With the boost in Sri Lanka tourism, travelers are coming in plenty to visit the island. Sri Lanka offers several tourist attractions around the island, but if you are coming only for a secret escape to explore the soft sands, calm waters and delicious sea food, here are some exotic hideaways that you should include in your itinerary.
- Pigeon Island
- Nilaveli Beach
- Arugam Bay
- Mirissa Beach
- Unawatuna Beach
- Rekawa Beach
- Tangalle Beach
When planning your beach holiday in Sri Lanka, keep in mind that the country experiences two monsoons every year. From June to October we have the southwest monsoon and November to February is the northeast monsoon. Hence the best time to visit Sri Lanka for beach escapades would be between March to April, which is when the monsoons are usually not around and you can explore all coastal corners of the island. During May and June, rain is mild and showers last a short period so those months are also not a bad idea for visiting Sri Lanka. Apart from that, if you do happen to travel during the monsoons, you can still explore some coastal areas. For example, the northeast monsoon does not affect the popular southern coast and the southwest monsoon does not affect the up and coming eastern coastal areas. So all in all, Sri Lanka is definitely a year round holiday friendly destination.
Now let us look at each of these secret beach escapades in detail…
Trincomalee is a popular city located on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Slightly off the coast of Trincomalee is Pigeon Island – a protected and secluded national park that presents visitors with exclusive examples of local marine life. You have to get to this island by boat and enjoy the splendid view of soft yellow sands and charming blue waters. A snorkeling experience at Pigeon Island will expose you to one of the best surviving coral reefs in Sri Lanka. To see this marine beauty, you have to wade into the water until your feet don’t touch the ground. You’ll be amazed with a view of more than a hundred different kinds of coral fish and hundred different species of corals.
Just 15 kms away from Pigeon Island is a very peaceful and secretive stretch of soft sand where one can enjoy a quiet day on the beach. Along the shore there are a few food shacks lined up along with some fishing boat companies. Popular food specialties you should try out here is the Jaffna crab curry with some cheap cocktails on the side. Nilaveli beach is a well hidden secret beach in Sri Lanka, a peaceful paradise that can surprise those looking for a reclusive holiday.
Also located on the east coast, Arugam Bay is a blessing for surfers and committed beach lovers. If you are in the mood for an unbelievably exciting vacation, away from the mad urban rush, Arugam Bay is the place to be. Spend all day in your beach shack sipping away cocktails while watching surfers attempt killer waves. You could also try surfing yourself. Look around and you’ll surely find someone who rents out surfboards and also gives you a beginner’s lesson on surfing. Crocodile Point is where beginners should head to for gentler waves. While you are in Arugam Bay, The Seahorse Inn is a must try for some mouthwatering pizzas.
Unawatuna is indeed a popular beach location amongst tourists and is not much of a secluded location but is definitely worth a visit because of the many attractions it offers. Located a little further from the famous town of Galle, Unawatuna is prominent for its biodiversity, particularly in bird species such as herons and egrets, the rare black bittern and the Loten’s sunbird. Off the coast of Unawatuna lies beautiful coral reefs as well as shipwrecks for those who are interested in exploring. Another ‘not-to-miss’ in Unawatuna is a spectacular sunset. The image as the light descends over the sands to present a haunting yet mystical view is just breathtaking and unforgettable.
Heading down to the southern coast of Sri Lanka, the coast of Mirissa is a sandy, tropical, crescent shaped exotic beach location. If you have got your HD camera along with you, don’t forget to capture stunning views of the sunsets and sunrises from here. Mirissa beach is usually empty for the most part so you can enjoy a peaceful sun tan or snooze away in a comfortable hammock. Stroll around along the fishing harbor for a sight of fishermen bringing in their boats after a good catch. The beach is lined up with many shacks where you can enjoy some fresh seafood. Mirissa is an ideal location for solitude holiday seekers in Sri Lanka.
Tangalle Bay Beach
Also located along the southern coast of Sri Lanka is a small, laid back resort town known as Tangalle. In describing the Tangalle Bay beach, imagine wide stretches of lovely golden sand, a freshwater lagoon, a harbor for fishing and a small town center: all of which make a perfect picture for a lazy beach holiday. While in Tangalle, you might want to explore the town where you will see a few touches of colonial influences such as The Rest House – which the Dutch built in 1774. Tangalle is not yet very popular amongst tourist but is still one of the best beaches in the island.
About 10kms east of Tangalle is the Rekawa beach. Here you will enjoy a truly different beach experience. Between April and September is a good time to go to Rekawa where you can see hawksbill and leatherback turtles swim ashore at night time and lay their eggs here. There are many volunteers from the turtle conservation project here in Rekawa who also run tours to assist you in seeing the turtles nest at night. Before you make the trip to Rekawa for this purpose, it is advisable to make a call to check whether or not there is a possibility of turtles being sighted.