Dickwella, the Surf & Beach Gem of Sri Lanka

by | Nov 24, 2021


Dickwella is one of the lesser-known surf and beach destinations in Sri Lanka, and is almost never crowded. In fact, someone visiting for the first time may consider the beach to be barren, but of course, there is a lot of hidden beauty that awaits beyond a few thin layers of camouflage.

Dickwella town is more of a trading hub and attracts tourists mostly because of its huge market – one of the largest in Sri Lanka. A trip to the market is a one-stop-shop as you can find anything from clothes to surfboards and pottery statues. So, if you are touring the south coast of Sri Lanka, don’t forget to include a visit to the Dickwella market and beach!

Where is Dickwella?

Drive along the southern coast of Sri Lanka and you will come to Dickwella town, just passing Matara and the Dondra Point, and a little before Tangalle. From Colombo, it is about 175 kms and can be reached in approximately 3 hours, via the southern expressway.

Hiriketiya Bay is just beside Dickwella beach and a line of restaurants and hotspots are situated on this bay, which is where all the action takes place. Because Hiriketiya and Dickwella are almost side by side, with Hiriketiya being the more happening beach, both destinations are often used interchangeably.

Why is Dickwella beach family-friendly?

Although Dickwella Beach is not very known among Sri Lankans and tourists, it is an ideal destination for families and large groups. The beach is very swim safe because it is protected with natural formations such as sandbars and reefs, which prevents swimmers from accidentally being carried far out to sea. For this reason, parents can remain at ease and relax on the shores while their children swim and play to their heart’s content.

Why is Dickwella beach a popular surf destination?

Surf in Hiriketiya, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer. For the intermediate and advanced surfers, Hiriketiya has a powerful left hander beach break that holds up to 8 feet. Watch out for coral pinnacles if you fall; the closer to the beach, the shallower the reef is so it is advisable to stay within your ability. This same wave can be caught further down on the reef break with lesser power for amateur surfers. Advanced surfers can go right back at the bay entrance to catch the waves.

Best time for surfing in Dickwella beach?

Dickwella is one of those beach destinations in Sri Lanka that features favorable weather conditions throughout the year. If you are concerned about rain, January to June would be the best time to visit, thus attracting most crowds. You will see people enjoying a surfing session on the beach, sunbathing on the sands and groups playing beach volleyball. During this period, the heat is also quite low, which means tourists who can’t tolerate strong heat are also quite happy. For those who really want to avoid rain, it is advisable not to visit Dickwella during the months of July to October.

Best hotels for your surf holiday

  • Dickwella Resort and Spa: If you are looking for a luxury pick, this beachfront resort is highly recommended. Every room in the resort features sea views, king size beds, luxury linens and the best of amenities to pamper you after a tiring surf session.
  • Voulez-Vous: For a mid-range budget, this beachfront hotel is close to Hiriketiya and Dickwella, featuring comfortable rooms and a pretty garden.
  • Villa Fiorita: Located just a short stroll from the beach, this villa is a collection of nicely designed, comfortable and simple apartments with a shared kitchen and outdoor space, making it ideal for those with a very low budget.
  • Surfbay Villa: A new low-budget villa with spacious air-conditioned rooms, big beds, and a friendly owner.
  • Salt House: Nice and fresh rooms at a medium budget with a shared yoga studio and swimming pool, located just a few steps away from the Hiriketiya Beach.
  • Peak House: Located closer to Hiriketiya, this is more of an Air BnB style accommodation where the family will go out of their way to make you feel at home.

Things you should bring for your surf adventure in Sri Lanka

Some of the most important things to remember to carry on your Dickwella surf adventure is a good sunscreen to protect your skin, a surfboard that you are comfortable with, and preferably a full body surf suit so as to avoid your skin from burning. Vitamin C helps to stay away from infections while also keeping your strength alive. Disinfectants, Band-Aids, antibiotics and a good mosquito repellent are a few additional things that should be on your list.

Other must-see attractions in and around Dickwella beach

  • If you haven’t surfed before and are interested in learning the sport, Dickwella has a line of surf schools ready to teach anyone who wants to learn to surf.
  • Adventurous activities such as diving and boat tours are also available in Dickwella.
  • Local Sri Lankan masseurs are wandering on the beach willing to offer their services to anybody looking to sunbathe and relax with a massage. They have their studios set up with deck chairs and umbrellas to make you comfortable and enjoy the view during your massage.
  • Dickwella is a good location to give yourself a good sun tan while soaking up the gorgeous views and observing other vacationers enjoying themselves.
  • A peaceful stroll along the Dickwella beach is sure to clear up your mind for days of better thinking capacity.
  • Beach games such as volleyball is a fun thing to do on Dickwella Beach with a group of friends, or just request to join another group playing near you!
  • Some of the restaurants alongside the Dickwella beach offer eclectic Sri Lankan cuisine with flavors, colors and an overall experience that will surely appeal to your taste buds!
  • Visit the Sunday market for awesome shopping deals.
  • Join regular yoga sessions to relax your muscles. Hotel Salt House, Restaurant Dots and Hotel Jasper House are three nearby locations where you can find yoga lessons.
  • Just a 30-minute drive from Dickwella is the Dondra point, the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. You will also see a beautiful lighthouse here as well as a gorgeous beach to relax on.

What are the five other beaches accessible from Dickwella?

  1. Talalla bay beach: about 20 minutes’ drive from Dickwella – a vast beach which rarely has any visitors. Clear waters and wild waves are enjoyable at this beach but be careful not to swim too deep in Talalla bay as the undercurrents can be quite strong.
  2. Blue Beach: take a tuk tuk to visit Blue Beach, about 1.5 kms from Dickwella, close to the harbour of Nickwella. What makes Blue beach special is that there are two bays that lay almost against each other, with a small piece of beach in between, and a bright green island at the end of the water stretch.
  3. Tangalle Beach: further east from Dickwella is a 30-minute drive to Tangalle Beach. This is a long and wide beach stretch lined with beach bars, a calm sea, and plenty of beach chairs to idle on.
  4. Goyambokka Beach: is a small yet pleasant and busy bay where you can play in the waves or sit down on the beach beds and stay there for hours as long as you order a drink.
  5. Secret Beach: the most beautiful beach to explore from Dickwella is a 30-minute drive towards the east, and it takes a while to find the spot. There are no bars or restaurants here, just the Amanwella boutique resort. Gold sands, palm trees and turquoise blue water is what you will see, and it is most likely that the whole beach will be only yours!