10 best things to do in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Mirissa is one of the most popular places in Sri Lanka to visit for a beach getaway, and for a good reason. There are a lot of fun things to do in Mirissa: beautiful beaches, great restaurants, surf waves, whale watching, and plenty of other water activities. Mirissa is not as touristy as many other beach destinations in southern Sri Lanka, although it’s developing quickly. You should squeeze in at least 3–4 days in Mirissa to your Sri Lanka itinerary, doing the things listed below.

1. Chill at Mirissa beach

Mirissa beach is a bit crowded but still a super relaxed beach with a lot of activities. A handful of great restaurants are located at the beach and they all offer various kinds of food.

The iconic Coconut Tree Hill is located only 10 minutes from Mirissa beach.

2. Visit the iconic Coconut Tree Hill

A short walk from Mirissa beach, on the other side of Turtle Bay, you will find the iconic Coconut Tree Hill. This place offers a scenic view of swinging palm trees with nothing but the ocean in the background.

To get there, search Google Maps for Coconut Tree Hill. You can ask a tuk tuk driver to take you there or take the 10-minute walk from Mirissa beach.

Secret Beach is a hidden gem located only a short tuk-tuk ride from Mirissa.

3. Secret Beach, Mirissa

A short tuk-tuk ride from Mirissa lies Secret Beach (although not so secret anymore). It is a small, relaxed beach with crystal clear water – tucked away from the busy main beach in Mirissa.

Secret Beach is a little harder to get to, but thanks to this, fewer people visit the beach, making it a real hidden gem! You can easily spend a whole day here, swimming, snorkeling, and sipping on a coconut from Secret Beach Coconut Bar.

To get there, ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you to Secret Beach Mirissa. You will need to walk 10 minutes from the drop-off point as the road is too steep for tuk-tuks.

4. Go diving

The water outside of Sri Lanka offers great underwater experiences. In Mirissa there are plenty of diving centers. You can see cool fish, and more often than not also turtles. The experience was spectacular according to me, but to quote my travel mate: “It’s not like the great barrier reef”. Apparently, some of the coral reefs got destroyed in the tsunami in 2004. If you are an experienced diver, I suggest you adjust your expectations. You can also dive in Weligama or Unawatuna.

the entrance to secret root spa in mirissa sri lanka

The entrance to Secret Root Spa, the coziest spa on the Sri Lankan south coast.

5. Treat yourself to an ayurvedic massage at Secret Root Spa

There are plenty of massage places in Mirissa, but I assume there is no place better than Secret Root Spa. It’s the coziest place with a beautiful garden, away from the hectic main road. I can guarantee you’ll get a super relaxed spa experience here. They have a wide range of treatments including ayurvedic massage, aromatherapy massage, head, neck, and shoulder massage, and foot reflexology. Well worth a visit on your trip to Mirissa.

Tips! This place is very popular – so make sure to book before you go.

6. Whale watching Mirissa

Mirissa is very popular for its marine life. At the beach you will find a lot of different whale watching tours, taking you out on the Indian Ocean for a few hours of whale, dolphin, and turtle spotting. The best time to spot whales is from the end of November to March.

Parrot Rock is an iconic rock located at the main beach in Mirissa.

7. Climb to the top of Parrot Rock, Mirissa

Right on Mirissa beach there is a big rock called Parrot Island. You can climb up and get a great view of the Mirissa area. Don’t go here if the water is too wild though. You have to walk a bit in the water to get there.

8. Try surfing

Southern Sri Lanka, including Mirissa, offers great surfing. However, if you want more space you should head over to Weligama beach. Weligama beach is located just 10 minutes west of Mirissa and has perfect surf conditions for beginners. Even I, that never tried surfing before, managed to stand up on the surfboard. If you are an experienced surfer I suggest you try Madiha beach instead.

9. Go snorkeling and look for turtles

The water outside of Mirissa is home to many turtles. If you are not into diving you can just rent snorkel equipment and spot them near the beach! If you are lucky you can even spot turtles on the beach, more likely on the beaches east of Mirissa beach (Turtle Bay).

Tips! Don’t choose a very windy and rainy day, then you won’t see a thing.

10. Eat great food

The food in Sri Lanka is fantastic, and Mirissa is no exception. There are loads of great restaurants in Mirissa. My favorites are listed below. 

  • Doctors House: A short tuk-tuk drive from Mirissa you’ll find Madiha beach and Doctor’s House. A super relaxed place with great breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I can highly recommend their wood-fired pizza!
  • Kuja, Mirissa: A laidback restaurant serving yummy bowls and great coffee.
  • No. 1 Dewmini Roti Shop: Best roti on the south coast, and are well worth the detour from the main road.
  • South Coast Taqueria: A relaxed restaurant serving great tacos, and great drinks!
  • Ambrosia Roti Shop: Another great and cheap place for local food!
  • Milky Wave: A small café serving yummy gelato, only a short walk from the beach.

Tips! If you want even more restaurant options, head to the nearby village Weligama – the Sri Lankan south coast mecca of yummy smoothie bowls.

Hotel recommendations in Mirissa

Mirissa is a rather small village with plenty of hotel options, all of them within walking distance of the beach.

See all hotels in Mirissa here.

More Sri Lanka travel tips

Sri Lanka’s south coast has so much to offer. These travel guides might come to use as you plan your Sri Lanka trip:

Bonus tips:

  • Udawalawe National Park safari: The best place to see elephants in Sri Lanka. Located only a few hours from Mirissa.
  • Day trip to Galle Fort: A UNESCO world heritage site that nowadays is filled with impressive colonial buildings, cute shops, and trendy cafés.

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