Sri Lanka is home to some incredible sunset locations. Undoubtedly, the most famous sundown spots begin from around Bentota and continue as far south as Yala, for pure, tropical sunset bliss. We’ve narrowed down our top 5 favourite destinations along Sri Lanka’s southern coast which deserve a visit on your next sunset chase.
Less than an hour’s drive south of Colombo is Balapitiya, a small, picturesque fishing village with golden sand beaches. Seemingly untouched by mass tourism, Balapitiya has some unique, luxury accommodations and pristine lagoon networks. If you’ve got time to spare, take in a boat ride at around 4.00 pm before heading to the beach, just in time for a typically crimson sundown.
Home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle is right at the top of our favourite sunset spots in Sri Lanka. The only living fort in Asia, Galle Fort’s locals have been sharing their sunset viewpoints with the rest of the world for centuries, and we think it fitting to start off this bucket-list with the very same spot that traders and explorers of old discovered. From inside the 16th century rampart walls of the Galle Fort, you’ll find plenty of locations to take in a glorious, golden sunset. A stroll along the Fort’s ramparts will give you stunning views of the island’s most iconic lighthouse, set against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. Find a spot, sit back, relax, and soak up all the magic. From here, continue your stroll along to the Fort Bazaar, a handsome, 17th century merchant’s home-turned-boutique hotel. The hotel’s veranda hosts live acoustic sundown sessions on weekends with signature island cocktails and gourmet, modern dining.
While Mirissa may be anything but secret, this beach town has some unique locations for a relaxed sunset session. If you’re staying at Fort Bazaar, Mirissa is an hour’s drive south. Bring a towel or a beach wrap along for the ride, and pick from Coconut Tree Hill, Parrot Rock or Secret Beach but make sure to end up at the uber chilled beach bar Petti Petti Mirissa for eclectic drinks, music and cuisine. Laze by the pool while enjoying fiery skies over a turquoise ocean.
If you find yourself based further along the south coast, Weligama is among the prettiest beachside destinations in Sri Lanka. Famed for its surf, traditional lace making and ancient devil dancing rituals, Weligama is minutes from whale and dolphin watching, and home to unbelievably romantic sunsets. We love the stylish beach bar concept of Kurumba Bay, and it’s worth all the hype. Great food, ambience and excellent cocktails are served all day long at its poolside bar Zephyr.
There are few better places to linger over a sundowner than in the laid-back surfer town of Hiriketiya, home to Smoke and Bitters. You’ll find this gem located within a coconut grove on Pehebiya Beach. Opened in 2020, their reputation for excellent island cocktails earned them a ranking at No. 42 on Asia’s 50 best bars of 2022.
NOTE: Watch out for Poya (full moon) days, which are dry days in Sri Lanka.