Ahh Mirissa. I have to admit being Australian I have been spoilt with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but when I arrived in Mirissa my inner beach snob was impressed. H
The soft powder white sand, crystal clear blue water, clean shoreline and most importantly no vendors trying to sell you products every 5 minutes. On our first walk along Mirissa Beach we were lucky enough to see turtles hatching right out of the sand beneath our feet, everyone shifted out of there way and watched in awe as these tiny babies scurried towards the sea unaware of the bigger challenges that await them.
Although Mirissa’s shoreline has been developed with shops, bars and restaurants the development restrictions in place by the Government has stopped Mirissa becoming commercialised like Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna. Now I am not usually one to find peace on a beach bordered by bars, but the small village of Mirissa has somehow manage to do this whilst maintaining a peaceful, calming atmosphere.
The bars and restaurants are mainly built of bamboo or palm fronds keeping the sleepy beach town appeal under wraps. The music is kept to a minimum and we could only really hear it when we were dining in. The Government has banned shop owners and vendors from selling products to tourists on the beach which means sunbaking to the sound of crashing waves will never be interrupted – a luxury in Sri Lanka.
The beach itself is great, it pretty much offers everything you could want in a beach. The main beach area is perfect for wading through the calm warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The farthest right section of the beach offers fun little wave breaks if you can surf, whilst the farthest left section (underneath the hill) offers great snorkelling opportunities – but don’t expect to see extensive reef systems!!
At night the restaurants bring out tables filled with fresh seafood caught that day. You can select your choice of seafood from the table and they will cook it up in front of you or you can order off the menu, your choice. The tables are alight with small glittering candles and the palm trees with fairy lights, there really is no other prettier stretch of sand in all of Sri Lanka. Now onto the must do activities in Mirissa, Sri Lanka.
Relax on the Beach
This one really doesn’t need any introduction. Grab your towel, swimmers and some sunscreen and head down to the beach for some much needed R&R.
Visit the stick Fisherman
For this one you will need a scooter. We hired ours through our accommodation, it really doesn’t cost much at all. Jump on your scooter and head due west until you reach the next bay, you really cannot miss them perched up on there sticks. You will see the stick fisherman balancing on their wooden stands trying to catch some dinner. If you are brave you can give it a go yourself!!
Visit Matara Paravi Duwa Temple
This impressive Island Temple sits undisturbed by the waves that crash around it. Positioned on the long sandy Matara beach this temple is a great place to spend some time. We spent about half an hour here exploring all the religious monument, reading about its history and admiring the view. Remember this is a religious place so you should have your shoulders and knees covered.
If you love lighthouses, this one is for you. This old, well-kept lighthouse is pretty impressive. Usually the lighthouse is open allowing you to climb to the top and admire the 365 degree view, however, while we were there it was closed (2016) for renovations. This lighthouse is positioned amongst some of the largest and bushiest palm tree I have ever seen. During our visit we had the pleasure of watching some of the skilled locals scale the palms to collect King Coconuts to sell in town.
Visit the Snake Conservation Centre
This was a really cool experience and one that I will never forget. If you have some free time in Weligama, Matara or Mirissa I strongly suggest venturing here. Now I will warn you that I am not the fondest of snakes but this third generation run Snake Conservation Centre was definitely worth my time (I even held a snake, yup!! I know). You can read more about how to get there and what to expect here.
Probably one of the most popular things to do in Mirissa is to go dolphin and whale watching. Mirissa is one of the best places in the world to see the blue whale, the world’s largest whale. If you are lucky you may also see turtles, killer whales, sperm whales, spinner dolphins, bottle-nosed dolphins and riso dolphins.
Get a massage
Picture yourself… Lying face down on a table, the sound of serene rainforest and trickling water in the background and a masseuse rubbing away all your worries. Just what I needed to settle into my Sri Lankan holiday. I went to Bodora Spa and was not disappointed. If you are staying in Mirissa this Spa will only be a short walk from you accommodation and cost around $25 for an hour massage, total bargain!!
I loved Mirissa and I hope you do too!! Let me know if you have any questions or if there is something you would add to this list 🙂