Sri Lanka is one magical place. I had the chance to visit twice, and I must admit I have not seen much more than beaches, but all I did see was wonderful. I am happily sharing my favourite surf breaks, restaurants, and shops in the south of Sri Lanka with you here. It is far from being a complete guide but a compilation of what I loved the most and some personal highlights. Like the holiday tips, you would give a good friend.
Basic Travel Information for Southern Sri Lanka
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
The seasons differ – so from October to April, you can surf better in the south, and then from April to October, the north is the place to go. I prefer the south, as it is much closer to Colombo airport and I do not like long car rides. As well as their driving style seemed quite dangerous to me.
How to get to Midigama
We flew to Colombo Airport and took a pre-booked private driver to Midigama. This proved to be a good way, as you pay around 50-60€ for a three-hour cab ride and have so much more comfortable than when taking a bus. You can ask your hostel or guesthouse for a contact – they mostly have someone reliable to come to pick you up.
You will need a VISA to enter Sri Lanka as a tourist. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months past your departure date. So make sure to check this before booking.
Surf Breaks in Southern Sri Lanka
A little compilation of my most loved and most frequently visited surf-breaks. Or the popular ones we had to check out. Check them on Magicseaweed for more information.
Coconut Beach Break Gurubebila
This break sits directly in front of the Surfing Life Guesthouse. A few minutes foot walk, and we arrived at the beach. Coconut Beach break is a reef break with moderate waves for intermediate surfers. You can get in over the rocks, or paddle around if you walk further right, facing the ocean. The reef close to the beach is shallow – so take care. It can be a fun wave when the swell is not too big for intermediates. If it gets bigger, you need to be brave and know how to duck dive and fall or be a good surfer. I always went to Plantations as soon as there was a little bit bigger swell.
Plantations was my personal favorite. Just a little foot walk away from Coconut Beach break. The waves are gentle and quite fat. It also has a reef underneath, but it’s easy to avoid.
Lazy Left + Lazy Right
As the name says, there is a left – and a right-hander. We surfed only Lazy Left. Lazy Right is just right on the other side. There were no other female surfers and quite a lot of hassle from the competitive male-dominated atmosphere.
Jungle Beach Walliwala Welligama
It is a very romantic spot as it lies in front of a little bay surrounded by palm trees. The waves were really gentle and long and rather mellow. Watch out for the shallow part with rocks in the middle, though. You can walk from Gurubebila beach and paddle the last bit, which is still quite a journey, or take a TukTuk (like we did).
Welligama Beach Break
This beach is a tricky one, as it looks completely different depending on the swell. We did have some fantastic longboard sessions as well as some horrible wipe out sessions with our shortboards.
We surfed two waves in Mirissa. One on the very left, facing the ocean, and one on the very right. Both of them are relaxed waves if you are on an intermediate level. The one on the left-hand side of the beach is further out, you have no rocks or shallow parts but have to paddle more.
The right one is called ‘Secret Spot,’ which doesn’t seem to live up to its name. It is a right-hander over the reef, which can get shallow and hollow.
Ahangama is super fun for intermediates further out, if the swell is not too big. It is a faster and more powerful wave than the others we surfed. It can get very crowded and manly. Right by the shore, it is a spot for beginners to catch white water.
The beach is quite busy and touristy, but it is also convenient as it has sunbeds, fresh coconuts and a bar with a toilet
Where to get your surf equipment in southern Sri Lanka
I never brought my own board to Sri Lanka so far, as I have never been able to get a direct flight. Renting a board in Sri Lanka doesn’t cost that much. If you stay for a while, you get a better price. Cheeky Monkey in Midigama was our go-to place to get our equipment. They have an extensive range of surfboards. They also shape their own boards and sell some surf essentials in their shop. We also rented goggles for diving in the bay.
Restaurants and Bars you must try out in Southern Sri Lanka
As I said, we focused on surfing, and therefore we stuck to our favourite places with great food and lovely staff. Some days we literally forced ourselves to discover something new, as there are countless beautiful places around Midigama and Weligama.
A place you will have seen on some Instagram feeds already. Hang-ten is also a hostel and has an excellent Yoga Barn and a little surf and yoga shop. On the rooftop of the building, there is a big restaurant and bar area where you can sit with a relaxed crowd. People are doing some work during the day, enjoying some healthy smoothies and excellent food after the first session. In the evenings, there is a Pizza night once a week. We spent lots of time there, as the menu is very vegetarian and vegan friendly. They also had absolutely amazing banana bread, a tasty takeaway snack for after the next surf. When you sit at the edge, you have a great view of Weligama bay and can enjoy watching surfers.
One of my absolute favorites. You have to reserve a spot if you want to make sure you get a table. When I say table, I mean one on the tiny terrace in front of the chef’s house. Last time we visited a lovely surf couple was helping the family. The food here is absolutely delicious, you get a wide variety of curries.
A little place along the beach road on the way from Midigama to Welligama. They serve delicious bowls and Avocado toasts. My personal highlight was the skate ramp in the entrance area. And on the upper floor, where you can sit and face the ocean.
Next to Shirani, Chef Akilas Kitchen is a highlight. With a tuk-tuk, you get to the place which is a bit further up the hill. You should either reserve a place or have some spare time waiting for a table. The food is the most delicious I ever had. The family is preparing the food in a tiny kitchen, and it can take a while. But it is definitely worth the wait. Make sure you come up there before sunset, the view is impressive. And bring mosquito spray. Right next to Chef Akilas Kitchen, there is also a bar, where you can get some beers, as most Sri Lankan places don’t sell alcohol.
This was one of the places we tried out for some hours of work. We went there in the afternoon for some smoothies and cake. It was a very calm and pleasant atmosphere to work. They also serve a lovely breakfast.
A place in Weligama, a bit further away from the crowded spots. Very basic interior with fantastic food. You can hear the chefs preparing the Rotti, and it was one of the best Rotti we ate on the island. We came back several times.
One of the fanciest places we visited in Sri Lanka. A surf shop in the front and a hidden backyard in the rooftop in the back. There are also very few rooms you can rent. They serve delicious healthy food like bowls, avocado toasts, smoothies, and perfect coffee. The rooftop is a lovely location for dinner.
Where to stay: Hotels and Guesthouses in Southern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has many beautiful places. What I count as important is a clean room, lovely hosts, and a feeling of safety. Of great value as well are great food and a location close to surf breaks.
Surfing Life Guest House & Restaurant
We lost our hearts to this place. The rooms are very basic, some of them air-conditioned, others with a fan. The owners are the most amazing hosts you can imagine. Whatever you wish for, they will help you organize it. You feel like living in a big family. We always started with a big early morning breakfast and then walked to the beach. This is one of the things I love about this place, you don’t have to get a tuk-tuk to go surfing but can just walk to the nearest surf break, which is Plantations. And on the way back, a family is selling fresh coconuts and pineapple. It was like being in heaven.
Our first days in Sri Lanka we spent in the Base Camp. A beautiful place with a lovely garden and the most fantastic yoga barn with daily sessions. Each morning you get served a lovely fresh breakfast. Fishermen’s Reef is right outside the Base Camp.
What to do on flat days in Southern Sri Lanka.
t is a bit shame, as Sri Lanka has so much to offer culturally, however, we honestly didn’t travel around much. I have been to Sri Lanka twice, and we almost haven’t left the bubble of Midigama as it was so lovely. We managed to see a few places not too far away during flat days.
Mirissa is a very well known spot in Sri Lanka and is about 20 minutes away from Midigama by tuk-tuk. We went there for some day trips. Along the bay of Mirissa, there are two surf breaks and a very famous Instagram spot with palm trees, which I also missed.
Hiriketya used to be a secret little bay with beautiful long waves. We heard about a friend some years ago and expected it to be empty. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones to have heard of, and it was super crowded with lots of sunbeds and surf stands on the beach. There is a super cool Airbnb / artist in residency /restaurant in the back of the beach called Mond, which was really lovely to eat at.
I hope you enjoyed scrolling through this guide. If you have any questions, I am happy to give further inputs. Hopefully, we can travel soon again to beautiful Sri Lanka.
Thank you for reading!