The country has been blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world making it one of the best destination for a family holiday to Sri Lanka! The sun shining beaches of Sri Lanka are around the island as seen from the map. The seas are warm. The west coast and southern beaches are best from October to March. The East coast beaches are best during March and October.
The stretch of road towards Kotchchikade comes to life at dusk (most shops are open at daytime too) with many handicrafts and curio shops, gem shops, restaurants and internet cafes catering for tourists.
Enjoy watching the old world fishing crafts like the outrigger canoes and the catamarans bringing a variety of marine fishes like seers, skipjacks, pomfrets and amber-jacks. In the lagoon lobsters and prawns are caught and served as fascinating delicacies in the restaurants. Tourists can stay at one of the numerous guest houses on and near the beach and can enjoy food at several beachside restaurants!
Sri Lanka has been known by many names over the centuries. During the years under the British occupation is was known as Ceylon and many years before that it was called Serendib, a word now used to describe utter tranquility and relaxation.
It is said that Marco Polo visited this tear shaped Island in the 14th century and described it as ” undoubtedly the finest island in the world “.
Bentota – Bentota beach, being one of the more established beach resorts, is known for its professional touristic infrastructure and is especially good for family holidays to Sri Lanka as it offers safe swimming conditions combined with fun water sport possibilities such as body-surfing, scuba diving, jet-ski, windsurf, and parasail. Another attraction is the Bentota river which is more of a beautiful tropical lagoon where visiting couples can enjoy a romantic river safari.
Beruwala – Beruwala beach is a 130 km stretch of beach in a small tranquil fishing village. The sea is excellent for swimming all year around, and there is always a breeze, making even a mid-day stroll to the markets enjoyable. One of the major tourist attractions here is seeing the fresh catch brought by the colorful fishing boats early in the morning and a turtle hatchery is located nearby. An interesting fact is that Beruwala was the first bay visited by ancient Arab sea farers.
Negombo – Negombo beach is referred to as the golden mile, conveniently located just 15 km away from Sri Lanka’s international airport. It was used as a main export harbor for cinnamon by the Portuguese, Dutch and British and it still bestowed with historical buildings. The town itself shows its interesting colonial past which was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. There are plenty of beachside restaurants, hotels and shops. The fine sandy beaches and peaceful ocean make Negombo a top destination for relaxation beach activities.
Kalpitiya – Kalpitiya beach is bestowed with natural beauty, however it is fairly untouched by tourism and is surrounded by a close-knit fishing community. The beach is a famous spot for whale and dolphin watching. The warm, golden sand is an ideal location to relax, sunbathe and forget about your worries. Boat rides around the lagoons are perfect ways to explore the hidden wonders around the beach and visitors can even canoe down the river. This is also the only place where guests can enjoy a 4WD jeep ride along the deserted sand dunes between the ocean and inland, offering a unique way to enjoy the evening sunsets.
Hikkaduwa – Hikkaduwa beach is a very popular destination among both domestic and international tourists. It is a beautiful beach where you can relax, enjoy the sun and have the option of surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving. Being the site of the famed coral garden, glass bottomed boats are available on hire and visitors can explore the underwater fantasies. Hikkaduwa is also well known for its upbeat night life and delicious roadside cuisine which presents a fusion of Sri Lankan and western food. It is also an internationally popular destination for board-surfing and surfing.
Kalutara – Kalutara beach with its old colonial charm is one of the most culturally prominent seaside resorts in Sri Lanka. Once an important spice trading center which was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, the beach is divided in two the more scenic and tranquil north and the bustling, jam-packed south. The canals linking the spice plantations still remain today. The soft sandy beaches, the palm plantations and the abundant Buddhist Dagobas are Kalutara’s main attractions.
Unawatuna – Unawatuna Beach is one of the safest beaches in Sri Lanka as it is protected by a beautiful coral reef. It is one of the quietest among the resorts on the western coast and is an excellent location to enjoy tropical beauty in relative seclusion. It is an ideal location for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming, and all the equipment needed can be rented from any beachfront shop. There are also turtle hatcheries nearby which can be visited throughout the year. It is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a tranquil holiday.
Mirissa – Mirissa beach is set in a small fishing village with beautiful scenery. It is a peaceful sandy beach with crystal clear waters ideal for snorkeling. It is also a well known area for whale and dolphin watching. This beach boasts some of Sri Lanka’s best and most stunning sunrises which creep up from the horizon to greet you and back again on the other side to form a breathtaking and memorable sunset. It’s a low-key, peaceful spot that was once limited to just backpackers but is now becoming a more popular destination as travelers seek out quieter alternatives.
Trincomalee/ Nilaveli – Trincomalee and Nilaveli are located in an are which used to be a peaceful old port city which was deserted for many years due to the Sri Lankan Civil War and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. However it is once again becoming a spot for utmost relaxation on wide serene stretches of white sandy beaches which slope gently into the clear blue sea. The beaches are ideal for sunbathing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching. Pigeon Island, floating a few kilometers away from the coast is a very small island, covered completely with pure-white coral, which offers breathtaking underwater scenes and is a perfect place to snorkel and relax.
Arugam Bay – Arugam Bay beach is set with a serene palm-rimmed village of simple restaurants and cabanas. Often referred to as a surfer’s paradise, this beach has some of the best conditions for a variety of water sports including swimming and wind sailing. It was devastatingly affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami; however the only beneficial feature left was the seclusion on the beach in years to come. It provides utmost relaxation and tranquility with white sandy beaches and the possibility of spotting Sri Lankan wildlife due to its close proximity to Yala National Park.
Pasikuda – Pasikuda beach is a curved and rather compact shore, however it is impressively vast with wide stretches of spectacular beach with palms scattered along the coastline. It is home to a small picturesque village in a lagoon enclosed area in the dry zone of the East. It is an ideal location for sunbathing and the bay is perfect for wind surfing. The bay is bordered by one of the best known coral reef systems on the east coast making it an enjoyable and fascinating place to snorkel and dive in the clear blue water.
Batticaloa – Batticaloa beach is situated on the east coast of Sri Lanka next to one of the largest lagoons in the country and is the heart of a very fascinating culture. The Dutch invaders made their first footstep in here in 1602 and they built a fort in 1665 which is still visible near the lagoon. The area is famous for the musical sounds of the singing fish which can be heard in the lagoons when the light of a full moon shines on it. The sea is shallow and safe enough for tourists to swim and wade in 150 – 200 metres from the shore and the beach is dotted with beautiful rock pools inhabited by a variety of interesting sea creatures.
Tangalle/ Hambantota – Tangalle and Hambantota are located on the south east coast near Yala National park and are popular locations for snorkeling and diving. Both are beautiful natural bays fringed with palm trees and are ideal locations to soak up the sun.The seas are slightly rougher than other coastal areas on the eastern coast, yet the soft golden beaches and clear water attract many tourists with views of beautiful coral reefs and jewel hued fish. Sea turtles are commonly spotted along the reef and even visit the shore at night to lay their eggs. Other wildlife is commonly spotted wondering on the shore and the neighboring jungle areas.