Beaches are great for relaxation, swimming, tanning and some fun in the sun. Many of the beaches along Sri Lanka’s coasts are great for surfing, snorkeling and diving, but can be an issue for children and even adults who can’t swim very well. Riptides are frequent in certain places, and without lifeguards around, they could drag an individual out to sea.
Of course, no beach is 100% safe all year round, but familiarising yourself with safe spots with the help of a knowledgeable local guide and knowing what time of year is best to visit which part of the island could reduce most safety concerns. Here are a few Sri Lankan beaches where families with kids could have fun safely.
1. Mt. Lavinia
Mt. Lavinia Beach can be a bit hard to gauge for those who are unfamiliar with reading beaches. For the most part, the waters along the Mt. Lavinia beach are quite shallow, but have sudden dips, although not very deep. The locals in the area are quite familiar with the safe swimming spots for children and you will find many families in the water throughout the day. There is a lifeguard tower and people are allowed in the water till about 5-6 p.m., after which there won’t be any lifeguards around.
The Bentota beach is clean and the water is usually quite clear. As many holiday resorts dot the shore, it can get rather crowded. It is possible to swim at Bentota beach, but the waves can get out of hand if you go too far out. If you’re staying at a resort, there’s likely to be lifeguards on hand, but best stick closer to the shore, especially if you’ve got children in the water. Apart from that, Bentota is a beautiful and relatively safe beach for families.
The Beruwala Beach (‘Golden Mile Beach’) is a great place to visit with kids. It’s not particularly great for surfers though, which is actually a good thing. The calm waters and gentle sloping of the beach makes for a safe area for children to play. There is also an area allocated for swimming that has been netted to ensure safety.
Located in the south west of the island, Unawatuna is very popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s absolutely stunning, for starters, but the beach itself is in a bay, making it much safer to swim in. You may have to keep an eye out though, as the waves in certain spots along the beach may be a little rough.
The jewel of the East Coast, Pasikudah is a blue paradise. And it’s due to this reason that it’s so crowded. People flock here to enjoy the smooth, gentle waves and calm waters. It’s a good place for swimming, even with children, but do watch out for dead coral which could cut your feet. The safe stretch of water reaches about 2 km out to sea, after which it gets deeper.