10 Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

Martina Rosado
Written by
Last update:

Yala Beach

Yala beach is about 60 miles from Kandy and Kegalle. It is quite large, about 10 miles long. You can visit the town of Yala (pictured above) when you get to the Nullarbour Beach. If you are there on a Sunday, there is a large market done that day. This is about a three hour drive from Colombo. If you want to visit the tea plantations, the second option is to drive another hour to Nuwara Eliya. That is where the famous tea plantation is, the world’s largest tea factory in one place, a few boats that take you on an island tour, and a huge Buddhist temple.

Sri Lanka is one of the most popular destinations for beach lovers in South Asia. Yala is like one of those amazing private beaches that you want to tell your friends how great the beach really is. The setting and the natural features along the coast is a combination of white and golden sands and pristine waters that is ideal for most activities.

The wide sandy beach is made of white sand and salt water, which is why you can come here for some of the best water activities in Sri Lanka. From the uninhabited mangrove wilderness that lies at the mouth of the Yala river to sandy beaches and rocky cliffs, there are a number of different environments, making Yala’s beach stretch long and with an endless variety of natural wonders.

Uppuveli Beach

Uppuveli (Uppuveli) is a coastal village which is located towards mid of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s leading seaport, Galle is nearly 38 km westwards, while the capital Colombo 58 km eastwards. Uppuveli is linked to Galle through the Galle-Matara Railway line and was once a thriving industrial town housing over 200 textile mills. The town is now a residential location.

Uppuveli made world headlines in 2008 when the Parliament of Sri Lanka approved the construction of Uppuveli Pamban Bridge, also known as the "Peace Pagoda" over the Pamban or Pulmoddai Bay in order to ease the traffic ties between India and Sri Lanka. It is suggested that the bridge be named after the nearby village, but the bridge and the town are generally referred to simply as Uppuveli.

Hikkaduwa Beach

Hikkaduwa is a town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. Though it was damaged heavily in the 2004 Asian tsunami, the beaches are starting to be rebuilt. The town itself is extremely tourist friendly, with many restaurants, resorts, ATMs, and hostels.

The beaches here are calm and sandy, and the surf is perfect for surfing (relatively speaking). It is the best beach to witness the full beauty of sunsets in Sri Lanka, as you are able to see them form behind the vast islands in the distance.

The beaches are fringed with coconut palms and paddy fields. The coral colors of the water are ever-changing, from light blue to green to deep purple, depending on the tides. The waves here are not ideal for surfing, though you can always get in a short swim to cool off. Hikkaduwa Beach is a long stretch of calm water, with some small waves off in the distance.

The airport is located just outside of Hikkaduwa, and many agencies offer charter flights from other regional cities. There is a bus from the airport to Hikkaduwa, and it takes about 40 minutes to get to the town.

Hiriketiya Beach

Tangalle Beach

Tangalle Beach, is a wonderful place to spend a day, or a whole week, taking in its natural surrounding. This is a virgin white sandy beach, 15 kilometers from Tangalle town. Tangalle is located 55 kilometers south of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Flanked on either side of the beach by a natural lagoon surrounded by palm trees, making Tangalle a spectacular place to relax and take it easy. Palm fruit and prawns can be found all over the place to eat locally.

It is a quiet, secluded and luxurious beach, which makes it very popular. You can visit Tangalle via the A9 highway from Colombo. We easily found parking space all along the road on both sides. There are no hotels around the beach, just a few guesthouses along the beach road.

The Tangalle beach is not crowded and not all sand beaches are alike. Even right across the Tangalle beach there are other calm and beautiful, immaculate white sandy beaches.

Generally, you’ll find in the deeper sections of the Tangalle beach the sea very calm and clear, there are no waves, and shallow waters. There are also many natural hot springs here which look wonderful and can be used for a great relaxing massage.

Weligama Beach

Matara Str.

Five Surfing Places in Sri Lanka:

Weligama, Arugam Bay, Poikilamadala, Haputtittu, and Pigeon Island. You can also go to the resort area of Peradeniya.

The surfing scene is going through a renaissance in Sri Lanka. There are surf clubs all around that offer surf lessons. If you want to do your surfing in the island's north, it's best to try Peradeniya.

It is the most developed and has the best facilities. The surf clubs here are also really good and have experienced teachers that can take you on the right track.

The Surfboard Size in Sri Lanka is 8-9 feet in length.

If you want to try something a bit more adventurous, it is possible to camp at Weligama beach. So long as you are respectful of the others that are camping there, you will have a really pleasant night of camping. The sand is soft and great for sleeping on. There is fresh water that is available from the small streams that run along the beach.

The night sky here is also spectacular. The stars are bright and can provide an unbelievable atmosphere for a camping trip.

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a beautiful, white-sand beach on an island just off the East Coast of Sri Lanka. The beach is known for its calm waters, powdery fine-grained coral sand, and the quantity of turtles that crowd on to it daily.

The island of Pigeon Island is one of the most visited sites in Sri Lanka. Not far from Arugam Bay, the Pigeon island is a small island with a vast forest. The island’s dense Mangroves help to protect the island from strong seawaters and the rough waves.

The island is also home to different species of birds, insects, plants, fishes, crabs, and reptiles. You can also find insects that look like they were poached in the eggs… from being put in a ladybug's habitat.

The island also allows visitors access into the surrounding mangrove forests and watch some truly breathtaking sunsets. The island offers a place for weddings and other celebrations.

Bentota Beach

Bentota Beach, located in Southern Sri Lanka, is a beach where two of the world’s most enchanting sceneries meet.
Sri Pada Bentota Beach Bentota Beach is located on the coast of Bentota, from where it takes its name. Bendota, an alternative name derived from the padas (reeds which grow here) and nada (to speak), means ‪place of the whispering reeds‪.
Bentota, on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, is known for its "three finest beaches”: Sathara Ba, Lohodda Ba and Thalango.
These three beaches are all serene, each with its own distinctive beauty and charm.
Situated in Bentota town, the beaches of Bentota offer a panoramic view of the blue of the ocean mingled with shades of green and a fascinating sight of limestone covered in flowerfields.
The vegetation is so thick that one might encounter more plants of the flora species than that of the fauna.
The limestone formations of Bentota Bay, Caves of Hanthana and huge boulders in its waves are are the other main attributes to this beach.

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach is a small seaside resort town in south west Sri Lanka.

There are many beautiful beaches with white sands and clear water here.

Unawatuna Beach is one of the best beaches I have visited in Sri Lanka.

It has a sandy beach and is a great place to stay for long vacations.

A lot of people come here for the beach and maybe even for a quick getaway.

This is one of the most well-known beaches in the area offering a fancy hotel, a beach club and a small bar just along the shore.

The hotel has a spa, a coffee shop, a doctor’s surgery and free internet access.

There are also many hotels in Unawatuna Beach.

If you stay here, all you have to do is take a walk along the beach and enjoy the scenery.

The best part of this beach is that there are no rocks here. When you look at this beach, you can see white, sandy and clear, crystal-clear water.

The environment around this beach is also very clean.

However, it is a bit far from the center of the town of Unawatuna. If you intend to visit this beach, you might find it a bit boring by the end of the day.

Mirissa Beach

Mirissa, Sri Lanka

If you are looking for sun and sand in a beautiful setting, then Mirissa Beach is the best choice. Here water glistens between the huge rocks and the beach feels like paradise.

Mirissa is located at 16 kilometers south of Colombo International Airport. If you are the adventurous type, you may enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving as there are bountiful fishes at a small depth off the shore. Mirissa has a variety of hotels ranging from government accommodations to luxury hotels.

There are also many restaurants to accommodate diverse tastes from the budget travelers to the luxury travelers. Travelers can enjoy a wide array of foreign foods and exotic beverages to the locally prepared foods.

Mirissa is a good place to start or end a Sri Lanka tour.

Travelers Can Enjoy Wide Range of Foreign Foods & Exotic Beverages

Most famous citizen of Mirissa Beach is Thondella. She was an elephant who lived at the beach in the olden days. The most famous road in Mirissa is called elephant road. It is mostly popular for its narrow bridge over the Balangoda River.

Sample Daypack for Children

If you are travelling to Sri Lanka with children, here is a sample day pack for your kids.


  • 1 pair of stitched cloth shoes
  • 1 pair of canvas shoes
  • 1 pair of plastic sandals