At the heart of Sri Lanka’s south coast, Mirissa is an incredible beach destination that shouldn’t be missed. Beautiful beaches, awesome sunset spots and endless great places to eat made it our favourite place in southern Sri Lanka. There are so many amazing things to do in Mirissa. We spent 3 nights here and could easily have stayed a couple more if we had the time. Our adventures led us to compile a list of our favourite things to do, where to eat and we even found a secret beach for you to enjoy. Check out exactly what to do in Mirissa!
Getting to Mirissa
We came here from Unawatuna by public bus (a great way to travel on a budget), which costs 70 LKR ($0.40 USD) per person and took 45 mins – 1 hour. It’s a pretty bus journey along the coast and buses leave very frequently from the main road in Unawatuna.
Things to Do in Mirissa
1. Coconut Tree Hill
We had seen this place pop up on our Instagram a couple of times and thought it looked amazing. Our first night here we jumped in a tuk tuk, which was 200LKR ($1.15 USD), and arrived for sunset. This is a really unique landscape with loads of palm trees sprouting up from the red earth. We have never seen anything quite like it and it is very pretty.
There aren’t many better places to sit and watch the sun set through the trees. From the top of Coconut Tree Hill you can watch the surfers riding waves below you and it is also a great place to spot turtles. Coconut Tree Hill is one of the best places to visit in Mirissa!
Coconut Tree Hill is located at the eastern end of Mirissa. To arrive here, you can walk the length of the beach or hop in a tuk tuk and the driver will drop you off at Sunset Bar. To reach the hill itself, you need to walk through Sunset Bar and up the side of the hill.
Read our full blog post on Coconut Tree Hill to find out everything you need to know about this photo-worthy destination.
*Tip: If you want this place to yourself, come early in the morning. It was very busy at sunset so we came back again the next morning to get some more undisturbed shots.
2. Secret Beach
Secret Beach is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, but to be honest, it is no longer much of a secret. There are two main sections of the beach which meet in a rocky headland. The first beach you walk onto is great for swimming and is one of the best spots for snorkeling in Mirissa. Keep an eye out for turtles as there are plenty of them cruising around in the sea here.
You will find the second beach just around the corner where there is a waist deep lagoon that is perfect for floating around in. The lagoon is protected by a rocky outcrop meaning it remains calm even when the sea gets a bit rougher.
To reach Secret Beach you have to drive up this crazy steep and narrow road. Once the path is bad enough, the tuk tuk driver will chuck you out and you will have to walk the last couple of hundred metres to the beach. This little beach tucked away in a quiet corner of the coast is just stunning. We spent a couple of hours relaxing on the beach and cooling off in the calm waters created by the outer rocks. A tuk tuk here should take less than 10 minutes and cost 400LKR ($2.30 USD). It is also possible to walk from Mirissa town centre, although it is a tough walk uphill in the heat.
Read more about Secret Beach Mirissa in our blog post all about this incredible spot.
3. Parrot Rock
Towards the end of Mirissa Beach is Parrot Rock. This big red point sticks out into the ocean and gives an amazing view back down Mirissa Beach. It is another great place to watch the sunset, with surfers on one side and Mirissa Beach on the other.
To access Parrot Rock there is a rickety bamboo bridge from the beach up to the top of the rock. Surprisingly, it much sturdier than it looks. Once you are on top of the rock, you can find a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the beautiful views.
4. Surf in Weligama
We took the bus to Weligama to go for a surf. It is a sandy bottomed beach break so it is the ideal place for beginners to try out surfing. We rented boards for 250LKR ($1.40 USD) for an hour and took to the sea. There were great waves and we had such a good time. Hurry Surf School is a great place to rent as it was right on the beach and they were able to watch our stuff while we were in the water.
After a fun hour catching waves we stopped for a drink at one of the many bars that lined the beach and watched all the other surfers having a good time. While it is possible to surf at Mirissa Beach, we recommend Weligama as it is great spot for beginners and it’s always good to check out a new place. Check out the Weligama surf forecast before you go!
5. Mirissa Beach
The main stretch of Mirissa Beach is quite crowded but it is still a really cool place to hang out. We recommend heading towards the western end of the main beach (when you get to the beach go right). It’s usually pretty quiet and there is a stunning surf break as well. Chilling out in the sun and watching the surfers is a great way to spend an afternoon.
6. The Doctor’s House
The Doctor’s House is an epic spot on the beach in the nearby town of Madiha. If you are looking for a place with the best beach vibes in the area then you need to visit The Doctor’s House. They offer wood fired pizza, cocktails and claim to serve the coldest beer in Sri Lanka. The large garden that leads right onto the beach is a wicked place to relax for the afternoon.
It is a 15-minute drive from Mirissa so you will need to grab a tuk tuk to come here.
7. Explore the street art
On our first afternoon as we hunted for some food, we stumbled across some incredible street art along Beachside Road. Many of the hostels and restaurants here have decorated their outer walls with colourful murals and wall art. The hand painted art is definitely worth checking out and makes for a great way to explore the area as you search for more colourful murals.
Sadly, we can’t do it all! If we had a few extra days in Mirissa we would have considered these activities as well.
Whale watching is one of the most popular activities in the area. The whale watching season runs from November to April with March and April being the best months to spot Blue Whales. The morning is the best time to go as it is much calmer with the wind picking up in the afternoon leading to rougher seas. Find a whale watching tour in Mirissa.
If you didn’t stop in Galle on your way to Mirissa, then another good activity is to take a day trip and visit Galle Fort. It is just under an hours drive to the west from Mirissa.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Mirissa and the south coast of Sri Lanka in general, is between December and March. The main monsoon season in this area runs from the end of April to September. While this is usually a good guide for when to visit, the weather can be unpredictable.
Where to Eat in Mirissa
Shady Lane – A really cool spot tucked away in a back road with some tasty smoothie bowls. Slightly pricier at 675LKR ($3.90 USD) for a smoothie bowl but worth splashing out on.
R&R Hot Spot – Delicious rice and curry at a super cheap price. With some plain roti and a water, it cost just 600LKR ($3.45 USD) for two of us.
Dulnetha Homestay and Restaurant – After surfing in Weligama this is the place to go. We had one of the best kottus (a Sri Lankan take on fried rice) here. A perfect post-surf snack and fairly cheap as well.
No.1 Dewmini Roti Shop – We heard great things about the food here so had to try it. While the kottu didn’t knock our socks off, the banoffee roti for dessert hit the spot.
Sunset Bar – Located at the foot of Coconut Tree Hill. As the name suggests, a fantastic place to watch the sun go down with a beer. Not really a place to eat but we couldn’t leave it off the list.
Where to Stay in Mirissa
Budget: Kavindi Guest House – The breakfast here was insane. They brought out the first plate of food and we were stoked with what was on offer. Then they brought two more plates of food out as well. You definitely won’t go hungry staying here. Traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, a fresh fruit platter plus eggs, toast and jam each morning = Stuffed. At 2400LKR ($14 USD) with the breakfast included we thought it was great value.
Mid-range: Peacock Villa – Great value for money! If chilling on the beach isn’t relaxing enough for you, then the health and wellness centre here should do the trick.
Luxury: Villa Océane – The ultimate place to stay in Mirissa. This place features a pool right on the beach that is surrounded by palm trees.
Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a small commission if you make a purchase at NO extra cost to you. This will never impact our reviews and we only recommend products and services we firmly believe in. Thanks for your support!
Mirissa was one of the real highlights of our month long budget trip around Sri Lanka. It has everything you need for an awesome trip. There was no shortage of beautiful places to hang out at and we managed to catch sunset from a different spectacular spot each night. The unique landscape here makes for a truly special few days. As you plan your Sri Lanka itinerary and continue to work your way around the South Coast of Sri Lanka, make sure Mirissa is a top priority!
Next stop, Hiriketiya Beach!
*Please note, prices are a reflection of our experiences while traveling Sri Lanka in March 2019 and are subject to change. Prices quoted in LKR were the exact prices we paid and USD conversions are listed for your convenience.