Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary

Where to stay in Sri Lanka beach

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Where to stay in Sri Lanka beach is a popular question among travellers. We do get many inquiries every month pertaining to Sri Lanka beach holiday packages. The travellers make enquiries with questions like, “Where to stay in Sri Lanka beach?”, “What are the best beaches for Sri Lanka beach tour?”, “Where is the best beach for Sri Lanka tour?”

Sri Lanka beach tour is on the bucket list of every traveller, who loves to enjoy the pristine coastline of a tropical island. The finest coastline has been a heaven for beach holiday lovers for many centuries, boasting more than 1300 km of the stunning coastal belt and the endless list of idyllic palm-fringed beaches, it is not a surprise to see so many travellers loves Sri Lanka beach holiday.

Laid back, picturesque, wide beaches are all about relaxing beach holidays and included in most road trips of Sri Lanka. But where to stay in Sri Lanka beach, finding the best beach resort for your Sri Lanka beach holiday will be the only stress for you. This blog post is intended to help you to discover the best place for your Sri Lanka beach tour.

Where to stay in Sri Lanka beach

Sri Lanka beach is one of the most striking features of Sri Lanka tourism, which attracts hundreds of thousands of sun-lovers every year. Sri Lanka is a multi-faceted holiday destination and a very popular country among travellers around the world. Even though Sri Lanka offers many reasons (Eg wildlife tours, rain forests, adventure holidays, honeymoon tour packages) for travellers to show-up in the island, by far Sri Lanka beach holiday is the main reason for most travellers to be here.

The island has a 1300 km of pristine beaches that suitable for year-round beach holidays. Sri Lankan beach holiday is very popular among the Europeans and attracts a large number of European tourists every year, especially during the winter season (Sri Lanka winter holiday) of the northern hemisphere.

Sri Lanka harbours some of the best beaches in the world

Some of the beaches on the island are ranked among the best places for beach holidays in the world, Sri Lanka beaches such as HikkaduwaArugam Bay beach, Bentota Beach, Negombo beach. The ambience on the island is very suitable for an enjoyable beach holiday.

All year round summer climate makes the island is a perfect beach holiday destination for sun worshippers at anytime convenient to them. Warm seawater with a temperature of 27C˚, snow-white, clean and very happening beaches of the island are simply irresistible for any beach holiday enthusiast.

What can you do on Sri Lankan beaches?

Perhaps you are hoping to travel to a beach holiday destination for a peaceful and relaxing beach stay with the twist of nature, culture and history! maybe, that’s why you landed on this page. Sri Lanka might be the place for you! Sri Lanka has some of the best beaches for sun-lovers with the pristine, palm-fringed, snow-white coastline. Sri Lankan beaches are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year and they enjoy the beaches around the country.

The extent of Sri Lanka coast

With over 1300km coast, one can have a Sri Lanka beach holiday in many places around the country such as the west coast, east coast, and southern coast. We still cannot recommend the northern part for a Sri Lanka beach holiday, as it is still underdeveloped in tourism perspective.

What are the activities available on Sri Lanka beach holidays?

The activities for tourists on the beach areas are endless. The vast number of water sports can be performed in the sea as well as in nearby internal water resources such as Bentota river, Madu river.

Watersports centres are established targeting mostly foreign tourists and they offer many recreational activities such as surfing, boating, fishing, snorkelling, diving etc. Tourist can drop into these places and make them busy with interesting watersports.

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What are the top 5 popular places for beach holidays on the south-west coast?

  1. Negombo
  2. Kalutara
  3. Bentota
  4. Hikkaduwa
  5. Galle

Negombo lagoon-Negombo/Marawila

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching

Muthurajawela-Negombo/Marawila

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching

Bolgoda river-Kalutara/Panadura

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching, kayaking

Kaluganga-Kalutara

Activities- boating, exploring riverine vegetation, bird watching

Bentota river-Bentota

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching, speed boating, banana boating, surfing, fishing, kayaking, diving, snorkelling.

Madu river-Bentota

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching

Koggala lagoon-Galle

Activities- boating, exploring mangrove forest, bird watching, diving, snorkelling, fishing

Sri Lanka beach holiday on the West coast

By far west coast beaches are the most popular places for Sri Lanka beach holidays. These beaches attract the largest portion of sun-worshippers to arrive in the country. The beaches of the west coast are the most suitable places for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April (this is also the peak holiday season in Sri Lanka), during this period the east coast beaches are highly unsuitable for outdoor activities due to the rain. West coast beaches are well developed for the tourism industry with endless possibilities for accommodation, dining, transportation, Sri Lanka day trips and excursions.

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Unawatuna beach of southern Sri Lanka is one of the best beach resort for a leisurely beach stay

Planning To Visit Sri Lanka? But Still Not Sure Of The Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka beach holiday on the East coast

East coast has been emerged as a holiday hot-spot in the Asian regions, since the end of civil war. Beautiful, pristine beaches off Trincomalee such as Nilaveli, Arugam Bay, Pasikudah and Kalkudah are attracting hundreds of thousands of beach holiday lovers every year.

The best period for Sri Lanka beach holidays in the eastern coastal belt is the summer-monsoon (April to November) while rest of the year is the best period to travel along the coastal belt of western and southern Sri Lanka. East coast beaches are best for beach holidays from April to November and the rest of the year the beaches are not suitable for outdoor activities due to the torrential rain. In fact, the travellers are not able to have a sea bath from November to April due to the underwater current in the sea and mighty waves.

Can I go to the south for my Sri Lanka beach holiday?

With the opening of Southern Expressway, the travel time between Airport and southern Sri Lanka is considerably shortened. Therefore, the southern coastal belt also has emerged as an attractive Sri Lanka beach holiday destination for foreign travellers. Most of the beautiful beaches on the southern coast were not on the radar of international travellers due to the time-consuming transfer from the international airport of Colombo.

Today, one can see a large number of hotels along the southern coastal belt, and some other beach resorts are rising to the sky hastily.  Some of the big players in the hospitality industry such as Shangrila, have set their foot on southern Sri Lanka in order to cater to the increasing demand for accommodation facilities in the region.

Where can I find accommodation for my Sri Lanka beach holiday?

Every beach holiday destination on the island provides a wide range of possibilities of dining, accommodation and recreation activities. Especially the accommodation facilities are endless in popular beach resorts such as Hikkaduwa, Negombo and Bentota.

The travellers can find very cheap accommodation facilities such as dormitories to high-end luxury boutique hotels in most Sri Lanka beach resorts. By far, the monsoon is the single most reason that decides on the rates of beach hotels. The monsoon wind brings heavy rain either to north-east or to south-west Sri Lanka in a by annual rhythm. And the room rates of each beach holiday destination drops sharply parallel to the monsoon rain due to the low demand.

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The unique art of fishing that can be witnessed only in southern Sri Lanka

Top 10 places for a fun-filled Sri Lanka Beach Holiday

Kalpitiya

Discovered in North-west Sri Lanka, Kalpitiya is the newest addition to the beach holiday destinations on the island. It has emerged as a hot beach holiday destination after ending the civil war in 2009. Widely unexplored beaches are developing fast with the advent of large-scale hotels.

Distance from Colombo international airport to Kalpitiya – 240 km

Read more on Kalpitiya beach 

Negombo

This is the ideal place for foreign travellers who wish to have a beach stay only for a short period because Negombo is only 10 away from the international airport. The beaches are located little further south of LKalpitiya near Colombo. By far Negombo is the most popular beach holiday destination near Colombo and it has a well-developed infrastructure for the tourism industry. The travellers have easy access to all services such as accommodation, eateries, tours and excursions required for a relaxing and enjoyable beach holiday.

Distance to Negombo from Colombo international airport – 10 km

Read more on Negombo beach

Kalutara

The first of its row of pristine beaches just south of Colombo. There are dozens of wide sandy beaches along the coast starting from Kalutara. This little coastal resort showcases a totally different atmosphere to most busy beach resorts in the west. isolation and calmness are swapped for infrastructure, resulted in an ideal atmosphere for an everlasting beach holiday.

Distance to Kalutara from Colombo international airport – 83 km

More information on Kalutara beach 

Bentota

Bentota beach resort is formed by a land intruded into the sea from the mainland, which is surrounded by the sea from three directions. Bentota beach is the most popular beach resort in island and anchoring beach spot for most European travellers. The beach is very crowded during the peak season from November to April.

Distance to Bentota from Colombo international airport – 110 km

More information on Bentota beach

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa beach is the most popular beach resort in the island of Sri Lanka among the backpackers. Therefore, Hikkaduwa is known as the backpacker’s paradise in Sri Lanka. The beach resort attracts budget travellers as well as wealthy tourists to its beaches. Here you get a wide range of accommodation facilities from dormitories type of cheap accommodations to luxurious boutique hotels. Same times the resort is well prepared to serve the foreign travellers with well-developed infrastructure. The travellers can find accommodation facilities, eateries, shops, bars, restaurant, nightclubs and many recreation centres without any trouble.

Distance to Hikkaduwa from Colombo international airport – 143 km

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Hikkaduwa beach Sri Lanka

Hippie beach Hikkaduwa

Unawatuna

Unawatuna is a bay with a horseshoe shape. The resort is located south of Galle and it is 10 minutes drive to Unawatuna from the colonial city of Galle. Unlike most other beaches on the west coast, Unawatuna is suitable for sea bath at any time for the year. This is one distinct feature of Unawatuna resulted through the formation of coral reef off the beaches of Unawatuna. These coral reefs obstruct the underwater current entering the bay while reducing the force of the waves. Unawatuna is one of the popular diving and snorkelling spots in southern Sri Lanka and divers are able to spot a large number of sea creatures here.

Distance to Unawatuna from Colombo international airport – 152 km

Unawatuna and southern Sri Lanka

Tangalle

Discovered in the most southern point of Sri Lanka, Tangalle is one of the least explored beach resorts on the island. Most travellers did not opt for a beach holiday in this isolated remote beach, perhaps due to the time is taken from Colombo to reach the resort.

Due to the low demand for tourism-related services in the area, as it was not a beach holiday hot spot on the island, the tourism infrastructure is yet to make huge progress. However, some development is seen in the area during the last several years and big players in the tourism industry such as Shangrila had built several large hotels.

The opening of the highway between Colombo and southern Sri Lanka made a huge change with regards to the transfer time between the airport and the resort making it easy to access and curtailed the time taken on the transfer.

Distance to Bentota from Colombo international airport – 217 km

Sri Lanka beach holiday at Nilaveli

Nilaveli is one of the most popular beach resorts located, on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Nilaveli beach attracts a large number of tourist every year and the number of visitors in the area is sharply increased after ending the North-East civil war. This is one of the most striking stretches of coastlines in Sri Lanka. The Nilaveli marine sanctuary is another important reason for the popularity of Nilaveli in Sri Lanka.

The Nilaveli marine sanctuary is one of the best places for a top-notch diving experience in Sri Lanka. The best time to beach holiday in Nilaveli is from April to November during the South-West monsoon. Most travellers head on to Nilaveli during this period and therefore there is an upbeat for prices of accommodation facilities, meals, transportation and activities.

Distance to Nilaweli from Colombo international airport – 248 km

Nilaveli Beach

Arugam bay for Sri Lanka beach holiday

Often labelled as Sri Lanka’s finest surfing spot, Arugam Bay is also a place for a memorable Sri Lanka beach holiday. Arugam Bay is one of the most popular beaches among the European travellers and most of them head on to Arugambe during the South-West monsoon (from April to November). Arugam bay becomes one of the safest places for a sea bath during this period while reso of the year (November to April) sea off Arugam bay is not suitable for swimming.

Distance to Arugam Bay from Colombo international airport – 324 km

Batticaloa for Sri Lanka beach holiday

Discovered in the eastern corner of Sri Lanka, Batticaloa is consisting of 2 most popular beach resorts, Kalkudah and Pasikudah. Beaches of Batticaloa are very similar to beaches in Nilaweli, where you find a wild expanse of snow-white sandy beaches. The best time to travel to Batticaloa is from April to November.

Distance to Batticaloa from Colombo international airport – 286 km