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Beach Paradise – Mirissa

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Picture yourself slipping into a hammock with a coconut in your hand, gently rocking in the breeze, just laying there watching the days and weeks go peacefully by. Yep, that`s Mirissa beach in a nutshell!

We came to Mirissa, the third Sri Lankan beach we visited, after Unawatuna Beach and Jungle Beach. We had high hopes for Mirissa, as we thought Unawatuna beach was too crowded and busy. Luckily Mirissa met our expectations!

It is a beautiful beach, with a relaxed and laidback atmosphere. Along the beach are plenty of small restaurants and cafes, serving delicious and fresh seafood. After dark, the restaurants put out tables on the beach, light lanterns, and candles, and serve seafood barbecues. Super nice!

Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

The beach is relatively large with plenty of space to put out towels, lay down and just relax and watch the beach life. Mirissa is designed for simply sitting and being! If one really wants to get up and do some action, the water is very clear which makes it perfect to go snorkeling around the small reefs and rocks.

Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

The waves at Mirissa beach can be pretty big, and the beach is popular for surfing at some places, particularly at the western end of the bay.

Surfer at Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Maria drinking coconut at Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

I must admit, neither of us has been a big fan of coconuts. We have given them a try a couple of times in Asia, especially in Thailand, but never really gotten a hang of them. So we were a little skeptical when our driver on the way to Mirissa stopped at a coconut seller and bought three coconuts. Well, there was no other way out of the situation than to smile, say thank you and drink up.

We were both surprised how good it tasted, much better than the ones we have tried before in Thailand! The difference is that the once in Sri Lanka are yellow, and not the young green once they sell in Thailand.

So after that “mind-blowing” coconut experience, we drank coconuts every day in Sri Lanka! “One coconut a day keeps the doctor away!” (as a coconut seller said to us…..)

At one end of the Mirissa Beach was a small island, that one could walk out to in between some rocks. Nice walk up, and a good view at the top overlooking the beach and the sea.

Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Maria in the sunset at Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Sunset at Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

Surfer at Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

We very much enjoyed our three days stay at Mirissa. Loved the laid back atmosphere and great seafood restaurants that popped up along the beach each evening!

We preferred Mirissa to Unawatuna, and some say Mirissa is a real glimpse of what Unawatuna was like 15 years ago. Hopefully, Mirissa will stay this way forever so that more people can enjoy its lovely and relaxing vibe!


Where To Stay in Mirissa

Imagine Villa Hotel
Imagine Villa HotelWe stayed here in February 2017 and had an amazing time. Imagine Villa is a boutique hotel run by Marnix, a friendly Belgian gentleman, that goes out of his way to make your stay very special.

The rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished, with all modern amenities like flat-screen TV, air-con, wifi, safe and a minibar.

Imagine Villa Hotel
Sunset at the private beach at Imagine Villa Hotel

Every day the chef puts together a new five-course menu served in the beautiful garden overlooking the ocean. The food is so good that we ended up eating there every night.

Imagine Villa has its own private beach and a beautiful large swimming pool. Mirissa center is only a five-minute Tuk-Tuk ride away (3km).

If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax then Imagine Villa is a fantastic choice!
Click here for latest prices

Esprit d’Ici Hotel
This mid-range hotel, located on the hillside east of Mirissa beach, offers excellent value for money as long as you don’t mind the 10-15 minutes walk to the beach. Rooms are spacious, clean and modern with air-con and balconies, some have ocean views. There is a rooftop terrace and a large pool that looks lovely. The buffet breakfast is excellent. Wifi is unfortunately only available in public areas.
Click here for latest prices

Villa Peacock
This family-run guesthouse is the very definition of Sri Lankan hospitality. On two separate occasions, while traveling through Sri Lanka, we met travelers that raved about this place. Located in a quiet area just a short 5-minute walk from the beach in a beautiful modern villa. The rooms are large, spotlessly clean and have private bathrooms as well as free wifi and a fridge. The balcony offers a stunning view of the jungle and the wild peacocks. Downstairs rooms have air-con.
Click here for latest prices


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Mirissa, Sri Lanka     Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Can you see yourself vacationing on Mirissa Beach? Please share your opinion in the comment area below! If you like this blog post and find it useful, please share and like it on social media! Thank you so much! 🙂

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Written by Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

25 Comments

  1. Hi Maria,
    Your blog has been so helpful! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Sri Lanka in December and we are going to nearly all the same destinations but in the reverse order.
    Can you recommend any good hotels in Mirissa that are around 3 to 4 stars?
    Also, we are visiting Mirissa right at the end of our trip, and our flight home leaves at midday. Do you think we will have enough time to get from Mirissa to Colombo Int’l Airport on the same morning of our flight? Or would you recommend finding a hotel in Colombo for our final night and leaving Mirissa a day early?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Flo,

      Really nice to hear that you find our blog helpful when planning your trip to Sri Lanka! Thank you! 🙂

      We stayed at a small B&B guest house in Mirissa. Will recommend that you check Tripadvisor for reviews on hotels.

      As for getting from Mirissa to Colombo International Airport, the best way is to take a taxi/ private car and pre-book it in Mirissa (your hotel can probably arrange it). The car ride from Mirissa to the Aiport takes about 4 hours, and costs from 12 000 – 14 000 Rp = 90 – 105 us$. So timewise it`s no problem spending your last night in Mirissa and head to the airport very early in the morning. You probably have to leave Mirissa around 6 a.m.

      Another good option for you would be to spend your last night at Negombo. From Negombo to the International Airport the taxi ride only takes 15-20 minutes and is really cheap. We chose to spend our last day at Negombo: https://nerdnomads.com/negombo-beach-sri-lanka. If you decide to spend your last night closer to the airport, I will recommend Negombo instead of Colombo. We did not like Colombo that much, very busy and stressful, and it takes about one hour with a taxi to get to the airport (depending on the traffic).

      Have an awesome trip to Sri Lanka! I`m sure you will love it just as much as we do.

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
      • I’m currently looking for an AirBnb place for Mirissa. Were you happy with the one that you stayed at? If so, could you advise the name? Thanks a bunch! Lovely blog 🙂

        Reply
        • Hi Georgie,

          We have actually never stayed at an AirBnB place as we prefer hotels. Sorry I cannot help you out with any recommendations on AirBnBs in Mirissa.

          Have a great trip to Sri Lanka and enjoy Mirissa!

          -Maria-

          Reply
        • Hi Georgie
          I am currently staying in Mirissa with my partner. We are at a home stay very close to the beach. I would highly recommend it. Hotel Dreams. We found it on Booking.com

          Reply
    • Thank you so much for that information D’oh! Did not know that the coconuts we drank in Sri Lanka are called King coconut. We love King coconut, they taste delicious! Hmmm, have to try the wine version next time…. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Great write up and photos about Mirissa! Was gonna go for Unawatuna but might just pass that and go straight here for the surf and non-craziness (or Midigama for more surf too).

    I arrive in a few days from a previous TWO months at sea. Looking forward to some land time…thanks for the good write up on this beach and Sri Lanka in general…in addition to your Divi tutorials:))) Though may have to steer away soon…Divi is too good!

    how was the costal road between all these southern beach towns? I’m thinking on renting a motorcycle.

    Reply
    • Hi Keith,

      Wow, two months at sea, I can understand that you are looking forward to some time on land 🙂

      The costal roads are in good shape. You should have no problem traveling around on a motorcycle.

      Have a great trip!

      Reply
  3. Hello. Thanks for a great article. We are two families going to Sri Lanka i december and we are trying to find a base for us to stay. One family has a three year old and dont want to explore as much as the other. We want to stay on a nice beach were there are restaurants but not a super-touristy area 🙂 Are considering Hikkaduwa or Mirissa. Is Mirissa a good base (trainstation?) to explore Galle, southern area? And is it possible to take daytrips to Ella and Kandy from here?
    Thank you so much in advance for you tips 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Andrea,

      Mirissa is a great place to stay to explore the southern area, although it does not technically have a train station. The closest station is in Welligama, about 3km away by taxi or Tuk-Tuk.

      You can easily do a day trip to Galle from Mirissa. But taking day trips to Ella and Kandy from Mirissa is not really practical. Sri Lanka is a small country, but it is not that small. Mirissa to Kandy would be almost a five-hour drive by private car, Mirissa to Ella about four hours each way. The bus or train would take longer.

      Have a great trip to Sri Lanka! December is a great time to visit the south!

      Reply
  4. Hello! Love your write ups thank you, very helpful insight!
    You’ve mentioned that Tangalle was your favourite beach visited in Sri Lanka; could you tell me more about the differences between Mirissa and Tangalle. Was it just that Tangalle was quieter?
    My partner and I will be going to Sri Lanka for 7 days at the end of September and are looking for a beachy spot for a few days thats not too touristy (not too busy!) but I always worry that the much quieter places will also mean a lack of options for food and drinks, and we’ll be stuck with nothing much to do. Whilst we love a half day relax with a book on the beach, we go a little stir crazy if thats all there is to do! I love the look of Tangalle and Talalla in photos – but is there much to do, eat and drink – or would you recommend Mirissa for us instead?

    On a side topic – all many blogs, reviews and friends, have all said to hire a car with driver. I notice that you did not however! I do not much like the idea of having a driver, however had settled for the idea of having to based on everything i’ve heard. Your write ups have now got me questioning this though! Sounds like you had no troubles finding your own way?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Hannah,

      Thank you, so happy that you find our articles about Sri Lanka useful!

      Tangalle has a very long beach, much bigger than Mirrissa and is more pristine compared to Mirissa. Tangalle is also more relaxed and with less people. At the time it was perfect for us, coming from busy Bangkok, Colombo and Unawatuna Beach.

      That said, there is not that much to do in Tangalle in the evening, except eating and drinking at the restaurants at the hotels along the beach. You can also go turtle watching and look for baby turtles after dark. So cute! 🙂

      There is more action and people out in the evening in Mirissa. After dark, the restaurants and hotels along Mirissa beach puts out chairs and tables on the sand, lights candles and serves delicious fresh sea food. Very nice! So I will recommend Mirissa if you want more life and party in the evening. That said, you could try both, a few days in Tangalle and a few days in Mirissa. 😉

      We did hire a car and a driver, but not the same car/driver throughout our Sri Lanka trip. Like you, we did not like the idea of having a driver waiting for us at each place, and that we had to pay for his hotel room. All hotels in Sri Lanka knows drivers, so it is very easy to get a car and driver whenever you want to leave and wherever you want to go. So we did not pre-book any car/driver, just booked one for each distance, and it always worked out perfectly.

      We took the train on a few stretches:
      – Colombo to Galle
      – Ella to Kandy
      – Polonnaruwa to Colombo

      The train is very slow though, and takes a lot of time, but some distances are beautiful especially Ella to Kandy (https://nerdnomads.com/sri-lanka-train-travel-ella-kandy).

      The rest of the places we hired a car with a driver, but never pre-booked any. We just asked the receptionist in the hotels we stayed at if they could help us with a car and driver on the day before or even the same day as we wanted to leave. Worked out fine for us! 🙂

      Here is our ultimate two week itinerary for Sri Lanka:
      https://nerdnomads.com/sri-lanka-itinerary

      Have a great trip to Sri Lanka! I`m sure you will have a wonderful time!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  5. Hi Maria,

    which guest house did you stay at? I am looking to visit Mirissa with my girlfriend in December and we are heading out to a luxurious lodge in yala thereafter. Hence something simple but clean and reasonable on the beach. Any recommendations?
    BTW we are going from Unawatuna to Mirissa, do you recommend taxi or tuk tuk?
    PS* I was in Sri Lanka last year too and I loved it.

    Reply
    • Hi Dilesh,

      We stayed in a homestay a short walk away from the beach. The hosts were super nice, but the sound from a beach bar next door made it almost impossible to sleep some nights. Going back we would stay somewhere else.

      I have heard some really good things about Bon Accord Guest House but we haven’t stayed there ourselves.

      We took a tuk-tuk from Unawatuna til Mirissa. It was a little cramped with all our luggage but all part of the fun. A taxi will be more comfortable, but if you get a good deal on a tuk-tuk then it is absolutely doable. It should take about 45 minutes to drive.

      Have a great trip to Sri Lanka!

      -Espen

      Reply
  6. When i was in Mirissa, i really liked it to hire a bike and explore the area by myself. Maybe an option for all who search something to do besides beach and eating. Hiring a bike is not expensive and there are some places you can hire one.

    Reply
    • Thanks for that great tips, Simon! We love to hire bikes around the world too. It is a great way to explore a place and its surroundings and to find those hidden gems and getting off the beaten track.

      Happy travels!

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you! Arugam Bay Beach, on the east coast of Sri Lanka, is on the list of the top ten surf spots in the world. Best time to surf there is between May and November.

      Mirissa Beach and Hikkaduwa Beach are good spots if you are a beginner. Weligama Beach is also great for beginners. Best time is from October to April. All of these places have sand bottom, which is good for beginners.

      Have a great surfing trip to Sri Lanka!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  7. Thanks for this wonderful blog. We ave spent much time stressing over our 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and today discovered your 2 week literary it is great and in line with what we were thinking. Just a question we are going to be in Sri Lanka in August to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we want to be somewhere nice for the day. Would you suggest Mirrisa as a good destination we have also thought of Dickwella or Tangalla. Where ever we go we will drive from Galle and arrive the day before our anniversary and leave the day after, heading to Ella. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Rhonda,

      Thank you for those nice words about our 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary! So happy to hear that you find it useful when planning your trip!

      Mirissa is a very nice beach, although it has become very popular among tourists the last couple of years so it can be crowded. But August is the low season due to the monsoon season so I`m guessing it is not that crowded in August as in the high season. You might also get cheap prices on accommodation.

      We were there this February 2017, and stayed at Imagine Villa Hotel which is an amazing place! It is only a 5-minute tuk-tuk ride from Mirissa beach itself, but the hotel has its own private beach and a great swimming pool. I would say it is the perfect place to celebrate your 30th wedding anniversary. The owner is Marnix, a very nice gentleman from Belgium. The food is heavenly good. Every day the chef puts together a new five-course dinner menu served in the beautiful garden overlooking the ocean. The food is so good that we ended up eating there every night.

      We have unfortunately not been to Dickwella, but we absolutely love Tangalla! It is quieter and more peaceful than Mirissa. So it really depends on what you are looking for. You can, however, not swim in the sea in Tangalla due to heavy underwater current.

      Mirissa is also closer to Galle, only one hour drive from Galle, while it takes about two hours to drive from Galle to Tangalla.

      Whether you choose Mirissa or Tangalla, I`m sure you will have a great and memorable wedding anniversary! Have a great trip to Sri Lanka!!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  8. Hi

    I have a question
    Can I go from Mirissa to colombo airport ??
    I mean there is a train or bus station in Mirissa that I can book online? I have a flight on 16 of Sep at 3.00 AM
    How can I deal with that?

    Reply
    • Hi Mona,

      The easiest and quickest way to get from Mirissa to Colombo International Airport is to hire a car and driver. The hotel that you will be staying at can arrange this, or you can just make an arrangement with a driver the day before. The drive takes about 3 hours, maybe more if the traffic is bad. You can ask the driver to take the highway which is usually faster.

      You can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to Matara Train Station and take the train to Colombo Fort Train Station. Check the train time table HERE. There are four trains a day, the first one at 06:05 and the last one at 14:10 (on Friday 15th of September). The express train takes about 2 hours and 40 min. The 14:10 train, however, is not an express train, and takes 4 hours.

      From Colombo, you can take a taxi or bus to the airport (about 45 min). But you won`t be able to bring much luggage on the bus, the buses in Sri Lanka are in bad shape.

      You can`t book train or bus tickets online I`m afraid, only at a train or bus station.

      Have a great trip to Sri Lanka, and enjoy Mirissa Beach!

      -Maria-

      Reply

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