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Must-Visit Beaches in Sri Lanka

A holiday on the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is not complete without spending at least a few days on Sri Lanka beaches.

What could be more relaxing on a Sri Lanka holidays then lying in the sun on a beautiful day listening to ocean waves?!

Sri Lanka has everything you could wish for:

  • national parks for animal lovers
  • ancient ruins and historical temples for those of you who love history and culture
  • perfect ocean currents for a good quality Sri Lanka surf and
  • many beautiful and popular beaches to relax.

Now, Sri Lanka recovered after the 2004 tsunami and is a top destination in South Asia for sun, swimming, and surfing.

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Waves on Best Sri Lanka Beaches
Waves on Best Sri Lanka Beaches

We hope that what happened in April 2019 in Sri Lanka and I am speaking about the terrorist attack was just an isolated event which will never happen again.

But Sri Lanka is a strong country with welcoming people who passed over a long civil war but never forgot to smile.

The country is very beautiful and nice with many interesting places to visit and things to do.

THE 5 BEST BEACHES IN THE SOUTH OF SRI LANKA- Tangalle - Bentota - Hikkaduwa - Unawatuna - Mirissa

One of the most important attractions in the area is the beaches.

They are spread all around the island and are equally beautiful and picturesque.

It is almost impossible to visit all the beaches during your Sri Lanka trip.

That is why I prepared for you a top 7 with the most beautiful beaches on this island.

Best Sri Lanka beaches 

If you are looking for perfect SriLanka beaches for sunbathing then you should visit one of the following beaches from below.

There are many hotels and B&B’s in the area suitable for all budgets!

Spend a few nights to any of these beaches to relax and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

1. Tangalle beach

Tangalle beach is one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has and a very popular destination among tourists.

Its long golden sand beach with a tropical air is the perfect place to spend your mornings or afternoons on a hot summer day.

Tangalle Beach Sri Lanka air view
Tangalle Beach Sri Lanka air view

The picture is completed with the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

The water is warm but every time you go for a swim be careful to the ocean currents; they are very strong and pretty dangerous!

If you feel tired or you are not a good swimmer, maybe it is not a good idea to swim too far from the shore.

Tangalle Beach Sri Lanka
Tangalle Beach Sri Lanka

The sunsets on the beach are just breathtaking!

I have no words to describe the feelings created by seeing a sunset from Tangalle beach!

Best time to visit

Best time of year to visit Tangalle is from April to July when is the dry season and the warmest period of the year.


I would recommend you to spend at least three days there during your Sri Lanka holidays.

For an overnight stay, I prefer to choose a hotel and Tangalle Golden Pearl is a good option.

I like this hotel because of the services offered, the good report quality/ price and its close location to one of the best Sri Lanka beaches.

If you are looking for something more classy and you are willing to spend more for a one night sleep, then Coco Tangalla is more suitable.

You will like the rooms, breakfast and the outdoor pool.

None of these hotels from one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has, does match with your wishlist?

No worries as there are many more boutique hotels and guest houses in the area!

Most of them are close to the beach and offer tasty traditional food and fresh fruits. Check them out!

2. Unawatuna beach

Unawatuna beach is a very trendy and vibrant beach of Sri Lanka.

Being so publicized it is less wild than other beautiful beaches from the island.

The 2004 tsunami destroyed almost the entire town.

Where it used to be local houses, big buildings which accommodate tourists appeared.

Now, it is a very mixed place: traditional houses and modern hotels are woven along with the city.

Coconut Jungle Beach Unawatuna Sri Lanka
Coconut Jungle Beach Unawatuna Sri Lanka

The area is full of cafes which serve very tasty food at good prices; the accommodation offer is also very varied.

The beach is very beautiful and ocean currents are moderate compared with other places nearby.

Because of these good conditions, the town and also the beach is pretty crowded with tourists and also locals.

Unawatuna Beach - Best Sri Lanka Beaches
Unawatuna Beach – Best Sri Lanka Beaches

The best place for swimming is in the south part of the beach.

I would say it is less crowded and fewer boats cross that area.

There are so many activities you should try during your Sri Lanka holidays in Unawatuna!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit this beach is between October to April as the weather is sunny and warm.


You should book at least 3 nights here to enjoy the view and to get a good sense of the area!

How amazing is to wake up in the morning and see the ocean from your bed and start the day in a calm atmosphere!

The Waves Unawatuna offers such views from its rooms and a relaxing and laid back atmosphere.

More than that, the rooms are very clean and very spacious!

It is a good option for spending some nights in Sri Lanka beaches.

You might be looking for something fancier!

You don’t have to worry as Unawatuna has a large range of accommodations!

Try Joe Resort Unawatuna! From the moment you will pass the entry gate you will fall in love with this property!

It is very well maintained and the rooms are clean and have a beautiful view!

None of these proposals like you?

There are so many hotels and guestrooms to choose from! Have a look here! Some of them are very close to the beach, just a few steps away from the blue waters of the ocean!

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3. Bentota beach

Located pretty close to Colombo, at only 60 km south coast of Sri Lanka capital, Bentota beach is a developed and trendy beach located on the south-west coast of the island.

Stay safe while you travel

  • medical safety abroad
  • medical assistance including COVID-19
  • emergency medical evacuation
  • trip interruption -up to $5.000
  • travel delay - up to $100/day

The best time of the year for your Sri Lanka holidays to this beach is from October to April.

During these months you can lay in the sun or swim in the ocean on a sunny day without being worried that the rain might ruin your day.

Indian Ocean Bentota Beach of Sri Lanka
Indian Ocean Bentota Beach of Sri Lanka

Be careful and before bathing in the ocean keeps an eye to the flags showed by the lifeguards.

It is pretty common to see the red flag because the currents are pretty strong all over the island.

Sri Lanka beaches from the area offer many opportunities for entertainment.

On the spot, you can find banks, restaurants, shops for souvenirs, a railway station, and fancy hotels.

Relax on Bentota Beach in Sri Lanka
Relax on Bentota Beach in Sri Lanka

If you get bored by laying in the sun you can choose to go on a cruise on the Bentota river or try water sports.

Bentota is Sri Lanka’s capital of water sports and a beautiful place with swaying palms and calm waters!

All you need is a little spirit of adventure as there are many kinds of water sports to try.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Bentota beach is from November to April when the sea remains calm and the weather is sunny.


After such exhausting days, you need a good place to sleep but there are plenty of options!

You want to get spoiled and are ready to spend a few dollars extra for superb breakfast and a nice and spacious room?

Then I would recommend you to stay at Taru Villas The Muse Bentota.

Or on your Sri Lanka holidays, you prefer to have an outdoor pool and be hosted by very friendly owners?

Siroma Bentota is the solution for you!

This place has a very friendly and casual atmosphere, being the perfect place to make new friends and new memories.

You are still not sure if these accommodations are what you are looking for?

There are many other hotels in the area!

Have a look at all of them and pick the one perfect for you to have an incredible holiday on this magnificent island!

As you have already guessed, there are many beautiful Sri Lanka beaches and many activities which you can enjoy during your holiday.

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4. Arugam Bay

A famous surfing destination located on the east coast and one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is the best holiday getaway not just for surfers but also for families.

Its sandy beaches and turquoise waters and the perfect location, right near national parks makes for Arugam Bay your perfect holiday resort.

Arugam Bay Sri Lanka Beach
Arugam Bay Sri Lanka Beach

It is a great place to spend a few days surfing or relaxing on the beach, try the local cuisine in one of the many restaurants from the area and let yourself pampered in a beautiful hotel located just a few metres from the beach.

Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka

You can stay on one of the best Sri Lanka beaches for the whole day or you can explore the nearby areas as there are plenty of interesting things to do around.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Climb the Elephant Rock
  • Visit the beautiful temple Muhudu Maha Viharaya
  • Book a 2-hour boat trip lagoon safari to see crocodiles, elephants and other wildlife in their natural environment

Best time to visit Arugam Bay

The peak season for one of the best beaches of Sri Lanka is from June till August when the waves are at their best for surfing and the sun is great for perfecting your tan.


Arugam Bay is a world-famous destination for surfers so expect higher prices in July and August.

Outside these two months, there are no waves, no parties, just a lot of sun for bathing.

Arugam Bay is definitely a place where to spend at least three days on the beach and exploring the surroundings.

For those of you looking to experience the local culture and looking for basic things, Oasis Bay Arugam Bay is the perfect place to stay in Arugam Bay, one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has.

The prices are really affordable and for the money, you pay you will get a lot: a big and clean room overlooking a beautiful garden, a shared kitchen as well as a shared lounge.

Arugam Bay Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

This is definitely the best place where you meet new people and make new friends.

If you are looking for something more luxurious on Sri Lanka’s best beaches, with a beautiful pool and a nice view of the ocean, then Kottukal Beach House Etwing Arugam Bay is where you should stay.

Located just 2.5 miles away from the popular Arugam Bay, the rooms of the resort have a private terrace, sofa seating area and air conditioning.

You can have a barbecue in the garden or ask for a traditional massage after a tiring day at the beach.

If you have something else in mind about the places where you would like to stay, you’d better check here the list with all the available accommodations from the area and pick the one you like most!

5. Mirissa

145 kilometres south of Colombo (where is the international airport) in the southern part of Sri Lanka lies one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, Mirissa beach.

It is a very beautiful beach with a relaxed and laid back atmosphere with many restaurants and cafes right near the ocean.

Mirissa Beach in Sri Lanka turquoise water
Mirissa Beach in Sri Lanka turquoise water

After dark, most of the restaurants put out their tables on the beach so you can serve seafood barbecues at the light of the candles listening to the waves.

Mirissa, one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has, is quite large with a lot of space where you can put your towel, relax and perfect your tan.

Mirissa Beach Sri Lanka
Mirissa Beach Sri Lanka

The water is clear and the currents are not that strong and all these things make Mirissa, Sri Lanka’s best beaches a great place for snorkelling around the small reefs and rocks from the area.

At the western part of the beach, the waves are bigger and the currents are stronger, so expect to meet surfers during certain periods of the year.

Mirissa Sri Lanka Beach
Mirissa Sri Lanka Beach

After you get bored with so much sun, we recommend you to explore the area a little bit as it has many interesting attractions:

  • Visit the snake farm
  • Take a day trip to Turtle beach or Polhena beach
  • Visit Parrot Rock
  • Climb the world-famous Coconut tree Hill
  • Book a safari in Udawalawe or Yala National Park

Best time to visit Mirissa

November to March is the best time of the year to visit one of the best Sri Lanka beaches from the southern part of the island.


Whether you plan to stay on the beach or explore the area, Mirissa is a great destination with many hotels and guesthouses where you can spend your holiday.

The prices of the accommodation on one of the best beaches of Sri Lanka starting from a few dollars per night and can go up to a few dozens.

For those not that picky I would recommend Kadolana Guest House Mirissa , a beautiful place surrounded by tropical gardens, just 200 metres away from Mirissa’s main attractions.

At the property, you can arrange for canoeing, snorkelling, windsurfing and fishing as well as massages and cycling.

If you want to be closer to the beach and hear the ocean sound, then Handagedara Resort Mirissa is definitely a great choice as one of the most beautiful beach resorts from the area.

It is located just 100 metres from the ocean and offers spacious rooms with air conditioning, a private bathroom with free toiletries and a restaurant where you can serve international and local dishes.

Don’t get panic if none of these two accommodations is what you are looking for.

See here all the accommodations available from the area and pick the one you like most!

6. Hikkaduwa

Located just 73 miles from Colombo, Hikkaduwa is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for surfing and snorkelling.

It is famous for its harmonized and calm environment and is considered one of the finest places on the island for surfing.

Sri Lanka Hikkaduwa Beach
Sri Lanka Hikkaduwa Beach

Here is the place where you can eat the most delicious seafood Currie from the whole country after a long day at the beach.

Hikkaduwa, one of the best Sri Lanka beaches is also the home place of one of the richest and diverse marine ecosystems in the world and here you can find a Coral Sanctuary which hosts many species of fish and other marine life.

Hikkaduwa Beach Sri Lanka
Hikkaduwa Beach Sri Lanka

Here, on Sri Lanka’s best beaches, you will have the unique chance to see different species of small and colourful fishes and also the world endangered sea turtles.

Best time to visit Hikkaduwa

Best time of the year to visit Hikkaduwa, one of the best beaches Sri Lanka has, is from November to March when waves rise up.


Offering an outdoor pool and a nice view of the ocean, Coral Rock Bansei Hikkaduwa is the best choice for those searching for the best price-quality ratio from the area.

On-site you will find a terrace, a bar and a snack bar as well as luggage storage and laundry facilities.

If you are looking for a front-row seat for the amazing ocean spectacle, then we recommend you to book a few nights at Villa Saffron Hikkaduwa , a wonderful resort located close to Hikkaduwa beach, one of the best beaches of Sri Lanka.

It offers an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a beautiful terrace and an amazing sea view from certain units.

The 5 rooms from the property come with a kettle, a private bathroom and a seating area where you can relax after a long day at the beach.

Around the area, there are plenty more accommodations to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences.

Check here the whole list of the hotels and guest rooms from the Hikkaduwa region and pick the one you like most!

7. Hiriketiya

Once a hidden beach between palm trees from the southern part of the islands, Hiriketiya, one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka is now a resort which develops year by year and attracts more and more tourists from all over the world.

Once visited just by backpackers and locals, now Hiriketiya, one of the best Sri Lanka beaches is full of restaurants and hotels suitable for every budget.

Hiriketiya Beach Sri Lanka
Hiriketiya Beach Sri Lanka

The place might be quite difficult to find as there are no road signs mentioning it, so in the end, this is a good thing, right!?

Hard to find means fewer people going and picturesque and well-preserved beaches for those of you who accept the challenge of finding this place.

Sri Lanka Hiriketiya Beach
Sri Lanka Hiriketiya Beach

The ocean waves are great for surfing, especially if you are a beginner this is the right place to go.

Best time to visit Hiriketiya

The peak season for surfing in Hiriketiya, one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, lasts from December to February and is ideal for beginners, while the period between August to December is best for intermediate/ experienced surfers.


For a more traditional vibe and an experience closer to the locals while in Hiriketiya, the best Sri Lanka beaches on this part of the island is Sea View Clay House Hiriketyia offers traditional cottages made of clay overlooking the rocky beach.

Each house has a nice patio with chairs and tables, comfortable beds and a private bathroom.

The place has an authentic vibe and is a good opportunity to step in the traditional Sri Lankan culture.

For a more luxurious experience, we recommend you to stay at The Boat House Hiri , a beautiful hotel with an outdoor pool and a luxurious garden, located just 8 miles from Tangalle.

This is a very beautiful four bedroom luxury villa located directly on the beach in the middle of the lush tropical gardens.

Choosing the best accommodation for your holiday might be more complicated than you think and if you want to see everything this magnificent beach area has to offer check here the accommodation list from Hiriketiya Sri Lanka.


When choosing a beach take into consideration the period of the year when you want to go.

We chose Unawatuna beach as we travelled in Sri Lanka in March.

It is an authentic tropical beach with beautiful palms near the water and with epic sunsets.

Beautiful sunset in Bentota Beach Sri Lanka
Beautiful sunset in Bentota Beach Sri Lanka

We definitely recommend it if you travel to Sri Lanka between December to April and July to September.

I would say that the perfect way to end Sri Lanka holidays is with some days on Sri Lanka beaches.

In this way, you can enjoy a few days of complete relaxation and peace!

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.