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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Best Beaches Of Sri Lanka – Where To Get Your Dose Of Sun, Sand And Sea.

If Edwin Starr wrote about the tropical island just off India, the lyrics would go like: 'Sri Lanka, huh, yeah. What is it good for? The golden beaches obviously!"



Perhaps you've heard of this quiet but extremely popular beach town of Unawatuna, covered in soft golden sands and a line of restaurants and bar bordering the coast, offering a great deal of saving grace from the blazing sun – especially after you've worked up your tan and swallowed a gallon of salt water from the exciting sea waves. Get the best tastes of freshly prepared seafood and island vibes as you relax and unwind on your island vacation. It is known that the best time to frolic in these waters is either in April or November. Though it's a small window, the beach can be accessed throughout the year. Around the Unawatuna bay, located on the south of Sri Lanka, you'll find a great deal of swimming areas which have more calmer and softer waves.



The bay of Passikuda, located on the east of Sri Lanka is world renowned, as you could walk around 200 km in and the water will still be up to your waist – although this largely varies on how tall you are! Wading through these calm waters is possible and is the one of the best place's on the island for a leisurely sea bath, where you don't have to battle the island's iconic waves half the time! One of the famous sights along the bay, if you manage to wake up rather early while staying at one of the many Pasikuda beach hotels in the area, such as Anantaya Resorts & Spa Passikudah, you'll be able to catch a fascinating glimpse of local fisherman pulling in their daily catch. Though the beach and can be accessed all year round, September is known to be the most ideal time to visit.


Arugam Bay

Also located on the sunny eastern coast of the island, Arugam Bay is famous for surfing. Surfers from around the world head to Arugam Bay to compete on island competitions and try their hand at the majestic waves here. Surfing is usually at its peak between the months from April to October – so if you're looking to ride some amazing waves, head down to Sri Lanka immediately! For experienced surfers, do check out Arugam Bay Point where waves reach a height of 5 to 10 metres. However, Arugam Bay is also great for leisurely swimming and casual dips in the sea. The waters are always warm and thrilling to roll around in. With many restaurants dotting the coast, you can easily find a place to sit down and enjoy a much needed meal after spending an exhausting day battling waves!


Bentota Beach

One of the many perks of heading to Bentota beach is that it's also in close proximity to the Bentota River. The waters around Bentota vary usually, depending on reef conditions and swells in the area. However most parts of the beach are swimmable, but caution must be taken when swimming here. The river is the best for water sports, so if you're on the lookout for some thrilling water sports after a busy day of relaxing on the golden sands and soaking up the sun, try some activities such as jet skiing, banana boat, tube ride, wind surfing and many more! Bentota is located on the south of Sri Lanka.


Hikkaduwa Beach

Also located on the southern coast, Hikkaduwa beach is famous for snorkelling, surfing and swimming! With colourful reefs and an eco system buzzing in these beautiful waters, snorkelling is the ideal here. Renting snorkelling or diving gear is easy as there are a number of small rental shops by the beach, run by locals. You'll also encounter some giant sea turtles if you're lucky!