When it comes to the best Sri Lanka beaches to visit you’re spoilt for choice – this stunning little island has a coastline peppered with incredible stretches of sand.
So whether you want to chill out surrounded by palm trees, head out for some whale watching or enjoy world class surf, here are 10 of the best Sri Lanka beaches to suit everyone…
The 10 Best Sri Lanka Beaches You Have To Visit
1. Bentota Beach Sri Lanka
One of the top Sri Lanka activities is to relax on the white sand beaches, something Bentota is perfect for.
The beach runs south from the Bentota lagoon and is close to quaint villas and a handful of restaurants. You can enjoy a tasty seafood dish at the understated Malli’s Seafood Restaurant, along Beach Road.
Try your hand at windsurfing, cycle the area, explore the town, paddle on the river, or relax with a spa treatment.
- Top budget accommodation: Channa Villa costs $32 (£23/A$43)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Chitra Ayurveda costs $70 (£51/A$95)
- Top luxury accommodation: Club Villa costs $120 (£87/A$163)
You are going to love it here! On the west coast of Sri Lanka, beaches offer a golden stretch of sand. What was once a tiny fishing village along the ravine has grown into a vacation hotspot. Interestingly, Induruwa beach is a turtle nesting site monitored by the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project to protect hatchlings.
The relaxing atmosphere makes this one of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka. Enjoy a meal with your feet still in the sand at the rustic Bamboo Shoot restaurant located along the beach.
While visiting, learn to surf, kitesurf, and scuba-dive, or simply swim and snorkel.
- Top budget accommodation: Lenora Villas costs $29 (£21/A$39)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Serendip Beach Hotel costs $39 (£28/A$53)
- Top luxury accommodation: Sea Rock Villa costs $90 (£65/A$122)
Koggala’s pristine stretch of coastline has one of the longest beaches in Sri Lanka. You may recognise the area from photographs of stilt fishers, who perch off of single poles in chest-deep water. Lie back on the golden sands or sit at The Fisher’s Sunset restaurant to watch the fishermen practice their traditional technique.
Visit the sea turtles, explore Koggala lake, swim, walk the long beach, or try your hand at fishing in the traditional method.
- Top budget accommodation: Jungle Villa costs $14 (£10/A$19)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Kabalana Villa for $55 (£40//A$75)
- Top luxury accommodation: Fortress Resort & Spa costs $210 (£153/A$285)
4. Mirissa Beach Sri Lanka
Mirissa is a beautiful town with a palm tree-lined beach. As one of the highlights of my first time visiting Sri Lanka, I highly recommend staying and enjoying the sunset here. The activities in Mirissa are all close, making it a great place to stay. It is most famous for dolphin and whale watching tours, most popular from November to April.
Fresh Wave on Mirissa Beach is a restaurant with tables inside and on the beach if you feel peckish. This is a flexible option if you prefer keeping your feet in the sand.
Settle into a spa treatment, try scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, or enjoy a whale watching tour.
- Top budget accommodation: Sira’s Chalets costs $35 (£25/A$47)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Lemezon Inn costs $43 (£31/A$58)
- Top luxury accommodation: Paradise Beach Club costs $100 (£73/A$136)
You’ll love the large sweeping beach here, whether you are a swimmer or a surfer. Weligama is translated from ‘Sandy Village’ and is a mix between a sleepy fishing village and a resort town. Consider visiting the trendy Nomad Cafe if you are interested in a menu with vegan options.
You can book into a surf camp and enjoy the ideal waves at Weligama beach and nearby. Your surfing is bound to improve under the guidance of the coaches.
While in Weligama, try a surfing lesson, take a scuba diving course, go snorkelling, practice yoga, or visit the statues of Kushta Raja Gala.
- Top budget accommodation: Seal Harbour Hotel costs $16 (£12/A$22)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Ekho Weligama Hotel costs $56 (£41/A$76)
- Top luxury accommodation: Neptune Eco Villas costs $119 (£86/A$161)
Dickwella is a small market town with long sandy beaches protected by reefs, making it a safe location for swimming. You can snorkel from the beach to the nearby rocks to see colourful reef fish. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail and meal at the Smoke & Bitters restaurant steps from Dickwella beach.
Visit the large Buddha statue at Wewurukannala Vihara temple, surf at sunrise, fish in a traditional way, snorkel, and enjoy the Saturday market.
- Top budget accommodation: Dickwella Beach costs $32 (£23/A$43)
- Top mid-range accommodation: 360 Sands costs $74 (£54/A$100)
- Top luxury accommodation: Dickwella Resort & Spa costs $208 (£151/A$282)
7. Hiriketiya Bay Sri Lanka
A string of sand beaches dots the coast, with Hiriketiya being the most attractive in southern Sri Lanka. You can find surfers and yogis frequenting trendy cafes on one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
The beach is in a horseshoe bay, helping to protect the shore from large waves. It is a kilometre from Dickwella beach and offers a handful of healthy food stalls. If you are looking for a bite to eat, Marindi is a friendly restaurant on the beach.
Try your hand at fishing, surfing, and paddling. Alternatively, relax in a hammock or attend a yoga class.
- Top budget accommodation: Ocean Villa costs $18 (£13/A$24)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Hiriketiya Beach Resort costs $71 (£52/A$96)
- Top luxury accommodation: Jasper House costs $106 (£77/A$144)
8. Arugam Bay
You’ll be stoked with the waves at this world-famous surf destination. Sri Lanka’s Arugam Bay offers beginner and experienced surfers epic rides. Consider a surf lesson or a stay at a surf camp if you want to progress quickly.
The beautiful beach and nearby restaurants make it perfect for those that don’t aspire to surf. Listen to the waves while eating at the Leaf and Vine restaurant located on the beachfront.
While in Arugam Bay, you can explore Elephant Rock, attend a yoga class, surf, swim, or visit Kumana National Park.
- Top budget accommodation: Beach View’s rooms $29 (£21/A$39)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Crocotopond $44 (£32/A$60)
- Top luxury accommodation: Croco Beach House costs $85 (£62/A$115)
Pasikudah translates from Tamil into ‘Green Algae Bay’ and is home to one of the world’s longest stretches of shallow reef. The current is relatively weak, the water is crystal clear, and a variety of colourful fish make snorkelling here exciting.
The inhabitants are predominantly of a Tamil-Hindu culture and give the area a friendly atmosphere. Sit down for a fresh dish from the quaint Rupsy’s Seafood Restaurant.
Pasikudah is perfect for diving, snorkelling, and swimming. Other activities include kitesurfing and windsurfing.
- Top budget accommodation: Inn on the Bay costs $14 (£10/A$19)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Amethyst Resort costs $56 (£41/A$76)
- Top luxury accommodation: Anantaya Resort and Spa costs $97 (£70/A$132)
10. Uppuveli Sri Lanka
Uppuveli is slightly off the beaten path north of Trincomalee and is one of the most fabulous white sand beaches on the East Coast. Consider having lunch at the Red Snapper restaurant, steps away from the seemingly endless beach.
While visiting Uppuveli, try scuba diving, snorkelling, and swimming. Tours in the area include whale watching and visiting the Pigeon Island National Park.
- Top budget accommodation: Surf Reef Dive costs $30 (£22/A$41)
- Top mid-range accommodation: Anantamaa Hotel costs $57 (£41/A$77)
- Top luxury accommodation: Trincomalee Beach Resort & Spa costs $90 (£65/A$122)
Have you visited any Sri Lanka beaches you’d add to the list?