Beaches in Colombo
With activities spanning from kite flying, to fishing, to football and beach volley ball to exercising on the Green lawn facing the blue, to jogging alongside the ocean, from chomping down on hawker recipes that line the walkway just over the beach, to an easy check-in at the many star as well as budget hotels conveniently rimming the shore, and most of all before you do, playing a game of tag with the frothy waves until you finally give up…. Galle Face Green, bustles with life, long into the evening. Located close to the south of Fort town, Galle Face Green is a renowned landmark in Colombo. The opportunity to make the most of the sea, sun, stars, sand and stay is right here by this lively coastal marvel.
The beach at Mount Lavinia is one of the most popular spots in Colombo, whether it’s for taking a cool dip in the bright blue ocean, or just to soak up some sun. The beautiful stretch of fine sandy shore paired with foaming waves at Mount Lavinia attracts families and young cliques alike. You will find on the beach, children running around, chasing each other and playing with the sand while their parents stand close by with watchful eyes and take in the sea breeze and picturesque scenery. Some are seen taking their canine friends out for a walk, and couples can be spied taking a stroll, hand in hand along the sea’s edge. The beach is also a favourite choice for school field trips, picnics and photo shoots.
Beaches in Negombo and West
Two words; Whale. Watching. But there’s always the ever so charming beach to make the most of your trip to Kalpitiya. Be there as early as seven in the morning and head off on a boat from coast to spot the spectacular creatures of the sea, dolphins and whales. Expect to see giant flips of tails or even flashes of playful curiosities from the friendlies. February to March is the best recorded times for sperm whale sightings, and acrobatic pods of spinner dolphins. The rare humpback dolphin is also been known to show up in the waters of Kalpitiya. November to April is recommended for calm seas and the sun kissed beach and a 160 kilometre journey from Colombo is well worth it for not only is the ocean safari breathtaking, unless your prone to a bit of sea sickness, but fun on the beach is equally pleasurable.
An Ideal beach town for sun and sea lovers and about an hour’s journey from Colombo, Negombo is also a short trip from the airport in Katunayake. With fabulous sunsets, strolls along the shore, little shops selling garments and souvenirs, live bands playing, restaurants peppering almost the entirety of the seaside strip, water sports at the beach park; fishing, kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba, are a part of the everyday sights, sounds and things to do, when in Negombo. This beach town is easily accessible from E03 expressway while leaving from Colombo to the airport or after arrival in Sri Lanka. A short stay on your way, if time permits, would be something to experience.
Beaches in Galle and South
Ambalangoda is the cultural seat of the southern part of the country and is the renowned for the coveted devil masks . Stranded beaches and plethora of souvenir shops is what one would encounter upon arrival at this town. A slew of shops in which craftsmen carve and paint is a common sight. The people are courteous and are more than glad to share their insights on their traditional vocation with intrigued travellers. Ambalangoda is the hub of Southern dances; The devil dances and Kolam Netum- a satirical theatre performance with elaborate head gears and costumes, are regular happenings and the town is home to most of the popular artists and cultural organisations. Witnessing these performances which usually start at dusk and go on until dawn, is mandatory.
Calmer ocean, scuba, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, water skiing wind surfing, kayaking or canoeing, but who’s counting. Bentota beach is equipped for activities for virtually all sea goers looking to have a great time. Even the choice of accommodation has its advantages from luxury to budget. Finding places to stay is quite convenient if you book early or even if you’re passing through. However during peak season, it may be a task to infiltrate. This part of the southern coast is easily accessible via the Southern Expressway. Best recommended times for safe swimming conditions plus a range of other water sports and excursions is November through April.
A fun stretch of sand with lots of people-to-people contact and big and small package holiday hotels.
Towering trees and exotic beaches which are home to reputed resorts is what this small coastal town is about. Located 22kms away from Matara, Dikwella makes an ideal vacation spot for both families and couples who wish to spend time in solitude. An exotic coral bed and a seated Buddha as tall as 50m are nearby attractions(160 ft tall). The hoomanya blow hole is a breathtaking natural spectacle that attracts tourists amass making Dickwella a place hard to ignore from one's travel plans
Hikkaduwa Beach is well-known for its uniformity with the sunny-side of life. Be it sunbathing, sea-boat rides, scuba diving and snorkeling by the reef or even surfing, the coastal waters of Hikkaduwa is just the place to find the picture perfect scene for sea, sun, sand and much fun. Renting or buying almost any form of swim gear is easy here, with the Hikkaduwa town at a mere arm’s length from the beach. Shops here have been catering to tourists for many years and are amply seasoned in knowing their wants and needs, away from home. From scrumptiously affordable seafood restaurants to garments of any sort, the Hikkaduwa beach has a long running ‘thumbs up’ reputation by its countless visitors. Unlike in the past, when it took several hours to get here, Hikkaduwa beach can be reached in under an hour and half on the Southern Expressway, from Colombo, and many other coastal and non-coastal cities alike. Peak visiting months include November and April, however January to March is also recommended.
The beauty of the serene and calm waters of Mirissa is awe-inspiring. With the endless lapping of waves and breezy wind, there's much to explore in the area. Adventurers can experience the thrills of snorkelling, scuba diving and explore the marvellous coral reefs of Sri Lanka. The renowned whale watching activity takes place between March to October, where the natural performers put on a graceful show. Many restaurants lineup the coastal area and offer a relaxing ambience with succulent food. Mirissa is an ideal beach spot to unwind with family or friends for a relaxing vacation.
The west coast of Sri Lanka sees the constant presence of travellers because of its magnificent beaches and close proximity to the capital city of Colombo. Induruwa with its quiet beaches is a welcome oasis amidst the packed coastal towns. It lets you enjoy your holiday in a serene village setting while providing easy access to the surrounding attractions. For travellers who are specific about spending their vacation indulging in privacy, staying here and exploring the neighbourhood places like Bentota, Beruwala and Balapitya is a convenient and comfortable option.
Kalutara is the first major city that one will encounter while heading southwards from Colombo. The town, a former royal capital, derives its name from the Kalu ganga. An important port when it came to the spice trade, Kalutara has witnessed some of the earliest commercial transactions between Sri Lanka and other countries. The Kalutara Bodhiya, which is a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhiya of Anuradhapura, is revered by Buddhists who visit it year around. Located in Palathota, near Kalutara town, is the Richmond castle, a beautiful palace that bears great architecture. The Kalutara bridge and Gangatilleke Viharaya are among other historical landmarks.
Located almost 10kms east of Tangalle, Rekawa is a fishing village with mesmerising beaches on one end and a swampy lagoon on the other. Home to various types of aquatic life, Rekawa is a nesting hub for turtles. Rare species like hawksbill, leatherback, Olive Ridley and Green turtles choose shores scattered along this beach strip, owing to its less crowded sites and human interruption. Further there are many turtle hatcheries close to the beach strip, dedicated in protecting turtle nests. The ideal time to visit these turtle hatcheries is between the months of January to April, especially when there is a full moon.
Talpe is one of the beautiful villages adorning the southern beach belt of Sri Lanka. Being a less famous place, Talpe is like a hidden surprise. There is nothing but the company of nature for visitors in these brown stretches of sand and less interrupted beaches. There is much to explore while here like the Unawatune beach, the koggala river and the surrounding cinnamon estates. The old vocation of stilt fishing is still being practiced by the fishermen of Talpe. One can witness the sight of men seated on top of poles for hours to catch their day’s yield.
Beaches in East Coast
Arugambay, the east’s spirited heartbeat South of the province, it is indeed, every surfer’s paradise. With waves that tease the pros to ones that cradle the beginners, there are many surfing points including Arugambay (Main and Baby point), and Whisky Point, Pottuvil, Peanut Farm, Lighthouse Point, Okanda Point and Secret Point. Experience the simple life here, with wholesome food and the homey hospitality in cosy cafes and restaurants. At night the beach vibe is electrifying with parties and street food flavours that tantalise the taste buds. Explore the wild at the Lahugala National Park where even as you are on the main road, you can spot elephants. Wrapped in the epic of Princess Viharamahadevi, Pottuvil has many religious and historical sites; this includes the Magul Maha Viharaya and Muhudu Maha Viharaya and also other religious sites such as the Neelagiri stupa, the Okanda Temple and the Sangamankandi Jungle-Ganesh kovil. In Pottuvil, the days start early and the nights are long... Trincomalee, the cultural soul of the East It is home to the Island’s most beautiful beach Nilaveli with its sapphire waters and silver sands. Bask in the privacy of the scenic Marble beach with crystal clear waters or enjoy the shore of Uppuveli. The waters are ideal for diving and scuba diving, be mesmerised by the colourful world under the sea. Witness the magnificence of blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins in these deep blue Eastern waters. The waters off Pigeon Island a
Located in the East Coast of Sri Lanka, a visit to the shores of Passekudah is an experience in itself. Passekudah Bay is to the north of Batticaloa nestled on one side of Kalkudah beach. A perfect spot for sea-bathing, Passekudah Bay’s flat bed is a great opportunity to take advantage of a good and safe wade or swim to as far as 200 metres from the shoreline. The shared shores of Passekudah and Kalkudah are reef secured and thus the ocean waves are a lot calmer in this part of the Eastern Coast. Around dawn, and if you’re lucky enough to be up that early, sights of deep sea fisherman bringing back the previous night’s catch on to the beach can be seen, where many vendors from the island over await their best buys. The Kalkudah beach is ideal for surfing and wind surfing during the month of September, which is also considered the best month to visit the East Coast.
With its string of hotels and guest houses, the Kuchchaveli Beach is a well sought out spot if you're looking for a beautiful beach to have a relaxing time. As you walk along the serene strip of soft golden sand, you will see sun loungers and umbrellas dotting the landscape with visitors relaxing under the bright sun while others explore their adventurous side with beach activities and water sports. Here at Kuchchaveli Beach, you will find a warm and peaceful environment that is definitely worth a visit.
Here’s where turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean kiss the sands, where heart beats rise and fall to its timely harmony. It’s not always that you see paradise in all its splendour, at Nilaveli, under 20 kilometres from Trincomalee town, the simplest pleasures are usually priceless. Whether you engage in a short boat ride to Pigeon Island, a delightful little landmass with its own coral reef, a few minutes from the coast, scuba diving, snorkeling or even waiting it out on the Nilaveli shore building sandcastles – any pick for that matter is quite surely going to be an experience that should not be missed. This maritime escape has also had its share of history, with its days of yore spanning as far back as the Second World War. Best recommended times for visits are May to September.
The beginning of the beach stretch, 5km north of Trincomalee, long popular with sun worshippers. The area consists of hamlets of the coastal community and fine honey hued sand. Uppuveli has is own distinctive charm that lures beckoning tourists to indulge in its serenity. During the monsoon season, which brings strong winds and rough seas to the east coast of Sri Lanka, Uppuveli converts to a perfect windsurfing spot.
Situated in Urani, a bit away from the surfer’s haven of Arugam Bay, Whisky Point is an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ spot for novice surfers. But don’t be discouraged if you are a pro, as the waves here provide ultimate fun for any surfer. And also, don’t lose hope if you are not a surfer, because there are much to see and do here such as wallowing in the cool waters and exploring the surrounding terrain. Surfing is definitely the highlight of Whisky Point, and as mentioned it is great for beginners of the sport. The waves break off a rocky outcrop near the beach, creating perfect surfing conditions. It is also said that the swell can vary from 1–4 metres depending on the direction. This is where surfers can test their skills, as the waves take you towards the beach and you feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins. What’s more, if you are an expert and seek the thrill of a much more challenging wave, Pottuvil Point or the longest point break in Sri Lanka is just a short distance away. Not a surfer? Not to worry. It is also a decent place for sea bathing and especially long walks along the sandy beach. The sunrises here are absolutely amazing and the entire area wakes up, embracing the warmth of the golden sunrays. You can even opt to explore the village through which the road to Whisky Point falls. The villagers are friendly and will be obliged to help out and recommend places to see around Arugam Bay or close by. As dusk sets in, party lovers can unwind and dance
Beaches in Jaffna
Adam’s Bridge, Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu is a 30 km chain of limestone shoals that stretch between Rameswaram off the Southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu in India and Mannar Island, off the Northwestern coast of Sri Lanka believed to be the link between India and Sri Lanka. The Adam’s bridge separates the palk strait from the Gulf of Mannar, and is considered a hindrance for navigation. Its origin and formation is a highly debated issue even in the present. Legend has it that this limestone bridge on the shallow seas was constructed by the army of Lord Rama ,to reach Sri Lanka in order to save his queen who was taken hostage by Lord Ravan, the then ruler of Sri Lanka. Despite the controversy the Adam’s Bridge is a beautiful spectacle from which on a clear day the Indian flag can be viewed from the last of the Indian Sand banks. The Adam’s and Eve’s burial ground is also here according to the Muslim legends.
A serene 45 minute drive from Jaffna’s bustling centre brings you to the idyllic Casuarina Beach, named after the fuzzy pine-like casuarina trees that line the long stretch of shore. The beach is popular with tourists and locals alike because of its bright white sand and shallow azure waters. Try and make it down in the early morning before the crowds arrive. If you want to really experience the beauty of the shallow seas track down a fisherman to drive you out on his boat. There are basic changing facilities and small snack stalls, but alcohol is prohibited on the beach. As with all Sri Lankan beaches do be careful if the sea looks rough – there are sometimes lifeguards but this is not a given.
The adventure to Delft Island begins at the Karikadduwan Jetty in the Punkudutivu Island of Jaffna. After an hour’s ride by boat, one arrives at the mysterious island. Life on the island is simple yet intriguing on the isle. The coral walls that surround the homes are almost as symbolic as the palmyrah trees. There are many mysteries to discov- er apart from the Dutch remnants, left centuries ago. The “Growing Rock”, a stone said to naturally grow is wrapped in a shimmering cloth, is treated as sacred as it takes the form of a cobra. Or visit the Giant’s Foot, a thrilling print in rock. The Baobab Tree with its charming outstretched arms, captivates the onlooker with wonder. It is a native of Africa, believed to have been introduced by Arab trader’s eons ago. Another tree of interest is a single banyan tree, which creates an almost magical forest of vines. The old Dutch Fort, even in its peaceful ruins, indicate the shadow of the once grand structure. Travelling through the desolate land, in a vast pastureland, one would suddenly encounter massive herds of wild horses, beautiful and majestic. They are believed to have been introduced to the island by col- onisers who bred horses here. The Queen’s Tower is perhaps one of the most fascinating remnants left behind by the Dutch. Though simple in architecture it is possibly one of the most charming lighthouses in the island. A fire is lit at the bottom of the tower, the light carries upwards through the tunnel and bec
The Kayts Causeway is a road that brings you from Jaffna Fort across the water to the island town of Kayts. The memorable drive is best done at sunset, when the light falls softly on the landscape. Traces of the civil war are still evident in Kayts, where there are a number of beautiful but dilapidated houses that were abandoned by their owners. On the road you can stop to see views of the well-preserved Dutch fort on Fort [link to Fort page] Hammenhiel Island, a 19th Century church and Kayts’ own Portuguese fort. It’s a scenic drive through the lagoons with fishermen, birds and farmers.