There’s a real buzz about Sri Lanka, especially for the coastal spots south of Colombo. The Sri Lankan riviera, as it is unofficially known, covers the island’s west and south coasts. Golden yellow beaches are backed by infinite palm trees, a wide selection of hotels, guesthouses and surf camps, interspersed, further south, with a bright-green sweep of the lowland tea plantations.
West of Galle -the southern centre of culture and touristic life- the beaches become wilder and more tropical. If you take the Southern Expressway bus from Colombo to Galle you’re there in just one hour.
We spend over a month at Sri Lanka’s south coast. To surf, yoga, snorkel, enjoy long beach days and endless sparkling nights. These are our favourite spots down south from west to east for the best cocktails, to dance the night away and meet like-minded people.
Beachfront from the East side to West you first walk up to Top Secret. Chill out on the colourful pillow seats and enjoy the best cocktails in Hikkaduwa. We especially liked the Strawberry Daiquiri and our favourite classic the Cosmopolitan. Almost next-door is Apollo Restaurant it’s a little more quite and a nice spot to enjoy a fresh caught fish. Harbour is definitely a must go, the restaurant has a good vibe and delicious seafood. When the owner is up for it, he throws a great party. Always a good choice and every night on is Funky de Bar. It is the spot to watch the sunset since the best surf break is right in front of the bar. Tuesday is for karaoke and surprisingly our favourite night! Visit Mambo’s for an evening of live music and a beach chique dinner vibe. Go with your date from last night or your besties and enjoy a great meal & G.T. Not on the beach but a must go on a Friday night, Vibrations the pool party. You’ll find it.
A little hang over the next day? For a superfood & yogurt breakfast check out Thambili Café. Try out the best Sri Lankan recovery ‘snack’ a roti in the Roti Shop. Order one with cheese, avocado, tomato or banana and chocolate, sweet or salt everything is possible! In need of air-conditioning, a lavazza caffeine fix and a delicious cheesecake? Barista Lavazza is your spot to go. Great place to work as well!
Strolling the lane to Unawatuna beach you can’t miss Koha surf cafe & lounge. Good surfer Rasik is the owner of this colorful ”backpackers” hang out which used to be the house he grew up. Perfect for people watching on the cushioned seating area while drinking a chai tea or passion fruit mojito. On the menu there is burgers with sweet potato chips, wraps and salads.
Just a 10 minute tuk tuk drive from Mirissa is the best beginner surf spot Weligama. Looking for good vibes, sweet ocean views, yoga, surf lessons and tasty food Hangtime Hostel is your best spot. On the menu are healthy wraps, lovely cakes, good coffee and homemade sushis!
Every day during sunset you can bring your own booze to the rooftop and meet fellow travellers. Friday night you dance the night away on top of a cliff at Tiki Cliff bar. For breathtaking bay views make sure you come before sunset. Afterwards eat a tasty curry at Chef Akila Kitchen the restaurant on the other side of the road. Around 11 AM the party is on. With international DJ’s behind the decks this is the best party spot on Sri Lanka’s south coast.
When in Mirissa start the evening at our favorite happy hour cocktailbar Sun Shine beach bar. Cocktails are cheap and tasty. After you drink enough passionfruit daiquiris walk a few steps further for a lovely dinner at Zephyr. The place looks refreshingly hip. They play good music and it has a bustling ambience. With super friendly staff and a mouth watering menu this is your best choice at Mirissa beach.
Mirissa is a good place for fish lovers. When the evening falls all the restaurants on the beach present the fish they caught during day time. Choose your own fresh fish at Surfview . Keep an eye on your flip flops, cause when the tide turns up the sea might refresh your feet.
If you are into sushi enjoy a little walk into Mirissa town. You’ll find a funky looking place called, The Little Tuna. Julia & George opened this charming restaurant together with Ravindu and Rebecca, six months ago for the love of sushi and you’ll definitely taste this!
Next morning start your day with the ultimate hangover breakfast at the Central Beach Inn. Fresh fruit salad, eggs in any style, fresh bread and traditional Sri Lankan coffee!