From the verdant and mist-draped valleys and soaring waterfalls of the Tea Country to the spectacular temples and vast lakes of the Cultural Triangle, it’s all too easy to miss out on Sri Lanka’s beaches. These are no Maldivian powder-white sands; Sri Lankan beaches are wild and golden, boasting crashing waves, pounding surf and distant whales breaching above the turquoise seas — and all the more exciting for it. Tucked away on the serene shores of Koggala Lake, Tri is within easy reach of some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka — here are some of our all-time favourites.
Famously named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Unawatuna is a must-visit for any beach lover. Dotted with colourful guest houses and bars, this is one of the buzziest options on the coast, and offers brilliant scuba diving just off the shore.
Just beyond Koggala, Kabalana is one of our closest beaches. The gently-shelving shoreline makes this a great spot for fans of open water swimming, whilst local surf break ‘The Rock’ is rapidly becoming one of the most popular spots on the island for braving the barrelling waves.
A long, wide stretch of golden sands and gentle waves, Weligama is perfectly located at the heart of the south coast surf scene, offering waves for all abilities. Fringed by palms and frequently passed by migrating whales, this picturesque beach is the ideal spot to while away an afternoon.
Vibrant and colourful, bohemian Mirissa is one of the most popular local beaches. Dotted with surf shacks and beach bars serving up fresh thambili king coconuts, the sound of music drifting on the breeze, there is a huge amount to discover on this much-loved local beach.
Further to the east, Hiruketiya is a small collection of coves and bays dotting the coastline towards Dickwella. A little further from tourist hotspot Galle Fort, these beaches have retained their undiscovered vibe — perfect for stretching out, coconut in hand, and doing not much at all.
The easternmost beach in our selection, Rekawwa is around halfway between Tri and leopard hotspot Yala National Park. Fusing wild, boulder-strewn beaches with crashing waves and swaying palms at precarious angles, this seemingly endless sandy beach offers a slice of pure, unspoilt escapism.