazing journey in this tropical paradise. With its pristine coastlines, crystal-clear turquoise blue waters, and fun water sports the beaches in Sri Lanka offer a touch of both adventure and relaxation. Whether you are chasing the thrilling touristy spots, or tranquil beaches away from the crowds you are sure to find something for your taste in Sri Lanka. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to create lasting memories in these beautiful beach destinations.