Planning a Sri Lanka beach holiday? looking for the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo? Well, you might be searching for places for the best beach holidays in Sri Lanka! and definitely think of Bentota, Kalutara, Unawatuna, Negombo and Hikkaduwa because they are the most popular Sri Lanka beaches, all are on the west coast. But Sri Lanka has a lot more places than you think for a memorable beach stay because Sri Lanka’s shoreline exceeds 1300 km. Apart from the beaches mentioned above, there are many other isolated, less crowded, pristine beaches, that can make an everlasting impression on your mind.

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23 Sri Lanka beaches for an unforgettable Sri Lanka beach holiday

Planning a Sri Lanka beach holiday? looking for the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo? Well, you might be searching for places for the best beach holidays in Sri Lanka! and definitely think of Bentota, Kalutara, Unawatuna, Negombo and Hikkaduwa because they are the most popular Sri Lanka beaches, all are on the west coast. But Sri Lanka has a lot more places than you think for a memorable beach stay because Sri Lanka’s shoreline exceeds 1300 km. Apart from the beaches mentioned above, there are many other isolated, less crowded, pristine beaches, that can make an everlasting impression on your mind.

Beach holidays in Sri Lanka

Are you planning to spend your next holiday on a tropical beach? Then! Why not consider a beach holiday in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka beaches are some of the finest in Asia and give you a top-notch beach holiday experience. This tiny tropical island is known to every traveller in the world for many centuries and no need to have a lengthy introduction to it.

Sri Lanka’s beaches had been the main reason for Sri Lanka’s popularity as a holiday destination in the world. Still, this well-acclaimed beach holiday destination attracts a large number of leisure seekers from all around the globe. Thirty years of civil war, (1983-2009) was a hindrance to the development of the tourism industry, but since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been able to get its due place on the world’s tourism map.

Best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo

We receive a large number of enquiries for Sri Lanka beach holidays. However, the travellers who wish to have a beach holiday ask questions like “what are the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo?”, “What are the most convenient beaches to reach from the airport” etc. This is mainly because they think that reaching the beach resort might be a long journey and would waste their time. Sri Lanka is a country with a well-maintained road network, therefore, it has never been so easy to reach any beach resort with minimum time. Especially the beach resorts on the western coast and south coast are only less than a one-hour drive from Colombo. I would like to suggest you not look for the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo (as most travellers do), which limits the possibility to find a good beach resort at an affordable price. In fact, you may end up in a very crowded beach resort while paying a hefty amount of money.

Undoubtedly Mt.Lavinia and Negombo are the 2 best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo, but both places could be very expensive due to the high demand. West coast beaches such as Bentota, Kalutara, and Hikkaduwa as well as south coast beaches such ah Tangalle are perfect peaceful beaches for beach holidays. They can also be considered as the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo as they are linked to Colombo airport with the southern highway.

Places for the best beach holidays in Sri Lanka

Are you planning a beach holiday in Sri Lanka? Well, you might be looking for the best places for a Sri Lanka beach holiday! definitely think of Bentota, Kalutara, Unawatuna, Negombo or Hikkaduwa because they are the most popular places for Sri Lanka beach holidays, all are on the west coast. Yes, they can be categorized under the best places for the Sri Lanka beach holiday, but we do like to add several other places to this list of best places for the Sri Lanka beach holiday. 

Most places that are listed in this blog post as the best places for Sri Lanka beach holidays are quite unpopular, these unpopular beaches also offer the same top-notch beach holiday experience to travellers as any other beach resort in Sri Lanka. After all, these are emerging beach holiday destinations that are still hungry for travellers. Most of these beaches largely unexplored still attract a few travellers and are very affordable.

What are the best places for a Sri Lanka beach holiday?

The answer is west coast beaches, southern coast beaches and east coast Sri Lanka beaches. Instead of asking “what are the best beaches in Sri Lanka for beach holidays?” you should ask “when should I travel, where should I travel?“. The beaches of Sri Lanka can be broadly categorized under west coast beaches, east coast beaches and south coast beaches.

Sri Lanka beach holiday: When & Where?

The west coast and south coast beaches have the best conditions for beach holidays from November to April.

Why are the west coast and south coast beaches the best places for beach holidays from November to April?

  • Dry weather from November to April
  • Warm and sunny
  • The sea is suitable for saltwater activities such as diving, snorkelling, swimming, fishing, and all other water sports
  • The sea is calm and no hazardous underwater current
  • Crystal-clear torque water in the sea with very high visibility
  • Clean sandy beaches
  • No sea erosion resulted through the mighty waves

What are the best beaches on the west coast for the Sri Lanka beach holiday?

Most of these beach resorts are the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo, especially the beaches such as Mt.Lavinia, Negombo, Marawila, and Kalutara are very easy to reach from Colombo.


What are the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo?


What are the best beaches on the south coast for the Sri Lanka beach holiday?


What are the best beaches on the East Coast for the Sri Lanka beach holiday?



When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka? November to April best time to travel to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka dry weather from November to April, best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo
The map shows the popular beaches along the west and southern coast most of them are ideal for a beach holiday from November to April. According to the map, the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo are Kalutara, Negombo and Mt.Lavinia.

If you like to have a peaceful beach holiday in Sri Lanka under the sun while dipping into the waters of the Indian Ocean now and then. Then this is the time to think and act beyond the scope of the average traveller, who spends a holiday in Sri Lanka. Most travellers think that west Coast beaches are the best Sri Lanka beaches and choose west coast beach resorts for their holidays and very rarely go to other beautiful beaches elsewhere.

Due to this trend, especially among foreign travellers, prices of accommodation, food, beverage and other holiday-related services on the west coast are very expensive, compared to other beach holiday destinations in the country. Choosing an uncrowned beach not only allows enjoying privacy but also real value for your money too, therefore we have added those emerging Sri Lanka also to the list of places to be considered for your next beach stay.

A Beach holiday is a must for a traveller in Sri Lanka especially if you come to the island from November to April. Because this is the best time to explore some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, the west coast beaches. here is a list of places that you can explore on your Sri Lanka beach holiday.

Sample delicious food on your Sri Lanka beach tour

Sri Lanka is a culinary delight for most travellers. Sri Lankan kitchen is evolved over many thousands of years and it is spiced with various cultures and traditions. Sri Lankan food culture is heavily influenced by years of colonization and trade. Sri Lanka’s food culture inherits the characteristics of Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, English and indigenous flavours. Here are a few must-try foods in Sri Lanka: Fish ambul Thiyal (Sour fish curry), Kotthu roti, Hoppers, egg-hoppers, shrimp curry, kiribath, Sambol.


Sri Lanka offers a wide range of lodging and accommodation facilities, therefore, whatever the budget you have; it is possible to find suitable accommodation for you. Most accommodation facilities are to be found on the beach areas, which include dormitories type of accommodation to 5-star luxury hotels, colonial mansions and luxury boutique hotels. If you are a luxury seeker, there is ample opportunity to find an opulent hotel or a villa in the places you travel. The guest, who books packages can enjoy buffet meals and fun-filled activities organized by the hotel management.

What are the best beaches for the Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April?

In the 6 months from November to April, the west coast and south coast receive a large number of beach holiday lovers. These 6 months considered being the best time of the year for beach holidays on the south and west coast of the island. The stretch of beach along the south and west has a lot more dry days than wet days during this period. The sea is very suitable for diving, snorkelling, and swimming and the sea has warm (27 degrees Celsius), crystal clear water.


Kalpitiya Beach for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Kalpitiya is a fishing town that is situated on the western shore of Sri Lanka 170 km (110 mi). The pristine beaches in Kalpitiya are remote and uncrowded. The Kalpitiya Lagoon is significant and it’s a major tourist attraction in Kalpitiya. Most major activities in Kalpitiya are based on the lagoon. Kalpiitya Lagoon is ideal for kite surfing due to the wind and shallow water surface. It is likewise one of the spots from where whale and dolphin watching excursions can be done. Kalpitiya can be reached through Colombo Puttalam Rd/A3.

Kalpitiya is a relatively unheard beach resort, which is located in the North-west of Sri Lanka. The beaches here are ranked among the finest beaches in the country. The beaches are untouched in the past due to the civil war that prevented tourists from going there. The beach resort is fast developing and a large number of resorts appeared in the recent past.

Negombo Beach is best from November to April for a Sri Lanka beach holiday

Negombo is a beachside town found 7 km (4.3 mi) from Bandaranaike International Air Terminal and roughly 37 km (23 mi) from Colombo, the business capital of Sri Lanka. Negombo is situated at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon. The town’s economy depends generally on the travel industry and the fishing industry, as it is home to wide sea shores and a quiet ocean.

If you very limited time for your Sri Lanka beach holiday, Do not look further,  Negombo is the best place for you. Negombo is the nearest beach resort to the international airport and is just 15 min drive from the airport, therefore Negombo is ideal for a short trip on your layover in Colombo. Negombo provides a wide range of possibilities for international travellers with regard to wine and dining, accommodation, and recreation facilities. If you have timing constraints and wish to have a relaxing holiday Negombo is one of the best options for you.

The secluded beaches of Negombo have snow-white clean beaches providing the best setting for beach hopping. There is a large number of activities in Negombo to keep you busy such as boating, fishing, snorkelling, sea bathing etc. There are many interesting attractions such as the Henarathgoda botanical garden, Muthurajawela wetland, Negombo fish market, Buddhist and Hindu temples, as well as Dutch-built Catholic churches within easy reach of Negombo.

Marawila Beach for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Marawila is a place where you can have a peaceful beach holiday. When a large part of Sri Lanka’s tourist traffic is heading to the southern coast only a fraction of the travellers in Sri Lanka go to the beaches of Marawila. Therefore you will not encounter a large number of tourists here like in Bentota. still, Marawila is a nice place to have enjoyed swimming, sunbath, parasailing or relaxing. there are many accommodation facilities in Marawila and rates are far better than beach holiday spots such as Bentota and Negombo.

Mt.Lavinia Beach is best for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Just a few kilometres south of Colombo is the best beach resort in the commercial capital. Mt.Lavinia is the best place to anchor, visitors, who look for a possibility to engage in business while having leisure on the beaches in their free time.

The beach is only 30 minutes away from Colombo and it takes around 1 hour to reach Mt.Lavinia beach from the airport. The beach is located towards the southern end of Colombo, this wide strip of beach has white, sandy beaches and is a place to have a tranquil beach stay. The beaches of Mt.lavinia attracts a large number of city dwellers, especially during the weekend.  Mt.lavinia Beach is a place where many special events are been organized such as musical shows, sports events and parties.

Wadduwa Beach have the best conditions for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Wadduwa is also coming under the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo. Wadduwa beach resort on the west coast of Sri Lanka lies 40 kilometres south of Colombo. Wadduwa is another un-crowded beach resort on the island. a peaceful enjoyable beach holiday can be guaranteed here it also has a small tranquil town. You can enjoy your beach holiday by laying in a hammock and basking in the sun while having a dip in the waters of the Indian Ocean now and then.

Wadduwa is easily accessible from any part of the country due to its location on the Galle-Colombo main road. Wadduwa beach can be reached by buses or trains and it takes only 1 hour from Colombo, therefore Wadduwa is a popular gateway for an enjoyable Sri Lanka day tour. There are many interesting places to explore near Wadduwa and some of them are Gangatilaka Temple Kalutara, Kalutara beach, Bawa’s garden, Kande vihara.

Kalutara Beach for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Kalutara is one of the popular beach resorts in Sri Lanka and attracts a large number of sun worshippers every year. If you are in search of the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo, this could be one of the best places for you. Kalutara is included in most Sri Lanka trips like 5 day Sri Lanka beach tour and 1 week Sri Lanka trip. Kalutara Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches in the country and is popular mainly due to its clean and wide sandy beaches. The beach is most suitable for a beach holiday from November to April (during the north-east monsoon), the beaches get washed off during the rest of the year due to erosion.

Beruwala Beach is best for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Beruwala is one of the most popular Sri Lanka beaches on the island with snow-white sandy beaches. It is located about 55 kilometres from Colombo on the west coast of Sri Lanka.  Here you get the opportunity to do water sports and many other fun activities such as whale watching, diving, and snorkelling.

There are many places in Beruwala to keep the guests busy during their beach stay in Sri Lanka holidays, visiting a mask museum, a boat tour on the Bentota river, a water sports centre, and many Buddhist and Hindu temples are a few of them. By visiting several historical places such as the mask museum, Bawa’s Garden, and Kande vihara, one can get an insight into the history and culture of the island.

Bentota is most famous for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

The romantic beaches of Bentota have located about 60 km from the city of Colombo. By far Bentota is the most popular among all the Sri Lanka beaches in the county and the most well-developed for tourism today. More than half of the beach holiday lovers base in Bentota during their beach stays and therefore Bentota is a very crowded place.

A large number of foreign visitors opt for Bentota for their beach holidays, therefore Bentota is one of the best-developed resorts for tourism. here you get a large number of tourist hotels with varying prices and varying facilities. Unlike Hikkaduwa, which is a popular beach holiday destination among budget travellers Bentota attracts a large number of high-0end luxury seekers. There is plenty of recreational activities for beach holiday lovers in Bentota such as boating, fishing, banana boating, surfing, jet scooter riding, snorkelling, diving etc.

Ambalangoda is suitable for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April

Ambalangoda and its exotic beautiful beaches are an open secret. The narrow beaches of Ambalangoda are about 83 km from Colombo. Ambalangoda is the centre of the mask-carving industry in the country. The fishing industry is also playing a big role in the income of the people of Ambalangoda. This vibrant coastal village draws beach holiday lovers from all over the world who readily succumb to its beauty.

The best time to visit this beautiful west coast beach is from November to April, this time around the sea is very calm and inviting, and sandy beaches are very wide providing plenty of space for sun-worshippers. Ambalangoda is a laid-back city brimming with magnificence from all sides. The options for accommodation may not be on par with other major beach resorts on the island but it is not difficult to find a nice place to stay.

Hikkaduwa Beach attracts a large number of a beach holiday lover

When you need funds, have no doubt, choose Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka’s fun-filled beach resort on the west coast. This is a beach where you can see a large number of travellers have a sunbath, sea bath, surfing, fishing and snorkelling every day. Here you can see relaxing people in beach restaurants and sipping a glass of arrack (Sri Lankan alcohol), a glass of beer, a glass of wine and many other drinks while exposing their taste buds to delicious Sri Lankan seafood.

Wide-Sandy beaches are a great place to enjoy your beach holiday. Hikkaduwa is a place for an affordable beach holiday with plenty of accommodation and dining options at varied prices. Whatever the budget you have there is something for you here.

Hikkaduwa is the first on the list of backpacking-friendly Sri Lanka beaches and it is the most popular beach resort among backpacking tourists. Same time Hikkaduwa provides many possibilities for luxury seekers with the best hotels for high-end clientele. Hikkaduwa is known to be one of the best places for a beach holiday in Sri Lanka and Hikkaduwa is one of the most visited holiday destinations on the island of Sri Lanka.

It is well known for its fascinating underwater world with coral reefs and beautiful beaches. But some of the corals in the seas of Hikkaduwa have been destroyed through lanina effect, the global phenomenon in which the seawater was warmed. Still, the sea of Hikkaduwa is considered to be one of the best diving spots in Sri Lanka due to its richness of underwater fauna and flora.

Hikkaduwa was badly damaged by the Tsunami in 2004 and most of the beach hotels were severely damaged. Today they are back to normal and most of the properties were upgraded during the renovation. Unlike most beaches, several areas in Hikkaduwa can be used for all-year-round beach holidays in Sri Lanka.

What are the best places for the Sri Lanka beach holidays from April to November?


East Coast beaches are the best beach holiday destinations from April to November.

The most popular beach holiday destinations on the east coast of Sri Lanka are Kalkudah, Pasikuda, Nilaweli and the port city of Trincomalee. The East coast is best suited for holidays from April to November when the sea is calm and clear and the rainfall is at its lowest. 

The East Coast is not only suitable for sun-worshippers but also it is a heaven for divers. The shallow waters of the east coast harbour a large number of diving sites such as pigeon island. The sea is very shallow and one can walk kilometres into the sea, in some places.

Upbeat beach holiday lover on the east coast since 2009

There is a tourism boom in this part of the country (the east coast). After thirty years of war doors are open to the east coast and tourists are heading to the coastal belt of eastern Sri Lanka. There had been a large influx of tourists to the east coast just after ending the civil war, mostly local travellers and they were very eager to explore the unseen beaches for many decades from 1983 to 2009. But now the congestion is over and the beaches have become secluded again, making it a perfect destination for a peaceful beach holiday.

Southern Sri Lanka beaches transforming into full-fledged beach holiday destinations

Southern Sri Lanka has been able to gain much of the recent development on the island. The entire region was transformed into a new hub of the Sri Lankan economy with the addition of an International airport, an International harbour, an international cricket stadium and a newly build southern expressway.

A huge upgrade of the infrastructure believes to accelerate the economic development in Southern Sri Lanka in the coming years. The region has been able to get the attention of international investors. Industries such as tourism, petroleum, and electronics will be leading the development in the region and surpass the fisheries and agriculture sectors in terms of economic importance.

In southern Sri Lanka, a large number of hotels are under construction and other infrastructures such as roads, electricity and telephones are also being upgraded. There had been a lack of accommodation facilities for travellers in the region.

Apart from several hotels, most accommodation facilities were managed by individual families and they were providing only basic facilities for the travellers. Therefore a large number of tourists were not much eager to drop into these beaches and they opted to go to west coast beaches such as Bentota, Kalutara, and Negombo.

Now it is easy to reach the south coast beach holiday destination due to the southern highway

South coast beaches such as Tangalle, Hambantota, and Mirissa are fast becoming popular beach holiday destinations on the island since the opening of the southern expressway, which curtailed the running time from the Airport to the hotels by more than 3 hours. 

The palm-fringed pristine beaches of Southern Sri Lanka were out of travellers’ radar mainly due to the lack of accommodation facilities and the prolonged transfer from the international airport. The number of hotel rooms was also added in the region with the opening of new hotels such as Shangri-La, RUI, and Anantara.

Apart from the opportunity for a peaceful beach holiday, all these places provide plenty of opportunities for various fun-filled activities such as water sports, whale watching, wildlife exploration, and exploring archaeological and historical places.

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Trincomalee Beach

Trincomalee is best known for its natural harbour, which played a leading role in the Second World War. It is the 5th largest natural harbour in the world.    it was used as the base for the combined East-Asian fleet of the Allied forces. The region is suitable for all kinds of water sports and other activities. The region is particularly suitable for fishing, sea angling, surfing and whale watching. Trincomalee is a historical city with a large number of ancient monuments. Thiriyaya Buddhist temple, Thirukoneswaram and swami rock are some of the noteworthy places in Trincomalee.

Nilaveli is among the best Sri Lanka beaches and shares the most tourist traffic heading to the east coast. The beaches of Nilaveli is the most popular beach in Trincomalee, where a large number of hotels are concentrated.

Nilaweli is popular not only as a beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka but also as a place for diving, snorkelling and whale watching. April to November is the best time to hit Nilaveli and you can have the best possible weather during this time with calm and clear water in the ocean, while the sun is pouring its rays onto the wide beaches.

Nilaveli was badly damaged from the 30 years of civil war. Today peace prevails in the region and lives are back to normal. Several large-scale hotels are completed in order to cater to the increasing number of foreign travellers. The marine park, which is located near Nilaveli showcase rare type of corals and marine animals.

Batticaloa Beach for beach holidays from April to November

Batticaloa is the shopping city on the East Coast and it is the home to singing fish. The beaches of Batticaloa are also attracting visitors but stay behind with regards to the number compared to other beach resorts such as Pasikuda and Kalkudah. Batticaloa is a fishing village and still, tourism is in its infancy the development of infrastructure is also lagging behind compared to many other best Sri Lanka beaches. It might be difficult to find luxurious accommodation here and therefore be prepared to be happy with the basic type of accommodation if you wish to go there.

Kalkudah and Pasikudah are Best suited for beach holidays from April to November

These beaches are not usually filled with travellers and this is the place if you enjoy privacy.  These pristine beaches are most suitable for a beach holiday from April to November. The rest of the year is the so-called tourist off-season due to the effect of the monsoon.

Your holiday can be very disappointing if you happen to travel to these areas during the monsoon. Intensive rainfall can occur for many several days and it may be difficult to see the sunlight for many days. If you like to see the sun-drenched beaches during your beach holiday in Kalkudah and Pasikudah you better plan your visit from April to November.

Kalkudah Beach

Kalkudah, one of the most attractive beach resorts is about 32 km from Batticaloa. The waters of Kalkudah are suitable for sea baths at any given time of the year due to the protective natural wall formed by the gigantic coral reef. These coral reefs provide protection against the underwater current that might harm the swimmers. Kalkudah is among the best Sri Lanka beaches for many travellers who had been visiting these beaches over and over again. Even the war was not able to keep them away from these beaches.

Pasikudah Beach is the best beach on the east coast for leisure

Pasikuda is located within easy reach of Kalkudah and is home to a fine bay with crystal-clear water.  It attracts a large number of water skiers and windsurfers from all parts of the world. Passikudah has been able to receive its due attention with the ending of the civil war. A large number of travellers are heading to the east coast which accelerated the economic development of the area, invariably benefiting the war-battered poor people.

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Arugam Bay for surfing and beach holidays

If you look for the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo unfortunately this is not a viable option for you. Arugam Bay is essentially a surfing spot. It is located at the lower end of the east coast. It is ranked among the best surfing spots (3rd best surfing spot among the leading 20 surfing places) in the world. It provides easy access to many interesting places such as Lahugala, Kumana, Panama, Okanda as well as Yala. There are 3 major surfing spots in Arugam bay with different wave conditions. Even if you are a novice at surfing or well experienced you can have the best surfing experience by choosing the best place for your adventure.

Pottuvil Beach: best for leisure

This pristine beach is far from the airport and Colombo, if you need the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo this can not be a possible option for you. Pottuvil is also among the best Sri Lanka beaches and here you get some of the finest places for beach holidays in Sri Lanka. But the lack of accommodation for travellers is very evident here. There is no large-scale construction providing luxury and comfort. Several guest houses run by families and rest houses managed by individuals are the only options for overnight stays. If you plan your holiday in Sri Lanka during the six months starting in April, you have the best chance for a peaceful beach holiday here. But the rest of the year Pottuvil is not suitable for a beach holiday in Sri Lanka, frequent rain, very strong waves, and underwater currents isolate you from the beach areas.


South coast beaches are most suitable for Sri Lanka beach holidays from April to November

Southern Sri Lanka hides many dozens of pristine beaches and most of them are the least explored beach heavens on the island. Some of these beaches are not even touched by the tourist crowd, however, some travellers know it and they are going yearly to those secret beach hideouts and enjoy a piece of heaven on their holiday.

West Coast beaches such as Bentota, Negombo, as well as Hikkaduwa, and Unawatuna in southern Sri Lanka, are popular places for beach holidays. You encounter hordes of sun-worshippers on those beaches, even the cities in these areas are touristy and the authentic Sri Lankan vibe is somewhat diminished.

But if you need to experience authentic Sri Lanka life, need to be away from chaotic tourist cities, avoid overpriced accommodation and food, avoid the beach-boys menace, then head to southern Sri Lanka. Perhaps you may not find hundreds of options for accommodation in southern Sri Lanka, however, there is a fairly good chance of coming across could of good properties. In fact, some good properties are coming and a few of them are already in use such as Shangri La.

Unawatuna Beach is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for diving/snorkelling and swimming

Unawatuna Beach is the most popular Sri Lanka beach in southern Sri Lanka, Unawatuna is connected to a bay and boasts a soft white sand beach and crystal clear water. This is one of the few Sri Lanka beaches that allows you to have a year-round sea bath.

Unawatuna Beach is well-developed for the tourism industry and provides plenty of facilities for leisure travellers. Unawatuna Beach is one of the leading Sri Lanka beaches that attract a large number of holidaymakers. Unawatuna is popular for multi-day beach tour packages such as 4 day Sri Lanka beach tour, 7 days beach tour and 2 week Sri Lanka beach tour.

Unawatuna is primarily a beach holiday destination with plenty of opportunities for water sports such as surfing, diving, snorkelling, boating, fishing etc. If you are really concerned about the budget during your Sri Lanka beach holidays, you should seriously think about Unawatuna. Because Unawatuna is one of the best Sri Lanka beaches for budget holidays. Here you can spend your holiday with a budget of $50 per day and Unawatuna is one of the few places that allows you to have a really really cheap holiday.

Hikkaduwa is the biggest rival of Unawatuna which is known as the backpackers’ paradise on the island. Hikkaduwa is well-developed for budget Sri Lanka holidays and it attracts a large number of budget travellers. Whereas Unawatuna is concerned it is also very similar to Hikkaduwa in terms of accommodation facilities, eateries, shopping and all other amenities available for tourists.

Tangalle Beach largely isolated beach holiday destination

Tangalle is one of the most scenic beaches in southern Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, it is visited by a very limited number of travellers and newcomers are very rare to see it, maybe because it is not coming under the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo. The beaches of Tangalle show very beautiful stone formations along the beach while clean white sandy beaches give you ample space to lie down. The Crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean around Tangalle give you the feeling that you are way away from the crowd.

Hiriketiya Beach

Hiriketiya Beach Sri Lanka, also known as Hiriketiya Bay, is sandwiched between Tangalle and Mirissa Beach. Hiriketiya Beach is a small stretch of beach that curves around the outside of the fishing village of Dikwella. Hiriketiya is one of the best places for surfing in Sri Lanka as it offers very suitable waves for this adrenaline-pumping activity. With golden sand and a palm tree-fringed horseshoe bay, this beach is where the jungle meets the sea. It creates a beautiful clash of greens and blues. It is a hidden paradise growing in popularity. Many surfers are drawn by its iconic waves and holidaymakers enjoy the excellent cafes and soak up the Sri Lankan sun.

Mirissa for beach holidays and whale watching

The pristine palm-fringed beaches of Mirissa give you the maximum satisfaction of a peaceful beach holiday. While the beaches of Bentota and Beruwala are not suitable for sea baths due to the current and strong waves, travellers in Mirissa can have an enjoyable sea bath. Mirissa is the set-off point for whale-watching trips due to the very reason Mirissa has been able to earn a reputation as an important city from a tourism perspective.

A large number of tourists are gathering here during their holiday in Sri Lanka for whale-watching tours. Therefore the demand for accommodation facilities is considerably increased. A large number of privately owned small to medium size properties are providing accommodation facilities for travellers, who look for a peaceful time on the beach during their Sri Lanka holiday.

Hambantota – a peaceful and isolated beach holiday destination

The south coast has been able to claim its share of beach holiday lovers after the opening of the southern expressway. The travelling time between the airport and the southern coast has been drastically reduced due to the southern expressway. The travelling time will be further reduced with the opening of the last leg of the southern expressway from Matara to Hambantota.

Hambantota and other beaches in southern Sri Lanka are fast developing as beach holiday destinations during the last several years and high-end, luxurious hotels such as Shangrila have already fired their grip on the region.

Sri Lanka beach holiday Safety Guide

While beaches are a great place to have fun and relax, there are unforeseen dangers on the beach that you need to be aware of and avoid. That said, as you plan your Sri Lanka beach holiday package; make sure that you pay attention to the general beach safety guide as part of your preparation.

  • Apply ‘Broad Spectrum’ Sunscreen- Being a tropical country Sri Lanka is closer to the sun than most countries in Europe and many other countries around the world. Therefore the chances of getting damaged skin due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays are also great on the island, especially for white skin. Applying sunscreen is the best way of protecting your skin from the strong UVA and UVB rays, chooses a sunscreen that comes with the label ‘broad spectrum, this type of sunscreen is more effective at blocking UVA and UVB rays. You might encounter some gloomy days as you spend a beach holiday in Sri Lanka, and you might think that it is not necessary to wear sunscreen because the clouds filter a large part of the sun rays and reduce the effect of UVA and UVB rays, which is definitely not true. It is because the cuds may dampen the strength of the sun’s rays but don’t kill them off completely.
  • Wear Sun Protective Clothing- Wearing sun-protective clothing is also a very effective way of sparing your skin from the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Some travellers wear this sun-protective clothing after applying sunscreens as it provides additional protection against harmful rays. These clothing are specially designed to reduce the harmful effect of ultraviolet radiation by preventing the harmful rays from landing on the skin.
  • Protect your eyes and skin- While swimming and surfing are fun and everyone like to do it, there are some threats involved with it.  There are many marine creatures that can harm your skin and eyes, so be sure to keep your antenna up and protect yourself from any harmful sea creatures. You will not be attacked by a shark, because they are not around Sri Lanka, but there are some other sea creatures such as jellyfish that can make you trouble. In case you spot a jellyfish in the water don’t touch it and don’t follow them. The best thing to do is evade them and maintain calm, creating as little disturbance in the water as you can. In case anyone in your group is stung by a jellyfish or any other creature you need to seek medical assistance and the lifeguards of the hotel can help you with it. Sometimes the hotels maintain and stock of medicine to treat their in-house gusts in a situation like this.
  • Pay Attention to Large Waves and Surfs-This is something you overlook very often and this negligence can cause you serious damage. Undoubtedly, waves are a feature that attracts the attention of people but most of the time they do not think of the large force that they can unleash on you. Especially during the monsoon season, the waves behave in such a way that it pulls you into the water, It is dangerous to stay near the water during this period. During the monsoon season, the underwater current is also in full force and take all the object to the deep water that comes into contact with it.  If you are on the beach keep an eye on kids when they approach the water.
  • Read the Safety Signs-You will find dozens of signs on the beach and some of them are temporary (red, yellow and green flags on the shore) while some other signs are permanently installed in some places. Most of the signs are intended to serve the crowd. It can be about something that helps you to be safe, perhaps it is about regulations like crocodile sightings or rough waves. So as bothersome as it may sound, do read the signs when you first arrive at the beach and please follow their instructions.
  • Stay Hydrated-The heat of the sun and the high humidity makes you sweat and you tend to lose fluid rapidly making you feel dehydrated. Although there is a sea breeze, which reduces the effect of the heat you still lose water. If you are on the beach you are exposed to the heat of sunray that land on you, as well as the heat that bounces off the sand and water.  High temperature, direct exposure to the sun and physical activities are a perfect combination that reduces your body’s water level. That said, make sure you have plenty of fluid and fruit that contains some minerals and high water content.
  • What to drink-When choosing the best drinks, it is always best to rely on water, if you are a foreigner stick to mineral water. There’s simply no substitute for the real thing. The second best option is coconut water; it contains not only a lot of fluid and also tons of minerals and vitamins. It helps you be hydrated and same time adds valuable vitamins and minerals to your system. Most importantly coconut is also natural like water and is the sweeter and healthier option.
  • Stay Sober- Resting on the beach with a cold beer in hand is popular in TV commercials and ads, but the picture is not that much rosy as it seems. Because drinking too much alcohol cannot be recommended on the beach. Drinking too much alcohol can cause your senses to malfunction, making you vulnerable to accidents and injuries. So, maintain the limit and listen to your body and friends, when they tell now it is enough.

Sea urchin sting in Sri Lanka

Sea urchin is a little creature that can be witnessed in most parts of tropical Indo-Pacific regions. These little creatures can also be seen in a few areas of Sri Lanka’s coastal belt. The sting of sea urchins can cause you to have pain. It can be a small or unbearable pain depending on the size of the spine.

The sea urchin occurs occurring in many types. One is a flower urchin, as the name suggests it looks like a flower with short and thick spines. The flower urchin is a poisonous species. The sea urchin occurs on a few Sri Lankan beaches mainly where there are rock formations such as Trincomalee, Tangalle, Hikkaduwa and Galle. The long-spine sea urchin also occurs in Sri Lankan coastal areas. Long-spice sea urchin is not very poisonous, however, they have long spines and they can penetrate deep into the skin of the victim, therefore, they can be excruciating even though it is only mildly toxic.  

Monitoring the thickness and the size of the spine is the best way to identify the poisonous and non-poisonous species of sea urchin. The shorter the spine, the more toxic they are. If you ever see a black patch on a rock and creatures that are about three to four cm in diameter, avoid approaching that area.

Long-spine sea urchins and short-spine sea urchins are living in 2 different habitats. Usually, the poisonous variety with short spines can be seen at the bottom of the sea while the non-poisonous variety found on rocks. There are also two more kinds; the pencil urchins found on coral reefs and crevices and sand dollar urchins found in sand.

It is necessary to seek medical advice in case you have been wounded by a sea urchin spine. The first aid for a sting is lukewarm natural water. Pour it over the area you were stung, thereby you can stop the spreading of poison. Afterwards, put some ice on the wounded area to reduce the pain.

Sri Lanka beach holiday Doe’s and Don’t s

Keep your phone nearby

In case of an accident on first thing, you have to call the emergency medical service of Sri Lanka. This service is free of charge for everyone and the number to dial from a local phone is 1990. This is the most effective way of receiving medical help on the island, and the staff is well-trained and comes to the place within a short period of time.  In case you are staying in a hotel, contact the hotel management they can also assist you. Don’t forget to keep your handy in the beach bag all the time and don’t jump into the water with it.

Stay in the shade

Avoid the mid-day sun (12 pm to 2.00 pm), this is the time that the heat is at its highest. Stop basking in the sun and move to a shady place, find cover from the sun. Have a layer of sunscreen if you go under the sun.

Protect your feet

Taking a leisurely walk is one of the best things to do on the beach. However, midday is not the time to do a beach walk, you have to hit the beach either in the morning or in the afternoon. A midday walk on the beach can be really uncomfortable due to the heat of the sand, but wearing a pair of beach sandals is recommended if you need to do a midday beach walk, thereby you can make an enjoyable beach stroll even during midday. On the other hand, there can be sharp objects on the beach such as pieces of glass; rocks with sharp edges, and corals, wearing beach sandals to protect your feet if you accidentally step on them.      

Swim in areas where you can be easily spotted

Lifeguards are working in busy areas and those are places that are identified as suitable bathing spots. There is a permanent lifeguard staff working around the corner in those places. They also have set up watch houses and therefore all swimmers can be easily spotted from the beach. However, some people are heading to isolated beaches in search of relaxing ‘me time. If you are holidaying alone on the beach, jump into the water where you can be easily spotted.   

Swim with a buddy

Most drowning cases involve a single swimmer. That said, it is a best practice to jump into the water with a friend. So that you can help each other in case any of you faces trouble.

Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Having some knowledge of CPR is handy because it can help you to save someone at any moment. Usually, the lifeguards and paramedics rush to the scene when someone asks for help, but you may have to wait a few minutes until they arrive. Perhaps you have to save his life before they arrive by applying CPR.     

Keep the beach clean

Don’t litter the beach, there can be places, where you do not find garbage bins, but it does mean that you are not free to litter the beach. Put all the unnecessary items into the beach bag and get rid of them at your hotel.