From Unawatuna Beach to Dondra Light House through Mirissa, Sri Lanka Southern Beaches

Sri Lanka starts to be also well known for its beautiful beaches with warm water, coconut trees and amazing sea food. Southern Sri Lanka offers various spots to relax with more or less wild beaches. Unawatuna and Mirissa are the most  entertaining ones but some others less crowed really deserve a stop. My favorite one remains from far Tallala, but I reserve it for my next post, along with Tangalle, another pearl of Southern Sri Lanka. Exploring the southern coast with a car and stop at various points is a good option to discover all these different beautiful beaches and other curiosities. Let's start first with an itinerary from Unawantuna to Dondra Lighthouse...

The best season for Southern Sri Lanka beaches is the dry season from December to April. Ocean is quiet and warm. However, Unawatuna and Mirissa can be crowed at this time of the year, with lots of tourists drinking beer and listening to the music in the various bars the beaches can offer. 
The atmosphere is completly different in wet season from April to November : beaches are not crowed at all and waves can be impressive, with surfers enjoying it. Water is a bit cooler and it can be a little hard to swim, but not impossible if you avoid the places with rocks. Wet season is not that wet, rain is not everyday and does not last too long. We were there in July and as you can see my pics are really sunny !
Therefore, if you travel during the dry season, I would recommend to end your itinerary by southern beaches, where you can relax, enjoy a quiet and warm sea and do some watersports such as jet ski or scuba diving (Scuba diving clubs are closed in wet season anyway, due to strong waves and courant). If you travel in wet season, I recommend to start your itinerary by these southern beaches as a nice introduction to Sri Lanka, especially after a long journey in plane, and then end by eastern beaches to relax after you whole trip. Seasons are the opposite in the east, summertime in July and August will be dry season.

Unawatuna :
Unawatuna is a beautiful and huge beach with lots of bars on the sand. Behind the beach is a little street with shops, restaurants and hotels. 

Dalawella Beach :
Dalawalla beach is part of Unawatuna. The beach is far less crowed and is famous if its rope attached to a palm tree where you can take beautiful pictures ! (below pink pic is from "Journey by Era" - to be honest, I did not want to queue for this kind of famous insta pic, even though they are really beautiful !)

For a little snack on the beach with a nice seafood platter or wood-fired oven pizza, try the Wijaya Beach.
For a relaxing stay, I highly recommand the Kaju Green Eco Lodges, 5 minutes in tuk tuk from the beach

Weligama Beach : 
Weligama is another beach between Unawatuna and Mirissa. The main point of interest is the rock in the middle of the sea. I would not recommand to stop there for a long while. During low season, wastes are brought back by the sea and black birds rove around it.
However, an amazing resort stands there and might be a good spot on high season : Cape Weligama Resort

Mirissa : 
Few miles later, you will find Mirissa Beach, which is very nice and that I would rate better than Unawatuna. More vegegation and less buildings directly on the beach gives it a more lush and exotic atmosphere. Take a walk along the sea to the east and discover kind of a creek with rocks, a nice spot to be more isolated from the rest of tourists. 

Matara :
Matara is not famous for its beaches but has a small temple on a island that deserves a 10 minutes stop on the way. The temple is not under renovation but it is nice a see a small one on the sea that is not too touristic such as the ones in the cultural triangle. Few roupies as a donation will help them to finalize the renovations and you will meet locals and monks instead of hundreds of tourists.

Dondra Light House :
End your day at the Dondra Lighthouse, which is the southernmost point in Sri Lanka and also the tallest in South East Asia. The lighthouse is surrounded by palmtrees, rocks and beautiful beaches. From Devinuwara beach, a small and and hidden treasure beach with fishing boats, you will enjoy a very nice view on the lighthouse. 

We did this itinerary in one afternoon, but with only 45 minutes on main beaches. Take the whole day to enjoy bathing times and drinks !

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