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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Surfing Beaches in Sri Lanka - rides the waves like the locals
Joanna James Joanna James
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Surfing Beaches in Sri Lanka - rides the waves like the locals

The best surf beaches in Sri Lanka are located along the South and East Coast, with favourites like Arugam Bay drawing the biggest crowds. Here are the top surf beaches around the island.



Beautiful beaches, coral reefs and an excellent surf point are what attract travellers to this coastal hippie town. The surf breaks in Hikkaduwa are well known and attract the biggest crowds during the peak season, between November to March. There are four main surf breaks here, spread out across the strip, each one suited to a different level of experience. Hikkaduwa is truly a surfing town, so expect to share the waves with not just fun loving tourists, but serious local surfers as well. Stay chill, and wait your turn in between waves and you'll be just fine. Beginners and experience surfers alike can even pick up a few tips from local surfers if you strike up a friendship.



An ideal spot for beginners - head over to the two kilometre stretch of shallow beach at first light to make the most out of the beach breaks before it gets too crowded. Swells here can go up to 5ft, and pack enough power to provide thrills while still keeping things safe. One thing to note, are the sand flies that converge on the beach after heavy rains, do make sure to treat all cuts or wounds to avoid infections.



Located in the Southern town of Dickwella, Hiriketiya is a stunning horseshoe shaped cove with reef and beach surf breaks that are ideal for both beginners and intermediate surfers. The reef break is located on a very shallow reef near the coastline, and provides powerful waves that can reach up to 6ft. The beach breaks start where the reef break winds down, but can be bigger than the usual beach break waves. This area can get quite busy with local surfers, especially if one of the surf schools are around at the same time. There are plenty of chill cafes in the area, so you can relax and take your time.



The famed Unawatuna strip has been featured by several travel companies like Nkar Travel House, thanks to its golden beach strip, hippie vibes, and coral reefs. However, Unawatuna also has some of the most powerful waves on the west coast of the island. The combination of powerful waves, reef, rocks, and coral make it best suited to more experienced surfers. The best time to surf is between November to April, when wind and waves pick up.


Arugam Bay

Located on the east coast, Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka is one of the top surfing destinations in the country, and attracts surfers from all over the world to its various surf breaks and secluded beaches. There are several surf breaks that can be found around the bay, ideal for both beginners and experienced surfers. There's main point, which is considered to be the best surf spot for intermediate surfers, to Whiskey Point which is perfect for beginners.

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