My Tour to Srilanka (3/3) “Beaches”

Beaches in Srilanka.

After visiting Hill country and Ancient cities I moved towards the beaches in Srilanka. In this post I’ll share my experience to visit these majestic beaches.

After Hill Country and Ancient cities, the another famous tourist destionation in Srilanka is it’s beaches. Basically Srilanka is an Island and it has beaches all around it. These beaches are among the most beautiful and clean beaches in world. Sun shines throughout the year. So tourists from all around the world, specially European and American tourists visit Srilankan beaches to enjoy sun bath at these beautiful beaches.

We can divide these beaches into four regions, west coast, north coast, south coast and east coast beaches.

Western Coast Beaches

The beches in western coast include Negombo, Kalpitiya beach, Wilpattu national park. But the beach I visited was Negombo beach.

Nigombo

Some famous west coast beaches include Negombo which takes 45 minutes by train from Srilanka. It’s close to Colombo airport so most of the tourists visit this beach either on landing in Colombo or departing from Colombo. Negombo is a small place so you can easily visit it’s tourist spots in a single day. Major tourist attractions includes a small fort, museum, beautiful churches and fishing beach.

Beaches are so beautiful with sand so clean and water so deep blue, making it a favourite tourist destination. Another unique thing about Negombo is that when Russia attacked Afghanistan, many Afghans flew to Srilanka and most of them settled here in Negombo. Many hotels are being managed by afghans so you can easily get Pakistani food. They wear shalwar kameez (dress).  So, while my visit I was feeling as I was in Peshawar or some Afghani town.

 

 

South Coast Beaches

 I visited these beaches when I was move from Colombo towards south  . These beaches include Aluthgama and Bentota.

Aluthgama and Bentota

Basically these are the beaches where I saw a lot of European tourists in big groups (group of 50). Hotels on these beaches are luxurious but quite expensive . So if you don’t want to spend a lot of money you can follow the strategy that I used. While moving to the west I stopped at these beaches for 20-25 minutes each. In south public transport is easily available so I used used public transport to move from one beach to another.

After visiting these beaches and moving on, the first big beach with economical accommodation is Hikkaduwa .

Hikkaduwa

It will take about 2.5 hours to reach here from Colombo if yoy travel without any stop. But if you want to stop at other tourist spots on the way then you can estimate the time according to your stops. In Hikkaduwa I didn’t saw the big groups of tourists as it was in previous beaches of south. That’s the reason that you can get economical accommodation easily.

The Hikkaduwa is very beautiful beach. You can enjoy the beauty of this beach by diving or by boat.  Not only this beach is beautiful but near Hikkaduwa there is an island having a temple named Seenigama vihara which is a worthseeing spot too. Gangarama Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple in here. There is a Tsunami memorial situated at a distance of about 30 minutes from Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa Lake is at a distance of 5km from this beach and it takes about 15 minutes to reach there by rikshaw or motorbike.

 

In this fort there is a Hindu temple which is known as Gokarna temple. This temple is on one edge of the peak. Near to it there is Sawami rock. There is an another temple inside the cave.

 

Mirissa

One moving further towards south you’ll reach Mirissa which is a frequently visited tourist spot. Special thing about this is that if you are interested in watching Blue Whale, you can get a boat tour from here. In a specific season (November to January) Blue Whale come near to the beaches of Srilanka. The local Srilankan people arrange boat tours for tourist to witness this rare moment. This is basically a half day tour and you can book this tour either from Gale or from here too.

Matara

This is another beautiful city where you easily spend a day . You can easily get accommodation, public transport and train. This is the last station for the train coming for Colombo.

In front of bus stand there is a beautiful temple named on a small island. This a famous hot tourist destination as you reach this temple by crossing the sea through a suspension bridge. Then climbing a few stairs you reach the temple. From this point you can get some great pictures of the complete beach and it’s surroundings.

Near to bus station there is another tourist spot which is a fort of Dutch era. Although it’s not in very good condition, but still it has it’s entrance gate, boundary wall and few minarets.

When you from bus stand towards the city, the river (Nilwala Ganga) flows by this road. While crossing this river through the bridge there is a temple at the start of this bridge and on the other side of the bridge there is a mosque known as Mohi ud Din mosque. This is a very beautiful mosque whose minarets can be seen from far away.

When you cross the bridge and move on the main road there is another fort of Dutch era named Star Fort. It also has a museum inside.

On moving 1.5 km back towards the Colombo there is a beach on your left hand side known as Polhena beach. This is a clean and beautiful tourist spot. At this beach you can also see stilt fishing which is a traditional fishing style in Srilanka.

Other tourist spots in Matara include Viharahena which is situated at 4km (30 min) from Matara in the East. This is a big temple where there is a huge statue of Buddha in sitting position. The speciality of this place is that there is a museum inside the statue of Buddha. It’s the only place where tourists can go inside the statue and by climbing stairs they can go to top of this statue. This is a worth seeing tourist destination where you can easily spent 3-4 hours.

If you have plan to travel further towards the south then you will have to travel by bus as Matara is the last station of train.

 

 

Tangalle

The next big city after Matara is Tangalle. It’s another beautiful attraction for the tourists who visit Srilanka. This city has 2-3 beaches, some of which are for local tourists and the other for foreign tourists. There is a clock tower in the city. You can easily get accommodation in Tangalle. So you can easily spent 2 days here.

East Coast Beaches

Moving in south from Tangalle you will reach east coast beaches. The famous beaches in east are Hambantota, Ambalantota, Kirinda, Monaragala, Arugam bay, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. There are other tourist spots in addition to beaches which are Bundala National Park and Yala National Park.

These national parks give you an opportunity to see the wildlife very closely. So, many tourists prefer to spent 2-3 days in these national parks and enjoy the wild safari.

During my tour I visited Trincomalee and Batticaloa. Both of these are extremely beautiful cities.

Batticaloa

Batticaloa is a beautiful city in east coast with a big population of Muslims. With it’s clean beaches and beautiful scenes you can spent 2 days in this city. The markets are so colorful with variety of seafood. From Batticaloa you can get the bus to any city of Srilanka.

There are many mosques in the city and biggest of them is known as Auliya mosque. This is a worth seeing mosque located at the shore of the sea.There is a fort of Dutch era which is also located at the shore of the sea. Next to it is another mosque. Batticaloa has some Christian churches as well.

There is park known as Gandhi park. The reason for it’s name is the statue of Gandhi placed in this park. In the park there is Batticaloa gate which once was a gate gate to enter Batticaloa city.

In Batticaloa city mostly restauraunts are being managed by Muslims. You can get food like Biryani, Karahi etc.

 

 

Trincomalee

Trincomalee hosts a huge number of tourists from all over the world throughout the year. This exceptional tourist spot not only attracts the international tourists but also the local tourists. The reason is it’s very nice weather and beautiful beaches.

Accomodation in the city is a bit expensive but moving 3-4km in the north of the main city you can get affordable accommodation on the beach. From here you can easily move to the city by bus.

A main tourist attraction in this city is a fort which is located at a peak. It is a beautiful fort from where you can have a majestic and scenic view of the city. This fort is named as Fort Fredrick. Although this fort is under hold of Srilankan army but tourist are allowed to visit this fort. So tourists can move here easily without any need to purchase a ticket.

In this fort there is a Hindu temple which is known as Gokarna temple. This temple is on one edge of the peak. Near to it there is Sawami rock. There is an another temple inside the cave.

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