Sri Lanka’s west coast shows the island at its most developed, its most Westernised, and its most tourist-oriented. A string of fine beaches, backed by bigger beach resorts dot the coast from Negombo in the north to Hikkaduwa in the south.
The south coast is one of Sri Lanka’s most rewarding places to visit. This is the island in a microcosm: gorgeous beaches, colonial townscapes, stilt fishermen, superb wildlife parks and Buddhist shrines and temples aplenty – not to mention the island’s most alluring selection of places to stay, from luxurious beach hotels to atmospheric colonial-era villas. Active types will find a never-ending range of things to see and do here although, despite piecemeal development around the coast, much of the region’s charm lies in its somnolent and quintessentially rural atmosphere. Innumerable comatose villages nestle in the shade of toppling palm trees, and the pace of life is unashamedly indolent.
Sri Lanka’s east coast is unquestionably beautiful. Fairly less explored till 2007 compared to the rest of the coastline due to the civil war, the Bay of Trincomalee's harbor is renowned for its large size and the beaches are used for surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching.
On the North East Coast of Sri Lanka, Nilaveli and Uppaveli are covered with white sands and gentle waves that slip softly to shore and are an ultimate getaway for those who wish for quiet bliss on a tropical heaven, far away from the cares of life. There are fewer accommodation options along the east coast.
Sri Lanka's beaches are also great for family holidays and sand-castle building. For more information, visit our Sri Lanka - perfect family holidays blog post.