Fresh off two long flights from London and from Qatar, the last thing I felt like doing when I arrived at Colombo Airport in Sri Lanka was more travelling. But I knew that in under three hours, I’d be by the beach in Mirissa.
My friend and I only had time for one beach break on our trip before we went on a tour, after all, we’d be moving around loads with that and both needed a few days of relaxation in one spot first. We chose Mirissa as it seemed easier to get to than the east coast, and we loved the look of its beaches.
Nestled on Sri Lanka’s south coast, you can reach Mirissa by a direct train from Colombo (which we did on the way back), or by taxi (I’d highly recommend booking ahead through Ceylon Airport Transfers, they had one of the more reasonably priced deals, prices were as stated, and we felt really safe with our driver).
So why would I recommend this little slice of paradise? Here are the reasons:
You Can Really Relax
My favourite thing about Mirissa was that it had the kind of beach you can really spread out on, perfect for an afternoon sunbathing, reading, and watching the palm trees sway in the breeze. And I didn’t see any large resorts around, which is my idea of paradise.
As I was not long off the ten-hour flight, and my friend had been travelling around India for the past month, we thought we could use some extra pampering and walked over to Badora Spa for a massage.
The spa has a tranquil setting, the sort of place with colourful blossoms floating in water gardens and everyone is barefoot. And the masseuses were really good, really got rid of all the sore muscles from travelling!
You Can Party on the Beach…
Several places along the beach hold late night parties, although with a more laid-back vibe than some others in South-East Asian destinations. Just follow the lights and music along the beach after the sun goes down.
…Or Just Eat on it
This was the first time I’d eaten at a restaurant with the waves rolling up and frothing beneath my feet. My advice is to keep your bag on a spare chair or even the table unless you want the sea to claim it!
You see a lot of restaurants up and down the beach, most with fresh seafood on display to choose from.
Many offer sun loungers during the day or cool off in the shade with a mango lassi (or an ice cold beer).
The Surf Is Lovely
Ok, it looks pretty flat in the above picture, as the best surf days happened to be on cloudier days (and we spent most of those in the water). It seemed better suited to longboards than thrill seekers though. There’s plenty of board rentals along the beach if you’re experienced, and many offer lessons if you’re a first-timer.
Whale Watching Is a Must
If you walk along the length of Mirissa’s beach during the day, you’ll come across several stands advertising whale-watching excursion, with sandwich boards noting which species they saw that day, from humpbacks to blue whales, among others. Book with Raja and the Whales. They practice responsible watching that tries not to disturb the whales. The tours help promote the research and conservation of these creatures.
We were lucky enough to see several on our trip, mostly blue whales, and actually enjoyed the boat ride itself, although judging from the many people sat below deck, seasickness is not uncommon, and therefore may not be for those who are fainthearted when it comes to the rolling waves.
The Sunsets Are Incredible
Hike over to the rock island for the perfect view over the Indian Ocean, or just relax on the beach with a drink in hand and enjoy the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
You’ll have to trust me on this one as I didn’t want to lose my phone climbing over the rocks!
It Can Help You Beat the Winter Blues
The best time to visit the west and south coasts of Sri Lanka is December to March, according to Rough Guides. If you are from the Northern Hemisphere, this means sunshine and beach time when you need it most.
We saw a lot of Sri Lanka during our trip there, but I’d love to go back and spend even more time on its beaches. Have you been to Sri Lanka? What beaches would you recommend?