A man in the sea, and a girl on the shore, with scuba diving attire, ready for scuba diving in Sri Lanka
Ready for Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country adorned by many for its beautiful natural sceneries, tropical weather, and astonishing coastal belt. Many Sri Lankan beaches provide stunning views over the Indian ocean. Coastal areas are a favorite tourist destination and fortunately, Sri Lanka being an island is blessed with many beautiful beaches. They promise to satisfy your cravings for salty air and a warm breeze. The dazzling blue ocean and the golden sandy beach offer ample space to have a memorable vacation. If you are on a beach hunt in Sri Lanka, you should really consider paying a visit to Mirissa. It is a small coastal city in southern Sri Lanka. If you want to get the experience of living in a paradise, Mirissa is the perfect place. Here are all the things you should know before planning your dream vacation to Mirissa. Continue reading!

Things to Do in Mirissa

There are lots of things to do for a tourist in Mirissa. Keep on reading to know 17 such things that you will love for sure.

  • Visit Mirissa Beach
  • Go surfing
  • Sail into the deep sea
  • Try scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Whale watching in Mirissa
  • Visit Secret Beach in Mirissa
  • Explore Weligama
  • Swim in the Polhena beach
  • The infamous Parrot Rock Bridge
  • The insta-famous coconut tree hill
  • Pay a visit to the Taprobane Island
  • Experience a sea turtle hatchery
  • Visit a snake farm
  • Watch stilt fishing
  • A trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort
  • Enjoy nightlife in Mirissa
  • Try Sri Lankan seafood dishes

We are sure that you are looking forward to knowing more about these delights. Continue reading!

1. Visit Mirissa Beach

The crescent beach is a favorite spot in Mirissa. Many tourists visit the beach every day and it can get a little crowded. But there’s enough space on the long beach to have a fun and relaxing beach experience.

Mirissa beach is well known for its heavenly views due to its curved shape and the blue ocean. Especially, if you are a fan of sunsets and sunrises, you should catch the view from Mirissa beach. The vibrant colors formed with the sun in the spectacular environment will be a sight that you won’t forget any sooner. Therefore, Mirissa beach is ideal for a romantic hangout.

Also, this beach is very clean and well maintained, so you will love to have a dip in the crystal clear ocean. Then, you can get a cute tan by sunbathing on the beach. Or else, you can have a long walk on the beach and enjoy much-needed time for yourself. The beach is generally active 24/7 and partying is a common sight at the nights in Mirissa beach. It is also a family-friendly beach to have a leisurely vacation. Besides, there are a lot of restaurants and hotels around the beach. Hence, you can spend the whole day there. So, owing to all these reasons, we can certainly mention that Mirissa beach is an all-in-one package.

2. Go Surfing

Just imagine surfing with a gorgeous backdrop! Mirissa makes that dream come true.

Mirissa is famous as a safe space to go surfing. So, if you are an adventure lover, surfing in Mirissa will give you an exciting adrenaline boost.

In Mirissa, you will be able to have a surfing experience in a more quiet setting with only the sound of waves in your ears. However, surfing in the rainy season is not very pleasant and it is also dangerous. Hence, remember to visit during the time period between November and March to surf in Mirissa.

The reef breaks make the waves in Mirissa a little bit challenging. Therefore, it is more suitable for intermediate-level to experienced surfers. The reef area is for adventure lovers and the Mirissa beach area is suitable for even beginners. The harbor end of the Mirissa beach is also used for surfing and it is ideal for experienced surfers.

There are many sport centers and other service providers around Mirissa that you can reach out to when you want to go surfing. You can obtain the necessary equipment and safety precautions with their help. If you are a beginner, you can arrange a surfing lesson before hitting the waves.

3. Sail into the Deep Sea

The ocean is a mysterious place. Exploring the ocean away from our usual land is always a refreshing experience. When in Mirissa, you can hire a boat according to your need and sail into the deep sea. These boat tours can be organized along the lines of your interests.

For instance, you can hire a private cruise and sail into the ocean, just to indulge in the beautiful views of the sunset. A yacht can carry up to 25 people and you can have the most memorable experience with your loved ones. If not, you can arrange a fishing tour to try fishing in the deep sea. The tour guides will take you to awesome fishing spots for you to get the most out of the experience. As such, you can organize the boat tour of your dreams in Mirissa.

From fun rides in local fisher boats to luxurious trips in yachts, Mirissa has it all. Boat rides are normally arranged in the early morning and mostly in the evening as traveling under the scorching sun is really difficult. However, make sure to carry a hat, sunglasses, etc., and wear sunscreen if you are sailing in the afternoon hours. Also, remember to take your camera as you sail, since you can capture priceless moments that you wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else in the world. You can have an amazing boat tour for a reasonable price in Mirissa.

4. Try Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Mirissa is the ultimate place to try scuba diving and snorkeling. It could be the highlight of your trip to Mirissa. There’s a whole different world under the water and obviously, it would be a great escapade. There are several scuba diving centers in Mirissa from where you can get the necessary equipment and diving lessons.

Mirissa is a beginner-friendly spot for diving. Reefpoint, Lopsta point, Napoleon point, Diyambagala point, Godagala point, and Aththalaba point are the best spots to try scuba diving in Mirissa. You can dive for about 45 minutes in the calm waters.

There’s rich biodiversity under the blue waves in Mirissa. Snorkeling is the perfect activity to spend some time with marine life and explore their unique lifestyles. You can go snorkeling into the beautiful underwater world between the reefs in Mirissa. You can get guidance and snorkeling equipment from a service provider. You’ll be able to see turtles and other colorful fish during your snorkeling trip. Make sure not to harm any animals during your time under the water. Take this opportunity to witness a brand new world.

Also, make sure you read our articles on ‘Snorkeling in Sri Lanka‘ and ‘The Delight of Scuba Diving in Beautiful Sri Lanka‘ for a full overview with regard!

5. Whale Watching in Mirissa

Whales are the giants of the ocean. It is not every day that we can see a whale. But when in Mirissa, well, it is a common sight there.

From November to April, whales migrate from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. So it is the best time to visit Mirissa if you want to go whale watching.

In Mirissa, you can watch different types of whales such as blue whales, sperm whales, fin whales, Bryde’s whales, short-finned whales, killer whales, whale sharks, and dolphins too. You won’t be disappointed as there’s a higher chance of spotting a whale for each trip during the peak season. Generally, the trip starts in the early morning and lasts from 3-5 hours.

Modern passenger boats are used for whale watching to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Boats have to keep a certain distance from the whales so that the boats won’t disturb their course. Passengers aren’t allowed to dive or swim during the whale watching trip and you can’t put garbage into the ocean. It is important to respect the boundaries of these animals while you enjoy your trip. Anyway, whale watching is a much-loved tourist activity in Mirissa and it is indeed a treasured experience.

Read our article on ‘Whale Watching in Sri Lanka‘, for a better overview of this delightful activity.

6. Visit the Secret Beach in Mirissa

Secret beach in Mirissa is an absolute gem hidden in a corner of Mirissa. This is well known as one of the best beaches in the area. It’s a beautiful hideout away from the business of the city. Although the place is called the ‘secret’ beach, many tourists don’t forget to pay a visit there when in Mirissa.

There are three parts to the secret beach as blue lagoon, palm cove, and shelly beach. These three small beaches together create the secret beach and it is a lovely place to have a relaxing hangout. In addition, you can have a peaceful swim in the ocean and it is also good for snorkeling.

The beach is covered by a luscious palm tree line which adds so much to the beauty of the beach. This picturesque spot is perfect to have a full beach day. If you wait till the evening, you will be able to see a beautiful sunset too. There are restaurants on the secret beach from where you can get a romantic candle-lit dinner at night. You can hire a tuk-tuk from Mirissa to reach the secret beach or else you can walk there too. Secret beach in Mirissa started getting a lot of attention in recent times as it is a wonderful beach on the southern coast.

7. Explore Weligama

Weligama is situated just 17 minutes away from Mirissa and it is another small beach city that is loved by tourists. Weligama is a popular spot among surfers as it is beginner-friendly too. There are many water-related activities like diving, snorkeling, and whale watching in the Weligama area too. If you need a little change, there’s an adventure center in Weligama to try out some fun activities.

The main source of the economy in Weligama is the fishing industry and there’s a chance to see how local fishermen use traditional methods in fishing. Then, there are a lot of hotels and restaurants in Weligama if you are looking for a more quiet setting for your accommodation. The word ‘Weligama’ is translated into English as ‘sandy beach ‘and it sure lives up to its expectation.

8. Swim in the Polhena Beach

Polhena is a happening beach situated just 20 minutes away from Mirissa. There’s a coral reef which makes the Polhena beach kind of similar to a swimming pool. Therefore, it is considered one of the safest beaches on the southern coast. It is a famous swimming spot among both local and foreign tourists.

Even if you don’t know how to swim, you can try in the shallow ocean waters with the help of swimming aids. You can easily grab a floatie from a nearby shop. Swimming here becomes more fun as sometimes aquatic animals like sea turtles and fish are also swimming nearby. This beach is well maintained so there are places to change your clothes and have a freshwater bath too.

However, Polhena beach gets crowded most of the time. So, try to avoid weekends and holidays to get a more peaceful swimming experience. If you are getting closer to the coral reef while swimming, beware of sea urchins.

There are several restaurants on the beach itself so it is easy to get a snack or a drink right after a refreshing swim in the ocean.

9. The Infamous Parrot Rock Bridge

The parrot rock bridge is an awesome viewpoint in Mirissa beach. Climbing up the parrot rock just in time for the sunset is a favorite activity among tourists.

The view of golden sun rays falling on the golden beach is a view second to none. Therefore, it is just the place to get some cool photos with a natural golden glow that won’t require any post-editing. From the top of the parrot rock, there are spectacular views of the Mirissa beach. It is also a good evening adventurous activity after swimming or sunbathing at Mirissa beach. Parrot Rock is a place where the view is so worth the climb.

This is a must-have experience for adventure lovers when visiting Mirissa beach. On the plus side, it is a free activity in a very interesting spot. The small island in the tranquil blue waters looks like a scene straight out from a Disney movie. The climb is pretty easy but be careful anyway during the rough waters. However, it is advised not to climb up the parrot rock during the high tide. It is perfectly fine in the calm waters. An extra tip would be to climb in the morning to have a peaceful and quiet moment looking over the gorgeous sights.

10. The Insta-Famous Coconut Tree Hill

Coconut tree hill can be seen on the eastern side of the Mirissa beach. You must take a photo in the coconut tree hill when you are visiting Mirissa. It is like an unwritten rule over social media!

This is probably the most popular background to take photographs in Mirissa. It is a private coconut estate on a dome-shaped hill overlooking the ocean. The blue sky, blue ocean, and green trees create the perfect mixture of colors for the perfect photo. There’s a 10-minute walk to the exact place through the coconut estate and there isn’t any entry fee to the place. Since it is one of the most attractive locations in the area, the place is pretty crowded all the time.

However, you can avoid the crowd as much as possible if you travel early in the morning. The breathtaking view from the top of the hill explains what all the rush is about. So make sure to capture a photo from the iconic location when you visit Mirissa.

11. Pay a Visit to the Taprobane Island

Imagine how luxurious it would be to relax on a private island on the southern coast of Sri Lanka! Keep calm, because Taprobane Island offers you that delight.

Taprobane Island is a private island that is perfect for a hideout among all the other hustle-bustle. There’s only one villa on the island which is available for accommodation. A Frenchman built this villa in the 1920s as his dream house. It is absolutely a dream house in the midst of the tropical gardens. This island is located just 200 yards off the coast in Weligama bay. Taprobane Island is also known as a picture-perfect location. This is more suitable to have a peaceful chillout or to celebrate a special occasion as this is a very romantic destination.

12. Experience a Sea Turtle Hatchery

Sea turtles are an amazing creation of mother nature. Five species of turtles can be found in Sri Lanka. They are the Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Leatherback turtle, and the Olive Ridley turtle. Sri Lankan southern coast is a great place to watch sea turtles especially in the areas like Mirissa and Unawatuna. Unfortunately, the lives of these precious animals are endangered due to human activities such as unethical fishing methods, poaching, sea pollution, etc. Sea turtle hatchery is an animal service organization whose goal is to conserve sea turtles.

Local fishermen collect the turtle eggs found on the beach and sell them to the hatcheries. In the hatchery, these eggs are protected and the baby turtles are released to the sea when they are ready. Visitors also can participate in taking them to the sea for an added fee. It is such a cute sight watching the little guys going to the sea for the first time.

Furthermore, these hatcheries look after injured and disabled sea turtles. You can watch different kinds of sea turtles in a hatchery. The process behind the conservation of sea turtles is mesmerizing. It is important to support and appreciate the service done to marine life by the sea turtle hatcheries.

So, don’t forget to visit a sea turtle hatchery when you are in Mirissa and extend some support for this great cause. 

13. Visit the Snake Farm

Snakes are very common in tropical countries like Sri Lanka. Yet, snakes are probably the most disliked creatures as most of them are venomous. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve any love. In the Telijjawila area which is adjacent to Mirissa, there’s a snake farm that can be visited. An ayurvedic doctor operates this snake farm. The snake farm is home to a large number of venomous and nonvenomous snakes. There are 20 families of snakes on the farm including venomous snakes like cobra, viper, and krait. In the snake farm, you can have a closer look at the behavioral patterns of the snakes. If you are not afraid, you can pose for a photo holding a python too.

The snakes on the farm are mostly rescued from the neighboring villages. While getting close to snakes is quite intimidating, there’s a lot to learn from this place. The farm is like a rehabilitation center that provides shelter to the snakes. These centers release them to their natural habitats afterward. If you are a snake fanatic, you will love this place. Besides, if you are a wildlife enthusiast, this is a must-have unique experience in the Mirissa area.

14. Watching Stilt Fishing

Fishing is the main source of the economy in many coastal areas in Sri Lanka. Even though modern methods are available in the present, some fishermen still engage in traditional methods.

One such method is stilt fishing. This is a noteworthy fishing method used only in some areas of Sri Lanka. In stilt fishing, the fishermen sit in a crossbar attached to a vertical pole fixed into the seafloor among the shallow waters. Then the fishermen use a basic fishing tackle and wait for hours collecting fish in a bag. This may seem like an easy task but it is vice versa as it requires a lot of practice and balance not to mention sitting under the scorching sun for hours in a stretch.

If you want to learn more or see for yourself the process of stilt fishing, visit Mirissa beach. Most of the fishermen are friendly and they will let you know more about the fishing method and their lifestyle. If you want to get the experience, you can try the activity but make sure to get some help.

Apart from that, the view of stilt fishermen with the never-ending ocean as the background is just breathtaking. This is a good opportunity to capture some postcard-worthy photographs of the lifestyles of fishermen in Sri Lanka.

15. A Trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort

If you are visiting Mirissa, you are in close proximity to many beautiful tourist destinations on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. So, during your visit, you should really consider paying a visit to the Unawatuna beach and Galle Fort too in your Mirissa trip.

Unawatuna is a smash-hit beach with a jaw-dropping view situated just 50 minutes away from Mirissa. It is a trendy beach with a happening nightlife. Unawatuna beach is also perfect for other common activities like swimming, surfing, sunbathing, etc. So, visit Unawatuna to have a fun-filled beach day and you can buy a souvenir from the local shops to keep a little slice of Sri Lanka with you forever.

Moreover, Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and the pride of Galle city. It is located just 1 hour away from Mirissa and 15 minutes away from Unawatuna.

Besides, Galle Fort is a symbol of colonization in Sri Lanka. The fort stands today as an iconic architectural creation. You can explore the Galle Fort and capture some beautiful photographs. These are alluring cafes and hotels in the Galle Fort from where you can get a heavenly Sri Lankan treat for your tastebuds. You can also shop in the stylish boutiques inside the fort. Unawatuna and Galle Fort are basically must-sees in a Sri Lankan tour. You can easily plan a full day trip to both the places from Mirissa.

16. Enjoy the Nightlife in Mirissa

Mirissa beach hardly sleeps at night as the nights there are so happening. So, if you are a party person, you can attend fun beach parties in Mirissa beach. There are several restaurants and clubs in Mirissa beach to provide an unforgettable party experience. The parties on special days like Christmas eve and the 31st night are very popular among foreign tourists. These parties are perfect for you to enjoy with your companions. In addition, you will be able to eat delicious meals belonging to various types of cuisines. The beautiful views in the night lights and the breezy wind make the parties in Mirissa beach more exciting.

You can arrange a private party according to your needs from a restaurant or from a hotel on Mirissa beach as well. You can have your own little party sharing the precious moment with your loved ones only. Also, Mirissa beach is ideal to have a romantic candle-lit dinner or to share some cocktails with your friends. If not, having a long carefree walk on the delightful beach itself is just so peaceful. So, owing to all these reasons, it is clear that there are multiple options to choose from to spend a memorable night in Mirissa beach.

17. Try Sri Lankan Seafood Dishes

What is even a beach trip without trying a seafood dish? If you love seafood, you will love it with a Sri Lankan touch. Sri Lankan cuisine uses a lot of spices, ingredients, and time to come up with the perfect dish. Then, restaurants in Mirissa always get the best seafood fresh out of the sea. All these combined create an unbeatable dish with a heavenly taste.

Of course, you can try seafood dishes from other cuisines like Chinese, Italian, Thai too. But make sure to try at least one Sri Lankan dish because you won’t regret it and chances are high that you will be obsessed with Sri Lankan cuisine. After all, Sri Lanka is the land with the best spices.

There are many restaurants in Mirissa that are famous for seafood dishes. It is not just the food that makes the experience so interesting. These restaurants are stylish. You can have a delicious meal overlooking the gorgeous sceneries of the Indian ocean, under the shelter of the coconut trees amidst the warm breeze. Experiencing the taste of Sri Lankan cuisine will make you feel closer to the paradise island. Thus, tasting authentic seafood is a must-have experience when you are in Mirissa.

How to Reach Mirissa?

Mirissa is located 170 kilometers away from Colombo. If you are going to use public transportation, traveling by train is the easiest way. Matara and Weligama are the closest train stations to Mirissa. You can take a taxi or a tuk-tuk for the remaining distance to Mirissa.

If not you can take a bus from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha terminal to Matara or Tangalle and get down near the Mirissa beach. You can also arrange a private ride from the airport itself to Mirissa.

Traveling by air is very expensive and also not necessary as it is a short distance from Colombo. Since Mirissa is a small town, you can walk around without that much difficulty. If you are planning to travel around the area, you can either hire a tuk-tuk or even rent a tuk-tuk, bicycle, or scooter as well.

Best Time to Visit Mirissa

The southern coast of Sri Lanka has tropical weather for most of the year. In Mirissa, the maximum temperature is around 32°C and the lowest temperature is around 22°C. The time period between August to November is the rainy season and it is not suitable to travel in Mirissa during that time as it limits the tourist activities.

The time period between December and April has perfect weather with an average temperature and dry weather. Therefore, it is the peak season for tourism in Mirissa. It is the best time for whale watching too. Months of May and June can get really hot and it is quite uncomfortable for travelers.

However, Mirissa is literally filled with tourists in the peak season. If you are looking for a more private vacation in Mirissa, consider visiting in the month of October. To get the full experience of your visit, you should spend up to 4-5 days in Mirissa.

The Bottom Line

Mirissa is the proud beauty of southern Sri Lanka with its gorgeous beaches and the line of coconut trees. The small town has a well-established tourist industry making it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations on the whole island. There are a lot of hotels for accommodation there with prices ranging from high budget to very low budget. The food is exquisite and there are many fun things to do in Mirissa. Mirissa will stay as a highlight of your traveling memories forever.

If you visit the paradise island and are looking for the perfect tropical vacation, Mirissa is just the place for you. Mirissa is inviting you to have the best vacation that you won’t forget in your lifetime. Still, beware of being addicted to the gorgeous scenery in Mirissa. Happy and Safe Travelling!