South of the Indian subcontinent is Sri Lanka, an island with extraordinary culture and beauty. Travellers visit for its remarkable landscapes, abundant wildlife, historical treasures and the warm and interesting people that inhabit the island. However, the teardrop shaped island is making a name for itself elsewhere as one of the most reliable, and increasingly popular, surfing destinations.
Indeed Sri Lanka’s beaches on the Indian Ocean have been recognised as some of the world’s finest surfing destinations with international competitions regularly taking place on the golden sandy shores.
More and more private beach villas in Sri Lanka are appearing as increasing numbers arrive in the tropical paradise to enjoy a luxury surfing holiday like no other. Here, consistent 4-7 foot waves and optimum wind conditions can be enjoyed throughout the year in the backdrop of a tropical paradise.
Sri Lanka’s surfing destinations to the east coast are at their best from May to October, while the South West Coast’s dry season and best surf, occurs from December to April. All across the island’s coast however, there is a great variety of excellent beaches to choose from for all levels of surfer. Here are some of the finest Sri Lanka surfing beaches to choose from.
Situated on the east coast, Arugam Bay is perhaps the most popular Sri Lankan surfing destination and for good reason. Excellent surfing conditions combine with a laid back atmosphere and a selection of marvellous villas in Sri Lanka on the beachfront.
From Arugam Bay all the way to Hikkaduwa in the southwest, the coast is characterised by long sand bottom point breaks and beautiful reefs. However it is Arugam Bay in particular which has been making waves among the surfing community, having hosted both the World Qualifying Series and Men’s World Longboard Championship.
The surrounding area offers plenty to admire from the fresh fish served daily in the beachfront restaurant and bars to the Yala National Park which offers a fantastic safari adventure among elephants, leopards, crocodiles and more.
Weligama is another popular Sri Lanka surfing beach but for entirely different reasons. Weligama is an ideal destination for beginners, offering easy-to-surf waves and an excellent selection of local surf schools offering lessons and longboard hire.
Weligama is located in a sheltered bay, greatly reducing the effects of the wind and thereby allowing for more relaxed surfing conditions. For example, it is possible to ride a slow and low power wave for up to 400 metres here. A low sandy floor also contributes to a surfing beach that is easier to master, allowing beginners to get to the line-up easily.
Encircled by coconut groves, Weligama’s pristine stretch of golden sandy beach is also one of the most picturesque Sri Lankan surfing beaches. Nearby Midigama and Mirissa at 3km either side of Weligama offer more intermediate surfing to ensure there is something for every level of surfer to enjoy.
Midigama is an excellent Sri Lanka surfing beach destination boasting two popular surf points Rams’s Right and Lazy’s Left about 3km apart. Midigama is traditionally considered by locals as a peaceful fishing village and has maintained this image in spite of its increasing popularity as a surfer’s haven.
Waves frequently reach six foot and offer smooth rides of up to 400m and can be enjoyed from dusk until dawn in temperatures that average at 27°C. The beach also attracts snorkelling enthusiasts who come to explore the wide variety of inhabitant tropical fish and colourful coral.
Madiha is the hidden gem of Sri Lanka’s surfing beaches. Found on the southernmost point of the island, Madiha beach offers some of the most beautiful beaches as yet unexplored by travelling surfers. Madiha produces consistent waves all year round in particular at Turtle Point, where surfers can enjoy the best waves. The coast is made up of some of the most varied Sri Lankan surfing beaches including Turtle Point, Mirissa and Madiha beach which each offer waves to cater to different levels of difficulty from beginner to advanced. The surrounding area also offers plenty to be admired by visitors with a range of different interests from ancient temples, to lively bars and restaurants in the nearby city of Matara as well as the beautiful beaches ideal for sunbathing or relaxing in the shade of the palm trees that line the coast.