Sri Lanka is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife and cultural attractions.The first time I visited Sri Lanka in 2014, I fell in love with the country. I didn’t have my blog and wasn’t interested in photography yet, but I spent a month exploring different areas of this incredible island.
Since I began sharing my travels online, I always knew I wanted to revisit Sri Lanka to be able to showcase this wonderful place to you.
I would highly recommend spending at least three or four weeks in Sri Lanka to enable you to really discover the highlights of different regions. However, I understand that we don’t all have the luxury of taking that much time to travel and as such, most people will need to narrow down their itinerary.
On this most recent trip, I was limited to only 10 days of traveling, so I decided to focus on exploring the South Coast and Yala National Park, as it was the time of year when the weather is expected to be great in those regions (December – April).
In this guide, I’m sharing some of my favourite beach towns in the Southern Coast and why you should consider adding them to your itinerary.
Unawatuna Beach is one of the places that I stayed on my first trip to Sri Lanka and I had such fond memories of spending sun soaked days on the beach drinking fresh coconuts – I just had to return.Located close to Galle Fort, it is easily reachable and one of Sri Lanka’s most popular beach towns. Whilst it certainly has changed over the years, it’s home to a lot of great cafes, accommodation options and boasts a gorgeous beach.On this trip, we decided to stay in Dalawella, which is a more relaxed beach area of Unawatuna. It’s also home to one of Sri Lanka’s famous palm tree beach swings – although I didn’t swing myself as I was too busy swimming in the sea and resting in the shade of palm trees, it did look a lot of fun!We used this as our base and explored the local area, visiting the Japanese Peace Pagoda which is a peaceful temple located in Rumassala. Sitting on a hilltop it has incredible views of the coastline.We also visited Jungle beach, which is a walk through the most lush jungle to a secluded beach area. There are a couple of beach shacks where you can stop for a spot of lunch, this would be a gorgeous place to spend a sunny day. Unfortunately, it did start raining when we were there and we had to make a quick escape through the jungle back to our Tuk Tuk.
Hiriketiya is located near Dikwella on the south coast and is becoming increasingly popular with travellers who are trying to escape the more developed beach areas to the west.Hiriketiya is a stunning bay area, with a palm fringed beach and a number of great places to stay nearby. It’s perfect for surfers and there are a multitude of places where you can rent a surfboard to give it a try yourself.
Tangalle gives me sleepy fishing village vibes. It’s a great place to get a glimpse into the lives of local fishermen as they bring their catch to shore. Or simply enjoy fresh sea food on the multitude of secluded beaches and coves around this area.We stayed at Coco Tangalla, a beautiful boutique property that is situated on it’s own private stretch of beach. It was so tranquil, we often had it entirely to ourselves.
Mirissa has palm lined beaches, clear waters and is the best place to go whale watching. We did this on our first trip to Sri Lanka and despite having a terrible experience with sea sickness, it was amazing to be able to see whales in their natural habitat.What I would say is please do your research about the company that you go out to sea with. We had a wonderful experience and spotted many whales, but in more recent years I have heard of occasions where there are a lot of boats crowding the whales and behaving in an unethical manner. This is certainly something to consider!I have only shared a few of my favourite beach towns I visited during my most recent trip, but of course there are so many more places on the Southern Coast that are worthy of your time. It’s all about deciding how you want to spend your time, if you’re looking to relax or be more active, either way there will be a gorgeous beach destination that meets your needs.
Let me know what you think, have you visited Sri Lanka or do you plan to?