Mini guide to Sri Lanka west coast itinerary
Torques waters and gold-coloured beaches on Sri Lanka’s west coast are hot beach holiday destination in the regions and attract a large number of leisure travellers and honeymooners, but this tropical holiday spot offers much more than just a fly-and-flop destination.
The natural world of Sri Lanka
Madu River estuary, located just offshore on the west coast in Sri Lanka is one of the many patches of riverine forests, such as Muthurajawela marshland, Bentota marshland and Koggala lagoon. Madu River estuary preserves a great collection very rare remnants of the coastal forests of Sri Lanka and harbours a large collection of unique fauna and flora such as Mangroves, balsa wood trees, wild flora, endangered swamp crocodile, lizards and a large number of bird species. Seerendipity tours organize frequent boat tours to Madu River estuary, Bentota boat tour as well as Galle trip with Koggala lagoon, leaving many times a day from Colombo.
Activities for Sri Lanka west coast itinerary
Diving, snorkelling, boating, fishing, surfing are some of the popular activities on Sri Lanka’s west coast. Some of Sri Lanka’s best dive sites can be found on the west coast of Sri Lanka, just beyond the popular fishing village of Hikkaduwa, where shallow waters suddenly give way to the deep.
Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary, with its coral reefs, and a large collection of marine creatures attracts a large number of divers every day, especially during the north-east monsoon from November to April, which is also the best time of the year for a trip to the west coast. However, it is not suitable to dive from April to November due to the effect of the south-west monsoon and rough sea. Seerendipity tours offer dives tours to Hikkaduwa, that can be booked as a Sri Lanka one day trip from Colombo and most other west coast beach resorts.
Once mainly a gathering site for surfing on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Mirissa beach is now popular for whale watching and dolphin watching. There is a large gathering of foreign travellers in Mirissa every day, in order to set off on whale-watching boat tours.
Seerendipity tours offer daily trips to Mirissa combined with whale watching, allowing the guests to see Galle fort, Hikkaduwa beach and many other important tourist places in west coast Sri Lanka. However, whale watching is a seasonal activity and November to April is the best time of the year for whale watching in Mirissa. Seerendipity tours offer daily whale watching tours off southern Sri Lanka with guaranteed whale watching, which lasts between 2-5 hours. Click here for more information on Sri Lanka whale watching tour.
Sri Lanka west coast itinerary sampling delicious food
The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo can feel overwhelming with its honking horns and vendors, who cajole people to buy various items, but it’s not a secret that Colombo offers a wide range of places to sample delicious authentic Sri Lankan food.
In parks and beaches as well as market places the travellers can find many vendors offering Sri Lankan food such as vade (deep-fried small ball of dhal with spices), spicy chickpeas, fish roles and egg rolls (thin pancakes rolled with fish or egg). However, if you like to sample delicious rice and curry, you better drop into a restaurant or a food court, these food courts offer a large variety of dishes not only Sri Lankan foodstuffs but also foreign dishes as well.
Learning to cook in Sri Lankan way
Taking part in a Sri Lankan food tour is a great way of learning the traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry, and it is a perfect introduction to the travellers about typical Sri Lankan food habit. Cooking class in Galle, southern Sri Lanka offers island hospitality at its finest. This is a communal activity, where a large number of foreign travellers eagerly gathering to learn the way of Sri Lankan cooking and sample delicious food. The local host teaches the gathering on various aspects of Sri Lankan kitchen and serves up excellent seafood and fine conversation. The food tour starts early morning from Colombo and also takes you to important tourist places such as Galle Fort, Hikkaduwa beach, Madu River estuary.
The beach resorts such as Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Negombo dotted with hundreds of beach restaurants and offer opportunities to dine by the sea in Sri Lanka, Fish and Arrack (distilled coconut syrup), is one of the best and far from humble. Hikkaduwa is the most popular for beachside barbecues and beach parties, which begins at night and lasts until dawn the next day. These parties are held on every evening and attract a large number of fun-loving holidaymakers.
In these beach restaurants, the guests are served tuna fish, barracuda, chicken and various other times are grilled on request and served with rice and curry or salad with herbs picked from the nearby market, alongside Sri Lankan beer and cocktails made with arrack.
Best beaches for Sri Lanka west coast itinerary
Sri Lanka has 1700 km of beautiful sandy beaches along its border making Sri Lanka a favoured spot for luxury beach holidays. At weekends and long holidays, popular beaches such as Galle can be crowded with picnicking locals, but during the week it is alluringly quiet.
Beaches such as Hikkaduwa has been given the status of the marine sanctuary to protect the fascinating underwater world off Hikkaduwa, which is rich in corals and sea creatures. All form of water sport activities is not allowed here such as high-speed watercraft; however, the low-speed motorboats are allowed to take the guests to diving sites and snorkelling spots and travel on a moderate speed.
What are the 10 best beaches for Sri Lanka west coast itinerary?
- Mt. Lavinia
Sri Lanka west coast itinerary based on Unawatuna
Shaped like a horseshoe, Unawatuna beach is one of the most loved beach holiday destination on the island and a particular resonance in Sri Lankan culture. According to the historical information, Buddhism was at the brink of eradication in the 18’s due to the treachery of colonial rulers. The number of Buddhist temples and monks were reduced to an alarming number on the island and devotees were compelled to absorb the belief of other religions such as Christianity. However, the Buddhist resurgent started in the city of Galle with help of few community leaders such as Hendry steel Olcott and which gave new hope to Buddhist devotees.
Under the Buddhist resurgent, Schools were started in Galle such as Mahinda and Sangamitta to educate kids and same times many Buddhist schools were started to educate Buddhist monks. The temples were renovated and many new temples were built in support of Buddhist monks to carry on religious activities and help the devotees. There had been a considerable increase of monks and temples across the island with the resurgent which started in Galle. The Buddhist resurgent started in Galle was crisscrossing the entire island and put Buddhism back on track as the most practised religion on the island.
Find the best transport for your Sri Lanka west coast itinerary
By far the most popular and most convenient way of travelling in Sri Lanka is by car. It is strongly advised to hire a local driver with a car due to the chaotic traffic system in Sri Lankan roads. Public transports such as train and bus can be a viable option, however, they tend to suck your time most of the time due to the frequent delays. On the other hand, crowded buses and trains might take twice as much time as to travel between cities compared to the time taken by private vehicle.
Where to stay on Sri Lanka west coast itinerary
West coast beaches offer the largest collection of hotels, guest houses and all other forms of accommodation facilities in Sri Lanka. The large variation of accommodation facilities allows the guest to find the best accommodation for their budget.
The beaches such as Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna as well as Mirissa are popular as budget-friendly beach holiday destinations while Bentota, Negombo and Colombo hold reputation being destinations for luxury holidays. Many Sri Lankan tour operators such as Seerendipity tours offer a large variety of beach tour packages with all form of accommodation categories from 5-star beach hotels to guest houses to dormitory type of budget accommodation facilities.