Your full Mirissa Travel Guide

one of the best known beach towns in sri lanka: a full mirissa travel guide

During our 2-week Sri Lanka trip (full itinerary can be found here), we decided to divide our time in two. The first week was spend on culture and hill country (such as Ella) and the second week would be all about relaxation, party and beaches at the south coast. The south coast was advised as the best place for beaches during our travel time, which was April. In Sri Lanka, the suitable beaches depend on the season. Our main base in the south was Mirissa and therefore, I’ll inform you about everything to discover in this full Mirissa travel guide! 

- DO, SEE & DISCOVER -

enjoy the beach

First activity in Mirissa is of course to head to the beach and enjoy some sun, the sunset and some drinks. I liked the beach best during sunset, when it is happy hour at most beach bars and you can enjoy the views with a cocktail in your hand.

Sunset at Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka
Beach and parrot rock in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Parrot rock

Parrot rock is one of the main sights in Mirissa and a hard to miss sight as it is located in the middle of the main beach. You can climb the rock by using the little staircase and enjoy the views over Mirissa beach from the top. The activity won’t take you much more than 15 minutes. You can already spot Coconut Tree Hill from here!

Parrot Rok, Sri Lanka
View from Parrot Rock, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
View from Parrot Rock, Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Coconut tree hill

Here we go, one of the highlights of this full Mirissa travel guide: Coconut Tree Hill! By just following the shore, you’ll be able to find palm tree hill a little bit further out of Mirissa (to the left, when facing the ocean). You might have to get towards the road as not the whole route might be possible along the shores. Don’t forget your camera and shoot some great pictures. 

Palm Tree Hill, Mirissa Travel Guide
Palm Tree Hill, Mirissa Travel Guide
Palm Tree Hill in Mirissa

whale watching

For many, ne of the main reasons to visit Mirissa instead of other beach towns is to participate in a whale watching tour. We did doubt a bit, whether to go on such a tour as we were afraid the animals wouldn’t be respected. Because of this exact reason, we decided to book our tour with Raja and the Whales as they were recommended as the most whale friendly tour company. The tour costs 54 USD and takes approximately 4 to 8 hours depending on the whales. The boat right is quite bumpy, so take a pill against motion sickness for sure! 

We were really happy with our decision to go with Raja and were happy to spot some blue whales during our trip! Expect several boats and tour companies to be out at the same time and prepare to be slightly annoyed with some of them as they really head towards the whale when they see one. Raja and the whales however didn’t, and just respected the animals to continue their natural behavior. Next to that, our boat stayed out a little longer, so we could go whale spotting without many of the other boats and this was the time we experienced a whale from close by! 

I would 100% advise Raja and pay slightly more than at another company, but be sure of a animal friendly approach. 

Mirissa Harbour, Sri Lanka
Mirissa Harbour, Sri Lanka
Whale tour Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Whale Tour, Raja, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Whale Tour, Blue fin whale, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Whale Tour Mirissa, Dolphin Spotting, Sri Lanka

secret beach

Closely to the head office of Raja and the whales, you’ll find a sign that will guide you to the so called ‘secret beach’. Follow the signs and be prepared for a 30 minute walk towards secret beach to be rewarded with a more quiet, stunning beach as shown below. There is one bar where you can enjoy your beer and get a little snack. 

Secret Beach in Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Secret Beach in Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Secret Beach in Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Secret Beach in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Tour the area

We took a tuk tuk to Hikkaduwa, but weren’t satisfied so we headed back after a night. However, this ride gave us the opportunity to spot some other places on the south coast. I would definitely recommend to take a day to head to some other beach towns such as Unawatuna and Weligama for surfing. If you like what you see, you can of course also decide to spend the night there and discover some of the local night life depending on the time of the year and crowds.

Stillt Fisher area in Sri Lanka
Driving towards Hikkaduwa from Mirissa

GO surfing

The little bay on the left side of parrot rock is perfect for surfing with good waves for starters. Rent a board and try it out. Unfortunately, surfing is not really my cup of tea, but this activity should be part of a full Mirissa travel guide.

Surfing gear in Sri Lanka

- EAT & DRINK -

south coast taco

This was definitely my number 1 restaurant in Mirissa. The place is really small in the backyard of the house of the owners and they sell the greatest taco’s, ceviche and cocktails. My number 1 spot to head to! Check out their instagram for many great food pictures.

South Coast, Mirissa
Source: South Coast Taco Instagram

nr 1. damati roti shop

One of the highest praised restaurants in Mirissa and for a reason. The roti is great and cheap and you’ll find a place that is full of backpackers. 

tandori hut

Looking for some spicy Indian / Sri Lankan food? Tandori Hut is the place for you. Located on the main road, the place is rather easy to find. When we were there, it was really quiet and we were the only ones there, however, I’ve heard that it can get quite crowded in the evenings.

shady lane

Sri Lanka is turning into Bali with insta perfect places for brunch. Enjoy smoothies, juices, avocado sandwiches and smoothie bowls at Shady Lane. The name suits, as the shade here is a welcome surprise.

aloha coffee gallery

This little coffee and brunch spot can get really crowded since it doesn’t offer many places to sit down and enjoy your brunch or coffee. If you’re lucky to find a spot, it is sure you’re in for a treat.

zephyr

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed by the several beach bars and restaurants when it comes to food and drink quality. However, having a drink at the beach is always a good idea. 

papa mango

Papa Mango is a short walk to the left (facing the ocean) from Mirissa ‘Center’. The place is quiet, you have a small beach to relax and we really did like the burgers there. 

NEW: petti petti

This place didn’t exist when we visited Sri Lanka, but shouldn’t miss in this full Mirissa Travel Guide. Looking at the pictures of the place, it is too bad it didn’t open 2 years earlier. Petti Petti is a beach bar, with a swimming pool, bean bags and drinks. It is located closely to Papa Mango and this is the new popular spot in Mirissa.

- STAY -

pineapple retreat

The Pineapple Retreat just opened when we visited in 2018. The place is located in the back streets of Mirissa and has a swimming pool. Rooms were neat and clean and the breakfast was good. We paid €32 a night for a room for two persons. 

morning star

After the fiasco of visiting Hikkaduwa, we came back to Mirissa and had to look for a new place to stay. We did some research on Booking.com and as it was the place for our final nights, we decided to go with a more fancy place. We did some haggling because it was end of season. In the end we paid around €60 a night for the superior room with garden view (perfectly close to the swimming pool). Find and book the rooms here.

Morning Star, Mirissa

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Your full Mirissa Travel Guide, Sri Lanka

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