Things to do

Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island paradise, with lush landscapes, amazing weather and stunning beaches. Chances are, if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, you plan on spending a little time exploring the world famous beaches. With golden sand, clear water and sparkling oceans – Sri Lanka’s beaches will demand your attention.

We spoke to Prateeque, our Sri Lankan travel expert and asked him to list off his favourite beaches for us, so we could ensure you won’t miss any of the highlights! So here they are…

Polhena Beach

This is known as one of the best beaches in the area, and it’s a fantastic spot for snorkelling, relaxing and spotting various kinds of wildlife too. There’s a small sandy cove that’s sheltered by a reef offshore, which means the sea stays relatively calm and it’s easy to swim in the sea. There are turtles regularly spotted in the bay too – which is reason alone to take a trip down with your snorkel and flippers!

Prateeque explains…

“Snorkelling in Polhena is a really good activity. I did it last weekend and you can see huge turtles just off the beach, you don’t have to take a boat out or anything. It’s so easy and fun”

Aruguam bay

This fun beach is scattered with colourful boats, and lively locals. It’s best known for surfing, and it’s a popular spot for catching waves. The break point on the curved bay is famous in the surfing scene, and even if you don’t surf it’s fun to head there and watch the professionals. As Prateeque explains though, it’s not just surfing at this beach…

“On the east coast, everyone knows Aruguam Bay as a surfing destination, but no one talks about the wildlife there. There is so much wildlife to see and enjoy”

Tallalal Beach

If you’re looking to find a quiet, peaceful beach that feels like your own remote desert island… Tallalal Beach is just that. The beach is large, spacious and absolutely beautiful. Prateeque describes it as a hidden gem, and a paradise for beach lovers.

The water is calm, and provides a safe place to swim – and it’s also a really popular destinations for locals and travellers alike.

Tangalle Beach

When you close your eyes and imagine the perfect beach… chances are it’s going to look something like Tangalle Beach in Sri Lanka. It’s a beach paradise and it’s somewhere you’ll want to spend the hours just relaxing, listening to the waves and watching the world go by. There’s clear, turquoise, beautiful water, tall palm trees and a long stretch of perfect soft sand to walk along.

Prateeque says…

“The sunsets are also beautiful from this beach, it’s a beautiful place to spend your day”

Pottuvil Beach

Pottuvil Beach is located on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s South-East coastline. It’s a popular choice for travellers, and it’s a lovely place to spend a day. The area around the beach is rich in wildlife, and you’ll be able to see many birds, and animals nearby. There are jungles, wetlands and lagoons nearby too – making it a gorgeous place to explore.

Nilaveli Beach

This huge beach is perfect for a day spent relaxing and enjoying the ocean breeze, as well as watching the sunrise over the horizon. The breach is quiet, still relatively untouched by tourists, and well-loved by locals. There is plenty of marine life to enjoy, so snorkelling is something Prateeque recommends trying out when you visit.

Secret Beach Mirissa

“If you’re down in Mirissa, there’s something called the secret beach which is a nice place to watch the sunset. Here there’s a beach, but you need to hike to a cliff to watch the sunset – it’s really beautiful”

Prateeque likes this beach because of the walk to it, and also the atmosphere once you arrive. There’s a beach bar waiting for you once you arrive on the golden sands, and it’s a perfect place to watch the sunset. You can also get a great instagram photo from the cliffs nearby too!

Wijaya Beach

A choice for those who want the perfect instagram photo! This beach has an insta-famous rope swing hanging from a coconut tree, ideal for your new display photo! If you time your visit for sunset, you’ll get that perfect Sri Lankan sunset in the background too.

Prateeque says…

“If you go to Wijaya Beach there’s one that’s popular it’s like a giant coconut tree rope swing ideal for taking photos for social media”

If you want to explore more of Sri Lanka’s beaches, we recommend two of our exploring tours. Our Sri Lanka immersive tour will take you to Sri Lanka’s beautiful coastlines, as will our Van Tour Excursion tour too – where you can help create your itinerary depending on where you want go and what you want to see.