Mirissa

Calm and adventurous!

Have you ever tried to find heaven? We found it for you, here at Mirissa!

You can find this quaint fishing village on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, 200 kilometers north of the equator. The crescent-shaped beach curves around you like a warm embrace, and it’s bays provide enough of interest to keep visitors occupied.

Be sure to chat with the friendly locals while you explore this beautiful coastline and enjoy its lovely beaches.

Things to Do and Attractions

1. Blue Whale Watching

Do you know the largest animal in the world, a blue whale is about 98 to 100 feet long, and even its tongue can weigh as of an elephant?

People love to watch them whenever they get an opportunity, and luckily, Mirissa is giving you a chance to fulfill your dream of watching not only blue whales, but multiple other species of whales, as well as dolphins, and exploring turtles is a treat to watch, too.

Join a boat from Marissa Beach, where a lot of boat owners take sightseers to the center of the water so that they can explore and watch various species of whales such as Blue whales, Fin whales, Bryde’s whales, Killer, and sperm whales.

Other than giant marine creatures, you will explore highly friendly Risso’s Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Striped Dolphins, and Bottlenose Dolphins, and pleasing display of turtles, Bluefin Tuna, and Flying Fish are enhancing the gorgeousness of the location.

But, keep in mind that you may not see all species at once because it depends on weather conditions and time of your travel.

The best months for Blue Whale sightings in Mirissa are December to April, with January considered as one of the best months even within the season.

  • Rating: 5/5 (of course you need a bit of luck!)
  • Duration: 3-5 hours
  • Cost: 4,000-6,000 LKR (Boat)
  • Hours: Tours start early morning (5.00 AM – 6.00 AM)
  • Address: Tours Start from Mirissa Fisheries Harbour
  • How to get there: Take an auto from your residence

2. Mirissa Beach – Go with the loved ones

Arrange a romantic dinner for your favorite person at the sandy beach of Mirissa!

With a laidback and relaxed atmosphere, Mirissa Beach draws sightseers from everywhere, and it’s also famous for water sports.

On the left side of the seashore, a small but eye-catchy Parrot Rock Island is waiting for visitors to hit the place, and the nearby areas of the island are perfect for snorkeling due to reefs.

Along the shore, you will view a plethora of restaurants and cafes that put out colorful tables, light lanterns, and candles, and serve some world’s best barbeque on the site. Doesn’t that make a place more attractive and worth visiting for everyone?

Mirissa is one of the outstanding beaches, where you can enjoy not only panoramic views but it also allows you to experience exciting adventures of surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and fishing.

The most convenient time to relish lifetime moments is from November to April because of calm waters and under-control sea weather.

  • Rating: 4.8/5.0
  • Duration: 2-4 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours
  • How to get there: Of course, a three-wheeler would be a perfect option.

3. Find the “Secret Beach”

A not-so-secret beach in Mirissa located along the south coast, Secret Beach was once accessible to locals only, but with tourism boost in Sri Lanka, visitors found this place, and now it’s among the renowned attractions in the town.

There are three other shores near Secret Beach, and they include Blue Lagoon, which is best for beginners and children, Palm Cove that lies around the corner of the blue lagoon, and it’s perfect for snorkeling, and the last one is Shelly Beach, which is at a small distance of the bay.

The Secret Beach is home to wildlife, including fruit bats, squirrels, black monkey, land monitors, birds, and peacocks!

Five out of seven turtle species in Sri Lanka are present on the location, so whenever you go for swimming or snorkeling, keep your eyes open to view them cruising around the shallow waters of the Secret Beach.

Though the entrance fee is zero, local sellers make some money by renting day beds and snorkel sets for 500 LKR. Like other beaches, you will find a restaurant to buy cold drinks. But try the coconut juice stalls to kill your thirst.

  • Rating: 4.8/5.0
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours (better to avoid night time)
  • Address: Near Mirissa Beach
  • How to get there: Hire a tuk-tuk It will hardly take 20-30 minutes.

4. Climb the Parrot Rock – A must-try

Stand high on the highest point of a small island to enjoy panoramic views of Mirissa Beach and its surroundings!

Yes, add another impressive attraction to your bucket list, which is Parrot Rock located on the left side of Mirissa Beach entrance, and it is something you can’t ignore.

Perched out about 50 feet from the beach, Parrot Rock Island is among the favorite sites in the beautiful town of Sri Lanka, but it’s not a simple task to reach there.

What you should do is to walk through the water, but it can be high depending on the tides, so be careful. There is a staircase to the top of the island, and you will view it once you successfully across the water.

Visit the place in either morning or evening because of less crowd and breathtaking scenery of sunrise and sunset.

Remember to keep a waterproof bag with you to save your stuff from being wet while crossing the water. There is grass at the top of Parrot Rock, so lay down and relax for a while to praise the natural beauty.

And yes, don’t forget to take pictures as it’s one of the most picturesque sites!!!

  • Rating: 4.4/5.0
  • Duration: 30 minutes-1 hour
  • Cost: Free
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours (better to avoid night time)
  • How to get there: Hire a tuk-tuk as for any other activity.

5. Ready for Deep Sea Fishing?

Get ready to experience new adventures in the southern coast, but wait for the right season, which starts from December, and it ends in April!

Find a trustworthy boating tour center in Mirissa, because there are many in the city, and keep in mind one thing deep sea fishing is not a simple activity; it needs care and experience. Best is to check with your hotel for the top operators and verify the credibility by going through online reviews.

A company will give a typical boat of 15 feet with crew, and you will get all the equipment and bait, too. Follow the instructions of the guide to make your adventure a success.

The more you go in the deep down area of the sea, there is a bright chance to catch Spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna, jack trevallies, frigate tuna, skipjack tuna, sailfish, and marlins. You need to show patience to wait for the bait to work.

If you choose nighttime for deep fishing, your targeted fishes will change. The species include blubber lip snapper, mullet, blackspot snapper, wavy-lined grouper, rabbitfish coral hind, spangled emperor, mangrove red-snapper, parrotfish, and many others.

It may not be a pocket-friendly adventure, but you will never regret your decision for sure!

  • Rating: 4.4/5.0
  • Duration: 5 – 6 hours
  • Cost: 30,000 LKR (it may differ)
  • Hours: Check with operator

6. Go Snorkeling

Being one of the most suitable locations for snorkeling, Mirissa offers an unique experience.

Mirissa will never run out of locations, but the best site for snorkeling is the area around the Parrot Rock Island situated on the left end of the Bay, and it features reefs, which is best for snorkelers, and you will also experience reef fishes over there.

While enjoying your underwater journey, you will encounter turtles and other sea creatures depending on weather and sea temperature.

The experience of witnessing adorable species from so close will stay in your memories for a lifetime!

  • Rating: 4.8/5.0
  • Duration: 2- 4 hours
  • Cost: 5000-6000 LKR (depends on agency and packages)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 am (check with operator for exact time)
  • How to get there: Hire any snorkeling agency, and they will pick you up from your hotel.

7. Surfing Adventures

Mirissa is one of the operational bases of surfing, and surf enthusiasts flock here to surf on the waves of the sea.

Contact any reasonable surf institute for booking your tour, because it’s necessary to do this activity under the supervision of experts and professionals even though you are familiar with this water sport.

The surf point is on the right side of the beach, where café culture is compelling, and it’s a point reef break. While on the left, you will view rocks, and that area promotes snorkeling.

It will be easy if you surf a low power right-hander over reef break near rocks and left-hander near the harbor side because it works exceptional with a swell up of six feet, but remember to check local waves before planning to surf.

With regional classic wave quality, Mirissa Beach is best for intermediate to experienced surfers.

  • Rating: 4.8/5.0
  • Duration: 2-4 hours
  • Cost: 2000-4000 LKR (It may vary)
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 am
  • Address: Mirissa Beach
  • How to get there: A tuk-tuk will take you. Talk to your hotel to find best operators and their locations.

8. Windsurfing – for the ones who dare

One of the trickiest water sports in the universe, windsurfing, combines sailing and surfing. Luckily, Mirissa, along with Hikkaduwa and Bentota, are some of the most suitable locations for windsurfing in Sri Lanka’s southern coast.

Go to Mirissa Beach and especially, around the area of Parrot Rock Island, which is one of the hot-favorite places for water sports. Being a tropical land, windsurfing in any part of Sri Lanka will not need extra protection such as protective clothing against freezing winds.

You have to contact a surfing tour agency for your booking, and it will provide you all the equipment. Even a beginner can do quite well in the game, but all it needs is concentration on surfer’s balance on the surfboard, postures, and favorable sea weather conditions.

Once you get used to it, nobody will stop you from flying on the waves!

  • Rating: 4.4/5.0
  • Duration: 1.5-3 hours
  • Cost: Depends on packages and touring agencies

9. Ayurveda – Heal the ancient way

Give yourself a treat by visiting an Ayurveda Treatment while living and exploring Mirissa!

Sri Lanka is a tropical land, where beaches play a vital role in attracting tourists, and no doubt they are incredible, but it can drain your energy because of experiencing many physical activities.

No, you don’t have to restrict yourself, but one thing you can do is to recharge your body for other exciting challenges, and what is better than an Ayurvedic massage treatment?

The best treatment is a Secret Root Ayurvedic full body massage with the help of Aloe Vera oil and therapeutic techniques to stimulate blood circulation, and it works well in relaxing muscles.

Others include aromatherapy massage by using eucalyptus or essential oils, deep tissue full body massage to loosen tight muscles, and Ayurvedic synchronized full body massage.

Pinda Sweda, a treatment for sluggish and stiff achy body, is available for visitors. The spas also offers deep tissue back massage, foot reflexology, herbal body scrub, Shirodhara Ayurvedic head treatment, herbal steam bath, and massages on different body parts.

  • Rating: 4.6/5.0
  • Duration: 1-1.5 hours
  • Cost: 3000-4000 LKR
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 am-8:00 pm (May vary with different operators)

10. Spend a day at Galle Fort UNESCO World Heritage Site

Who doesn’t know about Galle Fort?

Well, everybody is not only familiar with it, but also loves the place, and it lures visitors from all around the earth every year in large number.

Settled in the Bay of Galle on Sri Lanka’s southwest shoreline, the beautiful fort dates back to 1588, and it was the masterpiece by Portuguese rulers. However, when Dutch conquered the site, they reconstructed it by 1663, but now it’s for the public.

Depicting the old-era culture, Galle Fort is a worth seeing attraction!

From the outside, you will view only the structure of a typical fort with walls, but after stepping into the landmark, another mini-city is waiting for you, because it’s a complex of attractions.

From the National Maritime Museum to Meera Mosque to All Saints Church to Dutch Church to the Lighthouse Galle, the fort allows you to explore every location, but you have to pay an entrance fee for few attractions.

The stairs in the fort, temples, and observation tower are also among the most-visited sites within the territory of Galle Fort.

Don’t forget to buy gifts, jewelry, and traditional items from the nearby souvenir shops.

Without the shadow of a doubt, Galle Fort is a perfect package for experience seekers!

  • Rating: 4.8/5.0
  • Duration: 2.5-4 hours
  • Cost: Free entrance
  • Opening Hours: 5:30 am-10:00 pm
  • Address: Church Street, Galle
  • How to get there: A 35-minute tuk-tuk ride will take you to Galle Fort from Mirissa.

11. Weherahena Temple – feel the spiritual vibes

Have you seen the 39-meter-tall seated Buddha statue at Weherahena temple yet?

If no, make sure to see it one day, because the impressive landmark along with astonishing location deserves appreciation. Dating back to the 18th century, the red-clothed Buddha statue sitting outside the temple is one of the the largest in Sri Lanka.

Initially built as an underground temple because Buddhists wanted to keep it hidden from the rest of the world so that nobody would interfere in their matters during the times of western colonialisation, but now it’s one of the prominent attractions in Sri Lanka.

When it comes to architecture, the building showcases unique wall paintings depicting the life stories of Buddha.

The two ponds in the yard are enhancing the charisma of the temple.

And yes, never visit the temple and its premises with shoes on as it considers a disrespect.

  • Rating: 4.2/5.0
  • Duration: 1-1.5 hours
  • Cost: You can pay up to 300 for donation
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Address: Weherahena Road, Matara, Sri Lanka
  • How to get there: Get a 30.minute tuk-tuk ride to reach Weherahena Temple.

Where to Eat

What better place than the beach to get fresh fare? Here are the Best Places To Eat In Mirissa:

1. Wadiya Restaurant ($$$)

Udupila Junction, Mirissa | +94 779 506 074 | www.mirissabeachwadiya.com/restaurant

Popular for their culinary magic and local seafood catches, the Wadiya Restaurant is everything that is Mirissa. The beach, the bar, the food, chilled vibes, and great hosts are to die for. This is a much-visited place, popular mainly for its exciting beach barbeque at night.

2. The Sunset ($$$)

7, Bandaramulla, Matara Road, Mirissa |  +94-717-340434 | www.mirissasunset.com

The Sunset has a stunning view over the Indian Ocean that promises you an amazing sunset. An elegant place with a great choice of gourmet food, this is the most romantic spot in Mirissa for the fine dining couples.

3. Little Tuna Sushi Café ($$)

This off-the-beach eatery serves Japanese food. Sushi lovers must visit this when they venture into Mirissa. Known for the friendly hosts and busy hours, this will be a good place to unwind after a long day of roaming the beaches of Mirissa.

4. Palm Villa ($$)

Matara Road, Mirissa

This whitewashed building sits on the beach and exudes old world charm. Their devilled chicken is highly recommended. Palm Villa is yet another great find among the other spots by the beach.

5. Dewmini Roti Shop ($)

Udupila Road, Mirissa

Run by a Sri Lankan couple who gets creative with roti, the Dewmini Roti place is famed for its unique roti dishes. Expect everything from chocolate rotis to mushroom and cheese rotis. This place is great if you are travelling on a budget but still want authentic Sri Lankan food.

6. Our World WiFi Café ($)

150 Km Post, Merinchigoda, Galle Road, Mirissa

This cafe caters to the gluten free and vegan eaters while providing free WiFi. Located on an exotic spot by the beach, you can dine amidst the sound of waves for a very low cost at Our World WiFi cafe. A must have is their fresh king coconuts and coffees.

Or check our complete list of best places to eat in Mirissa for more delicious options.

Where to Sleep

Mirissa offers heaps of accommodation options. Here are a few options:

1. Adana Beach Resort     

With an awe-inspiring view of the Indian Ocean, this hotel offers a high level of service and security. The private beach, outdoor pool, and garden are ideal places to relax after a busy day.

2. SeaWorld Resort Matara

SeaWorld Resort is a 3-star hotel offering air-conditioned accommodation. Facilities include an in-house restaurant, bar, mini bar, lounge, outdoor pool, cycling, 24-hour front desk, safety deposit box, tea-coffee facilities, and car rental.

3. Holaa Mirissa

Holaa Mirissa is a 3-star property that is only 3.8km from the Weherahena Buddhist Temple, Koggala Airport, and Kushtarajagala. The hotel can help you book whale watching, hiking,  or fishing tours. Their facilities include shared kitchens, BBQ’s, a garden, children’s playground, private parking, in-house restaurant, special diet menus, currency exchange, and a maid service.

4. Randiyaa Sea View Inn

What makes this hotel so special? Other than excellent accommodation and wonderful service, they host a plethora of exclusive activities. Whale watching, surfing, fishing and dining, safari tours, bikes on rent, Ayurvedic treatments, and yoga programs.

When to Go

Best time: From November to March the climate is relatively good, and you get the best waves! You also avoid the monsoon season.

Time to avoid: May to September. The south-west monsoons create terrible waves across the southern coast; most water sport activities are cancelled during the monsoons.

Dress code

Wherever you go in the country of Sri Lanka you should be aware of the cultural ‘dress code’. Try to respect these as it will make your visit much more enjoyable. When you are away from touristy beaches, be sure to carry a shawl or shirt with you so that you can cover up as necessary (it is best to cover up at local restaurants/eateries as a courtesy to others). When you visit religious sites you must cover up to your knees and shoulders—and you should take off your headwear and footwear when entering such venues. These rules apply to both men and women.

Getting-In and Around

Once you are in Mirissa, local buses and tuk-tuks will be your best options. Please avoid the temptation to ride a rented scooter or motor-cycle as traffic can be hard to navigate.

Getting in:

Colombo: You can travel on the three hour train from Colombo Fort to Galle, and then travel onwards to Mirissa by taxi. Alternatively, you can take the 5 hour bus from Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal to Matara Bus Station, from where you can take a 15 minute taxi ride to Mirissa. A taxi will get you to Mirissa in under two hours.

Airport or Negombo: The taxi from Negombo to Mirissa takes about two and a half hours. Best public transport option will be to take a bus to Colombo Fort railway station and take the train from there. Or, you can take a tuk-tuk to Katunayake bus station and transfer for the bus to Galle or Matara (Mirissa is located in between Galle and Matara), form where you can catch another tuk-tuk to Mirissa – it will take more than six hours.

Galle: Take a bus towards Matara or a half hour taxi drive.

Kandy: Take a train from Kandy to Colombo Fort from where you can take the train to Galle – this journey will take about six hours. Taking a taxi directly to Mirissa will take about four and a half hours using E01 express way.

Ella: Take a taxi to Wellawaya bus station from where you can take the bus to Matara Bus station, and then take a taxi to Mirissa – this journey will take about four and a half hours. Taking a taxi for the full journey will take about three hours.

Dambulla: Take a bus to the Colombo and take a train or bus from there as you wish. Train will be the most comfortable. A direct taxi from Dambulla to Mirissa will take about five and half hours using E01 Express Way.

Budget

It is possible to choose from a range of unique and basic accommodation options in Mirissa. Mid-price hotels offer rooms from $60, while luxury resorts have rooms costing more than $300. Basic rooms can also be found at local guesthouses from as little as $20. With plenty of local restaurants and cafes in the area you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to meals – you can find good food from as little as $5, although seafood dishes will cost a lot more, and drinks can be expensive.

You may find that a big portion of your holiday budget will be going towards outdoor activities and water sports. Make sure to book with reputable tour operators with local guides as you will be guaranteed a professional and ethical service. When you book activities be sure to factor in all the potential costs form hiring equipment, to transport and food costs.

Traveler Quotes

 “Sri Lanka is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone in the Indian Ocean. Of the 80 species of cetaceans observed and identified worldwide, 26 are found in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Therefore Trincomalee and Kalpitya along with Mirissa are the best places in Sri Lanka for whale and dolphin watching.”

Marysia Maciocha of My Travel Affairs

Don’t miss out on this slice of heaven while you visit Sri Lanka!

Whether you’re tanning on the beach, sipping a smooth at Papa Mango, or blue whale watching, there’s something stunning and island worthy for you here at Mirissa.

Updated by Teddy