Beaches

Since ancient times, Sri Lanka has been well known for its golden beaches, with the island earning the name ‘Thambapanni’, meaning copper red sand, nearly 2,500 years ago when the first King of Sri Lanka, Wijeya, landed from his voyage from India. While the traditional beaches are in the South and Western coasts such as Negombo, Bentota, Unawatuna, Tangalle, Ahangama, Weligama and Mirissa,the development of infrastructure has brought into the limelight the magnificent beaches in the East Coast, such as Arugambay, Passikudah, and Kuchchaveli. Despite the Boxing Day Tsunami which ravaged most of the country’s coastal belt, the beaches of Sri Lanka still present pictures of undying beauty. Surfing, kite surfing, whale and dolphin watching, and diving are some of the activities one could experience off the beaches of Sri Lanka.

  • Bentota

    Yet another celebrated beach of Sri Lanka, Bentota beach with the river, lagoon, palm groves and a number of hotels and resorts is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the island. Lush greenery of the landscape around is really breathtaking. Bentota is a heaven for water sport enthusiasts. Hotels around offer facilities for a variety of water sports such as jet skiing, water skiing, speed boat rides, banana boat rides and  interesting boat rides to the hamlets bordering the river, mangroves and the Meetiyagoda Moonstone mines.

     

     

    64 kms from Colombo

     

  • Hikkaduwa

    Hikkaduwa is a small coastal town in the south situated 99 kms south of Colombo and 20 kms north of Galle - the largest city in the south Sri Lanka. Well-known for its beach, coral gardens and nightlife, Hikkaduwa is one of most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. The coral sanctuary replete with colourful fish is quite fascinating and you can explore these fantasies in a glass-bottomed boat. This is also a better place for sunbathing, snorkeling, board-surfing and many other pastimes.

     

     

    99 kms from Colombo

     

  • Kalpitiya

    Blessed with a wealth of stunning golden beaches, island Sri Lanka is world-renowned as a paradise for tourists. A best place to watch dolphins and whales without sailing out to deep seas, Kalpitiya beach together with the lagoon is one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. Thousands of tourists around the world flock to this tropical beach to experience the wonder of nature.

     

    165 kms from Colombo 


     

  • Negombo

    Located 35 kms north of Colombo and 6 kms from the island’s main International Airport, Negombo is famous for its gorgeous sandy beach and the old fishing industry. Being a fishing town, Negombo is popular as a paradise of fresh seafood. The beautiful sandy beach coupled with the surrounding star-class hotels attracts tourists around the world.

     

     

  • Mount Lavinia

    The closest to the Colombo City being located 12 kms south of Colombo, Mount Lavinia is since colonial times famous for its beautiful beach. The house of the governor, Sir Thomas Maitland built in 1805, has now turned to be a star class hotel which is very popular among locals as well as foreigners. This fantastic beach is crowded with local and foreign tourists who enjoy many beach sport activities.

     

    12 kms from Colombo

     

     

  • Kalutara

    Known for the long golden sandy beach and the Buddhist Temple, Kalutara is located 42 kms south of Colombo. Kalutara across which the River Kalu flows was an important spice trading centre during colonial times. This is without doubt a fantastic place to enjoy your holiday.

     

     

    42 kms from Colombo

     

  • Beruwala

    Beruwala is known for its pristine golden sandy beach well-sheltered by coconut trees that spread along the coastal stretch. There are a lot of water sport facilities such as jet skiing and windsurfing. The bay beach which is safe for swimming in any month of the year, is good for deep-sea fishing and wreck & coral reef diving.

     

     

    58 kms from Colombo

     

  • Unawatuna

    Unawatuna, described as most wonderful beach location by the nature, and it is a celebrated beach for Scuba Diving, Surfing and Sea Food in Sri Lankan Style. The Jungle Beach, Rhumassala Hills, Kathaluwa Temple, Galle Fort are nearby exciting places to visit.

     

    From Colombo 124 kms

     

  • Koggala

    The longest in Sri Lanka, the Koggala beach is very beautiful and good for windsurfing. The road passes a domestic airport and nearby is a small turtle hatchery, which buys turtle eggs from fishermen in an attempt to discourage them from poaching and selling the eggs for food. Witness how the newborn turtles are being cared for until they are ready to be released back to the ocean. The wide sandy beaches are utilized by turtles to lay eggs. The commonest of these are the Loggerheads and the Leathery turtle while the green turtle is a less common visitor.


     

    135 kms from Colombo

     

  • Weligama

    Yet another tourist hotspot in the south, Weligama is a unique bay beach and popular for scuba diving and surfing. It is a fantastic experience to see stilt fishing just few meters off-shore. Weligama is also famous for its lace weaving industry which was introduced by Portuguese in the 16th century.

     

     

    143 kms from Colombo

     

  • Mirissa

    Mirissa is a beautiful small rocky beach which is calm, relaxing and almost private. Whale and dolphin watching, river trips, snorkelling and bird watching are some of the activities you could do while being in Mirissa. The best time for whale watching in the sea off the Mirissa harbour is from November to April.

     


     

    145 kms from Colombo

     

  • Polhena

    Polhena beach which is very popular among local tourists is located in close proximity to the Matara town. This is an ideal place for scuba diving, surfing and sunbathing. It’s a highly famed destination due to its natural swimming pool created by coral reef.

     

     

    160 kms from Colombo

     

  • Tangalle

    35 kms from Matara, Tangalle is a paradise for swimmers and divers. It has a natural palm-fringed sea bay and a fishing harbour offering great seafood. The long sandy beach and the coral reef are the best attractions. The Dutch Fort built with corals is now turned to be a prison.

     

     

    195 kms from Colombo

     

  • Trincomalee

    Trincomalee is one of the world’s finest natural deep-water harbours that attracted great seafarers like Marco Polo, and sea-traders from China and East Asia in the ancient times. This is a pristine beach, very popular for whale watching, in addition to surfing, scuba diving and fishing.

     

     

    275 kms from Colombo

     

  • Nilaveli

    A place that you should not miss out, if you travel in Sri Lanka. Nilaveli beach is one of the purest white sandy beaches in Asia. The pristine beach which is very popular among sun worshippers is quite serene and the crystal clear blue water is so breathtaking that it would be a memorable stay for you. The natural harbour is one of the finest in the world. Nilaveli is an ideal place for water sports like scuba diving.

     

     

    275 kms from Colombo

     

  • Batticoloa

    Batticaloa is in the east coast of Sri Lanka with a picturesque lagoon and beach. Good for snorkelling and diving, this serene gorgeous beach would undoubtedly make your holiday fantastic. The Dutch made their first footstep in Sri Lanka here in 1602. The Dutch fort built in 1665 is visible to the Batticaloa Lagoon.

     

    303 kms from Colombo


     

  • Passekudah and Kalkudah

    Passekudah and Kalkudah are two separate beautiful beaches in the east coast. These stunning sandy beaches that are very popular among tourists are ideal for bathing, windsurfing and water skiing.

     

    White sand, shallow waters, coral reefs and palm trees make Passekudah and Kalkudah beaches idyllic places to spend the day on the seaside. Passekudah Bay’s shallow waters offer a perfectly safe environment for learning how to swim and therefore a popular bathing spot for families with children. There are also possibilities to snorkel, fish and have some boat rides around.

     

     

    285 kms from Colombo

     

  • Arugam Bay

    World-renowned as a paradise of surfing, Arugam Bay is ranked 3rd among the best 20 beaches for windsurfing in the world. It is located in the southeast coast of the island. It is best for surfing there from April to October and good for swimming during the off season. The tropical white sandy beach, with perfect blue water and palm groves is without doubt an ideal place for you to enjoy your holiday.

     

    The Lahugala National Park and Yala East National Park are located within 10–30 km radius from Arugam Bay. Magul Maha Viharaya (Buddhist temple), Kudumbigala Temple (Buddhist temple), Shastrawela Buddhist Temple, Okanda Hindu Temple are some of the places with heritage value.

     

    315 kms from Colombo


     

  • Casuarina

    The best beach in the Jaffna Peninsula located in Karainagar about 20 kms northwest of Jaffna. If you travel to Jaffna, this is a place you should visit without fail. In the Casuarina beach, you can walk towards the sea for miles because of the extreme shallowness and the lack of waves. Therefore, it is a haven for bathers. 

     

     

    416 kms from Colombo