The paradise isle of Sri Lanka, also called ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ or Serendipity boasts beaches right around the country. From course, sandy beaches to fine white sand and clear azure and torquoise waters, you can test all kinds of beaches around the island for surfing or just a lazy day at the beach. We at Salt thought it would be great to introduce a few known and unknown gems from all corners of the island so you can get started on planning your next beach adventure.
Located on the East Coast of the island on the Kinniya Road in Trincomalee, the Marble Beach is an enclosed, serene and calm beach within the Air Force base. With a long stretch of beach that you can literally walk to the middle of, and a three star hotel run by the local Air Force, the Marble Beach is the perfect place to spend a morning or evening, for a secluded swim and a meal after. Named the Marble Beach due to the beach depicting marble and being calm with only a few ripples, it provides a safe place for swimming and even has Air Force Lifeguards on duty around the clock should you need a bit of extra attention or worst case scenario…saving!
Moving to the South East of the country, you are taken to a different type of terrain altogether after driving through a national park. Famous for being a stop for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims making their way from the Eastern and Northern provinces to Kataragama Temple in the South, Okanda is also believed to be the point where the God Skanda in his golden boat, sailed to Sri Lanka. The folklore has it that the boat was turned into rock, and still stands at the great Okanda Beach known as the ‘Ran Oru Gala’ also known as the famous black rocks by the beach. The beach is secluded and calm and only has a tiny temple close by. Although you cannot swim further into the sea, the place is popular with surfers who love the height of the waves. But as the beach has no lifeguards, precaution is necessary.
In Unawatuna or the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, lies a beach hidden away near the Rumassala Sanctuary calls for a tiny trek through the jungle, to reveal an amazing beach at the end of the trail with sandy white beach and azure waters. With activities such as snorkeling and being able to watch fish near corals, the beach is popular with tourists and locals alike and also has many cafes available. The Beach is usually crowded over the weekend but weekdays are much nicer and quieter. You have boats available and you can even negotiate a quick boat ride or a snorkeling trip. This beach is worth the experience to get there!
White Sand and Azure waters aren’t only found in the south of Sri Lanka but in the North as well. Casuarina Beach is found in Jaffna and has a reputation of being the best beach around the area. Having got its name from the many Casuarina Trees by the beach, the beach is as breezy and comfortable as they are. We have heard they charge a tiny entrance fee and the place could be maintained a little better and we warn you to be mindful that there may be Jellyfish around, but the beach is great and sometimes that’s all that matters!
Famous for two things, the Koggala Beach is the longest beach in the island and is also famous for the turtle hatcheries. So not only can you soak up the amazingly long stretch of beach but witness baby turtles going back to see. With one of the few beach locations with a domestic airport, you can even fly out for a beach trip from the city and back at a low rate. Or you could take the scenic coastal drive and continue the beach journey to Midigama or Talpe. Or even enjoy a meal around the Koggala Lake which is not too far from the beach.
The island has much to offer when it comes to beaches and each beach is different as you travel around the island. There is an old saying that you should not trust unknown waters and it’s quite important to check the lifeguards flag or if there is a lifeguard available, even if it’s a crowded public beach. The Pearl of the Indian Ocean has amazing public beaches right around such as the Mirissa Beach, Negombo Beach, Trincomalee Beach and closer to Colombo the Mt.Lavinia Beach. Do remember that on a weekend, they get extra crowded and you might want to take care of your belongings as well. But once done, sit back and soak up the beautiful island rays and immerse yourself in the clear island water and enjoy these lovely beach spots you just have to try.