Mirissa is a delightful fishing town on the southern coast, located just a few minutes away from Matara – which is a prominent city of the Southern Province in Sri Lanka. Mirissa has a gorgeous crescent shaped, sandy beach which is surrounded by palm trees and coves. Over the years, it has become quite a popular tourist destination, as it is the best location in the island for whale watching.
The best time to spot whales in Mirissa is during November to April, when these majestic creatures cross the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The peak season is from December to March, when the water of the coast is warm and calm, and perfect for migrating whales. Most sightings occur 3 – 6 miles off the coast, where you can witness the whales gracefully emerge from the water for air. Mirissa is one of the top spots in the world for Sperm and Blue whales sightings, as they are frequently spotted. In addition, you can spot pods of dolphins, such as Bottlenose, Spinner and Risso’s dolphins, particularly during January and April. Whale and dolphin watching excursions are usually early morning, and last 3 – 5 hours.
Mirissa is also famous for surfing, with two surfing spots – a low power right-hander break over reef near the rocks and a left-hander break near the harbour. The spots here are comparable to Arugam Bay and Unawatuna, and are excellent for beginner and intermediate surfers to build confidence. You can also go swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in Mirissa.
Another attraction not to miss out on is the old Dutch fort in Galle, which is about 30 km away from Mirissa. We recommend staying at luxury boutique accommodation such as Lantern Mirissa, which is located along the sandy beachfront and turquoise waters of Mirissa.