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Best beaches in Sri Lanka

Best beaches in Sri Lanka

Instagram worthy romantic beaches of Sri Lanka

Dreamy beach getaways on an island with your significant other where each hour of the day is a different hue of Instagram worthy beaches! What could get better?

Think luxury villas with discreet service, spa resorts and some of the best beach hotels in Sri Lanka where you awake to sweeping views of a turquoise, warm Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka certainly hits the sweet spot.

Where in the world is Sri Lanka?

Well, this speck of an Island where you are spoilt for choice between doing nothing by the beach and packing everything in from wildlife to 2500 year old culture to adventure and tea experiences, is just a 4 to 4 ½ hr flight from Dubai and Singapore. Check out flight deals to Sri Lanka on Sri Lankan AirlinesEmiratesSingapore Airlines and Qatar. Here’s an island which Emirates Woman picked as one of five romantic island getaways from Dubai!

Ayu in the Wild staff picked out their guide to 8 of the most romantic beaches in Sri Lanka.

  1. Negombo beach

Travel time – 20-minute drive from the airport, 45 min. drive from Colombo city.

Negombo Beach Boats

Photo Credits – Indi Samarajiva via Flickr

Oh those sail boats on this Instagram perfect beach along the west will take your breath away. This beach remains fabulous most of the year. Quintessentially, a fishing town, Negombo is worth a night or at most two and is so, so close to the Airport.

Take a boat ride on the lagoon, walk through local markets, observe the traditional fisherman at work or take a peak into locals making toddy. That’s only if just lounging on the beach is not your thing.


  1. Jaffna Casuarina beach

Travel time – 3 hr drive from Anuradhapura, 3 hr train ride from Anuradhapura and a 2-hr flight from the BIA International Airport Charter Flight from Cinnamon Air where an Ayu in the Wild Chauffeur will pick you on arrival.

Casuarina Beach

Photo credits – Suthersan Suthakaran via flickr

Tours to the unexplored North of Sri Lanka beckons travelers to Jaffna after many decades.  The choice of accommodation is just right for this uncrowded region; a few hotels and some private villas tastefully furnished. Casuarina beach about 40 minutes away from the railway station leads to calm shallow water which you can wade in for miles as it’s protected by a reef. This beach is so untouched you can see the surprise in the locals eyes!

Wondering about other things do in Jaffna? We love Jaffna food! Try curries to the freshest sea food and a myriad variety of Mangoes. November to March in Jaffna is great for bird-watching or explore the beautiful Delft Island with remains of a Portuguese fort and wild ponies on the loose. Walk through local markets or absorb the rhythms, fervor and faith inside Nallur Kovil and finally climb up the Jaffna fort walls and capture that Instagram worthy sun set. Just perfect for 2 to 3 days!


  1. Nilaveli Beach Trincomalee

Travel time – 2 hr drive from Anuradhapura and Sigiriya and 45 min flight from the BIA International airport.

The turquoise east coast calm waters and white sandy beaches best visited from April to September makes Nilaveli perfect for a romantic holiday by the beach. (Hint: Best Instagram worthy picture is when the sun is out and the Dolphins and Whales make an appearance)! Highlights of Trincomalee are the old Fort Fredrick, the Koneshwaran Kovil and snorkelling at Pigeon Island.

Don’t forget those spur of the moment visits to see fishermen pulling their nets in at small coves of beaches and visits to the tiny local markets that Ayu in the Wild always throws into each tour!

  1. Arisimalai beach Pulmudai

Travel time – 6 hr drive from the airport, 2 hr drive from Trincomalee beach, 3 ½ hr drive from Jaffna and a 50-min flight from the BIA airport.

Secluded, off beat and almost off the map. Certainly not your usual pick of the best beaches in Sri Lanka as there is no accommodation nearby. Yet, this tucked away beach in the deep north-east coast off Trincomalee is one of those random picks where you can take a couple of beach chairs or a mat, pack in some snacks, lunch and sunscreen and spend a quiet few hours on a calm beautiful beach. The Thiriyaya Vatadage though in ruins still remains one of those unique places to visit in and around Trincomalee and can be coupled with a visit to Arisimalai.

  1. Tangalle

Travel time – 4 hr drive from the airport, 1 ½ hr drive from Galle and a 1 hr drive from Udawalawe.

Private beaches! Need we say more? Tucked in far away from crowds, those quiet, quiet sandy strips bordering the deep waters of the southern beaches in Tangalle spells the ideal atmosphere for intimacy. Best visited between December and April. Tangalle has yet to hit the Instagram worthy list of beaches (and we hope it stays that way to keep crowds at bay)!

Book the holiday specials with Ayu in the Wild at the super, super luxury Anantara and Aman Resorts or unique stays at Eco Lodges and explore the beauty of a temple upon a 200-meter-high rock, meet the rural people of the South for authentic local experiences and take guided safaris to Udawalawe and Yala National Parks, bird watching safaris in Bundala National Park and Kalametiya bird sanctuary.

  1. Paasikudah

Travel time – 1 hr drive from Polonnaruwa, 2 hr drive from Sigiriya and a 30-min. Daily flight from the BIA International airport. An Ayu in the Wild Chauffeur will pick you on arrival and whisk you off to your luxury beach resort.

Serene beach of Paasikudah

Iconic, luxury, high- end accommodation in Sri Lanka dots this east coast beach, and miles and miles of crystal blue waters will lure you to….just do nothing. A perfect foil to the excitement of our guided tours in Sri Lanka’s incredible World Heritage Sites of the Cultural Triangle, a short hour or two away.

If you must take a break from the lazy days of summer sun, here’s our top pick of Instagram pictures worth taking in Pasikuda Sri Lanka;-  ride jet skis, take in a morning of water sport, a spa treatment in the luxury resorts or spend a fun morning out on a Yacht.

  1. Kalpitiya

Travel time – 3 hr drive from the airport. 1 hour 30 minutes to Wilpattu National Park and 2 hours to the World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura.

Kalpitiya Highlights

A scenic drive along the west coast with the inviting waters of the Indian ocean on one side and farmlands and salterns on the other gets you to Kalpitiya. Best visited from November to April. Luxury accommodation in Kalpitiya adds to the aura of this romantic hideaway in Sri Lanka.

Uncrowded beaches, great beach side dining, and boat safaris to go deep into the sea to photograph the friendly bottle-nosed dolphins and Whales. Here, is your instapassport post card from the world kind of place!  For that touch of adventure on tour, book a privately guided safaris in Wilpattu National Park are just a 1 ½ hr drive away

  1. Mirissa beach 

Travel time – 1 hr drive from Galle, 3 hr drive from the airport and a 2-hr train ride from Colombo.

Whale watching on a private yacht from Mirissa

Yes, Mirissa  made it to Sri Lanka’s Most Instagrammed Places! And with reason. Intimate boutique villas that redefines luxury. Private luxury villas where the worlds rich and famous holiday, discreetly. Sun dappled and moonlit beaches makes Mirissa definitely a romantic beach escape with so much to do, if you can bear to be away from a stroll along the beach under the purplish hued orange skies.

Visit the eclectic Galle Dutch Fort with its cobblestoned alleyways, take a Cinnamon walk with a traditional Sri Lankan lunch for two and that unique experience launched by Ayu in the Wild a private safari on your own luxury Yacht to photograph Blue Whales, guided by a marine mammal specialist between November to April.

Contact us at Ayu in the Wild, holidays for tailor-made itineraries to make your beach stay extra special.

Best beaches in Sri Lanka
Best beaches in Sri Lanka

Beach-time Sri Lanka – secret warm weather getaways!

Dreaming of a warm weather getaway that is more than just sun and sand? Take a look at these secret (and not so secret) beaches in Sri Lanka and some fun things to do.

Paasikudah Sri Lanka

To us, the beaches of the east coast in Sri Lanka are unmatched. From Trincomalee to the endless and quiet beaches of Paasikudah – often referred to as Pasikuda or Passekudah by travelers, in the east coast of Sri Lanka are a wonderful inclusion into any Summer Holiday tour from May to September.

Where to stay:

whale watching sri lanka

Private Whale Watching safaris in a yacht in Sri Lanka is way more fun than traveling in crowded vessels. Ayu in the Wild offers privately guided safaris in Kalpitiya, Mirissa, Galle and Trincomalee. The yacht can be booked in Pasikuda too for a sunset cruise and overnight stays.

sunset sri lanka

Some of the best sunsets can be seen in December along the west coast in Sri Lanka like in Yala, Galle and Mirissa

seafood sri lanka

Sri Lanka is a great foodie destination with some of the best seafood in the world.

Maalu Maalu beach resort sri lanka

Beach resorts in Sri Lanka don’t come better than Maalu Maalu Paasikudah. Book our 3 day specials Send enquiry to Ayu in the Wild Holidays.

Things to do if you are heading to an east coast beach in Sri Lanka:

  • Explore the cultural Triangle, Royal Kingdoms and ancient ruins
  • Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
  • See wild Elephants in the Minneriya National Park, one of the largest gatherings of Elephants in the world
  • Explore the world heritage site of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital home to beautiful stupas and statues
  • Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, home to the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha.
  • Visit the Wilpattu National Park, safari in Sri Lanka’s largest and most beautiful National Parks.

To book Email to inquire about safaris and local excursions in srilanka

Things to avoid if you are heading to an east coast beach in Sri Lanka:

While most East coast beaches are relatively uncrowded compared to those in the southern coast, do try to avoid purchasing any items sold by beach vendors as it encourages unsolicited attention to tourists. Avoid touching corals when scuba diving.

jetwing era beach galle srilanka

There’s a lovely selection of beach Villas in Sri Lanka ideal for week long getaways. This one is from Jetwing in Galle Sri Lanka.

Things to do if you are heading to a south coast beach in Sri Lanka:

  • Stay inside the 17th century Galle Dutch Fort
  • Visit the Lunuganga, the fantastic landscaped gardens of Sri Lanka’s famed architect Geoffrey Bawa
  • Visit the Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most wildlife rich park
  • Visit the Sinharaja Rainforest or Kanneliya Forest to see some stunning birdlife of Sri Lanka
  • Go whale watching on a speed boat or yacht, one of the most responsible safaris in Sri Lanka

To book Email to inquire about safaris and local excursions in srilanka

Things to avoid if you are heading to a south coast beach in Sri Lanka:

Do not purchase any items sold by beach vendors as it encourages unsolicited attention to tourists. Avoid the touristy excursions promoted by Chauffeur Guides including, photographing Stilt Fishing and mask carving as you may be unnecessarily hassled for a contribution or purchase. Avoid the Yala National Park on weekends when its too crowded. Avoid whale watching on the modified fishing vessels that ply from the Mirissa Harbour as they are unregulated and harmful to whales. Avoid touching corals when scuba diving.

Blue whales and dolphins Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a great destination for Blue Whales and Dolphins. Take a private boating safari in Trincomalee, Kalpitiya or Mirissa with Ayu in the Wild Holidays.

kalpitiya srilanka

Kalpitiya is one of the secret warm weather getaways that most travelers to Sri Lanka miss. Its beaches are so, so secluded and the accommodation is varied – from air conditioned luxury beach tents to those oh so lovely thatched roofed cottages with just the right comforts. And you get to see super-pods of Dolphins and a host of marine life on private boat safaris from December to March.

maalu maalu paasikudah

(Photo by Maalu Maalu)

Its not only the night sky that sparkles on the beaches in Sri Lanka .

Dune dining sri lanka

(Photo Jetwing Hotels)

Dune dining quite literally ‘in’ and ‘on’ the beach in Sri Lanka is so romantic.

We have curated some wonderful beach villas, hotels and excursions that make up a complete Sri Lanka holiday. To book your Sri Lanka tour with beach stays that are interspersed with culture, wildlife great food and meeting locals, contact the Private Travel Designers at Ayu in the Wild Holidays Sri Lanka for a Sri Lanka tailor made holiday just for you.