Clear blue waves hitting the gold sandy shore

Mirissa – Surfer & Backpacker Paradise – Sri Lanka

This post was last updated on April 8th, 2020 at 01:59 pm

Grab a beer, climb into your hammock, and forget about everything. If you want to relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in southern Sri Lanka, you will soon find yourself in Mirissa. Only 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Weligama you will find this wonderful beach which is known as one of the most beautiful along this coast with its fine golden sand, a beautiful bay, and coconut palm trees.


Mirissa; Relax on the Beach

If you come here in the evening you may have just found the most romantic place in the country. When it gets dark, the lights come on and this beach transforms into a magical environment with a jumble of lights. Unfortunately, it is no longer completely untouched, but you will hardly find anything else like it in Asia. Along the coast, you will find different hostels and cafes but it’s not as bad as in Unawatuna.


The government is stopping the construction of mega hostels for the time being, but it is clear that Mirissa is growing fast.


Beach with gold sand and blue water, viewed through the jungle
Aerial view of Mirissa beach


The Atmospheric Mirissa

Fortunately, Mirissa is still a quiet resort. You will find a number of small restaurants and a nice atmosphere without the real party scene of Unawatuna. Another thing Mirissa is well-known for is whale watching.


You have a great opportunity to spot whales on the coast. In addition, the food in Mirissa is delicious with an abundance of fresh fish. By the way, swimming is not easy here as there can be strong currents (be careful!).


It is best to check the conditions of the water with your hostel before going for a swim. They also rent out snorkeling gear here, but the chance that you see more than one colored fish is rather small.


TIP – Also have a look at our Sri Lanka travel page where you can find information about: accommodations in Sri Lanka, airline tickets to Sri Lanka and what the best time to visit Sri Lanka is. You will find a lot of extra information here.


Best Things to Do in Mirissa

Fortunately, in addition to the beautiful beach, there is more to experience in this romantic spot. For example, Mirissa is known as a place where you can spot whales. Or would you rather relax at the romantic beach of the city?


It is all possible here. To help you make a choice, we give you an overview of the best things to do in Mirissa.


1. Go Surfing

Waves crashing on the shore on Mirissa Beach

Today it is still quieter than its well-known competitor Unawatuna. Mirissa is especially popular with surfers and travelers on a smaller budget.


The waves here are bigger, but with a lifeguard, it’s still safer. In Mirissa you can surf whether you’re a beginner or an advanced surfer.


As a beginner, you can take lessons at one of the surf schools on the beach. As an advanced surfer, we recommend going to the right side of the beach where you can find the best waves.


2. Whale Watching

Mirissa is known for the fact that you can spot whales well here. This is, therefore, a very popular activity in the city. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to this activity. Because the whale watching has become so popular, more operators have come to offer the tour. Unfortunately, not all operators have proper guidelines for the caring of the whales.


For example, they hunt the animals using sonar to track them down. This makes the animals stressed, which (of course) can never be the intention of an excursion.


If you would like to take this tour, make sure to book with the Whale Watch Club or Raja & the Whales. These companies do not use sonar and keep enough distance from the whales. These tour operators are a lot more expensive, but they treat the animals with respect.


So don’t save pennies when you want to book this tour!


TIP – The whale watching season runs from November to April.


3. Visit Secret Beach

At about 20 minutes walking from Mirissa, you will find Secret Beach. You can chill out at this secluded tropical beach. You can find the exact location on google maps, so the beach is no longer so secret.


In the high season (November to March) a beach bar is open where you can order food and drinks. In the low season, it is closed, but the advantage is that you will probably have the beach all to yourself.


Tropical Beach in Mirissa
One of the tropical beaches in Mirissa


4. Go Bodyboarding

Mirissa is also known for the fact that you can bodyboard well. The sea is quite rough off the coast of Mirissa. It is not ideal to swim here because of the strong current.


However, the waves are perfect for bodyboarding here. The bodyboards can be rented everywhere on the beach of Mirissa.


5. Take a Selfie at Coconut Tree Hill

You may have seen this location on Instagram before. It is one of the most photographed locations in Sri Lanka and if you stand there you will understand why.


So come to this hill and shoot an Instagram worthy photo among the palm trees in front of the clear blue sea. The Coconut Tree Hill is located 1.5 kilometers outside the center and is easy to find on google maps. It can get quite busy at this place, so get there early if you want a good photo.


How to Get to Mirissa

Mirissa is easily accessible from different parts of Sri Lanka. The city lies between the famous cities; Galle and Matara in which the connections are good.


To get into the city you can simply hop on one of the buses going to Galle or Matara. These buses drive through Mirissa.


You cannot reach Mirissa directly by train. You will need to get off at the Weligama station and take a tuk-tuk into town from here.


Mirissa Beach at Night
View of Mirissa Beach at Night


Hotels & Hostels in Mirissa

Mirissa has become increasingly popular among travelers in recent years. The relaxed vibe of the city attracts more and more people. You can also find enough accommodations in the area to your liking. Whether you are looking for a beautiful resort with a pool or a simple hostel, you can find it in Mirissa.


The main attraction of the city is the romantic beach. It is not surprising that many accommodations are located on the beach in the city.


TIP – Book your accommodation in Mirissa here.


Best Time to Visit Mirissa

The best time to visit Mirissa is from December to April. These months have the most hours of sunshine and the least chance of rain. It is also the best time to spot whales if you want to see them.


From April to October, it is low season here because of the Yala Monsoon. 


This best time to visit Mirissa differs from other locations in Sri Lanka. If you want to know more about the regions in Sri Lanka, the average weather by month, and the best time to visit, check out our complete information page.


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