Tear-drop shaped Island Sri Lanka is a tropical island found in the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The country is endowed with over 1300 miles of beautiful golden beaches that are fringed with coconut palms making it the ideal destination for a beach holiday. A large percentage of luxurious resorts and villas, as well as budget hotels, are located along the coastal areas to offer tourists some of the best beach holidays in Sri Lanka. The main attraction for tourists and locals are the beaches.

Beaches in Sri Lanka are accessible all year round given that the Island’s monsoon winds are spread out during the year. This means that you can enjoy the East Coast during the southern monsoons from April-October and the Southern Coast beaches during the eastern monsoons from November-March.

There are many areas and activities around the beaches one can explore and enjoy while beach holidays in Sri Lanka that simply said to be the best. The drive along the west and southwest coast also offers interesting stopovers such as batik factories or turtle hatcheries, or activities like visiting or paying homage at a local temple, taste local fruits from roadside vendors and getting first-hand knowledge on the art of toddy making.

The western and southern coastal beaches begin from Negombo, 37 km north of Colombo and curves south along the coastline for 273 km up to Hambantota. This is definitely the better developed of the two circuits in the island and currently accounts for most of the hotels and resorts.

The eastern and northern coastal beaches stretches north in a gentle arc from Arugam Bay up to Kuchchaveli approximately 275 km along the east coast. Pristine beaches, wide stretches of sand and what seems like miles of clear and shallow water, deep natural harbours, lagoons and wonderful underwater coral gardens will always take your breath away. The best beaches along the east coast include Nilaveli, Kuchchaveli, Marble Bay, Sweat Bay and the Dead Man’s Cove with its magnificent harbour, towards the north of Trincomalee. The southern section of the east coast includes the peaceful and beautiful beaches of Passikudah, Kalkudah and Arugam Bay.

You can access the western and southern coastal beaches by road starting off from the Negombo Route A3, up to Colombo. Then get the A2, better known as the Galle Road up to the city of Galle, 117kms south of Colombo. This coast line runs all the way till Hambantota before veering away towards Wellawaya which is further inland. The railway currently runs from Negombo to Matara. From Dondra, Hambantota is just 78 km by road.

The north and east coast beaches can be reached by taking the A4 road which cuts across the country from Colombo via Ratnapura – the city of gems, passing the Central Highlands on the way before hitting the east coast at Pottuvil, 320 km from the commercial hub. There it turns north to service the coastline up to Batticaloa at a distance of 110 km. The 137 km stretch of coastline from Batticaloa to Trincomalee is via the A15 highway and the last beach at Kuchchavelli, which is some 35 km further up is also with motor-able access. Trincomalee can also be reached by train while it is connected to all the major road networks in the country whilst domestic airports at Batticaloa and Trincomalee.

Accommodation along the coastline is more famous that there is a wide choice of itineraries for memorable beach holidays in Sri Lanka while the experience comes with picturesque locations, as well as high quality service and affordable prices. As said earlier, the most developed resorts are the ones in the south, south-west and the west coastal areas, where you can experience luxurious comfort, five star amenities, adventure tours, vibrant nightlife, and international cuisine. You can also enjoy various water sports such as boarding, canoeing, sailing, boating, deep sea fishing, snorkelling, surfing, deep sea diving, river cruises, water polo, water gymnastics, water and jet-ski racing and Banana Boat riding.

The food is cosmopolitan. Sea food is fresh and plentiful and most hotels innovate creatively with the wide variety that is available. There is a fairly extensive choice between spicy Sri Lankan food and standard international fare. An abundance of local tropical fruit and fresh fruit juices is an essential feature of any buffet spread.

Kalpitiya Beach / Western Coast


District: Puttalam

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 165 km

Blessed with a wealth of stunning beaches, Sri Lanka is world-renowned as a paradise island for tourists. One of the best locations to watch dolphins and whales swimming around is the Kalpitiya beach. These magnificent sea creatures can be witnessed slightly off the coast. The lagoon is also a popular tourist attraction with a varied eco-system. Thousands of tourists and locals are seen in Kalpitiya to experience an unforgettable beach holiday in Sri Lanka.

Negombo Beach / Western Coast


Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 37 km

A characteristic fishing town and a mere 6 km away from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Set amidst lush groves of coconut palms, the town breathes the spirit of the sea. Negombo is a gourmet paradise with plenty of fresh sea food. Old world fishing crafts like the outrigger canoe and the catamaran bring in seer, skip jack, herring and mullet, while lobster and prawns are caught in the lagoon. Various water sports activities can also be enjoyed while Negombo spells out a fun-filled beach holiday in Sri Lanka.

Wadduwa Beach / Western Coast


District: Colombo

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 22 km

Wadduwa is well known for its unspoilt beaches as well as the rich coconut plantations and as a major producer of coconut toddy and vinegar. The town is also well known for selling products made from coconut fibre such as carpets and brooms. You can explore the area which consists of a number of ancient Buddhist temples.

Kalutara Beach / Western Coast


Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 40 km

Less than a two and a half hour drive from the airport, Kalutara is a small yet bustling town which is found along the west coast of Sri Lanka and is well known for its iconic Gangatilaka Viharaya, one of the few Buddhist monuments that permit entry and a true highlight worth visiting. Markets and small shops along with a few modern establishments make up this seaside town and it’s always a fascinating sight to watch the locals trade various goods from coconut fibre products to fresh fish and vegetables. Kalutara’s golden beaches are fringed by magnificent palms and it is also excellent for swimming and enjoying the sun and sand to your heart’s content.

Mount Lavinia Beach / Western Coast

District: Colombo

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 12 km

Located towards the south of Colombo, Mount Lavinia is an immediate Colombo city suburb and the Mount Lavinia beach is one of the better known locations to relax even during colonial times. It lies alongside a windswept headland jutting into the waters of the Indian Ocean. The sand is the softest while the waves are calm and clear. The Governor’s House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland, now forms part of the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Bentota Beach / South Western Coast


Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 62 km

Located towards the south of Colombo along the famous south-west coastline, the Bentota Beach consists of a Resort Complex with several resorts, villas, Railway station, post office, shopping arcade, cafeteria and an open air theatre showing folk and mask dancing with clusters of palms dotting the area. This also offers the perfect antidote for a beach holiday with a number of water sports and river cruises available.

Beruwala Beach / South Western Coast

beruwala beacj sri lanka

District: Kalutara / South West Beach

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 56 km

Beruwala marks the beginning of a 130 km stretch of beach where resort development has taken immense strides during the past few years making tourists yearn for the perfect sun and sand holiday in the tropics. Safe bathing can be enjoyed in the bay area all year long.

Galle Beach / Southern Coast

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 98 km / 116 km

Beach holidays in Sri Lanka would be somewhat incomplete without a trip to Galle. Located south of Colombo, Galle is one of the most important southern town’s offering guests an old world charm. Its natural harbour was a famous port in days gone by while the strong ramparts of the Dutch Fort and its many landmarks within, has been named as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle is also known for its beautiful beaches, lace making, ebony carving and gem polishing industries.

Hikkaduwa Beach / Southern Coast


Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 98 km

Located in the South coast, Hikkaduwa is a place for underwater delights. Well known for its coral gardens, guests can hire a glass bottomed boat or a pair of goggles and flippers and explore the magical underwater life to your hearts’ content. It is advised not to purchase or encourage sale of corals in order to protect the natural environment.

Koggala Beach / Southern Coast

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 139 km

The Koggala beach is located about 12 km south of Galle while it also belongs to one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Stilt-Fishermen are a familiar sight here.

Mirissa Beach / Southern Coast

District: Matara

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 240 km

Situated along the Matara road 4 km southeast of Weligama, Mirissa is known as one of the country’s most beautiful beaches in the southern coastal area of Sri Lanka. Its headland separates its small fishing harbour from its beautiful curve of sandy beaches with calm and clear waters. Mirissa is the alternative for a quieter beach holiday as opposed to Unawatuna or Hikkaduwa.

Tangalle Beach / Southern Coast

District: Hambantota

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 195 km

Tangalle is one of the nicest spots along the south coast, particularly if you want somewhere to find a place to laze around and indulge in the sun. Tangalle’s series of bays are a modern attraction, while there are private beaches and coves along the coast.

Unawatuna Beach / Southern Coast

District: Galle

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 108 km

Unawatuna, which is about 5km away from Galle, is a beautiful wide curving beach. The beach has been acclaimed amongst one of the 12 best beaches in the world. There is a reef protecting the beach, which makes it safe for bathing. Rumasssala, a rocky outcrop looking out into the sea at Unawatuna is related with the epic and legendary Ramayana in Sri Lanka’s history book The serene surroundings and the Dutch architecture add to the charm of Unawatuna. However, the atmosphere is quite vibrant during the night with many tourists flocking to dance the night away.

Weligama Beach / Southern Coast


District: Matara

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 98 km / 143 km

Weligama is a picturesque bay located along the southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. There is also an offshore islet where a French Count built his dream house. Weligama is where you will see the famous stilt fishermen while the area is also well known for “Beeralu” lace making inherited from Portuguese.

Polhena Beach / Southern Coast


District: Matara

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 98 km / 160 km

Polhena beach which is very popular among local tourists is located in close proximity to the Matara city. This is an ideal place for scuba diving, surfing and sunbathing etc. It’s a highly famed destination due to its natural swimming pool created by the coral reef.

Ambalangoda Beach / Southern Coast


Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 107 km

A Half hour’s drive from Bentota will take you to Ambalangoda, which is the home of devil dancing and mask making. Belonging to the southern coastal area, you can explore this vibrant small town while experiencing a relaxing beach holiday.

Mannar Island / North West of Sri Lanka

District: Mannar

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 325 km

The Mannar Island is probably the driest, most barren area in Sri Lanka. The landscape features many baobab trees, introduced from Africa by Arab traders’ centuries ago.

Mannar, the major town on the Mannar Island, is at the southern end, joined to the mainland by a 3 km causeway. There’s nothing much to explore apart from its picturesque Portuguese/Dutch Fort and the beach area. Talaimannar, which is near the western end, is about 3 km from the pier that was the arrival and departure point of the ferry for India that operated until 1984.

A little further west, an abandoned lighthouse at the South Point marks the start of Adam’s Bridge, the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka to India.

Jaffna Beach / Northern Coast

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 398 km

Situated in the northern most tip of Sri Lanka, Jaffna is both a sea port as well as an important city of the island. The rich ancient culture of Jaffna is very interesting while the remnants of the buildings belonging to the Hindu period and of the colonial period denote the living history of Jaffna.

Other than the spectacular beaches in Jaffna, there are a number of notable attractions that should be mentioned. The old Dutch forts, the tidal well, the Keerimalai Baths, Chundikulam Sanctuary and a number of Hindu temples are to mention a few.

The Jaffna beaches also draw quite a number of tourists and they too love to bask under the sun in these wonderful sandy coastal areas. The Casuarina Beach which is at Karainagar is the most famous in Jaffna while there are good beaches also at Santhakulam and Thondaimannar. The Tourism Board of Sri Lanka is of great help when it comes to planning tours to Jaffna.

Nilaveli Beach / North East Coast


District: Trincomalee

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 271 km

Just 4 km away from Trincomalee, Nilaveli was the venue for the 1985 International Funboard Championships. The beach has ample water sports facilities including fishing and sea angling. Whale watching in the sanctuary is a specialty. Pigeon Island, a ten-minute boat ride from the Nilaveli beach, is an ideal place to skin/scuba dive, or to just have a sun bath. A few metres from the coast is a small rocky island that is good for snorkelling.

Trincomalee Beach / North East Coast

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 257 km

Trincomalee is the ideal refuge for the beach addict with its fine natural harbour while it offers some of the best sea bathing spots in the country. Horatio Nelson, the British admiral of the 18th century had described Trincomalee as the finest natural harbour in the world. The hot water wells, the Pigeon Island and the old Portuguese/Dutch Fort which is a reminiscent of the bygone Colonial era are the important places of tourist interest in the vicinity.

Arugam Bay / Eastern Coast


District: Ampara

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 320 km

Located opposite the district of Colombo along the East coast of the island, this is a gorgeous world renowned bay which is perfect for pro surfing. The East coast offers infinite possibilities for all kinds of water sports and underwater photography while there are areas with shallow water for you to wade in or snorkel. The many ship-wrecks off the coast are a tempting and even challenging to the experienced diver.

Batticaloa Beach / Eastern Coast

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 314 km

Batticaloa is famous for its ‘singing’ fish and picturesque lagoon which is a massive eco system supporting the livelihood of many locals.

Kalkudah Beach and Passikudah Bay / Eastern Coast

District: Batticaloa

Tropical Weather: Warm & Sunny

Distance from Colombo: 282 km

Sri Lanka is the ultimate destination for all travellers in search of relaxation combined with excitement. From trying out an amazing water sports activity like snorkeling, wind surfing or jet skiing to just basking under the sun along the beaches of the island, beach holidays in Sri Lanka offers everyone the opportunity to enjoy a great vacation. The delightful sights and sounds of the ocean always surprise visitors with its natural beauty. Kalkudah beach along the east coast is one among the many stunning beaches of Sri Lanka.

The Kalkudah Bay is a 2 km long wide stretch of beach, located 32 km north of Batticaloa. Kalkudah & Passikudah are two very fine beaches in the East Coast of Sri Lanka. One of the best and unspoilt stretches of beaches in Sri Lanka is the East Coast which runs for more than 300 kilometres. Most of the beach areas are well protected from the monsoon by off shore reefs.

Passikudah Bay is another wide beach which is 4 km long and located just south of Kalkudah. The combined beaches of Kalkudah and Passikudah are ideal for safe bathing as the sea is clear, calm and reef-protected.It is a favourite among beach lovers and for those looking for some exciting water sport activity. The Kalkudah beach provides the perfect setting for sun bathing, windsurfing, and skiing. The waters that surround the Kalkudah beach also house a varied number of tropical fish and exotic coral reefs making it the perfect destination for snorkeling in the East coast of Sri Lanka. The combined area of Kalkudah and Passikudah was declared as a National Holiday Resort in 1973. Kalkudah which offers guests the combination of a sun and sand holiday is emerging as a popular tourist centre with many modern hotels and stylish villas coming up. The best time to visit the East coast is ideally from May to September, as it is dry during this period. The beach is adorned with coconut palms and is always a beautiful sight to admire.