Mirissa Sri Lanka – When I traveled to Sri Lanka, I was expecting mostly beautiful mountainous landscapes and old historical sites. But when traveling south of the island, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many heavenly beaches. My favorite city to enjoy the sun and the beach is definitely Mirissa. It is in Mirissa that I found the most beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka where I had a relaxing and very pleasant stay! 🙂
In this blog post, I’m going to tell you about my favorite spots to enjoy the beach, as well as other interesting places to visit in Mirissa and its surroundings. But first, here are some tips and practical information to plan your trip to Mirissa.
You have two main means of transport to go to Mirissa. You can either take the train from Colombo, Bentota or Galle:
– From Galle: an hour to an hour and 30 minute-drive for between 35 to 60 rupees (around 30 cents)
– From Colombo: a three hour to a three hour and 30 minute-drive for between 120 to 220 rupees (around a dollar).
You can check train schedules on this site.
The other option is to take the local buses that go to Mirissa from all the major cities of southern Sri Lanka. If you’re coming from Tangalle, the local bus will be your only option because no train goes to Tangalle. Depending on where you are coming from, go to the main bus station and ask about a bus to Mirissa. In general, prices do not exceed 200 rupees (a dollar).
The Best Accommodation
As far as accommodation is concerned, try to get as close to the beach as possible. if you’re on a budget, you can book at the Splendid Lodge where you can find inexpensive individual rooms. It’s also located a few minutes away from the beach.
If you’re looking for something more luxurious, check out Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa. It is located east of the city and by the sea. The great thing about it is that the beach is much less crowded around this part of Mirissa.
It also offers great rooms with beautiful decor and an amazing outdoor pool. The price per night is not so expensive, considering the services and comfort provided. You’ll simply get what you pay for. 🙂
Where to eat?
If you want to eat very good Sri Lankan dishes for very affordable prices, go to the No1 Dewmini Roti Shop restaurant which is located here. I ate there almost every day when I was in Mirissa and my favorite dishes were the chicken kottu (pictured above) and the vegetable roti. Their fresh juices are also delicious! 🙂 And telling you about them is mouthwatering!
The ‘hippest’ place to go for a drink at night is Doctor’s House. It is actually 7 kilometers east of the city but it’s definitely worth the drive. Here is its exact location. The Doctor’s House faces the sea and its main building was actually a hospital built by the Dutch 200 years ago, hence the name.
I don’t really like going out when I travel but I have to admit that I went to The Doctor’s House quite often during my stay in Mirissa, especially because I liked the atmosphere and their delicious wood-fired pizzas.
What to do in Mirissa?
Tips aside, here’s a list of must-try activities in Mirissa! I recommend you spend between 2 to 3 days in Mirissa to visit the city’s must-see attractions.
- Mirissa Beach
- Parrot Rock
- Coconut Tree Hill
- Wild Whale Watching
- Niyana Wella Beach
- Secret Beach
- Weligama Beach (Surf)
- The Kushtarajagala Statue
- Virgin White Tea
- Kumara Wood Carving
- Dondra Lighthouse
Here is a map that will help you locate each of these attractions:
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Mirissa Beach
The main attraction of the city of Mirissa is, of course, its beautiful beach. It is located in a big cove that breaks the ocean waves, thus offering calm and pristine water to swimmers. What more do you need? The water is very clear, it is actually one of the clearest I have seen in Sri Lanka and you will clearly see all the fish swimming around you. 🙂
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Parrot Rock
The Parrot Rock is a large rock located left of Mirissa beach. It can be accessed directly from the beach by climbing a few dozen steps. At the top, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire cove. I don’t know why it’s called Parrot Rock. It may be because of the shape of the rock or because many parrots live there. Anyway, if you know the answer, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Coconut Tree Hill
If you continue further left on Mirissa Beach, there’s a hill at the end called Coconut Tree Hill. This hill is covered in coconut trees so the name is pretty obvious this time.
FYI, this particular spot became popular thanks to Instagram and tends to be really crowded at sunset. I guess the landscape must be particularly beautiful at sunset but I went there in the early afternoon to avoid tourist crowds.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Whale Watching
One of the most popular activities in Mirissa is whale watching off the coast of the city. I didn’t try it myself but I heard positive feedback from the travelers I met there. Why didn’t I try it? Because generally, I try to avoid tourist attractions that involve animals. Even if these are wild whales, I don’t know if this particular activity disrupts their development so, in doubt, I’d rather avoid it. Same goes for safaris by the way, even though I really wanted to see Sri Lankan elephants. Although I finally had the chance to meet one on the road from Dambulla to Ella. A truly magical moment! 🙂
So to get back to whale watching, it looks like the best time for that is from November to April. To book a tour, you can either do it directly on-site or book online beforehand.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Niyana Wella Beach
Mirissa beach is quite popular and although it’s never really crowded, it’s always fun to be completely alone on a beach. If this is something you might be interested in, I recommend going to Niyana Wella Beach which is located southwest of the city. I was there early in the morning and I had this entire sandbox to myself. 🙂
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Secret Beach
As you can see, Secret Beach is not as secret as its name suggests, even though I met very few people there. To get there, check out the map I posted on top and follow the signs to Secret Beach. Don’t hesitate to ask local people for directions! It’s not very complicated but you might get lost if you don’t know the area.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Weligama Beach (Surf)
Let’s get out of Mirissa a little bit and visit its surroundings. Weligama Beach is next on this list. It is more exposed to the ocean than the previous beaches so the waves there are a bit rougher. Speaking of waves, it’s great for surfing! Sri Lanka is actually a very popular destination for surfers and Weligama Beach is known to be a great surf spot for beginners.
You can rent boards and even get surf lessons there. If you’re interested, you can speak directly with an on-site instructor or book a course online.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – The Kushtarajagala Statue
The Kushtarajagala statue is located in a small archaeological site about 10 kilometers west of Mirissa, not far from the city of Weligama. The Kushtarajagala statue is about 4 meters tall and was carved into the rock in the 6th or 7th century. Who it represents is still up for debate.
Some think it is a former foreign prince who was seriously ill and had taken refuge in the region. But most archaeologists now agree that it is a representation of Bodhisattva Awalokatheesvara.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Virgin White Tea
If you are interested in the excellent Sri Lankan tea that is more commonly known as Ceylon tea, you can visit the Virgin White Tea plantation. It is located 20 kilometers west of Mirissa. If like me, you’re going there on a scooter, I’m sure you will enjoy the ride along the beautiful rice fields.
Once there, you can stroll through the region’s tea plantations and see how the precious plant is grown. You can visit the region’s small museum for tea tasting and buy some if you like. The tea factory is also open to visitors.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – Kumara Wood Carving
Not far from the previous tea plantation, there’s a wood carving workshop called Kumara Wood Carving. You can see how the country’s various wooden souvenirs that are sold in most markets are handcrafted. You can also buy wooden sculptures on site by the way.
Mirissa Sri Lanka – The Dondra Lighthouse
We now head east to visit the magnificent Dondra lighthouse. It is 40 kilometers away from the city, towards Tangalle. The Dondra lighthouse is located in the southernmost point of Sri Lanka and is also the highest lighthouse in the country and one of the highest in Southeast Asia, measuring 49 meters high. Its construction dates back to the British colonial period, presumably around 1887.
Our tour of Mirissa is done! It is undoubtedly my favorite city in southern Sri Lanka. Do you want to visit Mirissa? If you do, why? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
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See you around,