Sri Lankan Beaches

Sri Lanka, an island floating in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Endowed with over a thousand miles of beautiful golden beaches fringed with coconut palms. A large percentage of Sri Lankan hotels and resorts are located along the seacoast. The main attraction for the most part is on the beaches and the resorts and less on the nearby towns and villages. However, some places like Galle on the west coast with its historical heritage, are included in the attraction even without the lure of the sun and sand. You can also stop on the drive down the west coast for interesting sidetrip like visiting a batik factory or a turtle hatchery, paying your respects at the local temple or sampling the local fruit and getting first hand knowledge on the art of toddy making.

The western and southern coast beaches begins from Negombo, 13kms north of Colombo and curves south along the coastline for 273kms up to Hambantota. This is definitely the better developed of the two circuits and accounts for most of the hotels and the resorts. South of Colombo it is called the ?Cold Coast? and the resorts stretch from Mt. Lavinia (a suburb of Colombo) along Wadduwa, Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Induruwa, Kosgoda, Ahungalla, Hikkaduwa, Calle, Unawatuna, Koggala, We- ligama, Dickewalla, Tangalle and finally Hambantota. The southern beaches are sandier than the western ones and do not shelve steeply into the sea.

While the eastern and northern coast beaches stretches north in a gentle arc from Arugam Bay till Kuchchaveli approximately 275kms up on the eastern coastline. Fine beaches, typically wide stretches of sand and what seems like miles of clear, shallow water, pretty bays and coves, deep natural harbours, still lagoons and underwater coral gardens. The best ones are those of Nilaveli, Kuchchaveli, Marble Bay, Sweat Bay and Dead Man?s Cove, with its magnificent harbour, north of Trincomalee. The southern section includes the peaceful beaches of Passekudah, Kalkudah and Arugam Bay.

Access western and southern coast beaches by road start from Negombo Route A3, till Colombo. Then to A2, better known as Galle Road up to Galle, 117kms south of Colombo hugs the coast line all the way till Hambantota before veering away towards Wellawaya further inland. The Railway runs all the way down from Negombo to Matara, just short of Dondra Head, the southern most tip of Sri Lanka. From here Hambantota is 78 kms by road. By air, there are airports at Katunayake, which is the airport servicing Colombo and the only other international airport in Sri Lanka, Moratuwa and Koggala.

The eastern and northern coast beaches can be reach by road thru A4 cutting across the country from Colombo via the gem city of Ratnapura, passing the Central Highlands on the way before hitting the eastern coast at Pottuvil, 320kms from the capital. There it turns north to service the coastline Up to Batticaloa at a distance of 110kms. The 137kms stretch of coastline from Batticaloa to Trincornalee is serviced by the A15 and the last beach at Kuchchavelli some 35kms further up can be gained by a secondary road. Trincomalee is the only gateway by rail on the eastern coast. It is connected to all the major. Airports are at Batticaloa and Trincomalee.
The food is cosmopolitan. Of course, sea food is fresh and plentiful and most hotels innovate creatively with the wide variety available. There is a fairly extensive choice between spicy Sri Lankan food and standard international fare. An abundance of local tropical fruit and fruit juices is an essential feature of the buffet table.