It’s a sandiest of sandy beaches in the South of Sri Lanka. Leisurely waves, a laidback beach and a cool beach culture, Weligama treats you to coastal bliss.
Words Keshini de Silva
Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
The season of the south is in full swing and Weligama is one of those beaches along the southern coast that promise the ultimate tropical getaway. With the name of the town meaning ‘Sandy Village’, it’s not a surprise that the main attraction of the area is the beach.
Driving along the A2 road from Colombo, the turquoise waters and golden sands draw you in. While the approximately two-kilometre long beach curves in cradling shallow waters. Tall coconuts fringe the view, creating a truly tropical scene. While on the other corner, multihued fishing boats lay firmly anchored to the shore.
The waves at Weligama make it a great surf point for beginners. While the pro surfers head to Mirissa and Hikkaduwa, Weligama is ideal to catch your first wave.
As we trudged along the deep sand on to the coast the sun was brightly occupying its noon-throne, yet the beach was alive with action. The waters were speckled with amateur surfers and their instructors, and the air was filled with shrieks of laughter and gasps of frustration. Surfers from across the globe paddled on colourful boards. They hopped on and tried their best to balance and ride the way through. While a few had got the hang of it after a few practices, many were still wobbling, slipping into the waters more often than not. But when they do ride a wave with good balance there are cheers and yells of laughter with many beginners punching their fists into the air with glee.
There are at least half a dozen surf schools crowded along the beach. Many of which also offer surfing gear on rent for a nominal fee. They will be here till April – May. When asked what next they smile and say after that May they head to Arugambay for the surfing season in the south eastern coast. The surf community here live a laidback life, one governed by the waves that lap onto the island’s coast.
Although around this time of year, Weligama is all about surfing, the shallow waters mean it is also a great family beach. It’s after all the main attraction for holidaymakers who have travelled to the area from across the island and world. Children can splash about in the waves with adults and even try their hand at surfing. Those who have exhausted themselves in the waters can rekindled their strength on the beach. Many choose to lie on the beach and get their tan on. Some sleep, while others read and at times families dig into the sand and make sand castles. Couples walk hand in hand, choosing to learn to surf together or just taking a dip in the soothing warm waters.
King coconut water is the much sought after energy booster. The sellers take pleasure in carving the king coconut out in unique ways to add some dimension to the experience. Rotti is the self-proclaimed ‘beach bum’s food’, out here. The most indulgent of which is the chocolate rotti, a deliciously soft crepe filled with a generous dose of chocolaty spread with an undisputed hazelnut flavour and garnished with rainbow sprinkles.
The waves are up in Weligama. Experience the thrill of riding one or enjoy the many other pleasures of a paradisiacal tropical getaway in one of the most beautiful coastal locations of the South.