Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

For many people the beach is Sri Lanka, and small though the island is, it really is no slouch in the sand and sea department. There are long golden ones, there are dainty ones with soft white sand, there are wind- and, wave-battered ones and ones without a footstep for miles. Some have a slowly, slowly vibe and some have a lively party vibe, but whichever you choose, the beaches of Sri Lanka really are as gorgeous as you’ve heard. And one of the best things about Sri Lanka’s beaches is that no matter what time of year you go if it’s raining on one coast then chances are it’ll be sun hat and swimmers weather on the other.

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The Island's underwater scenery is as spectacular as its picturesque landscape inland. Beneath its Indian Ocean waters lie submarine fairylands of coloured coral, Jewelhued tropical fish and mysterious submerged shipwrecks, which promise memorable sightseeing and exciting adventure for snorkelers and scuba divers. Its classic tropical location 5 to 9 degrees north of the equator, ensures perenially warm seas, which remain at an inviting temperature of around 27C, in season. The two monsoons; northwest and southwest govern the sea conditions and calm seas and clear water are experienced from November to April along the southern and western coasts and from April to Oktober in the east.

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Lying behind a crescent of beach lapped by turquoise waters, Unawatuna’s setting is so perfect it could be a cliché. Easily the most popular beach town in the South, Unawatuna doesn’t offer the same opportunities for surfing or diving as other parts of the coast but the waves are good for swimming and the sands are clean and white.

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Sleepy Mirissa, 4km southeast of Weligama on the Matara road, has a headland dividing its small fishing harbour from a beautiful curve of sandy beach with calm, clear waters.

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Situated 195km from Colombo, Tangalla (also spelt Tangalle, but usually pronounced ten-gol) is one of the nicest spots along the coast, particularly if you just want somewhere to relax and soak up the sun.

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Lovely Arugam Bay (aru-gam-beh) is the east coast’s most traveller-friendly destination. It’s basically a single laid- back strip of beach accommodation, following the Panama road and backed by the Muslim village of Sinna Ulla.

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Immediately south of Fort is Galle Face Green, a long stretch of lawn facing the sea. It was originally cleared by the Dutch to give the cannons of Fort a clear line of fire.

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Trinco’s most famous beaches are at nearby Uppuveli and Nilaveli, but picturesque Dutch Bay isn’t bad. It’s more a place for strolling, but swimming is possible despite sometimes dangerous undertows.

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