11 resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka, where it is best to relax

Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for your vacation

The area of the island state of Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon, is more than 65 thousand square kilometers. Its only large neighbor is India. However, this did not prevent the indigenous peoples to create a true civilization here, some elements of its culture live to this day.

On the island, the shape of which resembles a tear, there is a large number of ancient Buddhist temples, the remnants of the architecture of the old urban areas, medieval forts. This makes it possible to develop a variety of excursion programs in the country.

Today, Sri Lanka, whose name in the local language means “blessed island”, is an important center of world tourism. Every year, millions of travelers from all over the world come to Sri Lanka for experiences.

Sri Lankan resorts are actively transforming. New hotels and hotels for different categories of visitors are under construction, the restaurant chain and the sphere of medical services are developing. At the same time, the local population carefully preserves its cultural heritage, traditions, and worldview in spite of the onslaught of the modern world.

Top 10 Resorts in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has quite a few different resorts. However, whether you like a vacation in one place or another depends on many factors, particularly your goals, requirements, and time of year.

10. Negombo

One of the most popular places in the country, close to the airport. They are separated by only 30 kilometers, which is very convenient for tourists. Negombo is a fishing center, so wishing on vacation to fish should go here. In addition, the local reefs can fully engage in scuba diving.

But the beach vacation here may not impress. The number of fishermen is off the charts, and the water is not transparent. The exception is expensive hotels with their own beaches and territory. However, these shortcomings are compensated by a good excursion program. Highlights of the resort are: St. Mary’s Cathedral, old buildings, an ancient fort and the canal, built by the Dutch. It is also worth visiting the park with mangroves and bird sanctuary. The resort welcomes tourists all year round, but because of the high humidity and dampness is not worth going in late spring and early autumn.

Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for vacations

9. Hikkaduwa .

Another resort with a large attendance of tourists. It is suitable for both family and youth holidays. Hikkaduwa is an important center for diving and surfing, thanks to the big waves and coral park.

On the local beaches you can meet real turtles and even feed them. The resort will give you interesting excursions to Buddhist temples. In the evening, everyone is welcome in the nightclubs. The best time to rest at the resort – from November to May.

8. Vadduva .

If you want to sunbathe on perfect white-sand beaches, then you are here. The resort is also close to the airport. Here you will find serene relaxation under the coconut palms. In Vadduva, you can also go scuba diving, surfing and go to the ocean under a sailboat. The hotels have tennis and golf courses.

Wadduva is also an important sightseeing center. There are more than 50 different temples and monasteries in and around the resort. The most favorable time of rest at the resort is from October to March.

  • Reef Villa and Spa 5 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)
  • The Villa by Contemporary Ceylon 4 * (tours on Travelata)
  • The Villas, Wadduwa 5 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)
Best 3, 4 & 5 Star Hotels in Sri Lanka

Wadduwa is one of the closest resorts to Colombo, the beaches are covered in fine golden sand.

Wadduwa is one of the closest resorts to Colombo, the beaches are covered with fine golden sand. Photo: © Yasitha Kasthuri

7. Bentota

A premium resort. Located on the oceanfront in the village of the same name. Suitable for romantics and for those seeking solitude with nature. Beaches with white sand complemented by exotic nature, represented by jungle and mangrove forests. Here you can organize a fishing trip, rafting on the local river with crocodiles, an excursion to a farm with turtles or the ruins of ancient temples.

The resort is also the largest center for the development of water sports, much attention is paid to diving lessons. Holidays are better to come between October and April.

Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for vacations

6. Unawatuna

A resort for those who want to save money. It is located in a small fishing village. This resort does not have luxury hotels and inns, but quite a lot of tourists who prefer to vacation on their own.

Unawatuna boasts one of the best beaches in the country, which is located directly in the local bay. There are no strong waves, thanks to the coral reefs, which makes it possible to safely rest with children. The resort has all the necessary tourist infrastructure. You can do diving, snorkeling and other water sports, order excursions and walks through the local jungle, visit ancient temples. The best time of rest here begins in December and lasts until April.

Hotels and tours to Unawatuna

    • Ridee Villa 4 * (tours on Travelata)
    • Tartaruga Beach Resort 3 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)
    • Neptune Bay Hotel 3 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)
    • Banana Garden Unawatuna Hotel 3 * (tours on Travelata)
    • Wimals Resort 3 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)
    • Dalawella Beach Resort 3 * (tours on level.travel, Travelata)

    Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for vacations

    5. Trincomalee

    This resort is located on the northeast coast of the country. Because of its remoteness from the airport, almost 7 hours away, Trincomalee is less popular among tourists. Although most travelers consider it the most beautiful resort area in Sri Lanka.

    At one time it was discovered by the famous General Nelson. Here you will find gorgeous beaches, sheltered by a bay, developed tourist infrastructure, inexpensive hotels and hotels. The resort has an unforgettable natural beauty: tall palm trees, walking lemurs, white sand. Here are also engaged in water sports, the pride of Trincomalee – hot springs, located nearby. You should visit the resort between March and August.

    Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for vacations

    4. Mirissa

    Mirissa, originally a small fisherman’s village, was forgotten for a time. Surfers and whale watchers gave a second life to Mirissa. You can see the latter here from December to March. In addition, the resort has beautiful landscaped beaches, which are suitable for lovers of romance. The peace, tranquility, serenity and incredibly beautiful sunset of Mirissa will be remembered for a lifetime.

    An interesting fact about the resort area of Mirissa, located between Veligama and Matara, is that the village itself appeared here thanks to tourists who loved to vacation in these places and the development of tourist infrastructure.

    An interesting fact about the resort area of Mirissa, which is located between Veligama and Matara, is that the village itself appeared here thanks to tourists who loved to rest in these places and the development of tourism infrastructure. Photo: © Adrian Korenic

    3. anuradhapura

    A resort town in the central part of the island with a long history. Until XI Anuradhapura was the capital of the state. Later it was conquered by Indian tribes and looted. The local population left and the town became desolate. Today, however, the former capital has been restored, dividing it into a historical and modern part.

    There is a huge number of attractions such as a temple with the sacred Bodhi tree, statues of Buddha made of stone, various buildings and structures. In the city are placed museums, galleries and parks. The only drawback is the lack of beaches. The best time to rest here is from October to April.

    Top 10 best resorts in Sri Lanka for vacations

    2. tangalle

    Many travelers believe that this resort is the best beaches. And not without reason. The beaches of Tangalle are really wonderful, with mesmerizing scenery.

    Tangalle is a port, located in the bay. It is well-developed gastronomic tourism, the local restaurants will offer you delicious dishes of the national cuisine. More at this resort organize interesting excursions to national parks, ancient Buddhist temples, you can also inspect the medieval fort. The pride of Tangalle – rain forest, which is under the protection of the World Organization of UNESCO. The “high” tourist season in Tangalle begins in November and lasts until April.

    Tangalle is considered one of the most beautiful resorts in Sri Lanka, on the shores of the Indian Ocean

    Tangalle is considered one of the most beautiful resort places in Sri Lanka, on the shores of the Indian Ocean Photo: © kvaky

    1. Koggala

    The fame of this resort has brought a large lake on which there are hermitages – the ancient shrines of the early Buddhists. In addition to the historical treasures, there are beautiful beaches with numerous diving centers. There are also excursions to the Sinhalese villages, where the ancient ways of the Sinhalese people have been preserved.

    Sri Lanka – an amazing island. Every corner of this world is filled with unforgettable beauty and its own characteristics. You can travel around the island and visit several resorts at once. You want to fly here many times, and each such trip will be filled with new wonders and emotions.

    Koggala is a small coastal village located on the edge of the lagoon, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka

    Koggala is a small coastal village on the edge of the lagoon, on the south coast of Sri Lanka Photo: © Roman Kondrakov

    When is the best time to visit?

    Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. The average annual temperature is +27 ° C +32 ° C. Only in some foothills and mountainous areas of the country, the temperature drops a little lower. The island has no typical seasons (winter, spring, summer, autumn), as on the continent. The only indicator of the changing seasons is the tropical rain, which most often comes with the monsoon.

    But a surprising feature of Sri Lanka is that even the rainy season does not come to the country at the same time. On the southwest coast, in the central part of the island tropical showers begin in May and end in September. In the north-east, on the contrary, it rains from October to March. During the rainy season, there is a shortage of sunny days, rivers are overflowing with water and floods begin, but tsunamis are rare.

    This uneven climate makes it possible to develop year-round tourism in Sri Lanka. However, giving preference to the southwestern resorts, tourists form a “high” season from December to March. But it is only a matter of choice, in other months you can also have a good rest in the tourist areas of the northeastern coast. Especially high demand for trips to Sri Lanka during the New Year holidays. Many tourists do not want to celebrate the New Year in a cold country, and on the warm beaches of the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, along with the demand grows the price of such a holiday. Therefore, if you want a high-quality, but inexpensive holiday on the island, buy tours in advance and at the beginning or end of the “beach season”.

    11 resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka, where it is best to relax

    Overview of the best resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka: map, description, season, pros and cons. Find out where the best beach vacations are on the island!

    Sri Lanka has many wonderful resorts with good beaches and not bad infrastructure. In this review you will learn about the most popular resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka. We will tell you about beach vacations in Sri Lanka: what is good about each resort, how to spend time on vacation and when it is better to go on vacation.

    Search for last minute tours on Travelate and Level.Travel – they will find the best deals among different tour operators. Want to save your money? Read our 7 rules for buying tours online. Also find out how to look for cheap airline tickets.

    Best resorts in Sri Lanka:

    Map of resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka

    List of the best resorts in Sri Lanka


    Negombo is the closest resort to the Colombo airport – the distance to it is about 30 km. This is very convenient for tourists who have suffered a long flight. The place is more famous for its conditions for fishing rather than beach recreation: the coastal waters abound with a large number of fish and their migration period falls on the high tourist season. The large seafood market is one of the most famous attractions of Negombo. Negombo has reefs, which makes the place popular with divers.

    Beach recreation in Negombo is mediocre: the water is muddy, some parts of the shore are occupied by fishermen, where they spread their gear and dry fish. Umbrellas and sun beds are few, as well as water activities, the only exception is expensive hotels.

    Nevertheless, Negombo is considered one of the best resorts in Sri Lanka, thanks to the bathing-friendly beaches, which stretch along Lewis Place. In addition, there is an optimal choice of accommodation and plenty of photogenic fishermen and beautiful scenery.

    Negombo can be visited all year round, but is very wet in May and October through November.

    Beaches sri lanka

    (Photo: ronsaunders47 / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)


    Hikkaduwa is located 100 km from Colombo and is a top visitor destination. It attracts divers, surfers, snorkelers, young people and families. Water activities and modest nightlife have made Hikkaduwa the busiest and best resort in Sri Lanka.

    It has the longest beaches in Sri Lanka and many hotels of different categories. The beaches are ideal for surfing – almost always a strong wave. Early in the morning near the shore appear huge turtles, which are so accustomed to people that they take treats right out of their hands.

    In the center of Hikkaduwa – coral park, where you can ride a boat with a transparent bottom or snorkeling, book a boat trip. In Hikkaduwa, there are several Buddhist temples, the most famous and popular among them is located on a small island. Entrance to the temples is free, not counting the fare. Popular with vacationers excursions to mines where precious stones are mined, which you can buy.

    The perfect time to vacation in Hikkaduwa is from November to April.

    Monthly weather in sri lanka

    (Photo: iris0327 / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


    Wadduwa is located 35 kilometers from Colombo. At this Sri Lankan resort you will find golden sandy beaches, coconut palms, diving centers, sailing, surfing and other activities. During the dives you can see the remains of shipwrecks. Specially for vacationers are equipped with tennis courts and golf courses. All hotels are comfortable.

    Fans of excursions will not be bored – they can visit the nearby Kalutara with the Buddhist temple Gangatilaka Vihara and Hambantota fishermen town, take a trip on the canals by boat and capture the local beauty.

    The best time for outdoor activities and beach holidays at this resort is from October to March.

    Best beaches in Sri Lanka

    (Photo: Hash Milhan / flickr.com / CC BY 2.0 license)


    Located south of Colombo, Bentota is a 65-kilometer (2-hour) drive between the estuary of the river of the same name and the ocean. It is considered the elite and best resort in Sri Lanka, the favorite place for beach holidays for romantics and those looking for solitude.

    Here is the largest number of comfortable hotels, sparsely populated clean beaches and lush jungle nature, the famous mangrove forests grow in this area. The resort offers its guests a lot of entertainment – sea and river fishing, an exciting safari on the river with crocodiles, tours to the turtle farm, walks on a boat and much more. For diving enthusiasts, there is a diving center.

    The best time for a beach holiday in Bentota is from October to April.

    Best resorts in Sri Lanka

    (Photo: lola media / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


    The small resort village of Unawatuna is located 120 km from Colombo. Once a fishing village, now a booming resort only slightly inferior to Hikkaduwa and Bentota.

    This place is especially loved by tourists vacationing on their own – the resort has a lot of hostels at an affordable price. The main advantage of Unawatuna is the calm waters of the ocean. The central beach is located in the bay, and coral reefs protect from strong waves, so here with pleasure rest with children.

    All the tourist infrastructure is established. Vacationers can do diving or snorkeling, excursion lovers can visit the neighboring resort – Halle. But this is not a place for solitude: the beaches of Unawatuna can be quite crowded.

    The best time to rest – from December to April. It’s too rainy in May and October-November.

    Sri Lanka beach holidays

    (Photo: iris0327 / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


    Because of its distance from the airport, resorts on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka are less popular than those on the southwest coast. Nevertheless, Trincomalee is considered one of the best resorts in Sri Lanka and the most beautiful place on the island: It is the location of a deep-water bay discovered at one time by Admiral Nelson. Trincomalee itself is unique in terms of architecture – there are Muslim buildings, Buddhist and Hindu temples. You can get there by night train from Colombo (9 hours) or by bus (7 hours).

    According to some vacationers, the beaches of Trincomalee are the best in all of Sri Lanka. Rest is quiet, there is little entertainment, the infrastructure is still under development, most hotels are inexpensive, the same level of bars and restaurants.

    Surprised by the natural beauty of the place – high palm trees and free-ranging lemurs. Not far from the shore – a coral island, which is beloved by divers and snorkelers, a few kilometers away are hot springs.

    March through August is the best time to plan a trip, because November and December are too rainy.

    Beaches sri lanka

    (Photo: Images of Sri Lanka – Sequential Shots / flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0 license)

    List of the Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

    All of the island’s beaches are sandy and many are surrounded by coconut palms and other tropical plants. The best beaches in Sri Lanka are located on the southwest coast and are not too far from each other.

    Bentota Beach.

    The most famous beach on the island and according to many reviews of enthusiastic tourists – also one of the best beach holidays. Honeymooners prefer to spend their honeymoon here. The wide coastal strip, palm trees and complete privacy – these are the main advantages of this place.


    A beautiful place and almost complete lack of infrastructure. Since the beach is quite far from Colombo (5 hours by bus), it is visited by tourists alone or those who have taken an independent trip around the island.

    Best beaches in Sri Lanka

    (Photo: That Guy,Will / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


    Unawatuna Beach is located in the village of the same name. The coastal strip is not as wide as in Bentota, but the calm water near the shores makes it extremely attractive. The sand is very fine and clean, part of the area is occupied by cafes and hotels, the rest is available for swimming and water activities. There is shallow water, designed for swimming with the little ones.

    Hikkaduwa Beach

    The longest beach line in Sri Lanka. Orange sand and turquoise colored water, along a line of numerous cafes and hostels. The strong waves have made this a favorite place for surfers, but there are relatively quiet areas – near the hotel Chaaya Tranz. There are no sun loungers, there is enough shade from palm trees, many people come there with children to swim. Because of all this, Hikkaduwa Beach is considered one of the best places for a beach holiday in Sri Lanka.


    Tangalle beach complex has long and persistently made the list of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. This is the perfect place for a secluded vacation: you can walk a mile and not meet a single person. Accommodation can be found in any way. You can reach the place by bus from Colombo (6 hours).

    Best resorts in Sri Lanka

    (Photo: Šejba / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    It’s hard to predict where and who will like it better. Sri Lanka is an amazing island after all, where every place deserves special attention and admiration, so it is quite difficult to make a list of the best resorts and beaches in Sri Lanka, claiming objectivity. However, we hope that our review will help you decide where to go and you will have a great time.

    First photo: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka / flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

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