A Solo Guide to Beach Hopping in Sri Lanka
There are plenty of reasons to plan a holiday in Sri Lanka, including its rich history, unique culture and abundance of wildlife – but no itinerary would be complete without a visit to the island’s amazing beaches. With so many to choose from, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one!
Each shore has its own amazing atmosphere, so here’s a guide that takes you from Sri Lanka’s west coast to its east, with a stop at all the beaches that you won’t want to miss!
Silver Beach, Chilaw
We begin our journey in the town of Chilaw, 80 kilometres north of Colombo on the island’s north western shores. Named for the glow of its glimmering coastline that can be seen for miles around, Silver Beach attracts visitors with its clean shores and inviting waters. It is located close to Chilaw Beach Park, a landscaped pathway lined with large coconut trees that allows visitors to stroll along the water’s edge. Walk through the path when the sun is strongest, relaxing in the shade of the trees, before retiring to the beach to watch the sun go down!
Next, make the journey down to Sri Lanka’s southern coast to head to Weligama, a popular break for beginner surfers that is also known for its famous stilt fishermen. There are plenty of instructors to teach you how to surf along this peaceful stretch of shoreline, as well as some amazing, fresh seafood to feast on when you’re in between lessons. There’s also Taprobane House, a guesthouse villa situated on a tiny island off the coast that was built by an exiled Count from France that is well worth the visit!
Ten minutes from Weligama is Mirissa, which features a large stretch of beach with calm waves. You can put a towel out on the sand and relax in front of the waves, or head to one of the many restaurants for lunch, and sip cocktails on sunbeds. After sunset, the sunbeds get taken away and tables decorate the golden beach, lit by lanterns creating a lovely inviting setting for an outdoor meal. The restaurants sell fresh seafood for dinner that you can eat right there on the beach!
Around 50 kilometres east of Mirissa, you’ll find Tangalle beach, with its pristine white shores and deep blue waters. Tangalle is a small fishing village, with a relatively peaceful stretch of golden sand and azure waters, which make it a perfect location to relax away from the bustle of Sri Lanka’s more popular tourist attractions. The waves here can be rougher than elsewhere, so it may be best to stick to the shore! Nevertheless, Tangalle’s beach is great for long, relaxing walks, and is definitely not to be missed on your beach-hopping tour of the island!
This next leg of the tour takes us to the eastern coast town of Arugam Bay. The town relies on fishing and tourism to power its economy, and is also known as the country’s most popular surfing destination. Arugam Bay has been counted among the top ten surfing destinations in the world! With a low residential population, visitors to its beaches can generally find peace and quiet when relaxing on its shores.
If you’re interested in surfing, here are the best surfing spots in Arugam Bay to hunt for!
The final stop on this beach-hopping tour takes us all the way up the east coast of Sri Lanka to Trincomalee, one of the oldest cities in Asia. With clean white sands and clear blue waters, the beaches in Trincomalee are known to be some of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka – especially for catching a sunrise. The shallow waters allow beach-goers to wander as far as a hundred metres into the ocean with the water barely reaching their chests. Whale watching is also becoming an increasingly popular activity off its coast, and is a great way to end your beach adventure. Here are 5 things you should know before planning your whale watching trip.