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rocky beach and palm trees in sri lanka

Sri Lanka Beaches


Sri Lanka’s beautiful, palm-fringed beaches are the ideal spot for a relaxing stay.

The driest time for the west and south coast is December to March, followed by July and August, and while swimming in the sea is possible, many beaches are affected by large waves and strong currents year round.

The east coast offers a contrast with calmer waters and a drier and more consistent climate which is at its best from March to September. Consider taking a scenic flight transfer to the east coast to cut your journey time and enjoy a stunning bird’s eye view of the island en route.

If heading to Sri Lanka just for a beach holiday, why not book one of our unmissable experiences below to see a bit more of this beautiful country?

SRI LANKA'S BEST BEACHES

Negombo & Waikkal
Negombo & Waikkal
Once a trading port for the Dutch and British, Negombo has developed into a bustling modern town with a handful of reminders of its colonial past. Situated close to the international airport, it makes a convenient rest stop before or after a flight. The wide golden sand beach is dotted with fishing boats and there are a number of bars and restaurants in the area. Just 20 minutes drive north, the long beach at Waikkal is quieter and more secluded.
Wadduwa & Kalutara
Wadduwa & Kalutara
Boasting a lovely quiet ribbon of beach, the small village of Wadduwa is relatively undeveloped with just a small number of hotels and local shops along the coastal road. To the south, near the busy market town of Kalutara, a wide, golden sand beach extends either side of the Kalu River mouth and lagoon, where a range of watersports are possible. Located a couple of hours from the airport, both these resorts are ideal for an easily accessible beach stay.
Bentota
Bentota
Bentota has long been a favourite amongst holidaymakers for its peaceful and picturesque wide golden arc of sand and laidback atmosphere. Away from the coast the calmer waters of the Bentota Ganga lagoon are ideal for watersports and there are a few local restaurants. Close by, the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project is worth a visit to see efforts made to protect Sri Lanka’s five species of turtle from extinction.
South Coast Beaches
South Coast Beaches
Lying on the southernmost shore, the ruggedly beautiful beaches close to historic Galle may be narrow, but are peaceful and secluded with just a handful of hotels hugging the coastline. Heading east via Koggala to Tangalle and beyond lie dozens of beautiful secluded coves and a lush green interior. Wherever you stay, the UNESCO World Heritage listed fort city of Galle is worth a day trip to discover its colonial sights, cafés and boutiques.
Trincomalee Coast
Trincomalee Coast
North of the historic city of Trincomalee (known as Trinco to the locals), miles of white sand stretch up the coastline. With Pigeon Island National Park just offshore, fringed by coral reef, it’s a great base for snorkelling and diving. Trinco itself is also worth a visit to see the historic fort and the famous Koneswaram Kovil Hindu temple. Further north Kuchchaveli offers virtually deserted beaches and calm clear waters, bordered by tropical jungle.
Passekudah
Passekudah
Scenic Passekudah has recently opened up to tourism and today a number of resorts line the wide bay. The lagoon offers shallow warm waters protected by a reef, making it perfect for families and great for watersports such as kayaking and windsurfing. The town of Batticaloa, 30 minutes drive to the south, is the closest hub for flight transfers to Passekudah and is also home to a historic Dutch fort.

SRI LANKA BEACH RESORTS

Avani Kalutara Resort, Kalutara
Southwest Coast
from £63
  • Long golden beach
  • Pool with kids’ section
  • Use of watersports and spa at Anantara Kalutara Resort next door
  • Gym
  • Beach volleyball
  • Kids’ club
  • Free wi-fi

  • The Fortress Resort & Spa, Koggala
    Southwest Coast
    from £81
  • Long narrow beach
  • Infinity pool
  • Gorgeous spa which specialises in Ayurvedic treatments
  • Gym
  • Kids’ club
  • Free wi-fi

  • Shangri-La's Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, Hambantota
    Southwest Coast
    from £95
  • Ruggedly beautiful beach
  • Three pools
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Yoga & exercise classes
  • 18 hole golf course (payable locally)
  • Beach volleyball
  • Mountain biking
  • Table tennis
  • Artisan village showcasing traditional arts & crafts
  • Kids’ club
  • Free wi-fi

  • The Blue Water, Wadduwa
    Southwest Coast
    from £65
  • Lovely golden sand beach
  • Large pool
  • Stylish, minimalist spa
  • Gym
  • 2 tennis courts
  • Squash court
  • 2 restaurants, a coffee shop & 2 bars
  • Free wi-fi

  • Uga Jungle Beach
    Trincomalee
    from £102
  • Unspoilt golden sand beach
  • Shady pool
  • Jet skiing (payable locally)
  • Tranquil spa
  • Gym
  • Bicycle hire
  • Free wi-fi

  • Trinco Blu by Cinnamon
    Trincomalee
    from £64
  • Lovely beach
  • Pool with kids’ section
  • Watersports and divecentre (open Mar - Oct)
  • Free wi-fi

  • Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Tangalle
    Southwest Coast
    from £134
  • Lovely beach
  • Stylish pool
  • Surfing & stand-up paddle boarding (payable locally)
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Bicycle hire
  • Tennis & badminton courts
  • Yoga, meditation & cooking classes (payable locally)
  • Resort naturalist
  • Kids’ & teens’ clubs
  • Free wi-fi

  • Aditya, near Galle
    Southwest Coast
    from £101
  • Lovely beach
  • Charming pool
  • Small spa
  • Yoga sessions (payable locally)
  • Garden hammocks
  • Book and DVD library
  • Free wi-fi.

  • Club Hotel Dolphin, Waikkal
    Southwest Coast
    from £63
  • Golden sand beach
  • 2 pools
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Tennis, badminton & squash courts
  • Kayaking on the canal
  • Mountain bike hire
  • Horse riding
  • Kids’ club
  • 2 restaurants, a café & 2 bars
  • Private dining available
  • Nightclub open at the weekend
  • Free wi-fi

  • Anantara Kalutara Resort, Kalutara
    Southwest Coast
    from £143
  • Golden sand beach
  • Two pools
  • Watersports (payable locally)
  • Extensive spa
  • Gym
  • Yoga & Cooking classes (payable locally)
  • Zip line & Abseiling and Archery (payable locally)
  • Geoffrey Bawa library
  • Kids’ & teens’ club
  • Free wi-fi

  • Amari Galle
    Southwest Coast
    from £80
  • Golden beach
  • Pretty freeform pool with separate kids’ pool
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Kids’ club
  • Free wi-fi

  • Kumu Beach, Balapitiya
    Southwest Coast
    from £114
  • Tranquil beach
  • Infinity pool
  • Small spa
  • Stylish lounge
  • Restaurant & bar
  • Free wi-fi

  • UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES IN SRI LANKA

    Galle Fort & Turtle Hatchery
    Approx 3.5-7.5 hours depending on pick up.
    from £149
  • Galle Fort
  • Turtle Hatchery

  • Udawalawe National Park Experience
    Approx 8.5 - 13.5 hours depending on pick up
    from £165
  • Udawalawe National Park
  • See Water buffalos, samba deer and monkeys
  • Elephant transit home

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