Surfing in Sri Lanka

Monday, August 24, 2015
A few months ago my friend Cassandra traveled to Sri Lanka with her boyfriend Valerio. They discovered the magic of this beautiful country and surfed some of the most popular spots of the island. I couldn't not ask them the full report of their travel!
Today they're sharing with us their amazing experience and tips.

Located at the South of India and kissed by Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is the next stop for the surfers from all over the world.

Our trip starts in Colombo, the financial Sri Lankan capital city. This is the place where the main flight companies land and everyone leaves from. Driven by the pursuit of the waves, we decided not to visit the city and head straight to South. There are many ways to move around the island: you can hire a car with driver, or use the public transportation, bus and train, with your backpack to reach your destination. The latter being the cheapest and most folkloric way to travel, not always the fastest though!

Our first surf stop going South is Hikkaduwa, a touristic village which now keeps very little of its authenticity, due to a long exposure to tourism and a wild real estate development. Restaurants and guesthouses took the place of the beach and the palm trees.
Beach-breaks and points host fast and steep waves, two of the main spots being in front of the main beach of Hikkaduwa - no need to talk about this spot’s overpopulation.

We spent three days in this chaotic town and then decided to continue our travel towards South heading to Weligama. This nice and charming anglers’ village, just behind a quieter coastline where you can find guesthouses and restaurants, takes place into a wide bay protected from the biggest swells. A place that happily resists to the touristic flow.
Right in the center of the bay, the beach-break forms different peaks. Depending on the swell and tide, this spot offers any kind of wave: from the steep and barrel wave, to the mellower one, ideal for sliding on a longboard.

Tuk-tuk was our favourite way of traveling, when we had to go not too far. The drivers do know well the spots and sometimes they even gave us some good advice about the best one to surf for a given wind direction. 
At North of Weligama Bay you can find a lot of rock spots, like Ram’s Right which is the most famous right peeler of the coast: a steep and barrel wave right in front of the namesake guesthouse. Continuing to North there are many spots, like Plantation and Lazy Left. Sometimes here schools of multicolored tropical fish come visit you between one set and another, and calm turtles slowly swim towards you in the line-up.

Kabalana is twenty minutes tuk-tuk driving north, a big crystal-clear water beach exposed to south swells. This makes the surf good even when everywhere else the waves are less consistent.
If you have the opposite problem, you can find protection from bigger swells in Galle, a smaller bay where glassy and barrel waves break.

A few kilometers south of Weligama, here you have Mirissa, a charming beach offering its visitors romantic candlelight dinners by the shore, other than one of the most typical spot of the island.
Here during the night you can see the sea turtles crawling ashore to nest their eggs. The locals, aware of the extinction problem and the black market issue, help them during this process.

Driving south, almost one hour far from Weligama, you will find Matara, a lesser-known place offering a huge beach and uncrowded quality waves.
We brought our surfboards, but the locals, aware of the growing business around this practice, are starting up more and more surf schools and rentals shops.

What if you don’t surf?
There are various alternatives to surfing.

You can hike in many natural parks in the heart of the island, like the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a pristine rainforest declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, or the Yala National Park, where you can spot elephants, monkeys, many bird species and even leopards.

In Sri Lanka different cultures and religions coexist peacefully. Everywhere you can find any kind of temples, from the most humble and sober, to the most majestic and stately, but each of them giving a sense of peace and sacred.

Last but not least, we’d like to talk about the food. Mainly consisting on rice, meat and fish, the local products, Sri Lankan meals are rich of spices and exotic tastes you cannot not fall in love with. 
In many family restaurants, you can taste the real typical meals like Rice and Curry, rice with strictly spicy sauces and dressings, or the Kottu Rotty, a sort of pasta pancake which is cut in pieces, fried and served with vegetables, meat of fish.

Overall, we definitely suggest visiting Sri Lanka at least once in your life. We are sure that everyone will come back home with recharged energy and beautiful memories of this magic place.

Credits // Authors // Photography: Cassandra Di Tobia and Valerio Paoloni

4 comments on "Surfing in Sri Lanka"
  1. I just found your blog, and I am just so inspired! All your photos just make me want to travel to the ocean. :)

    1. Hi Indy! I am so happy you found in Surfragette a place of inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing this :)
      I hope you can travel to the ocean soon. Please let me know when you do, I'd love to hear your impressions!
      xo - Marta

  2. I love surfing. Last year, I visited Sri Lanka and enjoyed surfing a lot. If you're determined visiting Sri Lanka, don't forget to go Independence Memorial Hall, Beira Lake, Continental Club, Galle Fort/Dutch Fort, Tea Estate Trails, British Garrison Cemetery, International Buddhist Museum so on.. It's very easy to book beach hotels in Sri lanka online. Thanks for sharing :)


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