Sri Lanka’s beaches are well known for their idyllic scenery and excellent surfing conditions. From east to west, every beach has its own unique character. But – depending on your preferences – you might find good or better options. Here we are listing our favourites, the 10 best beaches in Sri Lanka as per our taste. Enjoy & let us know if you had the chance to visit any of them!


Mullaitivu is a tiny village with an amazing coastline. The sandy beaches are nicely cleaned and all around the hotels it’s marked when it’s safe to enter the water. They always worn you about the currents as well. Because of the location, off the beaten track on the east coast, you’ll find these beaches almost empty. Plus, the scenery is really breathtaking. They place here many colourful boats, that obviously add to your pictures a lot. They really take care about their boats, hard to find any that is not freshly or recently painted.


Nilaveli is a coastal resort town and suburb of the Trincomalee District. It is located 16 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli, the numbers of visitors declined following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, but have risen again since 2010. 

It’s hard to find calm beaches in Sri Lanka. The currents all around the island are constantly causing big waves, making Sri Lanka the perfect spot for surf lovers. But if you prefer calmer beaches, where you can just swim, snorkel, and relax in the warm water, this is your coastline. Starting from Mullaitivu, via Kuchchaveli till Nilaveli and Uppuveli. We could spend hours in the water just enjoying the perfect temperature of the ocean and meanwhile admiring all the palm trees and the sandy coastline.


If you hadn’t had enough from sandy beaches, you can also visit the neighbouring Uppuveli. Some of the locals prefer even more Uppuveli’s beach than Nilaveli. It’s up to preferences, but it’s definitely worth the visit, if you want to enjoy a complete beach day. Not to miss the famous Fernando’s Bar, where you can get fresh cocktails and sun-beds to enjoy your day to the fullest. Be prepared to meet other tourists as well, as it’s a famous chill-out at meeting point for any kind of travellers.


Tangalle is one of those Sri Lankan beaches made for paradise seekers. It’s a bit harder to reach as it’s dislocated from the usual Sri Lanka route but so worth a visit! This means that few tourists visit Tangalle, creating a more tranquil experience. The currents around Tangalle are crazy strong though. Be careful once entering the ocean, it might surprise you!

If you are looking for these views, go to Lagoon Paradise Beach Resort. You can rent rooms there of course, or you can just get a daily pass to enjoy their facilities, pool, cocktails, so on, while you can take thousands of amazing pictures at their coast & enjoy their beach restaurant, the Big Crocodile.


Dondra is a settlement on the extreme southernmost tip of Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean near Matara, in the Southern Province. The Dondra Head Lighthouse, ruins of several Hindu shrines of Tenavaram and a Vihara (Buddhist temple) are located in the vicinity.

In Dondra, just on the way to the lighthouse you can find many lovely bays where you can have a bath. You can spot here many locals as well enjoying their bath.


The beach of Mirissa is maybe the most well-known in Sri Lanka. You can spot here the most tourists, and the most touristy services. It’s famous for excellent surfing conditions, restaurants, bars, and snorkeling. You can find many European standard bars and hotels here as well. The coastline is like in the paradise and you can find some natural swimming pools as well shaped out of the natural rocks of the ocean.


If you ask me, the best & most picturesque beaches of Sri Lanka you can find in Koggala. It’s unreal, so beautiful that you would think that you are in paradise. I’m not joking. You can find here the perfect palm tree, in the perfect angle, the long waves, and extremely clean beaches. You can capture here the perfect postcard. Not to mention the stick fishermen, that makes this idyll even more authentic – even if you need to pay those fishermen to pose for you.

If you are looking for these views, go to K&K Beach Galle Hotel. You can rent rooms there of course, of you can just get a daily pass to enjoy their facilities, pool, cocktails, so on, while you can take thousands of amazing pictures at their coast.


Unawatuna Beach is one of the most visited beach in Sri Lanka besides Mirissa and Hikkaduwa. It provides us with all the tourist facilities that you would need. They organize snorkeling, surfing, diving & paddle boarding as well. It is safe and clean and has lots of marine life. You can find many good diving sites close to the beach. Also, a Submarine Diving school is well-located on the beach for this purpose. The beach is offering a large amount of restaurants and bars. Several options for tourist tours and glass bottom boat tours, too.


Hikkaduwa Beach is located to the closest to Colombo, so it’s a very frequent point and visited by tourists and locals as well. Hikkaduwa Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka. Coral reefs are one of the main attractions of this beach. There is shallow water and you can be lucky and during season you can be touching and feeding even turtles here.


The main reason why you most likely will visit Negombo is because Bandaranaike International Airport is just there. So you will land there. Negombo is a town close to Colombo, the capital of the country. And, compared with Colombo, Negombo is peaceful and calm and it has some resorts and hotels on the coast which make it a convenient option to rest after a long flight or to stay while waiting to depart. Since it can be a demanded place by tourists, Negombo has many restaurants, bars and tourist offers. The beaches there can be very nice, like Browns Beach or the cleaned beaches of the resorts. Besides that, it can be dirty and contaminated, so it’s better to stay with the recommended options only.

Read more opinions about Negombo here:

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2 responses to “The 10 best beaches in Sri Lanka”

  1. Tangalle – Sri Lanka's southern paradise

    […] The 10 best beaches in Sri Lanka […]

  2. Nish

    Sri Lanka is so blessed in beaches. I also did a top ten beaches post a couple years ago, and so nice to see there is so little overlap between yours and my lists.

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