After we left the hills of Sri Lanka we headed south to the beaches and we were so ready for a few days of the sand between our feet and views of those gorgeous palm trees that hang low over the beaches. We booked a private taxi through Visit Sri Lanka Tours as we were on a short time limit and didn’t want to waste a minute but you could easily have picked one up in Ella for a cheaper price. Arriving in Mirissa we had more high expectations but once again this gorgeous beach town didn’t disappoint and there were certainly plenty of reasons this spot had been recommended.
What you should do in Mirissa
Laze on the beach
Mirissa is known for having one of the best beaches in southern Sri Lanka and for good reason. The bay curves around the ocean and there’s a little island to the left which you can climb out to when the tide is out. Along the beach are plenty of restaurants, cafes and resorts which provide sun loungers in the day and tables for dinner at night. Depending on your preference you can grab a sun lounger here and as long as you buy a couple of things from their menu you won’t need to pay any extra for the comfort and shade. Alternatively there are plenty of spots to just chuck your towel down and soak up the rays but be careful because that sun is hot.
Walk to Coconut Hill
You’ve probably seen plenty of photos of this Instagram famous hill but it’s worth seeing for yourself. The walk is a km or two from the main beach and unless the tide is out expect to get a little wet walking along the route. Alternatively you can grab a tuk-tuk along the road and get dropped a few minutes walk from the hill. The hill itself is a little steep to climb but worth it for the views out to the ocean and back to the shore as well as the towering palm trees that cover it. If you’re coming here for a photo the early morning is probably better for lighting but sunset is a pretty magical time for those landscape shots. When we visited in early April the spot was pretty busy but I’m not sure what it would be like now.
Watch sunset at Secret Beach
Secret beach is another spot which is tricky to get to and even a tuk-tuk can be reluctant to take you all the way to this one! You can walk there but it’s a bit of a way out of the main town. The effort is fully worth it though as this little secluded bay has gorgeous views of the sun dropping into the ocean and you can sip on a nice cold beer while doing so. It’s likely you’ll share the view with a bunch of others but that actually made the atmosphere even nicer especially when everyone clapped as the sun set! Head out onto the rocks at the end of the beach for the best views.
Have a massage at Secret Root Spa
I left this until the final morning of our trip and I’m a little gutted I did because I probably would have gone more than once otherwise. These guys are seriously good and what’s more their prices are incredibly cheap compared to home. They offer several different massages and for different lengths of time so you’ll probably be able to find what you’re after. The spa is tucked away from the main town among the trees and it just felt so peaceful and calming. They also have their own accommodation which I’ll be looking into if we return any time soon.
Eat Sushi at Little Tuna
This place was one of my favorites we ate at, probably because I love sushi but also because it was so different to most of the other places in Mirissa. Tucked away down lane after lane among the trees and hills you feel like you are never going to find it but it’s worth the time. The whole place has a huge hippie feel and there were plenty of local cafe staff just hanging out here when we visited late in the afternoon. All their seating is on the floor or in hammocks and there was absolutely no rush for anything. We even got to see a bunch of monkeys playing in the trees around there.
Grab an iced coffee at Shady Lane
Another slightly hidden cafe off the main drag of the town; this place was a very hipster joint and hugely popular. The food was more western style than most places in Mirissa and every table was crammed with people enjoying delicious looking meals. Sadly, we’d already eaten breakfast and were only there for coffee but the drink we were served was so much more than your standard coffee. I’d certainly head back here in a heartbeat to try something else.
Eat fresh seafood
You can’t head to the seaside and not enjoy at least a dish of fresh seafood. There are plenty of spots to head to where they’ll be serving fresh seafood but the most popular option is to wander along the beachside restaurants that had the sun loungers earlier. These guys will have a stall set up out front with a selection of fish caught that day and will cook it up fresh for you with a range of sides. We went for this option on our last night and oh my the food was amazing and the portion huge! This isn’t the only way to enjoy the seafood though, Papa Mangoes does some amazing marinated prawns.
Stay at Banana Garden
While in Mirissa we stayed at Banana Garden and had a brilliant stay. We had initially been a little concerned because with this prime location came a noisy road but from our room we could barely hear the traffic. The rooms were painted in pretty colours and the whole place had a cute surf shack kind of feel. The staff were super friendly and the breakfast was served outside on the veranda every morning which was the perfect way to start the day.
What you should do around Mirissa
Take a day trip to Galle
Galle is probably one of the most famous spots along the south and isn’t too far from Mirissa. You can grab a taxi or a tuk-tuk for the drive, we did the latter and it took around 35 minutes to whizz along the coast. We loved having the wind blowing through our hair and being out in the elements but I’m sure a car taxi would be quicker. Galle Fort is the prime spot to visit in Galle and you’ll probably want a few hours to take in all the streets, enjoy the shops and walk along the outer walls. It’s worth asking your taxi driver to wait around to take you back again as this can be cheaper.
Go for a surf in Welligama
Although it is possible to surf in Mirissa, it isn’t the best conditions for beginners. However, the next beach round Welligama is and it will only take around 10 minutes to get there. The whole beach is lined with surfing schools wanting to offer hour lessons or board hire. We chose to go with Lucky’s Surf School as they had great Tripadvisor reviews but I’m sure they are all pretty similar! The beach is long and flat meaning there is plenty of space for all those surfboards and the waves are perfect for beginners.
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Hopefully this list of things to do in and around Mirissa helps you to plan your next trip. Let me know if you have anything to add.