Sri Lanka beaches and coastal towns
Sri Lanka beaches and coastal towns:
Negombo is usually an unforgettable place in Sri Lanka. The proximity of the international airport makes, that it is often the first and last stop in Sri Lanka.
Negombo is quite a city and my first impression was very neutral.
The point is, that Negombo did not inspire me with admiration or any negative feelings.
I liked the large and wide beach here. The open sea, strong wind and big waves. All together it creates perfect conditions for surfing and kitesurfing. Unfortunately, you won't find blue water and white sand here.
Negombo is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka, this fact combined with the proximity of Colombo (capital) makes, the sea is a little dirty here.
However, you will find a great fish market here, where you can buy a variety of seafood, fish and even shark meat. And at quite affordable prices.
It's best to go early in the morning and watch local fishermen bustle about unloading containers with fresh fish.
In Negombo I went on a trip on a wooden catamaran. Initially, I didn't quite trust a few wooden stakes piled into what barely looked like a boat, but it turned out, that the pseudo-craft, driven by the wind, was speeding by quite a bit.
Colombo is not a place for sunbathing. The beach is dirty and very close to the slums here.
The sea is clearly polluted and the rivers that open here are mixed with sewage and garbage.
The whole scenery does not look inviting and such a picture is heartwarming with regret.
# 3 Beruwala
Beruwala is a small but quite interesting town.
It is the first Muslim settlement in Sri Lanka. It was established in the 8th century by Arab merchants coming to the island.
In fact, it is only from this town that the endless passage of beautiful beaches that runs around almost the entire island begins. Walking along the beach from Beruwala to the south, if you persist in it, it can go around almost the entire island.
Over the past few years, several nice hotels have been built in Beruwala. The town is famous for being ideal for families and quiet tourists who want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Plus: you can enjoy the beaches and swimming in the sea practically all year round.
If you are going to Beruwala, it is worth taking a look at the oldest mosque in Sri Lanka. It was built by Arab traders on a rocky peninsula. Its walls offer a beautiful view of the city.
Curiosity: in Beruwala there was the oldest female school in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, in 2004 year was completely destroyed by the tsunami.
# 4 Bentota
Bentota is located on the southern bank of the mouth of the Bentota River.
The city is named after its mythical history, told to this day by the inhabitants. The story tells about a demon named Bem, who settled on the river bank and tormented the villagers.
I persistently tried to find out about the ending of this story, unfortunately, none of the inhabitants knew anything about the end.
Bentota is a large town famous for the best hotels in Sri Lanka. It is an ideal place for fans of relaxation in world-class resorts with an infinite number of stars.
The beach is very wide and creates ideal conditions for fans of water sports. Numerous hotel bars and restaurants offer interesting drinks, in particular the so-called toddy or palm wine, for which production Bentota is very famous.
A glass of toddy in an atmospheric beach bar, relaxing music, sunset.. The recipe for a nice evening is ready!
I spent quite a lot of time in Ambalangoda. It is a rarely visited place by tourists, therefore, I was able to calmly observe the lives of the inhabitants. And the townspeople were watching me with great interest.
Fact, that I lived there during the rainy season heightened their interest, because this is the time when no one comes here. So I was the only white face around.
Ambalangoda is a town of beliefs in mythical beasts and demons. Each of the inhabitants has a devil's mask, which hung on the door of the house is to protect its inhabitants from evil forces.
Several local mask makers are located here. It is worth spending a few minutes to observe their work and to visit a small museum telling about the history of this craft.
The beach in Ambalangoda is, in my opinion, the greatest asset of this place. Clean, wide and empty. Perfect for a lonely rest and even better for meditation.
But 2 days in Ambalangoda are enough to get bored. There is an ideal advice for this. A nearby town - Hikkaduwa - famous for being one of the best surfing spots.
Surfing, diving, reggae beach bars, interesting mix of tourists and a very nice beach.
In Hikkaduwa you will not be bored.
In years 70. Hikkaduwa was a place visited only by hippies. Kind of like Goa, but more mysterious, less available.
After the tsunami wave, the entire town was completely destroyed. The residents had nothing left. Families, that have lost everything, as part of the aid activities, they received - attention - sewing machines.
Since then, a lot of talented tailors have lived in Hikkaduwa, who will sew whatever you want for you on the spot.
Today Hikkaduwa is an entertainment town. The slightly hippie vibe remained, but the increasing popularity of this town causes, that the beach is getting crowded, bars are no longer a place to relax but rather for a crazy party and the coast becomes crowded with beginner surfers.
The inhabitants are a big plus - always smiling and very helpful. They do not treat tourists only as a source of income, but also as an opportunity to meet interesting people and broaden their horizons.
The beach is divided into two parts.
First, farther north it is sandy and safe. The other part is full of stones and corals. In this part, you can very often meet giant sea turtles. Slightly crowded in the tourist season. There is hardly anyone during the rainy season. It is not one of the widest beaches.
Tourism and operation cause, that the sea takes quite a long chunk every year. So let's hurry to see Hikkaduwa before it's too late!
For fans of diving - Hikkaduwa Colar Sanctuary is located several dozen km from the shore. The sanctuary has about seventy varieties of multi-colored corals. Diving trips to this site are organized daily.
# 7 Galle
Sri Lanka's fourth largest city.
A charming city with charming narrow streets,famous for the great fort built by the Portuguese.
The Portuguese took over the city in the 17th century and then in the 18th century the fort was expanded by the Dutch. Galle has a very colorful and interesting history. It will surely appeal to fans of history and colonialism.
As it happens in larger cities, the beach is not stunning. The closest beaches worth paying attention to are the beaches of Unawatuna.
A beautiful tourist town located approx 5 km from Galle. It is famous for its sandy beaches and phenomenal corals. The coast is dotted with thousands of trees, coconut palms and interesting beach huts ready for rent.
Before the tsunami, Unawattuna beaches were among the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Unfortunately, the cataclysm has made, that the coast has shrunk considerably and the beaches are not that wide anymore. Also extensive tourism has made, that numerous corals began to die. Still, it's beautiful.
Weligama literally translates to "sandy village". Weligama is a small bay that stretches for several kilometers.
The interior of the bay creates ideal conditions for beginner surfers. The waves are large but regular and usually of similar size. The beach here is very flat and quite wide.
An interesting attraction is the private island of Taprobane, located near the shore. There is a private villa in the middle of the island.
Initially, the owner of the island was Count Maurice Maria de Mauny Talvande, who fell in love with Welligama Bay and decided to buy an island and build a villa on it, where he could spend his free time.
The next owner of the island was the American author and composer Paul Bowles. Other notable personalities, who stopped at Taprobane are Dutch author Peter ven Hoopen, who spent a month here in 1984 of the year and singer Kylie Minogue, which was so inspired, that she even wrote a song about the island called "Taprobane (Extraordinary Day)”. I wonder what she was doing there since the day was extraordinary;)
Weligama is also famous for its stilt fishermen. Fishermen place bamboo poles not far from the shore, on which they sit down in a special way and dip their fishing rods in sea water. I honestly admit, that it looks phenomenal and their technique of sitting on stilts is admirable.
# 10 Mirissa
The beach and nightlife in Mirissa make it, that the town is becoming more and more popular with tourists. It is one of the most visited destinations by backpackers.
It is also a fishing port and one of the main places for whale and dolphin watching. It is from here that most of these trips are organized.
Personally, I love Mirissa Beach. It has a charm to it. The water is clear, perfect size waves, plus bars serving Ceylon tea with fresh ginger. Lovely.