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Mirissa Tourism And Travel Guide
25.8° C / 78.5° F
November to May
3 to 4 Days
Koggala Aerodrome (22 kms)
Weligama (7.5 kms)
Mirissa is a beach town on Sri Lanka’s south coast, located in District Matara, Southern Province. Approx. 150 km from the south of Colombo and nearly 13 ft above the sea level, Mirissa’s beach and nightlife, fishing port and activities of whale & dolphin watching make it a popular choice for tourists. In 1980, Mirissa saw one of its first accommodations with tourism witnessing an increase only in the mid-1990s. With its largest fishing port, Mirissa is known for butterfish, snapper, mullet and tuna.
Mirissa’s beach is absolutely perfect for surfing and sea-bathing with its fair line up of charming restaurants by the beach with fresh seafood, authentic local cuisine and international specialties at economical prices and a variety of boutique style hotels to family-friendly guesthouses. Here’s a travel guide to help you find your way through the gorgeous beach town of Mirissa.
How to Reach
If you’d like to travel by air from Colombo to Mirissa, you can either rent an air taxi or a helicopter from the Bandaranaike International Airport or from the Colombo Airport and land at the Koggala Aerodrome which is about 14 miles from Mirissa. However, this option may be heavy on the pocket, so the best way to reach Mirissa would be to travel by road or by train.
To travel by train from Colombo to Mirissa, take the Colombo-Matara Train, operated by Southern Railways and get off at the Weligama Station which is about 15 mins drive in a tuk-tuk to Mirissa. Even though there’s a railway station in Mirissa, the likelihood of getting tuk-tuks or cabs there is next to none.
Every couple of hours, there are buses leaving for Matara Bus Station from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal with a duration of 5 hours to reach, and on arrival, you can hail a cab or a tuk-tuk to reach Mirissa in about 15 minutes or so.
Even though roaming around Mirissa on foot is the best way to get around and enjoy the breathtaking views, you can opt for renting tuk-tuks to avoid getting exhausted. You can also get around by hiring a scooter or even riding the bus passing the main road.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Sri Lanka’s a year-round destination, even during the monsoon period! The weather can be unpredictable sometimes. The most opportune time to visit the beach town would be in the winter months of December through February or fall months of September through November, with the exception of the monsoon months, when most outdoor activities are closed.
March through May is the warmest part of the year in Mirissa with temperature ranging between 29.8°C-31.8°C, and almost a week to 12 days of rainfall each month, making this period slow for tourism. Travelers looking for budget-friendly options can use this time to get some good deals on accommodation & lodging.
June through August sees enjoyable weather with pleasant temperatures and nearly 10 to 14 days of rainfall every month. The period is however slow for tourism and a good time to catch some lucrative travel deals.
The fall season in Mirissa experiences a temperature of 30.3°C on the maximum side and 29.2°C on the minimum side, which accounts for pleasant weather despite the humidity. In comparison to other parts of the year, this period witnesses rainfall more to the effect of 12-15 days in a month, making it the second-best time of the year to visit the beach town.
Winter is the best time of the year in Mirissa, especially for warm weather enthusiasts with an average temperature of 29.4°C-31.2°C and about 4-10 days of rain. This is the best time to visit Mirissa.
Things To Do
Some of the exciting things to do in Mirissa include relaxing amidst the tropical beaches, indulging in adventurous water sports, swimming in the ocean or having fun beach hopping!
Whale & Dolphin Watching:
Popular for its whale and other marine watching cruises, Mirissa offers warm, calm and most favorable weather conditions from November through April and you can choose from a range of cruise options that are eco-friendly and well within your budget.
Surfing & Snorkelling:
Also popular in Mirissa are its snorkelling & diving sites. Albeit there aren’t many colorful corals to see here, the aquatic life within the ocean is incredible with a range of tropical fish, eel and other marine life. Try snorkeling in the Turtle Bay. You can also explore surfing near Palm Tree Grove and Weligama, famous for this water sport.
With the biggest fishing port in Mirissa, enjoy a captivating 3 hours fishing tour aboard a catamaran from the harbor and witness the daily chores of local fishermen.
Aboard a sailboat in the early evening hours, experience the beautiful coastline of the Island country through Mirissa and enjoy the Snake Island with its stunning red cliffs, the beaches and engage in different activities of floating, swimming or snorkeling, till the sun sets down.
Most beachside bars in Mirissa host some happening parties, fireworks with drinks and dinner, adorned with fairy lights and good music. Make the most of Mirissa’s nightlife with fancy cocktails, fresh seafood and delightfully decked up beach shacks with trendy interiors and warm ambiance to make your evenings memorable.
Where To Eat
Sri Lankan Cuisine is a blend of several ancient, cultural & other associated factors, with inspired cuisines from South India, Dutch and Indonesian cooking and most of the country’s staples include rice, coconut and spices. One of the primary features of Sri Lankan cooking is boiled/steamed rice with an assortment of curries made of different meats/seafood or vegetables, fruits or lentils. Some of the best-recommended places to eat at in Mirissa include Dewmini Roti Shop, Udupila Road, popular for authentic Sri Lankan fare with vegetarian & vegan options as well. The food there is known to be delicious and pocket-friendly. Dimali Inn at Galle Road offers Asian, Sri Lankan cuisine and the Mee Goreng is popular for its local twist to the dish.
The Little Tuna Sushi Café, Udupila Road is a cozy & vibrant restaurant amidst a garden by the Mirissa river. The place has hammocks to laze around in, with lip-smacking muffins and cheesecakes for the sweet tooth. Apart from that, it’s a nice place to relax with good food to gorge on. The Margherita Italiano, Mirissa Junction serves some of the best pizzas and Italian dishes at reasonable prices and comes highly recommended by travellers.
Papa Mango at Matara Road with seating at the beach amidst the palm trees and a covered bar, serves grilled delicacies, cooked to perfection. Some other noteworthy joints include the Café Olga at Udupila Road and Tandoori Hut at Matara Road.
Where To Shop
Mirissa’s a small town with a captivating beach, standing proud in the southern province of the Island Country. Encompassed by lush palm greenery and pristine waters, Mirissa boasts of typical Sri Lankan charm with exotic and delicious varieties of food, rich cultural heritage and plenty of shopping opportunities. Along with the exciting adventure sports, the town adds the ‘x’ factor with its shopping escapades!
Some of the best places to shop at, when in Mirissa include: Roosara – known for its gems. You can witness the entire process behind the placement of gems and their transformation into delicate jewellery pieces. You can also display your talent by picking your choice of gems from the available exotic assortment and design your own jewellery piece.
Dylan’s is a store with a wide range of branded surfing equipment and is considered a surfer’s paradise! You can also pick up small gifts or souvenirs on your way back from here. Podi Kade is renowned for authentic local & aromatic coffee. A small, but quirky shop with some lovely display of bags, dresses, souvenirs, wooden artifacts and jeweled earrings, it is a one-stop-shop for your gifts.
Lazyride is the best place for picking some unique swimwear and clothes with some cool and in-vogue surfing items and clothes at par with the current fashion trends. Mirissa is popular for its batik clothing and some other varieties of stitched material and fabrics, with premium leather & wooden keepsakes as well.