Mirissa was one of my favourite places on my Sri Lanka itinerary. It’s laid back surfing vibe, the multitude of fantastic restaurants and the beautiful coastline had me hooked.
You should base yourself here for at least 3-4 days if you can as there are so many things to do in Mirissa and you will want to give yourself time to explore them all.
Mirissa is becoming one of the most popular beach towns on the South Coast and as such is beginning to get pretty busy. I’d recommend basing yourself on the outskirts where it is quieter and more peaceful but you’ll still be able to enjoy all the awesome things to do in Mirissa.
But regardless of where you stay, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this charming beach destination as I did.
I’ve written this Mirissa travel guide to help you plan an amazing trip and make visiting Mirissa in Sri Lanka a total breeze…
Below are a few of my favourite things to do In Mirissa…
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What you can expect from this article...
- 1 My Top Suggestions for things to do in Mirissa
- 1.1 1/ Visit Secret Beach.
- 1.2 2/ Go Whale Watching
- 1.3 3/ Visit Coconut Tree Hill Point
- 1.4 4/ Try Surfing at Weligama Beach
- 1.5 5/ Eat Seafood on the beach
- 1.6 6/ Take a day trip to Galle
- 1.7 7/ Enjoy lunch at Aloha
- 1.8 8/ Visit Parrot Rock.
- 1.9 9/ Go snorkelling with turtles.
- 1.10 10/ Enjoy a cocktail on the beach at sunset
- 1.11 11 / Go on a safari
- 1.12 12/ Have an Ayurvedic massage
- 1.13 13/ Just Relax
- 1.14 14/ Try a cooking class
- 2 Mirissa Travel Guide: Frequently asked questions about Mirissa
- 3 Further Reading About Sri Lanka…
My Top Suggestions for things to do in Mirissa
1/ Visit Secret Beach.
Secret beach is not so secret these days and is actually fairly easy to find. But the 5-minute tuk-tuk ride and a short hike to reach the beach seems to be enough to deter the crowds and Secret beach in Mirissa remains a peaceful location where you can enjoy the beautiful tropical beach scenery and relax.
I’d recommend taking your camera as it really is beautiful!
Secret Beach is also one of the few places on the South Coast of Sri Lanka where it is actually safe to swim. A wall of rock creates a lagoon protected from Sri Lanka’s ferocious waves. This makes it one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for swimming.
2/ Go Whale Watching
Whale watching in Mirissa is one of the most popular things to do in Sri Lanka. Here you have a great chance of spotting the mighty Blue Whale – the largest mammal on the planet growing up to 33 metres and weighing up to staggering 180000 kg!
As well as Blue whales, you may see other breeds of whales such as sperm and Bryd whales and occasionally even Humpback and Killer whales. You also stand a good chance of seeing dolphins and even turtles.
3/ Visit Coconut Tree Hill Point
If you are looking for the best view in Mirissa then you have found it here at Coconut Tree Hill viewpoint. This viewpoint is so iconic that it is splashed all over Instagram!
If you want to get a photo at this beautiful viewpoint, I would suggest going early. It doesn’t look quite the same teeming with tourists… So beat them there! The early alarm will be worth it, trust me!
You can access the beach by following Mirissa main beach to the far left (if looking at the ocean) though you may need to wade through the water a bit. Alternatively, grab a tuk-tuk which will drop you by a beach bar that you can walk through to reach the viewpoint. Then stop off here for a drink and enjoy the views on the way back.
I’d recommend wearing shoes or sandals with a bit of grip as you have to clamber up the dusty hill and it gets slippy!
4/ Try Surfing at Weligama Beach
Weligama Beach on the outskirts of Mirissa is a brilliant surf beach. At one end the waves are good enough to amuse experienced surfers. At the other, the waves are calm enough for beginners and there are various surf schools here.
Alternatively, you could put down your beach towel and relax, watching the pros show you how it’s done!
5/ Eat Seafood on the beach
Whilst you are staying in Mirissa, you must eat on the beach at least one evening. At night the beach is lit up with candlelight from restaurants which spill out onto the sand. Many specialise in seafood and you can choose your own fish that was caught that day.
For seafood lovers, this is an absolute must-do in Mirissa! Apart from delicious food, the ambience is incredible.
6/ Take a day trip to Galle
Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. This dutch fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century but is now home to a multitude of fine dining restaurants, quirky gift shops, jewellers and art galleries. As well as shopping and eating, you should get a photo of the iconic lighthouse, visit the various churches, walk the fort walls and admire a beautiful sunset.
Another option for sunset would be at nearby Dalawella beach where you can have a go on the insta-famous beach swing as the sun goes down. So beautiful.
7/ Enjoy lunch at Aloha
Mirissa has so many wonderful places to eat but a firm favourite of mine is Aloha just opposite Weligama beach. It’s got a really laid back vibe and I recommend sitting on bar stools at the front of the cafe where you can overlook the beach. My banana and passionfruit smoothie was incredible and the tuna burgers were extremely popular amongst my friends.
8/ Visit Parrot Rock.
A rock formation in the sea towards the left side of the beach. If you climb this you can get awesome views of Mirissa. But don’t attempt it at high tide as it can be dangerous.
9/ Go snorkelling with turtles.
Thanks to conservation efforts, the South Coast of Sri Lanka is a great place to go snorkelling with sea turtles. Though there are no guarantees as with any interaction in nature!
10/ Enjoy a cocktail on the beach at sunset
The sunsets in Sri Lanka are incredible. Make sure you enjoy more than once sunset sat on the beach enjoying a cocktail… Bliss!
11 / Go on a safari
You can organise day trips to both Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park from Mirissa though it’ll be a long day with lots of driving as both national parks are about a 3-hour drive away. If it’s elephants you want to see, chose Udawalawe. If it’s leopards, choose Yala!
12/ Have an Ayurvedic massage
Relaxation should be your top priority in Mirissa so what better way to kick off your relaxation than booking an Ayurvedic massage? They will use various herbs within their oils tailored to your requirements and health needs. I found mine so invigorating. I had so much energy for days afterwards! You will find lots of places for Ayurvedic massage in virtually every beach town on the South coast of Sri Lanka.
13/ Just Relax
There are so many things to do in Mirissa that it would be tempting to run between activities and forget what you are here for – relaxing! Make sure you factor in some time for chilling out on the beach!
14/ Try a cooking class
This is actually one thing I didn’t have time to do whilst I was in Mirissa and I really regret it! I had such delicious food throughout my trip that I wish I’d taken the time to learn how to cook it so I could impress my friends with a Sri Lankan Dinner Party. However, when I was looking into it, I found there were loads of places you could take a cooking class in Mirissa.
Mirissa Travel Guide: Frequently asked questions about Mirissa
How to get to Mirissa from Colombo
If you are visiting Mirissa from Colombo then you can arrive by bus, train or taxi.
By Train: The train leaves from Fort station in Colombo and arrives at Weligama station which is a 6-minute taxi or tuk-tuk ride from the centre of Mirissa. There is one train approximately every 4 hours and it will take just over 2 hours.
By Bus: The bus departs Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal and arrives at Matara bus station. From here is takes 15 minutes in a taxi to Mirissa. It takes almost 3 hours and buses leave more frequently than trains, approximately every 15 minutes.
By Taxi: You can also organise an air-conditioned taxi. If organised from within Sri Lanka, you could arrange this for about 6000-7000 Rs (as of April 2019.) It will be much more expensive if you pre-arrange it before you leave.
How to get to Mirissa from Ella
If you are visiting Mirissa from Ella, you can arrive by bus or taxi.
By bus: The best way to get to Mirissa from Ella is to get a bus to Matara which takes around 4 hours. It is then a 15-minute taxi or tuk-tuk journey into Mirissa.
By taxi: You could also hire a taxi but this may be pricey. At a minimum, I would expect it to cost 8000-10000 Rs.
When is the best time to visit Mirissa?
The best time to visit Mirissa is between December and April when the weather is warm and dry. The monsoon season starts from May onwards when you are then better to go to the East Coast of Sri Lanka.
If you want to go Whale watching, then visiting Mirissa in February and March are the very best months to see Blue whales though the odds are good year-round.
How long should I spend in Mirisaa?
I would recommend staying at least 2-3 days in Mirissa but ideally, 4-5 days would allow you to spend more time relaxing and gives you the chance to tick off all the great things to do in Mirissa!
Where should I stay in Mirissa?
I stayed at Mandara Resort, a 4 star hotel with it’s own swimming pool and access to a peaceful stretch of beach. For a 4* hotel, it is very reasonable with prices starting around $50. It was also the best hotel breakfast I had in Sri Lanka! (I tend to judge hotels by their breakfasts…)
Here are a few other options for where to stay in Mirissa…
Budget Splendid Lodge
Mid-range Peacock Villa
I hope you enjoyed learning about all the awesome things to do in Mirissa from whale watching to surfing and relaxing on perfect beaches…
I visited Sri Lanka as a guest with G Adventures on their Sri Lanka Encompassed Tour. We spent 3 days in Mirissa as part of this tour and if you are looking for a tour in Sri Lanka I would highly recommend this trip. It’s also a bargain!
Have you been to Mirissa? I’d love to hear what you thought!
Have any questions? Pop them in the comments below!
Further Reading About Sri Lanka…
- Secret Beach in Mirissa – how to find it!
- Whale watching in Mirissa – a handy guide.
- Visiting Dalawella Beach near Unawatuna
- 57 awesome things to do in Sri Lanka
- A Perfect 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary
- Is it safe to visit Sri Lanka?
- The ultimate guide to Safari in Yala National Park
- My Sri Lanka G Adventures Tour Review
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