A Solo Guide to Beach Hopping
There are plenty of reasons to holiday in Sri Lanka, including its rich history, unique culture and abundance of wildlife – but no itinerary would be complete without a visit to one of 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 shine of its glimmering coastline that can be seen for miles around, Silver Beach is known to attract visitors for 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 Sri Lanka’s western 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 away from Weligama is Mirissa, which features a large stretch of beach with calm waves and that is fronted by several restaurants and guesthouses. You can put a towel out on the sand and relax in front of the waves, or head to one of the restaurants for a drink and a place on one of their sunbeds. After sunset, the sunbeds get taken away and tables decorate the golden beach, lit by lanterns and inviting holiday-goers for a 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. The town began as a small fishing village, and fishing is still an important source of livelihood for the locals that live there. The beach is relatively peaceful, making it a perfect location to relax away from the bustle of Sri Lanka’s more popular tourist attractions. The waves here can be rougher that elsewhere, so it may be best to stick to the shore here! Nevertheless, Tangalle’s beach is great for long, relaxing walks on the sand, and is definitely not to be missed on your beach-hopping tour of the island!
This next leg of the tour takes us more than 200 kilometres away, to the beaches of Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s south east coast. The town relies on fishing and tourism to power its economy, but it 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. It doesn’t have a large population – just a few hundred people live there – and visitors to its beaches can generally find peace and quiet when relaxing on its shores.
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 at Trinco are known to be some of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka. 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!