Beaches in Sri Lanka are some of the best in the world, by any yardstick! With over 1600kms of golden shoreline, this little tear drop of an island in the Indian Ocean offers beach lovers a vast array of choice. Each beach has its own vibe, its unique charm, but all have stunningly clear waters, soft, fine sands, and they are usually framed by lush, verdant backdrops.
Sri Lanka’s beaches are as varied as its sunsets.
Looking for a top surf beach? Head to Hikkaduwa, a two-hour drive from Colombo. With coral reefs straight off the beach and other exotic fish regularly seen in the water, it is also a great spot to snorkel. Divers can plunge down further into the sea to explore the number of well-preserved ship wrecks that are found at varying depths of the ocean.
For those who prefer not to get wet but don’t want to miss the experience of this great underwater encounter, then a glass-bottom boat ride to view the gorgeous reefs is a good option. In addition to these water activities, the town boasts a vibrant night life, a ten minute stroll up the beach from Taru Villas – 906.
If you prefer calmer waters, Bentota, nestled along the curvaceous coastline approximately 60 kms from the capital, is a pristine, palm-fringed beach that is good for bodyboarding and long sunset walks. Just up the road is the Bentota River which offers a full complement of water activities — jet skiing, waterskiing and windsurfing. Further up the river you can take a boat safari where you will see aquatic birds, lizards and even crocodiles! The Turtle Hatchery is a memorable experience too, as you learn about, see and hold the hatchlings before releasing them at dusk into the ocean.
Mawella Bay, along the southern coast at Tangalle, offers a more serene beach experience. With its shallow crystal waters, offering year-round swimming, Mawella encompasses a quiet fishing village at one end, and at the other, a delightful beach with pure white sand and swaying palm trees.
From Tangalle, Hikkaduwa or Bentota, it’s no more than a two-hour drive to the small southern coastal town of Mirissa where you are almost guaranteed a whale sighting. The waters there are rich in plankton (the microorganisms whales feed on) which seems to keep a lively population of whales always present. The area is home to blue whales, sperm whales, fin whales, occasional orcas and many types of dolphins.
You can mix and match your beach stay with a wildlife safari, a cultural experience or simply a beach/city combination. Sri Lanka is now the destination du jour for those looking for the perfect sea, sun and culture getaway!
Staying at any of the award-winning luxury Taru Villas offers the most gracious, authentic Sri Lankan experience. All seven of Taru Villas’ beach hotels/private villas are situated on tranquil, uncrowded beaches. The service is discreet, the style understated and the feeling of relaxed bliss permeates your whole stay.