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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 things to do in Mirissa – a guide for the first-time travellers
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 things to do in Mirissa – a guide for the first-time travellers

Located on the southern coastal belt in the Matara District, approximately 150km south of Colombo, Mirissa is one of the most popular beach destinations in Sri Lanka.


Hit the Beach

Mirissa beach is one of the most unspoiled and less crowded beaches in Sri Lanka. With a crescent-shaped stretch of palm-fringed soft golden sand and the turquoise blue water, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. You can just lie there the whole day enjoying the warmth of the sun on your skin and the salty breeze on your hair, keeping the worries of the outside world far from your mind. The waves are just the right size to have a safe swim and a few hours of relaxed bodyboarding.


Snorkel in the Turtle Bay

Snorkelling is an all-time favourite activity of beach lovers but the Turtle Bay in Mirissa takes it to another level, giving you the chance to snorkel side by side with sea turtles. You will be lucky to spot these wonderful creatures if the weather permits and the water is clear enough. This is located towards the southern end of Mirissa beach and is best for snorkelling early in the morning when the tide is low. You can carry your own snorkelling equipment or get the help of hotel staff to find a place that hires the equipment.


Walk over to the Parrot Rock

Parrot rock is centred between the two bays of Mirissa, around 15 metres into the water from the shore. This is a small protruding island that is ideal for getting a panoramic view of the surroundings and capturing some beautiful photographs. You can easily wade over to the island during the low tide hours, expecting the knee to waist deep water. Locals also use this as a fishing bay, even though there is a notice, which says the land is a private property. It is really fascinating to watch the sunset from the top of the parrot rock.


Go whale watching

Mirissa is an ideal spot for whale watching during the seasons that falls between November to April and July to September. Peak months for sightings are December, January, and April. You can be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a rare blue whale or a sperm whale swimming very close to you if you keep your eyes open. Most of the Mirissa hotels provide facilities for boating trips and some of these hotels such as the Mandara Resort Mirissa organize whale watching excursions. If you are out to watch whales, it is important to get the service of a professional to organize your trip because a random boat trip will leave you with nothing but seasickness and disappointment.


Enjoy the delicious Sri Lankan food

Just like most of the other places in Sri Lanka, Mirissa is also not short of a wide choice of delicious, mouthwatering cuisine. You can try out the small beach restaurants to taste the favourite local dishes at a much cheaper price. Meals are not very expensive, which gives you the chance to explore the different tastes with a free mind.