Hiriketiya Beach: Where Paradise Meets the Waves

Introduction

Hiriketiya Beach, also known as “Hiri”, is a beautiful crescent-shaped bay located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 18 kilometers east of the popular beach town of Mirissa. It is nestled between two rocky headlands, giving it a secluded and picturesque setting.

Hiriketiya Beach is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with pristine golden sand, turquoise waters, and lush greenery surrounding the area. The bay is sheltered, making it an ideal spot for swimming and surfing, especially for beginners and intermediate surfers. The consistent waves and warm waters attract surfers from all around the world.

The beach has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, with a few boutique hotels, guesthouses, and beachfront restaurants lining the bay. It offers a peaceful and less crowded alternative to some of the more popular tourist beaches in Sri Lanka. The surrounding area also boasts a few local shops and amenities, allowing visitors to have a comfortable stay.

Hiriketiya Beach has gradually gained popularity but still maintains its charm as a hidden gem. It attracts not only surfers but also beach enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a tranquil escape. Whether you want to soak up the sun, enjoy water activities, watch a beautiful sunset, or simply unwind on a quiet beach, Hiriketiya Beach offers a unique and memorable experience.

Nearby Dikwella area used to be amongst the many smaller towns on the coast, with excellent beaches, without a restaurant scene. But just like e.g. Uppuveli (Trinco) started at that level but grew into a decent eating-out area between 2013 and 2018, the Hiriketiya side of Dikwella developed quite a bit recently. Pushed by backpackers, hence more one-sided than e.g. Unawatuna or Hikka, but complete enough to mention.

Location

How to get there?

Hiriketiya is located just 23 km from Matara and 180 km away from Colombo. It is a 3hr drive via the southern expressway from Colombo. 

If you’re using public transport it is easier to take a Highway bus to Matara(EX -01)  and reach Mirissa via hoping in to another bus to Hiriketiya. The bus ride may take about 03 – 04 hours.

You can also reach Hiriketiya via Train. Although there is no railway station in Hiriketiya, Nearest railways station Wewrukannala is just 3 km away. You should catch a train to Beliatta from Colombo Fort or Maradana railway station.

What are the activities available in Hiriketiya?

The region offers a wide range of  activities that cater to various interests and skill levels. Here are some of the activities available in Hiriketiya/Dickwella area:

  • Sea Swim

    The bay at Hiriketiya Beach is generally calm and shallow, making it a safe and inviting spot for swimming. The clear turquoise waters provide a refreshing escape from the heat. However, it's essential to be cautious of any potential currents or changing tides

  • Surfing

    Hiriketiya is known for its surf-friendly conditions, particularly for beginners and intermediate surfers. The gentle waves and sandy bottom make it an excellent spot to learn to surf or improve your skills. You can rent surfboards and get lessons from local surf schools located near the beach.
    The bay has two separate breaks. On the left hand side is a double reef with shallow rocks, providing a challenge to seasoned surfers. The right hand side is sandier, gentler, and appropriate for beginners. The bay is said to have great surfing ten months of the year (peak season being Aug-Dec, and Dec-Feb being best for beginners).

  • Snorkeling

    There are some alive reefs near Dikwella, but the reef opposite the bay does not have much to see. Hence snorkel and dive means moving a few km away at least.

Are there restaurants/bars available?

From budget to midrange, and even a few food truck / shack like places in the middle of Hiriketiya road.

There are ‘just enough’ hotels/villas with a pool next to numerous backpack-level guesthouses; but some of the upmarket hotels like Dikwella Resort are at 45 mins or more walking distance from the Hiriketiya scene. Due to the single access road Hiriketiya in season feels like the seaside part of Unawatuna, while lacking the large and quieter ‘hinterland’ that makes Unawatuna also attractive for more quiet stays. Some people nickname it ‘Ella main street on the beach’ and sadly that has a core of truth in it.

What is the best time to visit?

the best time to visit Hiriketiya Beach is during the high season, which typically runs from November to April. During this period, the weather is usually sunny and dry, with calm sea conditions, making it ideal for swimming, surfing, and other beach activities

What are the nearby attractions you can visit from Mirissa?

Crescent shaped bay of Hiriketiya
  • Wewurukannala Vihara Temple

    This is a popular Buddhist temple located in Dikwella, just over a mile away from Hiriketiya. It is known for its large Buddha statue and unique murals.

  • Dondra Lighthouse

    Located about 8 miles southeast of Hiriketiya, this historic lighthouse offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean and is a great spot for sunset photography

  • Mulkirigala Rock Temple

    This ancient Buddhist temple is situated about 16 miles northeast of Hiriketiya. The temple is carved into a large rock formation and features several shrines and Buddha statues

  • Hummanaya Blow Hole

    Located a bit further away in Kudawella, this natural wonder is one of the largest blowholes in the world. It's a fascinating sight as water shoots up into the air from an underwater cave.

  • Paravi Duwa Temple

    Located on an island, this temple is accessible via a wooden bridge. It offers picturesque views and a tranquil setting for exploration.

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