Mirissa is a beach and resort town in southern Sri Lanka, near the city of Matara.
Mirissa is a busy, growing town with a nice beach and two surfing points: one for advanced surfers, and one for intermediate ones.
Take an AC highway bus heading to Matara from Fort in Colombo which costs Rs 510 (2-2½ hr). From Matara bus terminal there are regular busses to Weligama or Galle stopping in Mirissa (20-30 min). There are two bus stops: if you have booked an accommodation on the beach you can get off at the first one (rights after the road comes close to the shore and you see the bay); if you stay around the harbour you can take the stop 1 km up the road.
From Udawalawe National Park: There is one daily direct bus from Udawalawa town to Mirissa, leaving at 12:30. Ask your safari driver to drop you off at the bus stop after your safari.
If you miss that bus, you have to take another bus to Matara and transfer there to any bus towards Galle (see above).
You can take the train from Colombo Fort to Weligama (7 km from Mirissa) and then go by tuk tuk to Mirissa. A 2nd class train ticket costs Rs 220. The train schedule is available here. Trips take between 2½ and 3½ hours (depending on the train).
Mirissa is a bustling town, you can basically get everywhere on foot or if you are travelling to another beach, by the local bus service which is very regular and inexpensive. The local tuk tuk owners are renowned for attempting to overcharge you. Scooters are becoming more common to rent at most guesthouses. Finding a bicycle to rent is difficult, and the quality is often very poor.
- Buddhist temple.
- Fisherman harbour.
- Snorkelling at Turtle Bay. A sheltered spot suitable for swimming and snorkeling. Very damaged coral but plenty of fish and the odd turtle.
- Yoga at Shady Lane with free drinking water refills.
Blue whales have been spotted at Mirissa which has made it a tourist attraction. If you do decide to go whale watching please make it very clear to your guide/boat driver that you do not want to scare the whales by getting too close. Some of the guides are quite aggressive and it may cause the whales to go elsewhere.
- Raja & The Whales, Mirissa Harbour, ☏ . Great company, which provides sustainable whale watching in Mirissa.
Prices for a three-hour tour including breakfast (Jan 2020) are about US$50 per person if booked online, or about Rs 6000-7500 if booked through your guest house or one of the operators. Since the whales are very close to the shore in winter, and further away at other seasons, the prices might be different (and the tour longer) at those times.
The ATM at Peoples Bank allows a maximum withdrawal of Rs 100,000 with no charge. For added safety, go during bank opening hours.
Many different restaurants on the beach. Cheaper but still very tasty options are the Roti shops more inland.
- Dewmini Roti Shop, ☏ . 7AM-10PM. Very nice, busy place popular with locals and tourists. Wide range of food and drink available in a lovely outdoor setting. The rotis, obviously, are particularly good. Can be hard to find since it is located inland (follow small road next to internet place on the main street and look out for the signposting or ask a tuk-tuk to take you)
There are bars around the beach that have long happy hours when a large Lion beer is priced as low as Rs 250.
There is a wide range of accommodation available. You can find budget places starting from Rs 1,000 in off season and Rs 1,500 in season.
- 1 Hostel First Mirissa Beach, Hostel First Mirissa Beach, Beach Side Road (100 m from the beach. If you come by bus from Colombo to Matara, ask the driver to let you off near Beachside Road in Mirissa. Follow the main road until you see Beachside Road and an ATM on the left side (there are 2 ATMs in Mirissa). Then walk along Beachside Road and you will soon see the hostel on your left hand side.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. They offer free WiFi. Dorm US$10, private rooms $30.
- Villa Sea View. Very nice place run by a local family. Claims to provide the best view in Mirissa. Rooms starting from about Rs 1,000 off season. 3 minutes off the beach and surf point (very right side on the beach when you watch the sea - up the hill).
- 2 Peacock Villa, Peacock Villa, Udupila Road (off Udupila junction at Galle Road), Udupila, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Peacock Villa is surrounded by large vegetable gardens with peacocks. It's far from the hustle and bustle and a 5-minute walk to the beach. US$49-70.
- Club Mirissa. This guest house is a few streets walk from the beach but is often double booked so if you do decide to stay here, recommend that you do not pay the full amount and only place a small deposit (that you are happy to lose) to attempt to secure the room. Many travelers have complained that they are refused the room and never get their money back. Rooms are US$70/night or Rs 9000.
- 3 Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa, 153 Km Post, Ruhunupura, Thalaramba, Kamburugamuwa, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A boutique hotel in the Mirissa beachfront. The hotel consists of standard rooms, suites and villas. It also offers dining and spa facilities. $150.
- Lantern Boutique Hotela, 71, Galle Road, Kamburugamauwa, Mirissa 81750, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Starting from US$190.
- Ubuntu Beach Villas, 53A, Galle Road, Kamburugamauwa, Mirissa 81750, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Starting from US$190.
- The Beach House, 41, Galle Road, Kamburugamuwa, Mirissa, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Starting from US$200.