Sri Lanka has long been known for its outstanding surfing beaches and is one of the premiere destinations for surfing in South and South East Asia owing to its dreamy tropical climes and tourist-friendly locales.
But Sri Lanka also has some of the best beginner friendly surfing beaches around the world. So check this list of beginner-friendly surf spots for a handy guide. Surfs up!
Way Down South is Weligama, the oft skipped over quieter cousin to Hikkaduwa. With a myriad of surfing schools dotted around the beach and some cheap surf rental places to boot, Weligama is known for a calm surf that is as easy for beginners as it is relaxing for a more experienced surfer. Weligama is a medium to low wave beach any way you look at it and the perfect place to get your surf legs on before diving into a deeper challenge.
Once a fishing town but now a main hotspot for beach-happy tourists and locals, Hikkaduwa is a prime surf spot. Because of its popularity, where to stay in Hikkaduwa is rarely a tough question to find an answer for.
Hikkaduwa is known for quite a few famous local wave breaks, among which Beach Break is a sandy break often favored by beginners and learners for its low waves.
A crescent-shaped beach surrounded by palm trees, Mirissa Beach is right next to Weligama and boasts equally beginner-friendly breaks and waves. With steady wave heights not exceeding 6ft, this is an ideal spot to build your confidence on a reef so that you’re raring to go when you’re in choppier waters. Mirissa is a charming beach town with beautiful waves, a friendly locale and the best sun and surf. There’s a number of surf schools and shops around, as is common around Sri Lanka’s surfing towns so there’s no excuses to skimp out on the waves.
Arugam Bay is Sri Lanka’s East Coast surfing beach to beat. It’s the beach that originally put Sri Lanka on the surfing map and still holds up as a haven for surfers of all levels to gather and try their luck on. Lighthouse and Whiskey Point are the main attractions here for beginner surfers, with chest- or shoulder-height breakers to cut your teeth on for some practice. Arugam Bay can get crowded, what with its popularity, with both visitors and local surfers alike but the upshot is that there’s any number of pros around to ask for a helpful pointer or two if you’re a beginner.
Near Arugam Bay is Elephant Rock, an oft-overlooked and isolated little beach. Few decide to make the trip owing to the 15-20 minute walk from the vehicle drop-off to the shore but it’s definitely worth it because Elephant Rock boasts one of the best kept beaches on the island. It’s clean, off-the-beaten path and chock-full of easy breakers for a delightful surf. And when you want a break from the waves, clamber up onto the sea-facing rock for a view-tiful break!
All around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on many of the daily activities and everyday things we took for granted. With it has come a slowdown of international tourist travel and leisure travel as many would-be travellers responsibly choose to forgo their vacation and instead opt for a staycation.
But what if you could get away to a tropical island where there’s amazing deals on hotels and accomodation, stringent health and safety measures to protect you and the locals, reduced tourist crowds and the promise of a relaxing time for you to stretch, unwind and forget about the crazy year you’ve had?
Sri Lanka has all those things and more and, as of January 2021, is welcoming you with open arms to visit the beaches and the resorts you couldn’t get away to last year.
It goes without saying that in the past year, there’s been a sudden drop in international travel and tourism. Because of this, almost all Sri Lanka hotels are offering staggering deals on stays and tour experiences now that Sri Lanka has opened up for visitors again. And there’s no catch! You can book yourself a stay or a tour package for a fraction of what you would have spent last year with the same level of service and luxury as you’ve come to expect in Sri Lanka.
International travel and tourism in a pandemic is scary but when the safety and health measures are strict, up-to-par with international standards as set out by the WHO and assiduously overseen by both the Sri Lankan Tourist Development Authority (SLTDA) and the Health Ministry to ensure that you and your loved ones can safely experience Sri Lanka there’s no cause for worry. With a safe tourist bio-bubble set up by the SLTDA and all cooperating and safety certified hotels and tour operators, there’s no reason a pandemic should stop you from booking a trip to Sri Lanka. For comprehensive information on the safety guidelines and health measures in place for your safety and comfort during your stay in Sri Lanka, you can visit www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/
Since being named Best for Travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet and even before the award, Sri Lanka has always pulled in high numbers of tourists meaning that there’s often large swathes of other tourists and even local vacationers around on your visit. But with vacations taking a backseat for everyone in the midst of a global pandemic and Sri Lanka having just opened its doors, right now is the best moment for you to visit. There’s no crowds clogging up queues, beaches,rooms or pools anywhere and what’s more, there’s even safety guidelines recommending more than enough personal space for everyone once you get here.
It’s also worth mentioning that as a top tourist destination, Sri Lanka took a severe stumble in 2020 when the pandemic hit. Though Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 numbers stayed low, the sudden drop in tourism meant that one of Sri Lanka’s main economic revenue sources halted. With thousands of local tourist industry employees left without an income, Sri Lanka opening up again in January 2021 has been much-awaited. Your vacation here is thus not just a leisure activity for yourself; you’re also helping to uplift Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
2020 has been a stressful year for everyone in the world. The pandemic has shuttled a lot of people indoors and forced a lot of us to stay glued to our screens at home for work. So what better way to deal with all the stress and anxiety than with a trip to Sri Lanka? There’s a variety of nature retreats, meditation centers and wellness resorts all around Sri Lanka that will help you destress and relieve your anxiety with Ayurveda, spa and wellness treatments around the clock.
Sri Lanka has recently become quite popular as a venue for destination weddings. Sri Lanka is an ideal location to make your dream come true and have a beach wedding. Weddings, in general, are quite stressful to plan and execute as there are many tiny details that need attention but might completely slip your mind. Planning a beach wedding in Sri Lanka might seem too big to handle right now, but we are here to help you out and reduce some of that stress you may be feeling! Here are 7 tips on how to plan a perfect beach wedding.
Not to state the obvious, but the location of your dream wedding is quite important and affects all the other details. Hikkaduwa has some of the top wedding venues in Sri Lanka as they have luxurious hotels serving high quality food and a clean wide beach. But since you may have not been to all the possible beach hotels in Sri Lanka, spend some time talking to people and researching on your various options. Do not rush your decision. Pay close attention to the setting, the view and the various amenities that will be provided by the hotel to find out if it suits your liking.
Before you jump into any conclusions about how obvious this might seem, hear us out. Yes, informing guests about the date and venue is obvious, but for a beach wedding, especially if it requires your guests to make travel arrangements, inform them well ahead. Some people may need prior notice to arrange their trip to your wedding which will help you finalize the wedding list as well. Secondly, it is vital that you mention it is an outdoor beach wedding so that guests will attend in suitable and comfortable attire. The last thing you would want is for guests to be unhappy because their heels are stuck in the sand or their brand new suit has got spoilt by the salty air.
Just like any other wedding pick whether you would want to get married in the morning or evening, but choose it well ahead. Unlike an indoor wedding, the lighting at a beach wedding can be quite unpredictable. Therefore it is important to decide on the time of day and inform the photographer so they can be well prepared with the necessary equipment. Additionally, the make-up, suit and even menu would depend highly on the time of day. So the sooner you decide on it, the sooner you can get started on the other details.
Unfortunately, no matter how meticulously you plan, everything is not in your control. Especially the weather. In case the weather on the day is not favorable for an outdoor wedding have a backup ready close to your beach location. You can even consider setting up decorated tents and marquees to fight the weather. But let’s hope and pray that on your wedding day the sky would be clear and the weather would be perfect.
Make-up is quite a crucial component in the bride and the bridal party’s attire. And even though it can generally be quite tricky, outside weddings make it even more challenging. It is important that your hair and makeup will sustain the outdoor winds. It might be even worth it to have a few trial runs to see how long it may last outdoors.
Beach weddings have an atmosphere of fun, dancing and drinking. The key to ensuring food and money is not wasted is to serve a light meal. Depending on the seating arrangement you may even consider serving finger food. Guests don’t usually expect a huge buffet at a beach wedding and most guests may not even be interested in it as they may be eyeing the dance floor. So cut down on the food, but don’t forget to spend on the drinks.
In the mad rush of planning and ensuring everything is perfect, don’t forget this is you and your loved one’s special day! The wedding may be planned to the very last detail, but don’t forget to make it more special for the two of you. Take advantage of the location and plan a memorable ending to your wedding. Most hotels offer a boat ride for the newlyweds and this getaway might be the perfect end to your perfect day.
Like a visit to south Asia is incomplete without a visit to scenic and serene Sri Lanka, a visit to our beautiful island paradise is incomplete without visiting Kalutara, a happening and commercial town situated 43km from the island’s capital. If you’re traveling straight to Kalutara from the airport, we suggest either taking a train or hiring a private vehicle, as the journey will take you roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes; depending on traffic.
Like most parts of the island, Kalutara has it’s own few landmarks and tourist attractions that make the area standout with the tourists. You could either stay at accommodations in Kalutara town itself, or opt for the more famous beach side Waskaduwa hotels near Kalutara. Regardless to where you stay, here are a few places you shouldn’t miss when visiting Kalutara.
The Kalutara Bodhiya is one of the most famous temples of the island, drawing thousands of islanders to it every year. The large temple is located in the southern part of the town, and is known by any local driver. It is a serene place ideal for centering and bringing balance to one’s mind; and a good start for any journey. Worshippers and those who visit the temple are advised to wear clothing that cover their knees and shoulders, and behave in a quiet and calm manner.
If you’re one of adventure, and love visiting old caves, then the history of this cave alone will make this trip worth your while. Fondly known as “pahiyangala” by the locals, this cave gets its name due to an ancient Chinese monk who’s said to have used the cave as his rest stop, centuries ago. This cave is also archeologically rich, and is the largest cave in the island. Additionally, it’s also one of the largest found natural rock formation found in Asia. A trip to this cave is known to be quite adventurous, so wearing sensible shoes and leaving behind young children is advisable.
Sri Lanka is an island that houses people of many religions; Christianity a prominent religion among them. The Holy cross church situated in the Galle road is a serene and beautiful building, and attracts many visitors to it¾irrespective of their religion. This popular church is not only beguiling from within; it also has spectacular views as it stands on an elevated area facing the ocean¾making it very popular for weddings nowadays. Merely a kilometer from town, you can easily access this church by road.
Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful carvings and batik creations; from traditional wooden facemasks to the contemporary wearable batiks. A visit to Sri Lanka can be made more memorable by purchasing items made by local artists, giving yourself a tangible token to remind yourself of your time in our paradise island. However, if you’re travelling light and are unable to purchase these items at the moment, do the next best thing, by visiting a craft museum to have a closer look at these items. Ranjith’s carving and batik museum is one such famous museum in the Kalutara district, where you’d be able to witness some of the finest creations of the island.
Just like the Kalutara Bodhiya, the Asokaramaya temple is another prominent temple situated in Kalutara; though less crowded by the tourists. This temple is situated in the northern part of the town, and boasts of colorful statues and paintings that will surely mesmerize you. Though it has been expanded considerably since it’s original construction, the temple is still considered to be smaller by local standards, and makes the perfect spot for a quick visit.
You cannot visit Sri Lanka and avoid the waterfalls; you’ll be missing out on so much! Start your waterfall adventure right here at Kalutara by visiting the areas famed Thudugala Ella. The waterfall is not one of the largest or widest found on the island, but is certainly charming. For the best experience, try to visit the falls in the early hours of the day, when it’s less populated. Don’t forget to try to get to the top of the waterfall, where you’ll find a shallow pool perfect for a dip…!
If you’re looking for a truly serene experience, and you feel visiting the popular temples may not be the right thing for you, we suggest you visit the Bodhinagala Forest hermitage. Located in Ingiriya, just 37km from Kalutara town, you can easily get there via hired vehicles. A serene surrounding as well as fresh air is promised to you here, provided you remember this is a sacred area, and behave respectfully…
Being an island, the choices of breathtaking beaches are plentiful in Sri Lanka. However, not all beaches are safe to swim in, and can get quite rough during certain seasons. There’s also the fact that some beaches are best avoided if you’re travelling with young children, as the seas around those areas can be rough and steep. In short, to identify the best beach to visit while at the island, it’s first important that you to consider who you’re travelling with, as well as what activities you plan on enjoying on your beach holiday in Sri Lanka.
When it comes to accommodations, Sri Lanka will never leave you disappointed. From luxury resorts to affordable hotel room, to homestays and hostels; Sri Lanka has a place for all types of travelers and all manner of budgets. It’s best booking your accommodation prior to arriving; especially if you’re travelling with a group. This is especially true during tourist seasons, as the island fills up pretty fast. While it’s true that you will definitely be able to find some accommodation (thanks to the many boutique hotels in the island), you might not be able to get what you envisioned for your visit to the island; unless you pre-book your accommodations.
Apart from swimming, surfing and sunbathing, a Sri Lankan beach holiday also offers you a chance to try out watersports such as kite surfing, snorkeling, kayaking etc. If you happen to opt for a hotel or resort, you’ll also have the option of practicing yoga and meditation with instructors, as well as spa sessions. Apart from that, you can also expect to be well fed throughout your stay in this little island paradise.