The beautiful island country of Sri Lanka is no short of natural beauty. For those of you who don’t know, Sri Lanka is a cluster of islands. What’s the first thing which comes to your mind when we say island? Beaches, of course. That is exactly what Sri Lanka is famous for. People from all around the world come to the country to explore the best beaches in Sri Lanka. The scenic views of these gorgeous sandy shores are sure to make you want to revisit these beautiful beaches in and around Sri Lanka.
Top 20 Beaches In Sri Lanka And Around
Soak in the sun while sipping a refreshing cocktail on the best beaches of Sri Lanka on your next trip. Here is a list of Sri Lanka’s best beaches and a few beaches in the vicinity:
- Unawatuna – For Tranquil Blue Waters
- Bentota – For Beaches And Mangroves
- Mirissa – For Whale Watching
- Dickwella – For Romantic Staycations
- Weligama – For Instagrammable Beaches
- Galle – For Postcard-Perfect Colonial Architecture
- Induruwa – For Scenic Beaches And Villages
- Hikkaduwa – For Untouched Nature’s Bounty
- Koggala – For Rare Turtle Species
- Negombo – For Peace And Relaxation
- Arugam Bay – For Surfing And Fishing
- Uppuveli – For Delish Lankan Cuisine
- Trincomalee – For Stunning Temples
- Polhena – For Endless Water Sports
- Mount Lavinia – For Diving And Snorkeling
- Kalpitiya – For Meeting Dolphins
- Tangalle – For Weekend Getaways
- Pasakudah And Kalkudah – For White Sand Beaches
- Talalla South – For Swimming In Clear Waters
- Matara – For Ancient Forts
1. Unawatuna – For Tranquil Blue Waters
Unawatuna is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka which is famous for calm blue waters. The unique selling point of this beach is that one could spot a whale shark if lucky.
Best time to visit: Late August and early September as the rain starts to set by mid-October
- Enjoy some water sport such as scuba diving and snorkeling
- Get some tan at the beautiful golden sand beach
- Take some blessings at the Temple Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
- Treat yourself to an Ayurveda massage and get pampered at the sanctuary spa
- Relax at the Thaproban Beach House and enjoy some authentic Sri Lankan cuisine
- This beach is famous for turtle nesting
How to reach: Unawatuna is 150 km from Colombo's Bandaranayaka International Airport in Katunayaka. The journey through busy Colombo road takes over 3 hours by private vehicles.
Sri Lanka Holiday Packages On TravelTriangle
Book your Sri Lanka trip from TravelTriangle: Inclusive of Hotels, Sightseeing, Transfers, & Meals. Best Prices Guaranteed. Get Customizable Package & Free Guidance From Destination Experts. Book Now!
2. Bentota – For Beaches And Mangroves
If you are looking for a Sri Lankan beach holiday and wish to stay at resorts that specialize in medicine centers and relaxing spa, Bentota is the place for you. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka and is a perfect getaway for tourists who are looking to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is also one of the best beach places in Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: End August to mid-October
- This beach is relatively less crowded
- Try your hands on water sports such as water skiing and canoeing
- Visit the aquatic life protection center and get an opportunity to release a turtle into the sea
- Relax at the ayurvedic centers and enjoy a relaxing spa
- Book yourself a river safari and whale watching
- Start your morning with a bicycle tour of the city
How to reach: Bentota is connected to Galle and Colombo with a good network of buses.
3. Mirissa – For Whale Watching
Number three on our list of best beaches in Sri Lanka is Mirissa. With views of aquatic wildlife in its natural habitat, Mirissa attracts people from all over the world come to Mirissa for both ecological purposes as well as for holidays.
Best time to visit: December to March to see turtle hatching, or through August to October
- Mirissa is one of those beaches in Sri Lanka which is ideal for swimming.
- West side of the beach is known for watersports, especially surfing, and a small coral reef
- Spot dolphins and whales, if you visit in December, you may spot turtles laying eggs too.
- Hire a boat and go fishing with the locals near the coral reef.
- Enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage in Ayurveda centers in Mirissa
- A River safari would definitely money well spent as you could see nature at its best, well spread out paddy fields hovered by migratory birds and water animals are definitely a treat to eyes.
How to reach: Take a bus heading to Matara or Tangalle from Fort in Colombo and ask to get out in Mirissa.
4. Dickwella – For Romantic Staycations
Dickwella is the home to some of the plush resorts where many newly wedded couples often comes to celebrate their honeymoon. This is amongst the best beach places in Sri Lanka and offers the most tranquil environment.
Best time to visit: February to April and then August to October
- Dickwella beach is another excellent spot for swimming
- The cultural buffs must visit the Dickwella lace center to see and learn the techniques of lace making
- The calm waters of Hiriketiya beach are ideal for snorkeling
- Enjoy some delectable dishes mainly seafood pasta and vegetarian curries
How to reach: The best way to reach here is by taking a bus or taxi from Colombo.
5. Weligama – For Instagrammable Beaches
One of the best beach places in Sri Lanka is the Weligama beach on the southwest coast of the country. It is touted to be Sri Lankas most beautifl beach. You can click selfies here with your squad and your loved ones. Make sure to put those pictures up on Instagram for everyone to see.
Best time to visit: October to March
- Its the most ideal beach for surfing as there is no danger of sharks
- A perfect destination to enjoy diving and snorkeling as it is guarded by shallow coral reef.
- Enjoy the most amazing views of stilt fishing
- Leper king statue-its a carved statue of an old king whose identity is not yet known
- Weligama lace weaving factor is a must visit. Here you can see women weaving lace which is also sold to a tourist. Also, the gem and jewelry factory is a must visit.
How to reach: Matara is the closest bus station to Weligama and from there you can hire a tuk-tuk or a rickshaw and it would approximately take about 20 minutes.
6. Galle – For Postcard-Perfect Colonial Architecture
Galle is one of the most visited beaches in Sri Lanka. It tops the list of beaches in Colombo. With a wonderful history; Galle amazes you by the architectural beauty, the tropical weather, the aroma of spices such as the cinnamon and cloves and more. The picturesque environment of Galle often pulls many foreign artists, poets, and writers.
Best time to visit: September to March
- Visit the old town of Galle to see its architectural beauty
- Take a tour of the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex to experience the rich Sri Lankan culture.
- Explore the city on a bike, visit the Japanese peace Pagoda and enroll for yoga and Pilates class in Niyagama House
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a must visit if you want to see Sri Lankan wildlife at its best
Deep sea fishing tours and whale watching tours are a must!
How to reach: The best way of reaching Galle from the Bandaranaike International Airport is to travel by train and bus.
7. Induruwa – For Scenic Beaches And Villages
Induruwa beach promises scenic beauty of the villages along with some relaxation hot spots. You would feel ease and fresh after spending some quality time in the golden sand beach. Make sure to wear flip-flops and loose half-sleeved t-shirts when you visit this beach. A trip to this beach will not burn a hole in your pocket.
Best time to visit: January to August
- Get some golden tan while sunbathing on the beach, enjoy long walks along the banks of the sea and explore the Bopath Ella fall.
- Induruwa beach has quite a few local markets where you can buy some gifts for your loved ones.
- Visit the sweet water lagoons and the Maadu river to have an excellent view of lush greenery and get some sights of birds and aquatic animals.
- Enroll for a wellness program and Ayurveda practices to rejuvenate yourself.
- Enlighten your senses at the Batatotalena cave and visit the small town of Batugedara for precious gemstones and jewelry.
How to reach: The most comfortable and inexpensive way to reach here is via train or bus which will cost between INR 450 to 800 per person.
8. Hikkaduwa – For Untouched Natures Bounty
Hikkaduwa Beach is characterized by some of the plushest hotels and nightclubs. This feature often attracts many overseas tourists. It promises loads of untouched natural beauty and relaxation for both body and soul. If youre considering a budget trip, you can maybe give this beach a miss and go for the other shortlisted best beaches in Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: March to September
- Indulge in some shopping spree in the local markets and treat yourself with silver jewelry and gemstones.
- Enjoy authentic Sri Lankan cuisine at the beach side cafes and party late in one of the best nightclubs
- Be a part of the local community in celebration of the Hikkaduwa Beach Festival
- Learn some facts about the turtles and the coral life at the Coral sanctuary where the turtle eggs are buried in the sand for hatching.
- Take a boat ride on a glass bottomed boat to have a look at the most beautiful aquatic life in the coral sanctuary
How to reach: The most comfortable and inexpensive option is to take a taxi from the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport
9. Koggala – For Rare Turtle Species
Koggala is a small homely town which was built around the Second World War right after the Japanese air strikes. You can witness the rarest species of turtles in this region. Thats not all. This beach is famous among locals and tourists for its Instagram-worthy spots and the adventure sports that you can pursue here. Youll have the time of your life here!
Best time to visit: July end to October
- Witness the most uncommon and rare species of turtles namely Loggerheads and the Leathery turtle
- Hire a motor boat and explore the beautiful Koggala Lake. Some of the striking features consist of the cinnamon plantation and the Buddhist temple
- Stop over at the Ananda Spice garden, taste herbal wines and buy herbal products which helps cure sunburns
- Learn about the culture of Sri Lanka by visiting the Martin Wickramsinghe Folk Museum
- Kottawa reserve indeed promises to be a beautiful excursion which displays a variety of flora and fauna
- Enjoy some surfing in the beach situated between Koggala and Weligama Bay Beach
How to reach: The cheapest way to reach here is by boarding a train.
Suggested Read: 10 Amazing And Most-Visited Sri Lanka Tourist Places
10. Negombo – For Peace And Relaxation
Negombo is one of the most best beaches in Sri Lanka, frequented by international visitors as it is very close to the airport. The city of Negombo still shows Dutch characteristics in its architectures and is a must visit on your trip to Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: March to September
- Take a bike trail and explore the beautiful village and a boat ride to explore the coral reefs
- The blue lagoon is the most appropriate place for bird watching. The calm waters of the lagoon promise excellent diving and snorkeling experiences.
- Visit the gem mines and indulge in some gem shopping
- Take an elephant ride and tour the dense forest, discover the adventurous side of you while trekking through the forests.
- Sights some whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and enjoy the breathtaking views of roaring waterfall especially during monsoon
How to reach: Buses leave the main Negombo Bus Stand to Colombo every 30 mins. It is the most inexpensive and comfortable way to reach here.
11. Arugam Bay – For Surfing And Fishing
Arugam Bay is amongst the top beaches in Sri Lanka known especially for surfing. The blue waters of the Arugam bay provide ample opportunities for fishing and underwater photography.
Best time to visit: March to October
- Arugam Bay is synonymous with one of the best surfing points across the world. You can rent all the basic equipment from the locals shop and indulge in this activity.
- Book a lagoon tour which provides a slow and relaxing journey through the hidden treasures of Pottuvil lagoon.
- If you happen to visit the Arugam bay during off season you would be amazed to see millions of migratory birds.
- Plan a walk to the Elephant Rock while enjoying the serenity of this marvelous beach.
- Visit the Hulannuga Caves which is situated on top of the hill is the home to the reclining Buddha statue
- Plan a trip to the Yala East National Park which is indeed the twin of the Yala Ruhuna National Park is famous for elephants and leopards.
How to reach: You can board frequent buses from Colombo to nearby Pottuvil.
Suggested Read: Sri Lanka For Couples
12. Uppuveli – For Delish Lankan Cuisine
Uppuveli is amongst the best beaches in Sri Lanka. If beautiful landscape, classic accommodation, and authentic cuisine are one your mind then Uppuveli is indeed the most suitable choice. You would be amazed how the locals welcome the tourist and make them a part of their festivities. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this village is packed with natural beauty and relaxation.
Best time to visit: August to mid-October
- Hire a rickshaw and ride across the beautiful village to explore the natural beauty.
- Moonlight strolling on this beach is a wonderful experience
- Swami Rock of Trincomalee definitely is a must visit which not only protects the village by Tsunami but also makes the each perfect for watersports such as diving, swimming, and snorkeling
- Enjoy a relaxing massage followed by some yoga to rejuvenate your senses.
- Explore the seabed at the Pigeon Island which is not too far from the beach.
How to reach: Catch a bus from the bus station in town for Uppuveli
Suggested Read: Dussehra In Sri Lanka: Savor The True Spirit Of Festivities
13. Trincomalee – For Stunning Temples
The bay of Trincomalee’s harbor is very famous for its trade and cargo. Its a big beach which is indeed famous for ancient temples, trade and water sports. It is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: August to October
- Hot Springs of Kanniya is a definite visit, its located just over 5 miles off the Anuradhapura Road
- The great Hindu Shrine sacred to Koneswaran are visited by many which is one of the 5 Isvaram Hindu Shrines
- Visit the beautiful tank called Periyakulam is a Buddhist Temple and spot the frontal bone relic of Buddha, built in the 3rd century is worth a visit.
- The finest Circular Shrines which is as old as the 7th century is located at Tirivava
- The marble bay promises variety of watersports such as diving and surfing
How to reach: The best way to reach Trincomalee is via bus.
Suggested Read: 10 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Should be Your Next Holiday Destination
14. Polhena – For Endless Water Sports
Polhena beach is indeed one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka which is both a treat to the eyes as well as providing an excellent stop for some water sports. Its one of the few beaches which are suitable for swimming. Since it is protected by the soft coral reef, therefore, it is protected by strong waves. This is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: March to October
- Take a snorkeling tour and dive in the pristine waters
- Watch the turtles up close and personal through the turtle view balcony terrace
- Witness the most beautiful untouched aquatic life along the 4 km long coral reef
- Take the tour of this tranquil and scenic village and book a boat trip on the Nilwala Ganga river where you get to spot crocodiles and beautiful birds
- Enjoy some live acrobatics which is practiced by the locals on the beach.
How to reach: By air, you can take a flight from Colombo airport.
15. Mount Lavinia – For Diving And Snorkeling
Whether it is a boat ride or an elephant ride, Mount Lavinia is one of the best beaches to visit in Sri Lanka. Apart from having all the striking features of a beach, Mount Lavinia is a perfect destination to enjoy a great beach holiday.
Best time to visit: January to March and August to November
- Turtle Conservation Project is one of the most popular aquatic projects in Sri Lanka
- Enjoy an elephant ride and explore the beautiful city. Go scuba diving and snorkeling in the blue waters.
- Sri Lanka Air force Museum is a must-visit
How to reach: Via bus and get down at the junction of Galle Road and Station Road next to the Mount Lavinia Supermarket.
16. Kalpitiya – For Meeting Dolphins
Seeing dolphins for the first time can be a surreal experience. On Kalpitiya beach, dolphins are a common sight. We suggest you to take a dolphin watching tour or sit by yourself on the beach and try spotting a few. We promise that youll have the time of your life. For a clearer view, we suggest you hop on a boat.
Best time to visit: November to March
- Watching dolphins is one of the most famous activities to pursue here.
- Kite surfing is another popular avenue for adventure.
How to reach: To reach Kalpitiyam, you can get here by bus/car for about 3.5 hours drive.
17. Tangalle – For Weekend Getaways
Do you dream about sandy beaches and pristine blue waters- Well, it is time to head to Tangalle beach. It is the perfect cure for your Monday morning blues. Book a weekend getaway and come back refreshed and rejuvenated. Youll have a blast. We also suggest that you share this experience with your loved ones.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
- The offshore reefs along this beach make for the perfect diving site.
- The beach offers some of the most beautiful sunsets.
How to reach: The quickest way to get from Colombo to Tangalle is to bus which costs Rs. 210 - Rs. 280 and takes 2h 30m.
18. Pasikudah And Kalkudah – For White Sand Beaches
If your dream vacation comprises of a white sand beach shaded by palm trees, this is it. Pasikudah and Kalkudah is one of the most beautiful places to visit for a vacation with your significant other. Go ahead and destress by lying on the beach and getting a tan. Make sure to apply ample sunscreen on your body.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
- The beach is best known for swimming. It is safe for both beginners and experts.
- It is surrounded by 14 luxury hotels where you can opt for getting a sauna.
How to reach: The smartest way to get from Colombo to Pasikuda is via plane and train which costs Rs. 44000 - Rs. 110000 and takes 3h 38m.
19. Talalla South – For Swimming In Clear Waters
The Talalla South beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in India. It is shaped like a crescent. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka, make sure to add this beach to your itinerary for a fun-filled vacation. You can surf, swim or relax and get a tan on the beach. There are plenty of things to do here.
Best time to visit: November to April
- It is well-known for a splendid view of the ocean.
- Kite surfing is very popular here.
How to reach: The most inexpensive way to get from Bentota to Talalla South costs only Rs. 1139 through a public bus.
20. Matara – For Ancient Forts
Matara is one of the most modern towns of Sri Lanka. Visitors usually fall in love with the beauty and splendor of Matara. The beach merges with the Blue Ocean further ahead. There are many ancient forts around the beach. One of them is the Dutch Fort. Youll have a blast learning about the history of this particular town and Goa in general.
Best time to visit: January to April
- The food and drinks here are budget friendly.
- This beach is famous for diving.
How to reach: Southern Expressway that connects Colombo to Matara in the shortest driving time
Further Read: OMG! 69 Sexiest Honeymoon Destinations In The World
So, which one of these beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka and around have you fallen in love with? Book your trip to Sri Lanka with TravelTriangle now and relax on these beaches with a mojito in your hand. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, what’s stopping you? Take a brief getaway and come back rejuvenated.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beaches In Sri Lanka
A. It’s not very safe to swim surf in the sea, as hidden strong undertows make for dangerous conditions. If you really want to go swimming, stick to areas where lifeguards are on duty or ask the locals for the best places to swim.
A. If you are looking for things to do in Unawatuna, this small town has a number of fun activities and water sports that will make your vacation more exciting. Some of these are:
2. Scuba Diving
3. Boat Rides
4. Motorbike Rides
A. Sri Lanka is known for its pristine beaches which is also a major tourist attraction of the country. Some of the most beautiful beaches to explore on your vacation in Sri Lanka are:
1. Secret Beach Mirissa
2. Hiriketiya Beach
3. Trincomalee beach
4. Tangalle Beach
5. Koggala Beach
6. Arugam Bay
7. Unawatuna Beach
8. Hikkaduwa Beach
A. Yes. Sharks can be found all across Sri Lanka. They are distributed from lagoons and estuaries, rivers to the deep open ocean.
A. The best time to visit the south and west coasts is between December to March, while April to September is the best weather for the east coast.
A. Yes. Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular and most beautiful white sand beaches in Sri Lanka and is situated 100km south of Colombo. It is the place to go for party lovers as there are many clubs and bars nearby.
A. Yes. The wide stretched Unawatuna beach is a perfect place for swimming and a part of the beach is occupied with sunbeds to rent.
A. Yes. Koggala Beach which is located at the coastal town of Koggala is very close to Galle. The beach is famous for its soft golden sand, clear blue water, and the untouched natural environs.
A. Apart from being a popular place for all sorts of watersports, Bentota is a lo quite famous for Ayurveda, toddy production, alcoholic beverage as well as the turtle hatchery located on Induruwa beach.
A. Galle, Negombo Beach, Arugam Bay, Mirissa Beach, Bentota Beach, and Hikkaduwa Beach have been counted in the list of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
A. If gazing at the endless ocean while soaking in the warmth of the sun is an ideal image of your beach trip then make sure that you visit these amazing beaches in Sri Lanka – Bentota Beach and Mirissa Beach.
A. Some of the most common options for traveling around in Sri Lanka is via a taxi for long distances and a tuk-tuk for short distances. Apart from this, one can also opt for buses and trains in the country.
A. The best time to explore the East Coast of Sri Lanka is during April and May whereas December to March is the best time to visit the cities in the West and South coasts.
Looking To Book An International Holiday?
Book memorable holidays on TravelTriangle with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.
People Also Read: