Sri Lanka has long been famous for its wide stretches of golden beaches which have been major tourist attractions over the years. One finds hotels, resorts, beach restaurants and bars and other eateries housed within vast stretches of the beach mostly along coconut plantations and lagoons. The fishermen with their traditional sailing boats along most of the beaches are a delightful sight.
The Negombo beach on the west coast was Sri Lanka’s first beach resort and Marawila just 30km north of Negombo is known for its beautiful tranquil beaches. To the south of Colombo, the colonial beach resort Mount Lavinia provides a safe and popular bathing spot with calm waters. This beach stretching about a mile is called the “Golden Mile” and is full of tourists and local families enjoying an evening out and dining almost daily.
Wadduwa, Induruwa and Balapitiya along the western coast carry quiet beaches untouched by mass tourism. With Beruwala starts a long stretch of the major beach resort area on the western coast leading to the resorts of Aluthgama and Bentota. This area has been in international tourism for over three decades as a well established beach resort with its many five-star and other hotels. Aluthgama carries a stretch of land strategically sandwiched between the lagoon and the sea, spotted with hotels and restaurants and ideal for watching spectacular sunsets. Further south, Hikkaduwa, an international tourist location is famous for its colourful coral reefs in shallow sea which are viewed from glass bottomed boats and is a life time experience. On the east coast the 30km stretch of beach running uninterrupted from north of Trincomalee, is a luxury for anyone wishing to enjoy beaches. This stretch is used both by Sri Lankans and foreign tourists for swimming, surfing, boating, whale watching, sport fishing and leisure strolls. Nilaveli is the most famous spot along this stretch with golden sands and clear water. Pasikudah in the east has also been a famous tourist location where one can walk into the shallow sea for almost a kilometre until one reaches the coral reef