Most Popular Sri Lanka Beach Resorts

hikkaduwa beach

Most Popular Sri Lanka Beach Resorts

Thinking of a Sri Lanka holiday, well you definitely can’t ignore Sri Lank beach resorts, it is one essential part of every Sri Lanka holiday package. In fact, some of Sri Lanka beach resorts are ranked among the best places for beach holidays in the world such as Unawatuna beach, which won the “5th best beach in the world” title for many times.

The ambience on the island is very suitable for an enjoyable beach holiday. All year round summer climate makes the island is a perfect destination for sun worshippers. Warm sea water, snow white, clean and very happening beaches of Sri Lanka are simply irresistible for any beach holiday enthusiast.

Sri Lanka provides the access to unlimited sun, sea and sand throughout the year. The coastal belt is more than 1000 KM meters long and full of twists and curves into little nooks, bays and coves. The crystal clear, blue and peacock bright waters of Indian Ocean are warm and maintain the temperature at 27C? There is a large number of beach resorts with excellent facilities along the beaches from Kalpitiya in North-west Sri Lanka to the Southern coast of the island. But the best Sri Lanka beach resorts are undoubtedly located on the South-West coast of the country.

East coast beach resorts

Eastern Coast also considered being one of the important regions with nice beaches for holidays, but still, the tourism infrastructure is at the very low standards as it was neglected in the past due to the Civil war. Tourism was one of the industries badly hit by the 30 years civil war that ended in 2009. Today after the civil war, the eastern province has been able to become one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. A large number of tourists are head on to the east coast since it has become one of the safest beach holiday destinations in the world. We have chosen below mentioned best Sri Lanka beach resorts based on customer reviews.

The coastal belt from North-West to South-West going through a rapid change, pertaining to the tourism infrastructure, a large number of the resort are being built in order to use the untapped natural resources (mainly the beaches) in the region.

Turtles in Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary, Sri Lanka Beach Resorts

Activities on the beach

The Indian Ocean along the southern and North-west parts of the country is full of Dolphins and whales. Therefore Sri Lanka is a reputed destination for whale watching in the world. Watch out for Sea turtles on the beach while you are strolling. Sri Lankan beaches are frequently visited by Sea turtles. The sea around the island can be used for various water sports such as surfing. The water sports centres provide you with the necessary equipment and know-how to do it properly.

The underwater world around the island takes you to an entirely fascinating world, which is full of Coral reefs, exotic fishes and centuries-old shipwrecks. Travel agents like Seerendipity tours are always willing to help you to arrange the excursions to various interesting places on the island.

Sri Lanka beach resorts

Negombo beach resort

The beaches of Negombo are one of the best beaches on the island with easy access to international travellers, who lands at the airport of Katunayake. Negombo is just 6 km away from the International airport and it is located 37km from Colombo city.

If you have timing constraints and still like to have a nice place to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, don’t think twice, Negombo is the best place for you. Negombo is a fishing village where a lot of people are actively engaged in the fishing industry.

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. Negombo has rich colonial heritage and a large number of Catholic churches is a reminiscence of the colonial influence. 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.

Sri Lanka Road Trip, visiting beach

Mount Lavinia

Mt.Lavinai beach is situated just south of Colombo (12 km) and one of the few places suitable for sea bath in Colombo. Mount Lavinia beach resort is situated beside a windswept headland jutting into the waters of the Indian Ocean. Mt.Lavinai is formed by a piece of ground that intrudes into the ocean from the mainland, which rises abruptly about 100 meters from the water surface.

This is one of the best-kept secrets in Colombo and one of the few places to have a peaceful time in Colombo, even though it is very close to Colombo you do not feel the hustle and bustle of Colombo. Mt.Lavinia is an ideal place to relax and indulge and enjoy the sea.

Mt-Lavinia beach is noteworthy in historical value as well as in beauty. The Governor’s House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland is still in very good shape. 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.

Bentota Beach resort

Bentota is the most popular beach resort on the island and located 62 km away from Colombo. Bentota is a well-developed tourist resort with a large number of hotels, recreation centres, Beach restaurants, beach bars, nightclubs and shopping area in the city.

If you are looking for an ideal romantic beach resort in Sri Lanka, you should seriously think of Bentota. Bentota is one of the most popular Sri Lanka beach resorts can be very crowded during the peak season from November to April. Bentota beach resort long, narrow strip of beach flanked by the ocean on one side and beach from the other side.

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.

stilt fisherman, Sri Lanka Beach Holiday


Ambslangoda is a laid-back city just south of Bentota (85 km from Colombo). It has very beautiful sandy beaches and many rocky little islets off the coast. Ambalangoda is also popular for handicrafts, folk dancing and mask manufacturing. Mask manufacturing is a cottage industry in Ambalangoda and a large number of people making a living of it. Don’t forget to visit Ariyapala mask museum in order to see some of the very old masks in Sri Lanka and to learn the folk dancing and rituals of the island. You can find many types of traditional Sri Lankan masks beautifully painted in attractive colours in Ambalangoda. These masks are used in sorcery and some traditional rituals.


Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Sri Lanka and one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is a destination for a memorable beach holiday in Sri Lanka. It lies 98 km south of Colombo and its beautiful beaches a lot of glamour to this town. It has all the ingredients you required for a top-notch beach holiday experience.

Wide sandy beaches, affordable yet comfortable accommodation, a beach restaurant to sample Sri Lankan seafood, bars, shops, discos and many many more. Hikkaduwa lies about 100 km south of Colombo and it is just 2 hours drive from the international airport. Hikkaduwa is one of the 2 designated marine sanctuaries. the shallow waters of Hikkaduwa harbour a large number of marine creatures and it is one of the best places for snorkelling and diving in Sri Lanka.

It is the place where you can have a glimpse into 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. Unawatuna is located between Galle and Matara of southern Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is one of the most popular beach resort that attracts budget holidaymakers. Unawatuna beach resort has a large number of affordable accommodation facilities and it is one of the main reasons for its popularity.

Unawatuna is a horseshoe-shaped bay and has a protective coral reef at the opening to the sea, which hinders the underwater current entering the bay and the coral reef also reduces the force of the waves. Therefore Unawatuna suitable for year-round sea bath, snorkelling and diving.

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.


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.

bentota beach captured from a drone

many hotels are to be found in Bentota beach and most of them are catering to high-end luxury travellers


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.

sri lanka beaches

Arugam Bay

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.