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The west coast Sri Lanka beaches: Galle to Colombo
A large number of travellers in Sri Lanka take refuge on Sri Lanka west coast beaches during their holidays and these beaches are an essential part of most Sri Lanka trip package. If you plan a Sri Lanka trip from November to April you will never miss the west coast Sri Lanka beaches, as they become the best part of Sri Lankan coast for beach holidays, blessed with best weather conditions.
There is a dozen of beaches, where most travellers start exploring the west coast Sri Lanka such as Bentota beach, Negombo beach, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Galle beach. Some of these places are wide open palm-fringed beaches while few places like Galle has some other reasons for its popularity along with the beaches.
What are the top 10 west coasts Sri Lanka beaches?
- Negombo beach
- Mt.Lavinia beach
- Wadduwa Beach
- Kalutara beach
- Bentota beach
- Induruwa beach
- Ambalangoda beach
- Hikkaduwa beach
- Ahungalla beach
- Galle/Unawatuna beach
When is the best time for travel to west coast Sri Lankan beaches?
Sri Lanka is mainly under the influence of monsoon, which is divided into 2 main seasons, north-east monsoon and south-west monsoon. Southwest monsoon hit the island from April to November, which is the main rainy season on the island and large part of the country coming under heavy rain during this period. The coastal belt on the west and south also coming under heavy rain during this period. Moreover, the sea off south and west Sri Lanka become rough and make it dangerous to venture into the sea for swimming, fishing, diving, boating and all otehr activities.
Due to the rough sea and heavy rain, the south and west coast of Sri Lanka considered not being suitable for beach holidays from April to November. However, the rest of the year (November to April) provides the best weather conditions for holidaymakers in the west and south. During this period the southern and western coastal area has fair weather with the lowest rainfall and the sea is also in favour of beach lovers.
West coast Sri Lanka beaches, Galle
Galle is a historically important city with one of the oldest ports in the world. Historically Persian, Chinese, Arabian, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and English traders used this port as their starting point for accessing this tropical island. This jumble of foreign traders and explorers helped create an ethnic and religious mix of Sri Lanka and the physical chaos of the layout of Galle Fort, which is a most ancient part of Galle city.
Here, a long stretch of Dutch-built, medieval period mansions, storage compartments and houses; there, an ancient church, which is more than 250 years old and serves even today for the devotees; within the fort a series of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, bars, pubs, galleries, museums and shops serving the travellers. Almost every ancient construction in the fort now has been converted to serve the travellers. Every corner of the ancient fort is connected with a labyrinthine of cobblestoned alleys, thick enough for a car to pass through.
Galle is a safe holiday destination and most beaches around Galle are very safe to have a beach walk at any time of the year. Beach bars and restaurant in popular places like Mirissa, Unawatuna and Galle entertain travellers throughout the night. These beaches are very popular for beach parties and beach barbeques, and they attract a large number of travellers.
The ubiquitous foodstuff on the Sri Lankan beaches is a synthesis of local and imported ingredients. Sri Lankan beach restaurants hold a reputation as places that serve delicious seafood. Rice and curry along with various seafood varieties is the most popular menu served in these eateries.
The adventure of the Sri Lankan coast is partly affected by the tourism boom. Due to the ever-increasing holiday lovers in the area, a large number of unplanned properties sprang along the beaches over the last few decades. The ugliest sort of unplanned development is most visible in places such as Unawatuna in the form of small rest houses and guest houses. Same times, many sustainable tourism projects are also existing on the west coast beaches.
For example, Ruhmassala is a thick forest with isolated mountain peak adjoining the Indian Ocean is a piece of the sanctuary with a large number of fauna and flora species. The sanctuary houses a large number of medicinal herbs used in Ayurveda healing medicine. Ruhmassala jungle harbours a large number of avian fauna species, most of them are Sri Lankan birds while few of the birds residing here are endemic to the island.
Little further south of Ruhmassala is Unawatuna beach, which is one of the best places for beach holidays in the south. Unawatuna is a bay with a horseshoe shape. At the entrance of the bay, it is shallow due to the concentration of corals and seagrass, which is also reducing the force of the waves and under ware current, especially during the south-west monsoon from April to October.
Unawatuna is one of the most popular beach holiday destination on the island and Unawatuna attracts a large number of budget-conscious travellers. The travellers can witness a large concentration of affordable accommodation facilities here such as dormitories, guest houses and rest houses while the number of upmarket hotels is less a dozen.
The undisputed gem of Sri Lankan beaches in Bentota and its neighbour Hikkaduwa, both are in the west coast of Sri Lanka. Bentota is a perfect holiday destination with well-developed infrastructure for the tourism industry. It is a warren of high-rise buildings, watersport centre, beaches shaded by palms, restaurants serving delicious seafood, rice and curry and locally popular arrack cocktail. A large number of beach holiday lovers can be seen here at any time of the day, especially during the winter season.
Back on the mainland, sandwiched between Hikkaduwa and Bentota is Balapitiya and Madu river estuary, make sure to take the nature trail or boat safari to enjoy the fascinating riverine ecosystem of the estuary. A dozen of eco-friendly, traditional huts in the estuary is located in a tangle of serenely gorgeous mangrove lagoon and estuarine mudflats. By day, pick fresh shrimps and oyster out of the water or take a boat ride to see the natural beauty of the surrounding islands; as the sun diminishes in the horizon, watch the stars fall over the roaring bonfire.
How to get there
One of the most economical and easiest ways of travelling to Sri Lankan beaches is by car but train and bus are also viable options to get there. Take the southern expressway from Colombo and drive southward; after about 1-hour drive from Colombo, you will hit the popular beaches like Bentota.