This little, laid-back resort on the south coast is among our favourite on the island thanks to its low-key feel and picturesque shoreline. Spread over three separate bays bounded by rocky headlands, the village nestles under a canopy of coconut trees. One of the great pleasures of staying here is wandering down the beaches and scaling palm-studded bluffs to watch the sunset. At night, the shack-restaurants dotted along the beachfronts are illuminated by lanterns and fairy lights –one of the prettiest spectacles on the entire Sri Lankan coast.

Mirissa is also one of the island’s principal centres for whale watching. A flotilla of boats chugs out of the harbour each morning in search of cetaceans, which congregate in the lapis-blue waters off-shore in healthy numbers between November and April.

TransIndus Tip: “Secret Beach”

Tucked away on the south side of the headland dividing Mirissa’s main beach from the harbour is a small cove of vivid shell sand edged by pale-green water. With just a single bar and an old lady selling tender coconuts, it’s a beautiful spot that can be easily reached on foot and, due to its secluded position, is known locally as ‘Secret Beach’. It’s actually far from a ‘secret’ these days, but is still well worth a look!

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