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Must-see Sri Lankan beaches

Sri Lanka is surrounded entirely by the Indian Ocean, so it’s no great surprise that every compass point around the island boasts a beautiful beach or two. The best time to visit for surfing or sunbathing is August to October, before the start of the monsoon season.


Situated in the middle of the island’s northeast coast, Trincomalee offers beautiful sandy beaches with palm trees and blue waters. You can visit Nilaveli Beach and try your hand at fishing, book a whale-watching tour, or take a short boat ride to Pigeon Island, a popular snorkelling spot. Also nearby is Coral Island, boasting a gorgeous reef with tropical fish and marine life. Windsurfing aficionados will want to head a little further south to Uppuveli Beach for some board-and-sail action.

Sri Lankan Beaches


Located close to the historic city of Galle along the southwest coast, Hikkaduwa Beach is firmly on the tourist trail and for good reason. Beat the heat with a leisurely snorkel or a full-blown dive at Hikkaduwa Coral Reef, or stay dry and enjoy the view from a glass-bottomed boat. There’s a vibrant nightlife scene in town, with rows of restaurants and bars lining the shore. Further south is Mirissa Beach, a laid-back coastal community, where you can surf, jet ski or kite surf by day, and admire the stunning sunsets by night, with a few drinks and some fresh seafood cooked up in the restaurants along the beach.

Sri Lankan Beaches


If you’re keen to catch some waves, Arugam Bay is the place to go. Located on the southeast corner of the island, this is arguably Sri Lanka’s best break – or, if boards aren’t your thing, you can just enjoy the sun and relax at one of the many bars along the beach. End the day with a barbecue seafood feast beneath the palms.

Sri Lankan Beaches


Dropping by the beach town of Negombo on the west coast is a breeze, as it’s located less than 30 minutes from Sri Lanka’s international airport – maybe one final seaside stop before heading back home? Resorts line the beach, so there are plenty of rooms with a view. The sea can be a little rough, so, if you’re keen on water sports, you can travel south to Negombo Lagoon for banana-boating, water skiing, kayaking and jet-skiing.

Sri Lankan Beaches


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This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!