2018-04-17 122 People
Located in the South of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is a wonderful place for beach lovers. You can spend a pleasant day enjoying water activities or resting on the beach, and an entertaining night with a few drinks, a good meal and a party in one of the beach bar if you feel like doing so.
To reach Mirissa from Colombo, you have different possibilities. You can get a train from Pettah (main train station in Colombo) or you can take the bus. If you want to take a normal bus, you have to take it from Pettah also but the fastest and most convenient way to go is to take a highway AC bus from Maharagama -which you can reach by tuk- and this bus will drop you in Matara. From there, you can get a tuk to Mirissa. Here, they will usually charge you a lot since you are a tourist, but try to negociate a price between 600 and 700 rupees.
Then, there are normal buses that connect Mirissa with most cities on the west coast.
In the daytime, you can enjoy all the activities in the sea. In the early morning -departure at 6.30 AM, you can enjoy a boat trip to go whale watching. You will be able to see blue whales, and sometimes dolphins and turtles. Then, you can also surf here. However, this is better for beginners to go to Weligama -10 minutes away by tuk tuk- where the beach is perfect for beginners. There you can find surf schools, such as Batu Surf School, where you can learn how to surf or simply rent a board. Also, you can find diving centers if you want to dive. You can also see kite surfers sometimes having a good time in the sea.
When it comes to eating, Mirissa has a large choice of restaurants. The greatest value we found on the beach was the shack. You can have rotis, fried rice, noodles or kottu for a reasonable price and the dishes are really tasty, the spices are on the side so that you can dose the quantity you want in your dish. Then, we also really appreciated the breakfast from the Hangover hostel and café: the pancakes were worth the 400 rupees it cost. They also serve English breakfast, and many other dishes. Eventually, we also tried the kottu from the restaurant Wadiya Beach, it was generous and tasty, not spicy though -you can ask for chili powder if you want to add flavor.
In the evening and nighttime, you can have a drink and enjoy the happy hour offered in most bars and restaurants. From 4 PM to 10 PM you can get a cocktail or a beer for around 300 to 500 rupees. We tried the strawberry caipirinha and the daiquiri from Mirissa Eye Beach Restaurant and these were good and tasty, for only 300 rupees each -however the food here was quite expensive and the quality wasn’t matching according to us.
Then, there is a party in a different bar each night of the week. Most of the time, they distribute flyers on the beach in the day time to keep you posted with the events.
Mirissa has many hotels, providing private rooms or dorms, depending on your budget and on the type of stay you want to have. The dorms, such as those in Hangover hostel, are perfect for backpackers. Some more luxury hotels, such as Peacock Villa, are more adapted to family or couples willing to rest.
The Ocean has no secret for Geeth. He grew up in Mirissa and spends most of his time in the water, starting at 6.30 AM when he starts his boat to go whale watching.
The trip starts at the port where we board on a boat. The sun is rising on the sea, the fishermen are coming back to Mirissa with their nets full of fishes and the trip starts for us. We move away from the coast to reach deep waters, where the whales live. On the way, we can meet dolphins and turtles. We stop to look at them, and sometimes, the dolphins can even come around the boat. Geeth and his colleagues all watch in different directions in order to spot where the marine animals are.
Then, you continue your trip until the waters are deep enough for whales to live. Whales spend around 15 minutes under the water and then come to the surface to get some air during around one minute. This is very nice and impressing to watch, especially when they take their tail out of the water.
Geeth considers he has done his job once you have seen whales and, if possible, dolphins or turtles. He tries to get as close from the animals as possible so that you can enjoy the show.
We went back to Mirissa around 11.30 AM, so it lasted around 5 hours. You are provided a breakfast on the boat, which is simple but fine: it’s a sandwich with a piece of cake and a banana. Water is also provided and a refreshing snack with watermelon is offered on your way back.
The cost for one person is 6000 rupees.
Having a stall on Weligama beach, you can easily find Batu Surf School. If you stay in Mirissa, you can arrange with a stall near the restaurant called the Shack, and they will arrange transport for you. A one-hour surf lesson including the transport from Mirissa cost 3000 rupees.
Batu is the owner of the place. He is a very nice local from Mirissa and a very good teacher. He starts teaching you the basis on the beach: how to stay on the board, how to paddle and how to stand up on the board. Once you have done it a few times on the beach, you go into the water and he -or one of his colleague- stays with you the whole time. For your first lesson, he will help you catch the wave and tell you what to do and when: “Ready?”, “Start paddling” and then “ Stand up!”. Thus, in an hour time, you can manage to stand up on your board in the water and enjoy the pleasure to slide on the water.
Batu and his colleagues are all kind, encouraging and not judging. Weligama is the perfect surf spot for beginners, and it is better to go there either in the morning or after 3:00 PM.
You can also rent a board without taking a class at Batu Surf School.