Surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the island is a paradise to live your tropical fantasy. The coastline of over 1,300km that rings the island like a gleaming satin ribbon offers diverse yet breathtakingly beautiful beaches to suit your fancy.
Whether you are dreaming of trading snow for a secluded stretch of golden sand or a surfing hot spot with mighty waves, there are enough options out there to please every type of traveller. From the palm-fringed picture perfect bays of the south coast to the bustling beach stretches of the northwest and the laidback surfing havens in the east coast, the beaches are as diverse as the rest of the island itself.
The south coast of the island is the ultimate sandy destination for many who visit the island. Hikkaduwa and Unwatuna are the most popular beach towns in the south due to their beaches, accommodation options and lively nightlife. These two beach towns that exude leisurely bohemian vibes, never fail to enchant the discerning beach lover. Galle, the island’s ancient fortified city is a stunning beach destination topped with colonial elegance. The wide bay provides protection from the ocean swells and ensures safe swimming all year round. A mere 30-minute drive south along the blissful coastal road brings you to Mirissa, which is an idyllic destination to get up close with whales. Tangalle in southern Sri Lanka hides a bunch of powder-fine, uncrowded beach strips for a serene getaway. Hiri is yet another mesmerising cove in the south, dubbed “Sri Lanka’s latest nomad hotspot.”
The east coast of the island calls the holidaymakers to kick off an action-packed getaway in the tropics, attracting ardent surfers from all over the world. Powdery sands, vibrant seashells, a hammock gently swaying between two palm trees as the azure sea laps at the shore – the east coast is also a peaceful beach haven to relax and enjoy a laidback atmosphere.
Nestled in the east of the island, Passikudah Bay and Kalkudah beach are gems of tropical destinations. Travelling north along the coast, you will come to Kalpitiya, which has stirred a passion for the exhilarating sport of kitesurfing. Zigzag across the waters, somersault in the air and experience the thrill of kitesurfing when in Kalpitiya. Kalpitiya is also loved by the windsurfing community.
The silver front-yard of the northern peninsula of the island, Casuarina is just a 45-minute drive from Jaffna’s busy centre. Snorkeling is popular in its crystalised waters and you can enjoy boat rides and diving adventures too.
Minutes away from the cosmopolitan capital of Colombo lies the southwest coast, which is known for its soft sands and peaceful waters. Wadduwa and Kalutara are the famed beach spots in the southwest coast where you can simply grab a sunset cocktail and drink in the fascinating seascapes. Beruwala as well as Bentota also top the list of southwestern beach strips. However, these two are more touristy, and thus the coast is dotted with whitewashed beach villas and boutique hotels.
If you aren’t into any of the above, visit one of the sensational coastlines of the island, take out your favourite book, lounge in the soft sand sunbathing and indulge in mouth-watering seafood – you wouldn’t regret it.