The palm-fringed beach, gentle waves, magnificent sunsets and fresh seafood at this coastal town evoke images of a tropical paradise.
Spend a day, weekend or weeks immersing yourself in the idyllic beach lifestyle of Mirissa. Mingle with a bohemian crowd and relax while sitting beneath the shade of a swaying palm tree. Learn to surf in calm, rolling waves and spot pods of playful dolphins. Mirissa lies on a peninsula at the eastern edge of Weligama Bay in southern Sri Lanka.
Mirissa Beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of soft golden sand framed by tall palms, is the town’s crowning glory. Bars and restaurants serving delicious seafood set up along the beach. Enhance your tan, cool off in the enticing water and stroll along the seashore to the Parrot Rock viewpoint. Arrive early to watch the sun rise and then linger all day until it drifts down behind Weligama Bay.
Try watersports such as bodyboarding, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. The medium-size waves are perfect for first-time surfers and intermediate riders looking to sharpen their skills. Beach watersports centers offer equipment rentals and classes.
Walk or catch a rickshaw to Mirissa Fisheries Harbour, located on the bay-facing side of town. See an assorted collection of brightly painted fishing boats, some of which appear to be centuries old. Join a wildlife-watching cruise to spot blue whales, sperm whales and spinner dolphins. Sightings are almost always guaranteed between December and April.
Head away from the beach, rent a rickshaw and enjoy daytrips to nearby towns and villages. Experience time-honored fishing traditions at Weligama and explore the well-preserved Dutch colonial quarter of Galle. Visit the beaches, temples and 17th-century fort at Matara. Stand at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent in Dondra.
Mirissa is 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Colombo. Get here by catching a train from Colombo Fort station to either Matara or Weligama and taking a bus from there. Come from November to April for the best weather or during the rest of the year to avoid large crowds.