Sri Lanka overwhelms the senses. The air is heavy with the scent of jasmine, the food richly spiced and the landscape one of utter beauty; the radiant green rice paddies, forests of swaying palm trees and mountains puckered in tea plantations are utterly bewitching. But for many people Sri Lanka can be summed up in two simple words: the beach.
No matter what kind of beach bum you want to be, you’ll find a patch of palm-backed perfection here. You can book in for pampering at one of the island’s chic boutique beachside hotels, dive across glowing coral reefs, learn to surf on gentle sandbars, or merely toddle off to find your own little undiscovered corner of paradise. Lonely Planet
- Best for snorkelling: Pigeon island off Nilaveli beach offers crystal waters, shallow reefs, colourful fish, and diving and snorkelling that’s great for beginners and the experienced.
- Best for whale-watching: whales can be seen all along the Sri Lankan coast but Mirissa is the best base for seeing blue whales just a short distance from the shore.
- Best for self-indulgence: Bentota beach has a great collection of boutique hotels, and when you’re done with the pampering the beach itself ain’t bad.
- Best for children: Unawatuna and Uppuveli vie for the title of having the calmest, safest swimming.
- Sri Lanka is surrounded by the beautiful Indian Ocean. You will find long sandy beaches all around the Island. Some famous beaches are Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Dickwella, Passekudah, Kalkudah, Mirissa, Arugam Bay, Bentota, Nilaveli, Kalpitiya, Uppuveli and Tangalle.