Best beaches in Sri Lanka – On my first trip to Sri Lanka, I kind of went with the flow without much preparation. I was expecting to visit a historic country with a rich culture (and it was!) but to my surprise, I discovered that it also has great beaches!
This blog post is a list of the 10 beaches I liked the most in Sri Lanka with hotel or resort recommendations close to them. The beaches are not listed in any particular order; it’s rather a geographical selection starting from the west and proceeding in a counterclockwise direction.
Before we get into the actual list, I wanted to tell you a little bit about beaches in Sri Lanka. There are roughly two categories of beaches. You have the beaches that are ideal for a relaxation-focused seaside holiday. This blog post is about those beaches that are, for the most part, located in the south of the country. The best time of the year to visit these beaches is from November to February (the dry period).
The other category of beaches is of the ones that offer the best surfing conditions. They are located east of the island and the best time to go there is from May to September. You can expect decent, high waves so they are not necessarily pleasant for the average traveler.
The top 10!
Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite beaches in Sri Lanka.
- Ventura Beach
- Jungle Beach
- Secret Beach
- Silence Beach
- Mangrove Beach
- Nilaveli Beach
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #1 – Ventura Beach
Ventura Beach is one of the first beaches I visited in Sri Lanka. I’d spent some time in the busy city of Colombo, and the least I can say is that it was refreshing to walk on this beach. Ventura Beach is the main beach of the city of Bentota. This stretch of sand is quite large and very few people visit it.
If you want to book a hotel next door, I recommend the Taj Bentota Resort and Spa which is a beautiful place located south of Ventura Beach.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #2 – Pitiwella
The beach of Pitiwella is a little wilder, so to speak, but just as beautiful. It is at the entrance of the city of Galle and I really recommend booking a hotel nearby even though it is a bit far from Galle Fort. There is the Arabella on Boossa hotel which offers a great view of the sea and direct access to the beach.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #3 – Jungle Beach
Jungle Beach is also around Galle and it was one of my favorite places in southern Sri Lanka. As the name suggests, you need to cross a small jungle for about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the beach. Watch out for the monkeys who will be on the lookout for food whenever they can get it. 🙂
Once there, you can rent a mask and fins to watch the seabed. You’ll be blown away! As far as accommodation is concerned, no huge hotels around but rather small ones around Jungle Beach. The one I recommend is the beautiful Agnus Luxury villa which is great and affordable.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #4 – Unawatuna
Facing Jungle Beach is the main beach of Unawatuna. It is more easily accessible than the previous ones I mentioned so more people visit it. But since it’s big enough, you don’t get the impression that it is crowded at all. There are also small restaurants and bars if you’re looking for tasty meals or refreshing drinks.
If you want to book accommodation in the area, you’ll have many options to choose from. Of all the hotels in Unawatuna, the best one is probably the Thaproban Beach House.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #5 – Dalawella Beach
If you head east, Dalawella Beach is minutes away from Unawatuna and has become popular among young travelers thanks to the swing you see in the picture above. In addition to being very Instagram-friendly, this beach is also the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #6 – Mirissa
We’re finally at the utter paradise that is the city of Mirissa! This region of Sri Lanka has been one of my favorite spots to visit and even though it has become a bit of a touristy place, you absolutely have to give it a go! What you see in the picture above is Mirissa’s main beach that stretches out for hundreds of meters.
The best spot in Mirissa Beach is the one that is next to the Parrot Rock. The water is so clear that it feels like swimming in an aquarium with countless fish around. Beware of sea urchins though, there are many of them in this area.
If you want to spend the night in Mirissa, there is the Paradise Beach Club which is a seaside hotel.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #7 – Secret Beach
Secret Beach is also in Mirissa but it is a little difficult to access; that’s how it earned its name. As you can see, it is not that secret even though it is less crowded than the main beach of Mirissa.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #8 – Silent Beach
I think Silent Beach is the most beautiful beach I’ve seen in Sri Lanka! I went for a swim there every day when I was in Tangalle. It has the advantage of being in a creek so the water is very calm. The color of it is just to die for, you can’t get more heavenly than that. It is a bit difficult to find though so use the map I referenced above and make sure to ask local people if you need help. Try to get as close as possible to the Aga Surf View beachfront hotel.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka #9 – Mangrove Beach
We’re still in Tangalle, this time visiting Mangrove Beach. Its name comes from its lagoon that is lined with mangroves flowing from the beach into the sea. The landscapes are really beautiful and I really recommend you visit it if you are passing by Tangalle.
If you want to book accommodation next door, the Mangrove Beach Chalets are great beachfront hotels.
Last Spot #10 – Nilaveli Beach
Last but not least on our list of the most beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka is a spot that is rather to the east of the country. Nilaveli Beach is located next to the town of Trincomalee and it is a bit of an exception when it comes to its gentle waves. Given its location, one would expect high waves to surf. You’d be disappointed to see how calm the water is!
The Nilaveli Beach Resort should meet all your expectations as far as accommodation is concerned; great location and customer service!
I’m done showing you around the most beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, guys! What do you think? Which beach is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.
See you around,