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Sri Lanka is quickly becoming a popular destination for surf holidays. It’s budget-friendly, full of friendly locals, and home to world-class beaches and waves all throughout the countries coastline. And one of the best places to surf is Weligama on the Southern Coast.
Weligama, which translates to ‘sandy village’ was once just a fishing village but has turned into a lively beach town over the last few years. If you’re looking to learn or brush up on your surf skills during a holiday to Sri Lanka, Weligama is the perfect surf town to visit.
Why Weligama is the perfect place to Surf in Sri Lanka
1. The Waves in Weligama are great for Surf
Weligama surf is perfect for beginners learning the ropes, or for those brushing up on their skills before heading to some more advanced destinations around the area.
The waves in Weligama bay are perfect for learning to surf, as they are small and consistent. However, as you improve your surf skills you only have to paddle out a bit further to catch some even bigger waves. There are also a number of surf spots outside of Weligama Bay for those looking for something more advanced.
Below is a drone video showing us surfing in Weligama Bay.
2. Weligama Surf Camps
There are over 30 surf schools within a 500m radius in Weligama, so there are no shortage of lessons for those wanting to learn to surf. I spent a week at Elsewhere Surf Camp, which is happy to host both newbies and professional surfers.
The staff here are so nice, and my surf instructor was a legend. If anyone can get me to catch a wave, they must be a good surf teacher! Elsewhere also has daily yoga classes and you can do a surf/yoga package option.
Elsewhere is party-oriented and at night the staff takes everyone out to the best bars in the area. But if you want to stay in and relax it’s no problem. They have a lovely hammock area in the back, as well as a big living room for lounging and watching movies.
Even if you don’t want to commit to a surf camp, lessons can be easily arranged. Weligama Bay, the main beach in the area, is filled with surf schools offering daily lessons or surfboard rentals.
3. Weligama’s location in Sri Lanka
Weligama is also located in the middle of some other amazing surf spots in Sri Lanka. Just a 15-30 minute drive East you will hit Mirissa and Matara, and 30-45 minutes to the west is Galle and Hikkaduwa.
That puts Weligama perfectly in the middle of all the best surf breaks that the southwest of Sri Lanka has to offer, allowing you to hit the best waves on the coast on any day.
If you need a break from surf, Weligama is also a great base to go see some of the other attractions of Sri Lanka. You can go on an Elephant Safari in Udawalawe National Park, release a baby sea turtle in the nearby ocean, or visit the tea plantations of Ella.
4. The Food in Weligama
Surfing burns energy. Tons of it. Luckily, if you need to re-fuel after surfing there’s no shortage of yummy restaurants to eat after surfing in Weligama. I loved eating at Hangtime on their rooftop restaurant which is across the road from Weligama Bay. There you can enjoy a delicious meal and watch the surfers below. It’s also a popular hostel where you can stay.
Tiki Cliff Bar and Restaurant does a killer seared Tuna steak, along with an even better view. Another option is Nomad Sri Lanka. They do healthy, delicious meals that look as good as they taste.
And of course, roti, roti, roti! Like most places in Sri Lanka, Weligama has plenty of local “roti huts” (a small stand selling roti and other quick foods). may not be the healthiest item, but it’s an easy and filling snack, and incredibly affordable!
5. Availability of Yoga
Surf and Yoga go hand in hand. Yoga helps to improve strength, balance, and flexibility which are essential skills for surfing. It also helps calm the mind and improve mental clarity, which can be super helpful for new surfers who may feel nervous (aka me)! The days that I did yoga before surfing I noticed a huge difference in my ability.
Elsewhere offers combined Surf & Yoga packages, and anyone who books a surf package gets one complimentary yoga class along with it. If you’re not staying at a surf camp you can also do yoga classes as Kosala Wedhanage Yoga, which are taught by a guru at the Gangarama temple in Weligama.
6. The Atmosphere
The best part about Weligama is that you can choose to party or just chill out. Mirissa has the larger party scene but it’s close enough that you can get a tuk-tuk there any night you want to party. There is an awesome bar called Doctors House located between Weligama and Mirissa.
That said, Weligama does have it’s own party scene. On the weekends Tiki bar is a great place to go.
Some people can get up after a night of partying and go surf. Sometimes I can do that, other mornings I can’t. I like that in Weligama you have the option to party but can also just end the day with a beer and sunset on a secluded beach like this.
Where to stay in Weligama
Aside from the surf camps, there are a ton of great accommodation options in Weligama ranging from 5$ private rooms in a guesthouse, all the way to 5-star luxury villas. Whether you want a quiet place to rest your head after a day of surfing, or somewhere to meet like-minded travelers to party away the night, Weligama has it.
Best Time to Surf in Weligama
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with two different monsoon seasons affecting different parts of the island at different times. This is actually a positive because it means it’s dry somewhere on the island at any time of year.
Officially, from October to March the South Coast (including Weligama) is in season, and from April to September the season shifts to the East Coast. However, it is possible to surf in Weligama year-round and if you choose to go during “off-season” you will be rewarded with fewer crowds and cheaper prices. The waves are typically bigger during the off-season, so this may be a better time to go if you are an experienced surfer.
I learned to surf in Weligama in September which is offseason, and the weather was fabulous!
Getting to Weligama
Weligama is located on Sri Lanka’s Southern coast in-between Galle and Mirissa.
There is no airport there, so if you fly into the international airport in Negombo, it is about three hours away. You can either take a bus, train, or car. You can also book private transfers from the airport in advance. Otherwise, you can get a taxi at the airport or through Uber (yes, they go long distances). There are also buses every 15 minutes from Galle (about an hour away) and Matara (30 minutes).
Weligama is on the Colombo–Matara train line. You can read more about taking the train in Sri Lanka here.
Looking for more inspiration or ideas to plan your perfect trip to Sri Lanka? Check out these posts and resources:
- How to plan the perfect Sri Lanka Itinerary
- Taking the train in Sri Lanka
- 7 Amazing Wildlife Encounters to have in Sri Lanka