Sri Lanka possesses nearly 1600 km coastlines with tropical beaches which are popular among both local and foreign tourists. Most of the coastlines of the country are studded with varying coastal features such as bays, lagoons, sandbanks and rocky headlands. Marine recreation activities, such as sea bathing and Swimming, surfing, boating, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, underwater photography, and Scuba diving can be seen at most of these beaches and related resort areas. Beaches at Tangalle, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentita, Unawatuna Arugam Bay, Pasikudda, Uppuveli, Hikkaduwa and Negambo are considered as famous tourist beaches in the country.
Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negambo Lagoon, in Western Province.
Negombo is a beautiful beach resort on the western coast of Sri Lanka. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major tourist attractions of Negombo bringing locals and tourists to enjoy a memorable beach holiday.
Negombo is known for its long sandy beaches and centuries old fishing industry. Negombo has a large bilingual population of Roman Catholics known as Negombo Tamils who their own Tamil dialect but mostly identify themselves as Sinhalese.
Negombo, Situated six kilometres, a mere stones throwaway from the International airport of Sri Lanka, is a characteristic predominantly Christian fishing town with narrow streets and small boutiques and many a historic churches to visit and see, with its routes running back to the arrival of the Portuguese. Negombo is an ideal place to enjoy the traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka, the out rigger canoe, the swifter catamaran and the lagoon famous for its promfret, lagoon crab & lobster during season.
Negombo (Migamuwa) is a town of about 40 km north of Colombo. It has a small port and its economy is based on centuries old fishing industries and tourism. During the Dutch and Portuguese invasion it was used as a trading port.
The beaches of Negombo are most of the time less crowded and unexplored which means that the beach is mostly to yourself. Recreational sports such as Diving and surfing are famous among tourists. The Muthurajawela Marsh off Negombo lagoon just south of the town is a unique wetland habitat and the largest marsh in Sri Lanka popular with eco enthusiasts.
- Kite Surfing
The latest exhilarating extreme sport in Sri Lanka, it is a fusion of Kite flying , Wind Surfing , Wave boarding and Surfing. It is a bit difficult to master however, well qualified trainers are available at your disposal so that within a week you will be able to kite-surf like a pro.
Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and known for its beach and corals. It is a suburb of Galle, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast to the city center and approximately 108 kilometres (67 mi) south of Colombo. Unawatuna is situated at an elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) above the sea level.
And also Unawatuna in Sri Lanka is one of the most famous areas in the country. Tourists on a vacation like to spend their time in the southern part of Sri Lanka. This is mainly because the south has the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, and Unawatuna beach is a picturesque semicircular bay beach that stretches no more than one kilometer. With roughly a one hour ride from capital city Colombo, Unawatuna’s a perfect area to stay for a few days. The main beach at Unawatuna is popular with both tourists and locals. The wide stretched beaches offer some good swimming and a part of the beach is occupied with sunbeds to rent.
- Unawatuna is rich in its Biodiversity,
As the numerous other fine beaches in the south western and southern coast line of Sri Lanka, Unawatuna too is fringed by lush groves of coconut palm trees. However it has a rare geographical occurrence: on either end of the bay you can see headlands. And also Protected by a double reef over the bay creates a natural pool that makes the bay safe for swimmers.
From the midway of the stretch the swimmers are able to reach the Rock island. The Galapiteala Reef and Napoleon Reef, offering multi-level dives brings in opportunities to enjoy exceptional marine life: Napoleon Wrasse, Bat Fish, Golden Moray Eels and numerous other colourful species of fish can be found here.
At Unawatuna , with a bit of luck the tourists may witness turtles laying eggs along the shore. Diving also affords the opportunity to enjoy the sight of these magnificent sea turtles swimming around in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Over sixty Species of endemic birds, including terns, egrets, herons, sandpipers and kingfishers, as well as rarer species such as the lesser whistling duck, the Asian palm swift, the white –breasted waterhen, the Loten’s sunbird and the black bittern been sighted in the locality by the ornithologist, Clive Byers. These birds are mostly sighted in the remaining marshy area and Rumassala Hillock.
Off the coast of Unawatuna, beneath the Indian Ocean lies a number of coral reefs, shipwrecks, and a great variety of Fish and turtles. The turtles still wade onto the shore to lay their nests and eggs, and at times, as if to lay first claim to the sandy shore now invaded by the tourists and dotted by restaurateurs, even go right into the beach front restaurants.
The Rumassala coral reefs at the east end of the Galle Harbor attract divers, but are now endangered due to possible port development. Eco treks in the shrub jungles of Rumassala are also available.
And also Jungle Beach, (4 km from Unawatuna ) is a small stretch of beach with the forest right behind it. As the name suggests, it has its share of wilderness. An ideal beach to enjoy some snorkeling, it can be accessed from the Unawatuna beach by Boat. A minor road too leads to the Jungle beach from Unawatuna.
Passikudah is renowned because of its extented shallow coastline, making it a great spot for sunbathing and shallow swimming. The mesmerizing, azure waters are hard to resist and, along with the pristine, white-golden sand of the beach, create an incredible sight.
Pasikuda, meaning “green-algae-bay” is situated in Eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka between Kalkuda and the Indian Ocean, approximately 35 kilometers from Batticaloa Town. The turquoise blue waters of the bay attracts local and foreign tourist to this wide sandy place under the hot tropical sun to surf, swim or just frolic in the water. Many other activities are available from kite surfing, boogie boarding to surfing and sailing across in a canoe.
Long out of reach due to the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, is now re-emerging as a tourist hot spot in the East of Sri Lanka. Coconut palms and Palmyra tree adorn the shores of this area, due to the semi-arid state, Sun screen and a large brimmed hat is recommended along with lots of liquid, to keep the heat under control.
Foreign travel to Pasikudah has recently increased due to growth in investment and development. It is home to the Pasikudah Mariamman temple. Pasikudah is easily accessible from the cities of Trincomalee and Batticaloa. And also the nearest airport to Pasikudah is Batticaloa. Airport, which has scheduled flights operating from Colombo Bandaranayake International Airport.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009 and the completion of tsunami rehabilitation projects, Pasikudah has become a popular tourist destination amongst locals and foreigners alike. Pasikudah is fast becoming an investor’s hub as foreign and local investors have shown interest in developing tourism along the beach. Pasikudah is known to have one of the longest stretches of shallow reef coastline in the world. People walk kilometers into the sea because the water is only a few inches deep and the current is relatively weak compared to the rest of Sri Lanka’s coasts.
- Nilaweli Beach
Nilaveli beach is located in Trincomalee District. This beach is considered one of the purest white sand beaches in Asia. It has remained protected from tourists and visitors for a long time because of the war and after the war thousands of people are visiting Trincomalee and the Nilaveli beach.
And also Nilaveli (Open-land of the moon-shine) is located north-west of the Island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka renowned for its soft white sand and breath-taking bays. Nilaveli is famous for recreational water sports such as scuba diving.
The beach is ideal to visit durin April and October. The Sun is at its most intense during this period so that you can work out on your tan. Nilaveli Located in east of the country 120 km from Colombo and 14 km from Trincomalee. The natural harbor and beach is one of finest in world. 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.
This beach is relatively less crowded than most beaches in Sri Lanka and you want find many small shops or various other traders. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli, the numbers of visitors declined following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, but have risen again since 2010. Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of the region is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, its many species of vegetation, coral and reef fish contributing to Nilaveli’s rich biodiversity.
Watersports are also a huge feature in this beach, surfing and windsurfing are the major excursions undertaken here. This is wind surfing and diving are very famous among tourists and even locals. And also 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.
- Marble Beach
Marble beach also known as Marble Bay Beach, is one of the most beautiful beach in Sri Lanka. The beach is situated at the Marble Bay that comes within the Trincomalee District natural harbor area. When the day is bright and the sea is calm, you can see the surface shining like a marble and that’s how the name is derived.
The name Marble beach comes from the Marble stones found in the area. There are lifeguards in the area so you can enjoy a bath without the fear of drowning, and you can go a fair distance towards the sea because of shallow waters. Another thing noticed the water did not have the salt taste.
The water is crystal blue and there are hardly any waves making it an excellent bathing spot. Before the war the beach was mainly used by Air Force officers and even now it is under the control of Air Force. You need to get approval to get to the beach, which can be obtained by the nearby China Bay Air Force camp.
Trincomalee has some of the most picturesque and scenic beaches found in Sri Lanka, relatively unspoilt and clean. The area is famous for bathing and swimming, owing to the relative shallowness of the sea, allowing one to walk out over a hundred meters into the sea without the water reaching the chest. Whale watching is a common pastime in the seas off Trincomalee, and successful sightings are on the rise with the increase of tourism in the area.
- Mirissa Beach
Mirissa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in the Matara District of the Southern Province. It is approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 4 metres (13 ft) above sea level. Mirissa’s beach and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. It is also a fishing port and one of the island’s main whale and dolphin watching locations Mirissa is a crescent shaped beach. And also it is a small beach paradise and a fishing port located on the southern tip of the island of Sri Lanka, just 200 kilometers north from the equator.
The sandy beach with its golden sand and undeniably warming atmosphere with chilled breezes, the perfect combination of hot and cold is a travel location that’s the envy of many countries. Marissa is quietly ensconced in the far eastern end of Weligama Bay. These beaches, now famous the world over once formed part of undiscovered natural treasures on the island of Sri Lanka. . Mirissa is a tourist heaven and must not be missed.
A person has a firsthand experiences watching the humongous creatures wriggle about and float underwater, the scene is truly enrapturing. The dolphins are extremely friendly as well, giving people a show of a lifetime. The Whale Watching activity is famous among avid tourists.
And also Mirissa is the largest fishing port on the south coast and is known for its tuna, mullet, snapper and butterfish. In 1980 the first tourist accommodation was built however it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that tourism to the town started to dramatically increase.
Sri Lanka’s Navy Passenger Craft called ‘Princess of Lanka’ was launched in 2011 and since then has been a vessel for people who want to enjoy a profound activity such as Whale Watching.
- Hikkaduwa Beach
Hikkaduwa is the name of a small town which is located on the south coast of Sri lank around 98 KM on the south of Colombo. It is well known for the Hikkaduwa beach which is labeled as one of the best surfing site in Sri Lanka and for Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary which is located a few meters away from the shore.
And also the beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town, 14 km away from Galle was the first (1960’s) of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkelling and diving in the clear waters are a major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colourful fish that dart around. And also Hikkaduwa has a beautiful beach, it is sandy and very wide, when we were there it was pretty clean too. It is a great beach for chilling on with a book, and strolling along during the day and early evening, but the sea here is very rough and not ideal for a gentle dip.
The coral sanctuary found along the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi coloured corals, and is home to countless numbers of vibrantly coloured fish. Off the beach there is a collection of small islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here. There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore along with dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment.
With plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka, the reason why so many visit Hikkaduwa is blatantly clear. The beaches are lovely and wide and swimming is safe here, though the currents are stronger when it comes to the south of Hikkaduwa. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles. Glass bottomed boats are available for visitors wanting to admire the wonders of the deep while keeping their feet dry! After a short distance southwards from the centre of the reef, it diminishes and starts a wider sandy bottomed beach with good waves ideal for board surfing and body surfing.
- Surfing in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa Beach and Surfing Hikkaduwa beach is one of the most popular tourist places in Sri lanka Known for the harmonized and calm environment. “Hikkaduwa is one of the best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, offering a clear warm water base. The wave sizes range from 4-11 feet. The Beach is considered to be one of the finest places in the country for surfing and it is also well known for seafood currie which gives an extraordinary touch while having the perfect day on the beach. You can enjoy Surfing to the fullest in the months of November to March when waves rise up. Many tourists have recommended surfing in these months. There are 4 main surf points in Hikkaduwa.
- Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary and Snorkeling
While enjoying the beach and the sea, it is necessary to have a look inside the sea to investigate and examine the aquatic life. Whoever has visited the Beach has highly recommended snorkeling. It is very much suitable if one wants to watch all the beautiful fishes and marine life closely. People get a chance to look at a lot of different types of small and big fishes and turtles etc. very closely. Hikkaduwa’s overexploited ‘coral sanctuary’ stretches out from the string of ‘Coral’ hotels at the north end of the strip to a group of rocks a couple of hundred metres offshore. You can swim out to the rocks from the Coral Gardens Hotel, where the reef runs straight out from the shore. So, whenever you get the chance to visit Sri Lanka and especially Hikkaduwa beach, don’t forget to experience surfing as well as snorkeling, it will be an experience of a life time.
- Turtle Hatchery
On the beach about 2 kms north of Hikkaduwa is a very small private Turtle Research Center, which works to protect this endangered species. Turtle eggs selected for hatching & progressive stages of the development of turtles can be seen here.
- Mount Lavinia Beach
Mount Lavinia Beach in Sri Lanka is a main sea-bathing spot in the island. depending on season, the waves can be swimmable and it’s host to some amazing sunsets. Mount Lavinia is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located within the administrative boundaries of the Dehiwala-Mount Laviia municipal limits.
The area is a mostly residential suburb, known as Colombo’s beach retreat it is famed for its “Golden Mile” of beaches,and has long been a hot spot for tourism and nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka and plays host to the island’s annual Gay Pride and Rainbow Kite Festival since 2005.
There are other explanations rooted in geography and the natural surroundings, when it comes to the origin of the name Mount Lavinia. The Sinhalese who lived on the coastal belt had named the promontory “Lihiniya Kanda” or “Lihiniyagala” meaning the hill of the sea gull or the rock of the sea gull.
The local name for the town today is Galkissa – Kissa being a somewhat obsolete Sinhala word for rock.