These Are Our Favorite Beaches in Sri Lanka
We met in 2015 and after more than three years of traveling in Sri Lanka, we now have a list of our favorite corners here. We were not traveling every single day with our work and studies, but we made sure to travel at least once a month. It’s true that we are mountain people. Give us cold mountain weather, unlimited supply of chai and the warmth of morning sun flickering through the eucalyptus trees, and we’ll be happy bears for life. However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t love beaches. We equally love lonely, lovely beaches. We love the ocean, and breathing liveliness in her navy blue waters. And here are some of our favorite beaches in Sri Lanka.
1. Kappalady Beach
We were lucky to connect with Elements Resort in early 2018, and since then we’ve been to Kappalady a few times. The little village lies in Kalpitiya Peninsula and now a booming tourist spot with ‘eco’ cabanas being built in every corner in the village and local homes being turned into homestays for tourists. Kappalady Beach is a wide-open long stretch of powdery sand. It sits next to the big blue bowl and two flatwater lagoons. The only souls you will spot here are the fishmongers in early mornings and evenings. Sometimes, village kids play cricket and a bullock cart passes by collecting all the garbage.
How to get to Kappalady Beach: You can board the highway bus to Kalpitiya from Colombo. The small, air-conditioned bus leaves at 9 am every morning. Get down at Palaviya junction and take another bus to Palakuda Junction. From there, the tuk tuk journey costs 300 LKR.
Alternatively, you can board the Colombo-Puttalam train and get off the train at Palaviya Junction as well.
2. Nilaveli Beach
This isn’t another offbeat gem. Nilaveli is widely-known and considered as the most beautiful beach in Sri Lanka by locals. A vast, soft-powdery beach, the sun rising over the eastern skies in Nilaveli paints a beautiful picture. Nathan says this loved-little stretch shares similarities with Sydney’s Bondi. However, even during the peak season, you will only see a fraction of Bondi’s crowd here. The high season runs from April till October. The offseason sees a calm, lonely atmosphere, but with occasional curious souls and playful little doggos.
How to get to there: You can board the night train from Colombo to Trincomalee, or opt for the air-conditioned Volvo night bus. The bus is definitely a more comfortable option. From there, take another bus, or a tuk tuk to Nilaveli.
3. Palatupana Beach
We recently went to this little gem and loved every minute of it. This is by far the most lonely beach we’ve ever seen, but it’s stunning. There are sand dunes and rocky natural pools so you would hardly get bored. Being close to Yala National Park means, you are living with wildlife. We stayed at Yala Yin Yang Hostel, but if you fancy a glamping experience, check out Back of Beyond.
How to get to Palatupana: Board the 6 am Volvo bus to Kataragama. Go early because it will save you plenty of time. Get off the bus at Tissa (Tissamaharama). From there, a tuk tuk costs 900 LKR.
4. Goyambokka Beach
Many people opt for touristy, often-crowded Southcoast beaches like Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Mirissa, but go further south and you will discover some secluded spots. We visited Goyambokka in September, which is the offseason. While it still was a gorgeous spot, our hotel staff told us that Goyambokka boasts a far-stretched coastline during its high season, which runs from December till April. We stayed at Palm Paradise Beach Cabanas and Villas. The eco-friendly accommodation is an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate.
How to get there: You can reserve a seat in one of the Volvo buses, or board an expressway bus to Matara, and from there, take a normal bus to Tangalle.
5. Komari Beach
Another secluded little gem, Komari Beach is located close to its famous brother Arugam Bay. However, unlike Arugam bay, Komari hardly gets any visitors. There’s an abandoned, crumbling lighthouse on the beach, too. The village does not have hydropower electricity yet. You can stay at Light House Beach Hut, which is the sister accommodation of the famous Beach Huts in A’Bay. Everything here is powered by solar. There are gorgeous, rustic cabanas hidden in a big beautiful garden by the beach which is dotted with palm trees. If you want to relax with your SO, have a good time surfing, bathing in the tropical sun and feasting on Sri Lankan food, this is the perfect place.
How to get there: Colombo to Arugam Bay night buses and vans run during the season. If not, board the Volvo bus to Akkaraipattu. When the bus comes there, there will be another bus from Jaffna heading to Pottuvil. You can get off the bus at Komari. Alternatively, you can take a tuk tuk from Akkaraipattu to Komari as well.
6. Casuarina Beach
Okay…don’t get us wrong, but this is not like anything we mentioned above. This is not your ideal, bikini-wearing beach stripe. It isn’t secluded. It’s not uncrowded. It was, in fact, swamped by local travelers when we visited. But there’s something we deeply loved about the Casuarina Beach. It sits in Karainagar where Casuarina trees grow on the beach. The calm, blue waters are soothing to the eye. The soft sand hugs your feet, and the ice cream truck sells two flavors: vanilla and chocolate. There’s a small makeshift kadai (shop), where you can buy a cup of plain tea with extra sugar added. If you find yourself in Jaffna, Sri Lanka’s northern capital, definitely pay a visit to the Casuarina Beach.
How to get there: From Jaffna, take a bus that goes to Karainagar, or you can hire a private car or a tuk tuk to take you here. We stayed at D’Villa Guest House in Jaffna and it’s a wonderful place where you can rent bikes and bicycles.
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