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? Are you looking for the best beaches in Sri Lanka that are close to Colombo? You may be searching for the best places to spend your beach holidays in Sri Lanka! Consider Bentota, Kalutara, Unawatuna, Negombo, and Hikkaduwa, as they are the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka, all located on the west coast. However, Sri Lanka offers a plethora of destinations for a memorable beach stay, as its shoreline spans over 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.

Why choose Sri Lanak for the beach holiday?

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

Sri Lanka’s beaches have been the main reason for the country’s popularity as a holiday destination around 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) were 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.

The best beaches in Sri Lanka close to Colombo

We receive a large number of inquiries for Sri Lanka beach holidays. However, travelers 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? This is primarily due to their perception that reaching the beach resort could be a long journey and a waste of time. Sri Lanka is a country with a well-maintained road network; therefore, it has never been so easy to reach any beach resort in the minimum amount of time. Especially the beach resorts on the western and south coasts are 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 travelers do), which limits the possibility of finding a good beach resort at an affordable price. In fact, you may end up at a very crowded beach resort while paying a hefty amount of money.

Undoubtedly, Mt. Lavinia and Negombo are the two 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 as Ah Tangalle, are perfect peaceful beaches for beach holidays. The southern highway links these beaches to Colombo airport, making them the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo.

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! You should 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. Indeed, Bentota, Kalutara, Unawatuna, Negombo, and Hikkaduwa are among the best places for a Sri Lanka beach holiday, but we would like to include several other places in this list.

This blog post lists the most popular beach destinations in Sri Lanka, most of which are relatively unknown. These unpopular beaches also provide travelers with the same top-notch beach holiday experience as any other Sri Lanka beach resort. After all, these are emerging beach holiday destinations that are still hungry for travelers. Most of these beaches, largely unexplored, still attract a few travelers and are very affordable.

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

What are the best places for a Sri Lanka beach holiday? The answer lies in the beaches on Sri Lanka’s west, south, and east coasts. Instead of asking, “What are the best beaches in Sri Lanka for beach holidays?” you should be asking, “When should I travel?” and “Where should I travel?”  We can broadly categorize the beaches of Sri Lanka into three regions: the east coast beaches, the south coast beaches, and the east 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?


When is the best time of the year for a beach holiday on the south coast?

The south coast is best for beach holidays from Novemebr to april

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


When is the best time of the year for a beach holiday on the east coast?

The east coast is best for beach holidays from May to october


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 a tranquil beach holiday in Sri Lanka, where you can bask in the sun and occasionally dip into the waters of the Indian Ocean, this is your chance. Then comes the time to think and act beyond the scope of the average traveler who spends a holiday in Sri Lanka. Most travelers believe that west coast beaches are the best in Sri Lanka; they choose west coast beach resorts for their holidays and rarely go to other beautiful beaches elsewhere.

Due to this trend, especially among foreign travelers, the prices of accommodation, food, beverages, 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 allows you to not only enjoy privacy but also real value for your money. Therefore, we have added those emerging in Sri Lanka to the list of places to be considered for your next beach stay.

A beach holiday is a must for a traveler in Sri Lanka, especially if you come to the island from November to April. This is the ideal period to discover some of Sri Lanka’s top beaches, particularly those on the west coast. 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 travelers. Over many thousands of years, Sri Lankan cuisine has evolved, incorporating various cultures and traditions. Years of colonization and trade heavily influenced Sri Lankan food culture. Sri Lanka’s food culture inherits the characteristics of Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, English and indigenous flavors. Here are a few must-try foods in Sri Lanka: You should try fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry), Kotthu roti, hoppers, egg-hoppers, shrimp curry, kiribath, and sambal.

Finding accommodation for the beach tour

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. The beach areas offer a variety of accommodation options, including dormitory-type accommodations, 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 guests who book 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?

The six months from November to April attract a significant number of beach holiday enthusiasts to the west and south coasts of the island. These six months are considered the best time of the year for beach holidays on the south and west coasts of the island. During this period, the stretch of beach along the south and west coast experiences a significantly higher number of dry days than wet ones. The sea is ideal for diving, snorkeling, and swimming, and the crystal-clear water is warm (27 degrees Celsius).


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) north of Colombo. The pristine beaches in Kalpitiya are remote and uncrowded. The Kalpitiya Lagoon is a significant tourist attraction on the island. Most major activities in Kalpitiya revolve around the lagoon. Kalpiitya Lagoon is ideal for kite surfing due to the wind and shallow water surface. Additionally, it serves as a prime location for whale- and dolphin-watching excursions. Kalpitiya is reached by Colombo Puttalam Road (A3).

Kalpitiya is a relatively unknown beach resort located in Sri Lanka’s northwest. People rank the beaches here among the finest in the country. In the past, the civil war prevented tourists from visiting the beaches, leaving them untouched. The beach resort is rapidly developing, and a large number of resorts have recently opened in Kalpitiya.

Colombo beach

If you are staying in Colombo and have only limited time for beach holiday, you better find a place close to Colombo. Here is a list of beaches that can be potential for your beach holiday in Sri Lanka,

  • Colombo port city
  • Mt,Lavinia beach
  • Wellawatta beach

Port city beach Colombo

I would like to highlight the Port City beach in particular. The newest addition to Sri Lanka’s beach holiday destinations is Post City. The multimillion-dollar port city project created Post City, an artificial beach. A granite and concrete barrier separated a portion of the ocean to create Port City Beach. The speared areas have a water body, making them ideal for swimming. 

The monsoon’s underwater current makes the west coast beaches unsuitable for swimming from April to November. Port City Beach, on the other hand, is ideal for a swim at any time of the year because of the artificial granite barrier that keeps the underwater current away from the beach. The other two beaches mentioned above may not be suitable for swimming, especially from May to October, due to the underwater current.

Post City Beach is located only a few hundred meters away from Colombo. It is located very close to most hotels in Colombo. Post-City Beach is only a few minutes away from hotels such as the Taja, Galadari, Hilton, and Kingsbury.

Sri Lanka beach holiday: Negombo Beach

The beachside town of Negombo is located approximately 37 km (23 mi) from Colombo, the business capital of Sri Lanka, and 7 km (4.3 mi) from Bandaranaike International Air Terminal. Negombo is located 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 seashores and a quiet ocean.

If you have 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 a 15-minute 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 travelers 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.

What to see in Negombo

Negombo’s secluded beaches have snow-white, clean beaches, providing the best setting for beach hopping. There are a large number of activities in Negombo to keep you busy, such as boating, fishing, snorkeling, sea bathing, etc. Within easy reach of Negombo, 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.

For Sri Lanka beach holidays, Marawila is ideal from November to April.

Marawila is a peaceful beach vacation destination. When a large portion of Sri Lanka’s tourist traffic heads to the southern coast, only a fraction of the travelers 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, sunbathing, parasailing or relaxing. There are many accommodation facilities in Marawila, and the rates are far better than in beach holiday spots such as Bentota and Negombo.

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

Just a few kilometers south of Colombo is the best beach resort in the commercial capital. Mt. Lavinia is the best place to anchor visitors who are looking for a chance to engage in business while having fun on the beaches in their free time.

The beach is only 30 minutes away from Colombo, and it takes about an 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 holiday. The beaches of Mt. Lavinia attract a large number of city dwellers, especially during the weekend.  Many special events, including musical shows, sports events, and parties, take place at Mt. Lavinia Beach.

Wadduwa has the best conditions for Sri Lanka beach holidays from November to April.

Wadduwa is also one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, near Colombo. Wadduwa Beach Resort, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, lies 40 kilometers south of Colombo. Wadduwa is another uncrowded beach resort on the island. You can guarantee a peaceful and enjoyable beach holiday here, which also boasts a small, tranquil town. You can enjoy your beach holiday by laying in a hammock and basking in the sun while taking 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. Buses or trains can reach Wadduwa Beach from Colombo in just one hour, making it a popular starting point for an enjoyable Sri Lanka day tour. There are many interesting places to explore near Wadduwa, some of which include Gangatilaka Temple Kalutara, Kalutara Beach, Bawa’s Garden, and Kande Vihara.

Choosing Kalutara for Sri Lanka beach holidays

Kalutara is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular beach resorts, drawing a large number of sun worshippers every year. If you’re looking for the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo, this could be one of them. Most Sri Lanka trips, such as a 5-day Sri Lanka beach tour and a 1-week Sri Lanka trip, include Kalutara. Kalutara Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches in the country, and it is popular mainly because of its clean and wide sandy beaches. During the north-east monsoon from November to April, the beach is ideal for beach holidays; erosion washes away the beaches during the rest of the year.

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

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

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 center, 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 Lankan beach holidays from November to April.

The romantic beaches of Bentota are located about 60 kilometers from the city of Colombo. By far, Bentota is the most popular among all the Sri Lankan beaches in the county and the most well-developed for tourism today. More than half of beach holiday lovers base themselves in Bentota during their beach stays, making it 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 can find a large number of tourist hotels with varying prices and varying facilities. Unlike Hikkaduwa, which is a popular beach holiday destination among budget travelers, Bentota attracts a large number of high-end luxury seekers. There are plenty of recreational activities for beach holiday lovers in Bentota, such as boating, fishing, banana boating, surfing, jet scooter riding, snorkeling, 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 heart of the country’s mask-carving industry. The fishing industry is also a major contributor to the people of Ambalangoda’s income. 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. Accommodation options may not be comparable to those at other major beach resorts on the island, but finding a nice place to stay is not difficult.

Hikkaduwa Beach attracts a large number of beach lovers.

When you need funds, 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 travelers taking a sunbath, a sea bath, surfing, fishing and snorkeling every day. Here, you can see people relaxing in beach restaurants 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-sand 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 your budget, there’s something for you here.

Hikkaduwa as a budget friendly beach holiday destination

Hikkaduwa is the first on the list of backpacking-friendly Sri Lanka beaches, and it is the most popular beach resort among backpackers. Simultaneously, Hikkaduwa offers numerous options for those seeking luxury, boasting the finest hotels catering to a 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. However, the lanina effect, a global phenomenon that warms the seawater, has destroyed some of the corals in the seas of Hikkaduwa. Despite this, the sea of Hikkaduwa is considered one of Sri Lanka’s best diving spots due to its abundance of underwater fauna and flora.

The tsunami in 2004 severely damaged most of the beach hotels in Hikkaduwa. Today, they have returned to their normal state, with most properties undergoing upgrades during the renovations. Several areas in Hikkaduwa, unlike most beaches, offer year-round beach holidays in Sri Lanka.

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


From May to October the best places for Sri Lanka beach holidays are on the East Coast.

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 rainfall is at its lowest. 

The East Coast is not only ideal for sun-worshippers, but it is also a paradise for divers. The shallow waters of the east coast harbor a large number of diving sites, such as Pigeon Island. In some places, the sea is very shallow, and one can walk kilometers into it.

There has been an increase in beach holiday lovers 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 an ideal destination for a peaceful beach holiday.

Southern Sri Lankan beaches are transforming into full-fledged beach holiday destinations.

Southern Sri Lanka has benefited greatly from recent developments on the island. An international airport, an international harbor, an international cricket stadium, and a newly built southern expressway transformed the entire region into a new hub of the Sri Lankan economy.

In the coming years, it is believed that a massive upgrade of the infrastructure will accelerate economic development in southern Sri Lanka. International investors have shown interest in the region. Industries such as tourism, petroleum, and electronics will lead the development in the region and surpass the fisheries and agriculture sectors in terms of economic importance.

Construction is underway on a large number of hotels in southern Sri Lanka, along with upgrades to other infrastructure like roads, electricity, and telephones. There had been a lack of accommodation facilities for travelers in the region.

Apart from a few hotels, individual families managed the majority of accommodation facilities, offering travelers only basic amenities. As a result, many tourists chose to visit beaches on the west coast, such as Bentota, Kalutara, and Negombo, instead of spending their time at these beaches.

The southern highway now makes it easy to reach the South Coast beach holiday destination.

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 travelers’ radar, mainly due to the lack of accommodation facilities and the prolonged transfer from the international airport. The number of hotel rooms also increased 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.

Choosing trncomalee for a beach holiday.

Trincomalee is best known for its natural harbor, which played a leading role in the Second World War. It is the world’s fifth largest natural harbor. The Allied forces used it as the base for their combined East-Asian fleet. 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 one of Sri Lanka’s best beaches, and it receives the most tourist traffic heading to the east coast. In Trincomalee, home to a large concentration of hotels, the beaches of Nilaveli are the most popular.

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 are the best times to visit Nilaveli, and you can enjoy the best weather during this time with calm and clear water in the ocean while the sun is pouring its rays onto the wide beaches.

The 30 years of civil war severely damaged Nilaveli. Today, peace prevails in the region, and life is back to normal. To accommodate the growing number of foreign travelers, several large-scale hotels are currently under construction. The marine park, which is located near Nilaveli, showcases rare types of corals and marine animals.

Batticaloa Beach offers beach holidays from April to November.

Batticaloa is a shopping city on the East Coast, and it is home to singing fish. While Batticaloa’s beaches continue to draw visitors, they lag behind other beach resorts like Pasikuda and Kalkudah in terms of volume. Batticaloa, a fishing village, is still in its infancy as a tourist destination, and its infrastructure development is lagging behind that of many other top Sri Lankan beaches. Finding luxurious accommodation in Batticaloa can be challenging, so if you plan to visit, be prepared to settle for basic accommodations.

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

These beaches typically attract fewer travelers, making them an ideal destination for those seeking privacy. These pristine beaches are most suitable for a beach holiday from April to November. The remainder of the year is the so-called tourist off-season due to the effects of the monsoon.

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

Kalkudah Beach for Sri Lanka beach holiday.

Kalkudah, one of the most attractive beach resorts, is about 32 km from Batticaloa. Kalkudah’s waters are suitable for sea baths at any 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 travelers who have been visiting them over and over again. The war did not deter them from visiting these beaches.

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

Pasikuda, easily accessible from Kalkudah, boasts a fine bay with pristine water. It attracts a large number of water skiers and windsurfers from all parts of the world. With the end of the civil war, Passikudah has received its due attention. A large number of travelers are heading to the east coast, which has accelerated the area’s economic development, invariably benefiting the war-battered poor.

If you are looking 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 situated on the east coast’s lower end. It holds the third position among the world’s top 20 surfing spots. It provides easy access to many interesting places, such as Lahugala, Kumana, Panama, Okanda and Yala. There are three major surfing spots in Arugam Bay with different wave conditions. Even if you are a beginner or well-experienced, you can have the best surfing experience by choosing the best place for your adventure.

Pottuvil Beach is best for leisure.

This pristine beach is located far from both the airport and Colombo, making it an unsuitable option for those seeking the best beaches in Sri Lanka near Colombo. Pottuvil is also considered one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, offering some of the finest locations for beach holidays in the country. However, it’s clear that there is a severe shortage of accommodations for travelers here. There is no large-scale construction providing luxury and comfort. For overnight stays, several guest houses run by families and rest houses managed by individuals are the only options. 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. However, for 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.


The South Coast beaches are most suitable for Sri Lanka beach holidays from April to November.

Southern Sri Lanka is home to numerous pristine beaches, many of which are considered the island’s least-explored beach paradises. While the tourist crowd rarely visits some of these beaches, some travelers are aware of the peacefulness in the south and visit these secret beach hideouts annually to relish a slice of paradise during their vacation.

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

If you want to immerse yourself in authentic Sri Lankan life, stay away from bustling tourist cities, steer clear of overpriced accommodation and food, and steer clear of the beach-boy menace, then southern Sri Lanka is the perfect destination. Perhaps you will not find hundreds of options for accommodation in southern Sri Lanka; however, there is a fairly good chance of coming across a lot of good properties. In fact, some good properties are coming, and a few of them have already been used, such as Shangri-La.

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

Unawatuna Beach is southern Sri Lanka’s most popular beach. Connected to a bay, Unawatuna boasts a soft white sand beach and crystal clear water. This is one of the few Sri Lankan 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 travelers. Unawatuna Beach is one of the leading Sri Lankan beaches that attracts a large number of holidaymakers. Unawatuna is popular for multi-day beach tour packages, such as a 4-day Sri Lanka beach tour, a 7-day beach tour, and a 2-week Sri Lanka beach tour.

Unawatuna is primarily a beach holiday destination with plenty of opportunities for water sports such as surfing, diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, etc. If you are really worried about your budget during your Sri Lanka beach holidays, you should seriously consider Unawatuna. Unawatuna is one of the best Sri Lankan 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 cheap holiday.

Hikkaduwa is the biggest rival to Unawatuna, which is known as the island’s backpackers’ paradise. Hikkaduwa is well-developed for budget Sri Lanka holidays, and it attracts a large number of budget travelers. 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 is a largely isolated beach holiday destination.

Tangalle is one of the most scenic beaches in southern Sri Lanka. Regrettably, only a handful of travelers frequent Tangalle, and it’s uncommon for newcomers to discover it, possibly due to its lack of prominence among the top beaches in 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 pristine waters of the Indian Ocean surrounding Tangalle provide a sense of seclusion from the bustling crowd.

Choosing Hiriketiya for a beach holiday

Tangalle and Mirissa Beach sandwich Hiriketiya Beach, also known as Hiriketiya Bay, in Sri Lanka. Hiriketiya Beach is a small stretch of beach that curves around the outside of the fishing village of Dikwella. Hiriketiya is one of Sri Lanka’s best surfing destinations, as it has very suitable waves for this adrenaline-pumping activity. This beach, with golden sand and a palm tree-fringed horseshoe bay, is where the jungle meets the sea. It creates a beautiful clash of greens and blues. It is a hidden paradise that is growing in popularity. Its iconic waves attract many surfers, while holidaymakers relish the excellent cafes and bask in the Sri Lankan sun.

Mirissa is known for its beach holidays and whale watching opportunities.

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, travelers in Mirissa can have an enjoyable sea bath. Mirissa is the starting point for whale-watching trips because it has earned a reputation as an important city from a tourism perspective.

During their holiday in Sri Lanka, a large number of tourists are gathering for whale-watching tours. Therefore, the demand for accommodation facilities has considerably increased. A large number of privately owned small to medium-sized properties provide accommodation facilities for travelers looking for a peaceful time on the beach during their Sri Lanka holiday.

Hambantota is a peaceful and isolated beach holiday destination.

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

Over the last several years, Hambantota and other beaches in southern Sri Lanka have been rapidly developing as beach holiday destinations, and high-end, luxurious hotels such as Shangri-La have already established 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. Sri Lanka, being a tropical country, is closer to the equator than most European countries and many other countries around the world. Therefore, the island presents a significant risk of skin damage due to harmful UVA and UVB rays, particularly for those with white skin. Applying sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from the strong UVA and UVB rays. Select a sunscreen that bears the label ‘broad spectrum’. This type of sunscreen is more effective at blocking UVA and UVB rays. During your beach holiday in Sri Lanka, you may experience some cloudy days, leading you to believe that sunscreen is unnecessary because the clouds filter a significant portion of the sun’s rays and lessen the impact of UVA and UVB rays. However, this is definitely not the case. This is because clouds may dampen the strength of the sun’s rays, but they do not completely eliminate them.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing. Wearing sun-protective clothing is also a very effective way of protecting your skin from the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Some travelers wear this sun-protective clothing after applying sunscreen, as it provides additional protection against harmful rays. Specially designed to reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, these pieces of clothing prevent harmful rays from landing on the skin.
  • Protect your eyes and skin. While swimming and surfing are fun and everyone likes to do them, 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. Sharks won’t attack you because they’re not present in Sri Lanka, but other sea creatures like jellyfish can pose a threat. If you spot a jellyfish in the water, don’t touch it or follow it. The best thing to do is evade them and maintain calm, creating as little disturbance in the water as you can. If a jellyfish or any other creature stings anyone in your group, seek medical assistance from the hotel’s lifeguards. In situations like this, hotels sometimes keep a stock of medicine on hand to treat their in-house guests.
  • Pay attention to large waves when surfing. Often overlooked, this negligence can lead to serious damage. Undoubtedly, waves are a feature that draws people’s attention, but they often underestimate the powerful force they can unleash on you. Especially during the monsoon season, the waves behave in such a way that they pull 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, taking all objects into the deep water that come into contact with it. If you are on the beach, be vigilant about children approaching the water.
  • Read the safety signs. There are dozens of signs on the beach, some of which are temporary, such as the red, yellow, and green flags on the shore, while other signs are permanently installed in certain locations. The majority of the signs aim to provide information to the general public. The signs may provide information about safety measures, such as crocodile sightings or warnings about rough waves. So, as bothersome as it may sound, please read the signs when you first arrive at the beach and follow their instructions.
  • Stay Hydrated: The heat of the sun and high humidity make you sweat, and you tend to lose fluid quickly, making you feel dehydrated. Although there is a sea breeze, which reduces the heat’s effect, you still lose water. When you are on the beach, the sun’s heat hits you and radiates off the sand and water. High temperatures, 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 has a 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 but also tons of minerals and vitamins. It helps you stay hydrated and, at the same time, adds valuable vitamins and minerals to your system. Most importantly, coconut is 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 as rosy as it seems. It’s not advisable to consume excessive alcohol on the beach, as it can disrupt your senses, leaving you susceptible to accidents and injuries. So, maintain the limit and listen to your body and friends; when they tell you, it is enough.

Sea urchin stings in Sri Lanka

Most tropical Indo-Pacific regions are home to the sea urchin, a small creature. A few areas of Sri Lanka’s coastal belt also host these little creatures. Sea urchins can cause pain when they sting. It can be a small or unbearable pain, depending on the size of the spine.

Sea urchins come in a variety of forms. 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 in rock formations such as Trincomalee, Tangalle, Hikkaduwa, and Galle. The long-spine sea urchin can also be found in Sri Lankan coastal areas. Long-spice sea urchins are not very poisonous; however, they have long spines and can penetrate deep into the victim’s skin, making them excruciating even though they are only mildly toxic.

Monitoring the thickness and 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 it is. 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 live in two distinct habitats. Usually, one can find the non-poisonous variety on rocks, while the poisonous variety with short spines resides at the sea’s bottom. There are also two other types: pencil urchins found on coral reefs and crevices, and sand dollar urchins found in sand.

If a sea urchin spine has wounded you, you must seek medical attention. lukewarm natural water is the first aid for a sting. Apply it to the stung area to prevent the poison from spreading. Afterwards, put some ice on the wounded area to reduce the pain.

Sri Lanka beach holiday dos and don’ts

Keep your phone nearby.

In case of an accident, the first thing you have to do is call the emergency medical service in 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 efficient method for obtaining medical assistance on the island, with well-trained staff arriving promptly. If you are staying in a hotel, contact the hotel management; they can also assist you. Don’t forget to keep your beach bag handy at all times, and don’t jump into the water with it.

Stay in the shade.

Avoid the mid-day sun (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.); this is the time when 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 beaches of Sri Lanka. 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. The heat of the sand can make a midday walk on the beach quite uncomfortable, but if you must, we recommend wearing a pair of beach sandals to ensure an enjoyable 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. Wear beach sandals to protect your feet in case you accidentally step on them.

Swim in areas where you can be easily spotted.

Busy areas, recognized as suitable bathing spots, are home to lifeguards. In these areas, a permanent lifeguard staff is stationed around the corner. They have also established watch houses, enabling easy visibility of all swimmers from the beach. However, some people are heading to isolated beaches in search of relaxing ‘me time. If you’re spending your vacation alone on the beach, consider diving into the water for easy visibility.

Swim with a buddy.

Most drowning cases involve a single swimmer. That said, it is best practice to jump into the water with a friend. This allows you to assist one another should any of you encounter difficulties.

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Having some knowledge of CPR is handy because it can help you 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 by applying CPR before they arrive.

Keep the beach clean.

Don’t litter the beach, There may be places where you don’t find garbage bins, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to litter the beach. Put all the unnecessary items in the beach bag and get rid of them at your hotel.