When you dream of kicking back while swaying in a hammock on a pristine beach under the shade of rustling coconut trees with your favourite drink in your hand, you are dreaming of nowhere else other than Mirissa, Sri Lanka. The area has it all, beautiful Sri Lankan beaches, huge curling surf waves, whale watching, and thriving bars and restaurants. Mirissa is one of the most popular beach hotspots of the island and a must visit on your Sri Lanka Tour itinerary.
The charming rustic roads and quiet glistening sands sprinkled with bars and surf rentals serenaded by the rustle of the coconut trees and enchanting whispers of the ocean, inundated by a truly relaxed vibe, Mirissa is the embodiment of a tropical paradise. In helping you make your Sri Lanka trip one that is truly memorable, we at Olanka are letting you in on our secret of the best things to do in Mirissa.
Visit Secret Beach
Once a secluded secret that is not so much a secret anymore, is the pristine Secret beach; a truly magical escapade during your stay in the tropical island of Sri Lanka. The main attraction is the small pool created by the surrounding rocks that protect the beach from large swells and rough waters, making it the perfect calm place for kids to swim and adults to relax. There are a few restaurants and bars at the beach to quench any of your cravings, and you can also rent a sun-bathing chair for the day.
Mirissa Coconut Tree Hill
Located near the Mirissa beach is the popular Coconut Tree Hill, a beautiful place full of perfect coconut trees and a strikingly beautiful ocean view. The stunning setting makes it the perfect spot to shoot a few tropical photos that will definitely compliment any Instagram or social media profile. It is the perfect place to watch a sunset in Mirissa, but as with any popular spot, it does get crowded, whereas sunrise is the least busy time, and if you can get there before 7am, you could be lucky enough to get Coconut Tree Hill all to yourself. Just be sure to watch out for falling coconuts!
Visit Parrot Rock
The much talked about Parrot Rock is a large rock that sits at the end of the Mirissa Bay. Climb to the top of the rock and catch a glimpse of the magnificent views of the Mirissa beach or spend some time in the rock pools below. These pools provide a great calm area to both swim and snorkel. It is a completely free thing to do and access to the rock is easy from the main beach. Being so convenient and close to town it’s definitely something you should do.
Visit the snake farm
Just 20 minutes from Mirissa, the farm rescues the snakes form local houses and rehabilitates them. Watch as the handler brings out a huge range of snakes during the tour, including vipers and three types of cobras. You can even test your own courage by handling a few of the non-venomous snakes such as pythons and tree snakes by yourself. It is truly a one of a kind experience available in Mirissa.
Visit the Sea Turtle hatchery
Located halfway between Galle and Mirissa are two turtle hatcheries, where they protect the turtles and their eggs until they hatch and can be released into the wild. The hatcheries also look after injured or rescued adult turtles. At the hatchery, you can get involved and hold some of the older turtles as well as learn about the five species of turtles in Sri Lanka. A visit to one of the hatcheries is super fun and all the funds raised go into ensuring the survival and conservation of this beautiful species. This is a must do for any animal over visiting Mirissa.
From May to November, the southern coast of Sri Lanka becomes the best place in the world to whale watch. There are a few different species of whales you can spot including Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, and the most coveted Blue Whales. A truly once in a lifetime experience that is definitely worth checking off your bucket list, during your stay in Mirissa.
Deep Sea Fishing
Mirissa is considered as one of the best locations to go deep sea fishing in Sri Lanka. An experienced and knowledgeable fishing guide will be on hand to lead and guide you through the process of deep sea fishing. As you go deeper towards the shelf, Sail fish, Blue or Black Marlene, Tuna, Wahoo and a few more rare species could be hooked during the exhilarating excursion into the deep open ocean.
There is a huge range of water sports to revel in at Mirissa. On the beach you can head over to one of the water sports operators and take a ride on a jet ski or have them tow you on either a wake board or tube among an array of other exciting water sports on offer. Each designed to get the adrenaline pumping through your veins.
Go Surfing to Weligama
The surf at Mirissa is very good, but for many budding surfers, it can be a little too rough. Luckily, Weligama is only a few kilometres away and is perfect for learning to surf. On the beach, there are plenty of board rental shops and surf schools with licensed and experienced instructors. Regardless of your experience level Weligama is a great place to learn or improve your surfing skills.
One day trip to the Galle Fort
The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds a lot of history for the Sri Lankans. It was built by the Portuguese in 1588 and thereafter heavily fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century and is the best-preserved colonial fort in Asia. Just a 45-minute drive from Mirissa, the cobblestoned pathways are lined with whitewashed Dutch style shops, houses, galleries, boutique hotels and a museum. There are only very few places on earth that can match the beautiful settings of this colonial walled city.
Visit the Dewndara light house
The Dondra Lighthouse is another attraction located around 19km from Mirissa. It is situated at the southernmost point of Sri Lanka and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and coconut trees. Once at the top you can enjoy picturesque views of the endless horizon and mesmerising sunsets. The lighthouse also makes a lovely spot with a beautiful setting to take some iconic pictures.
One day trip to Madolduwa and Koggala
Sri Lankan author Martin Wickremasinghe’s beloved children’s novel “Madol Duwa” makes a visit to this little island in the middle of Koggala Lake a must for everyone who has read the book and an exciting adventure for everyone who hasn’t. Discover all the beloved landmarks from the book and relive the story yourself. A trip by boat to this island takes about 20 minutes, and the island can be explored in about the same time. There are other islands to visit and view nearby, including Cinnamon Island, where you can buy organic cinnamon products and visit a fish Spa. Enjoy a short adventure in Koggala which is always a good way to keep things interesting on a slow day.
Rent a tuk tuk or scooter for a city tour
Rent a tuk tuk or scooter and ride with the fresh ocean breeze brushing through your hair, as you maneuverer your way through the bustling roads and narrow streets while taking in all the wonderful colours, smells and sites Mirissa has to offer. Mirissa isn’t a small town, so renting your own ride would not only be the cheaper option, but also gives you a lot more freedom to get around to many of the places to visit in Mirissa which are mentioned on this list, at your own leisure. If driving in Sri Lanka is on your bucket list, there is no better way to do it than this.
Mirissa Hotels and Resorts
Book your beachfront resort in Mirissa with us at Olanka and enjoy a truly heavenly island getaway. The town of Mirissa is renowned for its many beautiful hotels and resorts that are ready to welcome you with friendly smiles and warm hospitality.
Experience seafood restaurants
Sri Lanka is renowned for the freshest and tastiest sea food, and it’s no different in Mirissa. Mirissa offers an array of delectable and charming restaurants serving a huge selection of scintillating and succulent traditional local seafood specialities as well as delicious global sea food cuisines. Your trip would not be complete without treating your palate to the exquisite seafood at Mirissa.
Beach parties, BBQ nights, Pubs and Bars
Experience the vibrant island night life and mingle with fellow travellers and locals at the numerous beach parties that will be constantly raging on throughout the night. Along the Mirissa Beach there is a huge selection of exhilarating bars and restaurants all offering their own drink specials and happy hours. Bar-hopping in Mirissa is the perfect way to end your day in paradise.