A quiet and laid back town on the Southern shore of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is one of the few places where I stayed for 2-3 days when touring around Sri Lanka on a solo trip. Honestly, there wasn't a lot to do here but this is what appealed me the most about this beach town. I would walk around and explore places at my own pace and had an amazing time relaxing in this peaceful quaint town.
With quiet and secluded beaches, amazing restaurants and beautiful views, Mirissa is a delight for all the beach lovers. And the best part is that it is not as popular as other towns in South Sri Lanka so there aren't many tourists loitering around this area.
Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka soon? If yes, then here is everything you need to know to spend at least 36 hours on this quietest beach town in Sri Lanka!
How to Reach Mirissa
First and foremost, you need to figure out how you are going to reach Mirissa. Well, there are a couple of transportation options for you to explore.
Sri Lanka has an amazing road network so there are buses connecting all the cities on this island which makes traveling quite easy. If you are starting from Colombo then you can take a bus to Mirissa via Galle. In case you don't find a direct bus then you can always take a bus to Galle and then another bus to Mirissa.
It will take around 4 hours to reach Mirissa from Colombo in a bus and will cost around 250-300 LKR.
From Nuwara Eliya or Ella, you can take bus to Matara and then a bus to Mirissa which will take around 5 hours to reach.
Another good option would be to use the railway system in Sri Lanka to reach Mirissa. However, this option will only work if you are leaving to Mirissa from Colombo.
You can take a train from Colombo to Weligama, which is around 8 km from Mirissa. And from Weligama, you can take a bus or cab to reach Mirissa.
Finally, if you don't want to opt for the public transportation system and want to reach quickly then you can always hire a cab from Colombo or Ella to reach Mirissa.
It will take around 3 hours to reach from Colombo and will cost about 9500 LKR whereas it will take around 4 hours to reach from Ella and will cost about 10000 LKR.
Best Time to Visit Mirissa
When you are planning a trip to Mirissa, it is important that you choose the right time to visit else you won't be able to indulge in a lot of activities here.
Ideally, the best time to visit Mirissa in the winter months i.e. from November to March. However, this is also the peak season in Mirissa so prices are high for stay and activities here.
Avoid visiting Mirissa during the monsoon period which lies from May to October as a lot of activities are closed at this time. You will also have a hard time finding a company for whale watching or snorkeling since it rains daily.
Personally, I would suggest you to plan a trip from October end as there aren't many tourists at this time and the weather has improved a bit by then.
Where to Stay in Mirissa
There are many accommodation options to suit all kinds of budget in Mirissa that you can check out when planning a trip to Mirissa. Here are a few options to consider for stay in Mirissa.
If you don't mind staying at a local's place then you should definitely check out hosts on the Couchsurfing app. There are a couple of people in Mirissa who host people and make them feel at home. I was lucky enough to find one such gentleman who allowed me to stay at his home and helped me explore Mirissa properly.
In case you don't find a host in Mirissa then you can always look for a hostel here. There are plenty of hostels here which will charge you around 1200-1500 LKR and are just walking distance from the beach. It is also a good way to meet new people and make friends when you are traveling alone in Sri Lanka.
Hotels and Resorts
If you want luxury and don't mind splurging a bit then you can always choose a good hotel or resort which will offer you a nice ocean view. In my opinion, Weligambay Villas is one such place to check out as they have their own private beach and also a lighthouse where you can see amazing sunsets.
Things to Do in Mirissa in Just 36 Hours
Here is a list of things that you can do if you have just 36 hours in hand for Mirissa.
Relax and Get Tanned on the beaches in Mirissa
Obviously, since Mirissa is the most laid-back town in Sri Lanka, it is important that you make the most of it. Go to the Mirissa Beach with your towel, sunglasses and sunscreen and just enjoy the warm, sunny weather here.
You can also climb the Parrot Rock which is next to the Mirissa Beach and enjoy an amazing view from there.
Take a Walk Around the Town and Interact with Locals
Another thing that you can do is walk around the streets and just enjoy the vibes of Mirissa. You can also head to the fish harbour and check out the colorful boats and ships here.
If you love sunsets then make sure that you check out the small lighthouse in Mirissa from where you can enjoy a clear sunset sky.
Go for Whale Watching in Mirissa
One of the most popular things to do in Mirissa is to go for whale watching here. You will find several tours and travels which will offer you a whale watching package for 4000-5000 LKR which will include your transportation, food on deck and whale watching experience.
This activity takes around 4-5 hours and is a must when visiting Mirissa.
Indulge in Water Sport Activities in Mirissa
Apart from whale watching, there is a lot other water related activities that you can do in Mirissa. You can go for snorkeling or scuba diving to take a look at the unique corals and underwater life in the Indian ocean.
You can also surf or do body boarding in Mirissa and can even take a course here. You can easily rent a board for 200 LKR an hour and can make most of the ocean waves here.
Hang Out at the Beach side Clubs for a happening Evening
Finally, make sure that you check out the nightlife in Mirissa if you want to dance and get high. While Mirissa is a quiet town, there are a few clubs which offer a dancing platform and organize happening events every night.
Plus alcohol is pretty cheap here as they offer happy hours till 10 p.m. so you can get drunk and party late at night.
There are many amazing places in Sri Lanka that one should visit but Mirissa, being a small town, often gets skipped out on which is a complete shame. So, if you want a more relaxed vacation and want to enjoy water activities properly then make sure that you include a few days in Mirissa as well.