Best Beaches in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is surrounded by beautiful beaches and best beaches in Sri Lanka undoubtedly located on the South-West coast of the country. Eastern Coast also considered being one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, but tourist’s infrastructure is at the very low standards. Tourism was neglected in the area due to the Civil war.
Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Sri Lanka. It is 98 km south of Colombo and its beautiful beaches a lot of glamour to this town. It is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass-bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean!.
Unawatuna Beach is located just south of Galle, the main city in the south and 125km from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. This 4km expanse of palm-fringed sand is said by some to rank amongst the twelve best beaches in the world. This beach is a paradise for all those who yearn to enjoy the silence of the sea and dive deep into the blue waters of the ocean. There is a reef protecting the beach, which makes it perfectly a safe haven for bathing. Other major attractions of this southern beach include shallow waters for swimming and diving. Within its reach, there is an accessible, reasonably well-preserved coral reef that serves as the base for snorkelling. For all those who fancy scuba diving, this tropical bay in the south will definitely catch your fancy since for the scuba divers; there are several wreck dives only 20-30 minutes away from the beach by boat. Thus it is the most favoured beach for all those looking for some exciting water sports activity like swimming, scuba diving or snorkelling.
Just 12 km. south of Colombo, Mount Lavinia is the most popular beach because of its close proximity to the capital. It is situated beside a windswept headland jutting into the waters of the Indian Ocean. Mt-Lavinia beach is noteworthy in historical value as well as in beauty. It is an ideal place to indulge in relaxation and enjoy the sea. The Governor’s House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland now forms part of the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel. Mt-Lavinia Beach is quite busy on Sundays and public holidays with large crowds gathered to participate in many beach sports activities such as swimming, windsurfing, beach volleyball, beach rugby, etc. Music by Live bands & Entertainment by DJs keep the toes of the crowd tapping.
Negombo is located 37km. North of Colombo and 6 km. from the Katunayake International Airport, Negombo is an ideal fishing town as well as a paradise for the seafood buffets. You can enjoy watching the old -world fishing crafts like outrigger canoes and the catamarans bringing a variety of marine fishes like seers, skipjacks, pomfrets and amber-jacks. In the lagoon lobsters and prawns are caught and served as fascinating delicacies in the nearby restaurants. There’s much more in Negombo than just a sandy stretch of beach, where much history has been witnessed. During the time when Dutch were ruling the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, a fort, a canal and many a church were built and cinnamon cultivation took high priority. Remains of these provide a glimpse of the past and adorn the beach in Negombo along with fishing villages, which are sprinkled in the area.
If you are looking for an ideal romantic beach holiday Bentota located 62 km south of Colombo is the ideal place to go. The place is a small town fast developing, teeming with the growth of hotels, shopping arcades and cafeterias. There is also an open-air theatre where folk and mask dancing is performance. This section of the southwestern coast gives a typical picture of a tropical beach dotted with palm trees; white sandy drenches and blue waters.
Ambalangoda, on the southwestern coast about 85 Km from Colombo, has a beautiful stretch of sandy beach and a captivating rocky little islet off its coast. Ambalangoda is most famous for its mask carving a traditional cottage craft. You can find many types of traditional Sri Lankan masks beautifully painted with attractive colours in ambalangoda. These masks are used in sorcery and some traditional rituals.
27 km. from Galle, Weligama is blessed with its picturesque shallow bay; broad sandy beach provides fantastic scenes for the eyes of a visitor. Weligama is also the home of the famous stilt fishermen, who standing on stilts closer to the beach wait patiently for their catch; look out for curd and treacle, which are in plenty here.
The east coast has a lot to offer to the tourist. The uneven coastline is dotted with many bays and sheltered coves. In some beaches, one can walk even a mile into the sea.
Trincomalee is regarded as one of the most magnificent harbours in the world. Its exceptional beauty is commented by many a traveller for the island in the past. Horatio Nalson, Great Britain’s greatest Admiral and naval hero of the 18th Century described Trincomalee as the finest harbour in the world. The British, at one time, wanted to use this as their chief naval base in the east. Trincomalee, 257 km away from Colombo is also endowed with excellent beaches and perfect hang-outs for beach buffets and offers some of the best sea- bathing places in the country.
Nilaveli-situated at a distance of 271 km from Colombo-is a prime beach resort on the East coast. In the northern stretch of ‘Trinco’, known as Nilaweli, shallow beach goes up to half a mile into the sea. The hot wells and the Pigeon Islands are the important places of tourist interest in the vicinity. There is an old Portuguese/Dutch fort reminiscent of the Colonial era. The beach has ample water sports facilities including fishing and sea angling. Nilaveli is ideally suited for sunbathing and diving. A few metres from the coast are a small rocky island good for snorkelling. This, only 8 miles from Trincomalee once possessed the chief slattern in the South- East of Sri Lanka.
It is the famous ‘singing’ fish and is at the exit point of a picturesque lagoon made up of a series of connected lagoons filled with mangrove swamps that attract tourists to this serene beach. Situated at a distance of 314 km from Colombo, Batticaloa is famous for its `Singing Fish’ and picturesque lagoon. On full moon nights, a faint but distinct musical sound rises from the lagoon waters. This is attributed to a noise emanated by a kind of fish found in the lagoon. A Dutch Fort near the lagoon is another tourist attraction and the whole area around bears signs of European occupation, by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British.
32 km. from Batticaloa, Kalkudah is a popular tourist centre with the fine bay Passekudah lying close by. A calm reef-protected sea is an ideal place for having a sea bath. There is also a popular hotel along with other amenities required for the tourist. Kalkudah & Passekudah are two very fine beaches on the East Coast. Kalkudah Bay, a 2 km long wide stretch of beach-located 32 km north of Batticaloa-is well protected from the monsoons by an offshore reef. Passekudah Bay is another wide beach 4 km long, just south of Kalkudah. The two beaches form an ideal stretch for bathing, windsurfing and water-skiing.
Located 314 Km to the East of Colombo, Arugam Bay is a fishing village. The town has a sweeping beach and a beautiful bay that is excellent for windsurfing, which is regarded as one of five best places in the world for windsurfing. The bay offers numerous possibilities for water sports and underwater photography. The many shipwrecks off the coast offer a tempting challenge to the divers.