Mirissa, the whale watching destination on the Island, with its scenic beaches and various tourist attractions, it’s bound to be an unforgettable experience.
It is not that far from the main city of Colombo, as it is 240 kilometers away. There are a lot of beaches and waves that are surf-worthy, including restaurants and bars. It is ideal for the tourists who simply want to take it easy and spend a couple of days sunbathing and doing a couple of activities.
Mirissa has gradually become a very popular destination over the last couple of years, as it has developed steadily over time, attracting more and more crowds every year. There are a couple of places to see and things to do, so there is never a dull moment. Mirissa as a town is very happening, and there are different types of people who are all very welcoming, what with the increasing amount of tourists who visit.
One of the main attractions is the whale watching, which starts at 4, or sometimes 7 in the morning – with a couple of boats gathering the necessary amount of people to go out to sea, and then it will take up to 2 hours to arrive at the deep sea end, where most of the whales are, and it’s a quite a sight to spot them. There are usually hoards of crowds even if it is so early in the morning, portraying everyone’s enthusiasm. Everyone is bound to be excited to catch a glimpse of these glorious mammals. The boats serve both a full course breakfast and lunch once coming back to shore, as well. Experts on whales and dolphins will explain the behaviors and ways of these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat, so it is very interesting to hear and see everything. There are plenty of packages that Epic Sri Lanka Holidays can arrange just for you.
The beaches and waves are perfect for surfing, and there is not much of a crowd so surfers generally like coming to these kind of spots because it is quiet with fewer distractions. There is a constant increase in the amount of people who come here just for the surfing, and there are even beginner lessons that can be arranged, if anyone wants to learn. The best times would be from October to March for good surfing conditions.
The parrot rock bridge is another tourist destination, and it is where there are captivating views, and even though the climb to the top can be a little dangerous, the view makes it worthwhile. There are a few benches to relax, or take it easy after the effort taken to climb up. There are a lot of people who like to snorkel on the far left side of the bay, and it is very clean and safe, but there can be strong rip tides and currents to look out for. Parrot Rock Bridge is highly recommended by many t0urists.
Another picturesque destination that should be on the top of the list is The Palm Tree Dome that’s located on the left part of the bay. A lot of tourists have captured the splendid beauty of the palm trees with the beach in the background. The sunset and sunrise are good times to go here, and it would be a magnificent shot.
Another fact is that Mirissa is well known for its fishing industry on the south coast which includes snapper, mullet and tuna to name just a few. There are deep sea fishing tours that can be arranged, which will take 3 to 4 hours, and it is something that is worth experiencing, especially if you lucky enough to get the opportunity.
How to Get There
There are a number of different ways to travel to Mirissa; it could be either by road, bus or even train.
By Road – The easiest way would be to rent a car to travel directly to Mirissa. There are many different routes to get there, and the fastest way is by taking the southern expressway that goes straight to Mirissa. The whole journey will take up to 2 hours, 27 minutes (145.4 km) from Colombo. Tour consultants at Epic Sri Lanka Holidays can make arrangements for a car for you.
From Galle – When it comes to travelling from Galle to Mirissa, it is actually quite close by and easier, and there are three options starting with travelling by train which will only be 1 hour, 8 minutes in the least. The second option can be Epic Sri Lanka Holidays arranging a car for you and that will take just 33 minutes. The last option would be by driving which is also 33 minutes.
From Ella – If driving to Mirissa from Ella, it will take 3 hours, eight minutes to get there. Alternatively if travelling by train it will take approximately 13 hours, 45 minutes, technically being almost a day and that’s way too long and tiring. The other option would be travelling by bus and that will take up to 5 hours, 57 minutes to get to Mirissa.
From Yala – Bus travel to Mirissa from Yala is approximately 7 hours, 37 minutes, and driving will take around 5 hours, 39 minutes to reach there.
By Bus – It will take 5 hours, 24 minutes if travelling by bus, and there is going to be a lot of stops every few hours, so that is going to be exhausting. Air conditioned buses cost around Rs. 370, whereas non air conditioned buses cost Rs.250.
By train – There is no train station in Mirissa, and the closest station is situated in Weligama.
The best time to go would be from late November to April, and heavy rainfall is in October, November and December. The month of May is when the monsoon starts, which is up to July. There will be heavy thunderstorms so it is not advisable to come during this time. The southwest monsoon starts in June and ends by September. November is the wettest month, so it would be better to avoid it as there will not be many activities to do at that time.
Food and Drink
There are so many different types of bars and restaurants to choose from, with varying cuisines that are Seafood, Chinese, Vegan and healthy as well. It will also depend on the budget, and there are cheap places with good food, too which is very convenient if you’re looking for a quick bite. Although for some quality food there are restaurants like Margherita Italiano Restaurant, Little Red House, and Tandoori Hut.
Little Red House – The little red house is a compact place that’s located in the Udupila Junction in Mirissa. They serve their customers with authentic Chinese food, and a whole variety of dishes on their menu. Their deco and atmosphere is very modern and simple, which attracts a lot of tourists. They are said to have the ‘best Chinese food in Sri Lanka’, and a Chinese cook prepares everything with his expertise and doesn’t use the typical Sri Lankan spices in the food; plus it arrives in record time. The prices are apparently very reasonable and worth it, especially since they serve generous portions of the food.
Margherita Italiano Restaurant -If Chinese food isn’t your first choice, opt for authentic Italian food that is available at Margherita Italiano Restaurant, which is located at the Mirissa Junction. They prepare genuine Italian food which includes pizza, risotto, and a range of pastas as well. There’s definitely a lot to choose from, it can be overwhelming in the least. The staff and the service is of high standard, which is hard to come across in most restaurants these days. The Chef is Sri Lankan, but is reported to have some experience in another international restaurant, so he knows what he is doing when it comes to authentic Italian food and that is reassuring. It is highly recommended by a large amount of tourists, with it popping up in a list of places to eat on majority of the online sites.
Tandoori Hut – This restaurant is all about Indian cuisine, which is a nice change from the traditional Sri Lankan food and Italian, too. Indian food is an explosion of taste and spices, which is exciting to explore. It is ideal to go for dinner, as it is decorated with colorful lights at night. There is a range of dishes to pick from, including Tikka Masala, Tandoori prawns and steak, and homemade Naan as well. There is also the option of vegetarian food like grilled vegetables and vegetable curries. They also have the signature Indian lassi drink, which consists of yoghurt, fruit and sometimes a blend of spices, too. There’s plain or sweet lassi, mango, avocado, and passion fruit lassi as well.
Whale and Dolphin Watching in Mirissa – The whole phenomenon of whale watching in Sri Lanka has taken over a whole new dynamic which attracts a lot of tourists. It is a fun excursion/activity for all ages when it comes to spotting different types of whales in the Indian Ocean, especially the blue whale, the killer whale and the pilot whale just to name a few. A couple of mischievous dolphins can also be seen above the waters, prancing about enjoying all the attention they receive and they love to put on a show for everyone. The migration season starts in December to April, because during this time a lot of dolphins and whales can be spotted.
Mirissa Beach –
Mirissa Beach is simply beautiful and impeccably clean with its clear blue waters and soft sands. The surf is massive with huge waves and rips that make it absolutely fun for surfers travelling from all over the globe.
Surfing in Mirissa – A popular activity that has taken Mirissa by storm. The waters having huge wave curls and breaks welcome every surfer to ride out the waves. The best time to attempt surfing here would be during the months of November to March. It is the ideal place for both beginners to learn and professionals to enjoy and have fun catching some good waves.
The Dondra Head Lighthouse – One of the iconic historical landmarks in this district would be the Dondra head lighthouse, located on the southern tip of the island. It is a white octagonal brick tower with a height of 161 m. It is one of the oldest kept lighthouses, and it is perfect for tourists who love lighthouses. There is the option of climbing up to the top to get the full view of the surroundings. There are some huge palm trees with king coconut on its branches which create a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The lighthouse was designed by Sir James Nicholas Douglas, constructed by William Douglas of Imperial Lighthouse Service which started in 1887 November. The construction of the lighthouse was finished by March 1890. It is currently under the Sri Lanka ports authority and maintained by them efficiently.
Coconut tree hill – One of the most popular tourist locations, the coconut tree hill has gradually gained a lot of attention – especially on social media, through Instagram. It is a secluded spot that’s surrounded by swaying palm trees and the glistening Indian Ocean in the background. It is the perfect place to capture scenic photographs, especially during the sunrise and sunset. To finish of your lovely vacation in Mirissa, it would be a miss if you do not visit this popular hub. You can take home beautiful selfies or family photographs sealing wonderful memories of your stay.
Matara Paravi Duwa Temple – For a contrasting change from the usual tourist destinations to visit, this temple definitely covers the cultural and traditional aspect of this diverse country. It is located just 29 minutes away from Mirissa and not very far which is convenient for a day trip or excursion. It is a place of worship for the Buddhist population of the country, who are very holy and tradition oriented. The temple was built by the ancient kings of that time, which was during the 16th century, so it is a very sacred place for Buddhists in the area. The temple is among some beautiful gardens and there are many Buddha statues, so tourists must spend a few hours here to properly immerse themselves, to learn about the history and take in the view.
Food culture of Mirissa – In the coastal town of Mirissa there’s a wide variety of local street food available. There is no shortage of authentic Sri Lankan food and there are so many different places you can try and experience. There’s an abundance of seafood ranging from calamari, prawns, freshly caught fish and a lot more. Over the last few years a lot of new places have opened up:
Dewmini Roti shop
Aloha Coffee Gallery