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Updated by GiN on Apr 11, 2018
Headline for Ready? Get Set. GO!! - Plan your beach holiday to Sri Lanka with these incredible tips from the experts!
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Ready? Get Set. GO!! - Plan your beach holiday to Sri Lanka with these incredible tips from the experts!

Planning a beach vacation to the sunny island of the Indian Ocean can be tough. Here are some key things you need to sort out before you visit! If you have any more you'd like to add, please do!


Look for sunshine

Sri Lanka, as you might already know, is a tropical island, which means the entire outline of the island is a beach lover’s haven. The most popular beaches are in the south and east of the country. The country faces two major monsoon seasons. Usually, the months between October to December brings about the heaviest downpours that cover the entire island, while the second monsoon season starts from May and lasts till September, covering the south-west part of the country, making these months the most ideal to visit the east. While the best time for the southern beaches are from mid-December to early April. It should also be stated that due to its tropical weather, you are more than likely to encounter a day of scorching sunshine followed by a torrential downpour hours later!


The four S'

Once you get your visa and have booked your tickets according to the season, you now have to decide what kind of beach experience you are looking for. Sri Lanka’s famed beaches are known for snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and swimming. For snorkelling and scuba diving, Pigeon Island on the east, Hikkaduwa beach on the south and Bar Reef Kalpitiya in the north-west are your best spots for seeing a range of colourful marine life. For surfing, Weligama Bay, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa in the south and Arugam Bay, Trincomalee, Pottuvil Point and Elephant Rock on the east side of the island are the most ideal spots for surfing; whether you’re a beginner or a pro. However, if your main goal is to get that perfect island glow while sipping on pina coladas, king coconuts or beer, then head towards the southern beaches of Galle, Unawatuna, Bentota, Ahangama and Balapitiya are most popular, while Nilaveli, Trincomalee and Kuchaveli on the east is popular and if you’re staying within the limits of Colombo city, Mount Lavinia beach is your best bet!


Accommodation hunting

One of the key elements to ensuring your vacation is memorable, is to book accommodation in advance, whether it’s a luxury hotel or a boutique bungalow. It’s imperative that you conduct your research on your resort/hotel. Common things to keep in mind when looking for a place to stay are your budget, distance from hotel to beach, facilities such as pool, spa, etc., and obviously, how good do the rooms look. Properties that overlook the beach such as; Jetwing Lighthouse Galle, or Cape Weligama in the south and Sunrise by Jetwing on the east in Pasikudah, are known to be some of the most favourite amongst travellers.



It's highly recommended that you eat seafood when you're in Sri Lanka. Fresh, succulent seafood makes your vacation on the island even more exotic than you intended. Some of the most popular seafood items are crabs, prawns and fish.



First things first, have you got your visa? Citizens of Singapore, Maldives and Seychelles are exempt from obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization and instead can obtain one on arrival at no extra charge. The government urges all visitors to obtain an online visa. Make sure you have a hard copy of it before you arrive!


What’s in your suitcase?

Pack lightly. Pack your swimsuits, sunscreen, big floppy beach hats, sun glasses, sun-dresses, flip-flops, beach shorts. However, in the highly likely event that you’ll be leaving the golden shores to explore the island and visit its historic sacred temples or monuments, pack modest clothing, preferably cotton, as it can get quite hot and humid during the day!


Travelling around

Travelling around the island is quite easy and convenient, as there are numerous options for doing so. Travellers can opt to use public transport systems such as the bus or train. Trains tend to get delayed quite often, but offer the most scenic coastal views, especially if you're travelling to the south. Tuk-tuks are ideal for getting around within a city. Buses are fast and in abundance, however, they come with a word of warning, as numerous bus drivers are budding Formula 1 drivers! Another option is to rent a car and drive at your own pace as you explore all the beaches on this list. If you need some additional help, there are a number of travel agencies like Diethlem Travel Sri Lanka, who will assist you in planning a flawless beach-cation to the island, so all you have to worry about is your tan!