Sri Lanka is known to many for its exotic wildlife, breathtaking nature and tropical climate. Within the surfing community, it’s also known for its great waves that offer something for both novice and pro surfers.
Endless beaches and waves welcome tourists to Sri Lanka (Photo: Happy Go Island Surf School)
A tropical island, Sri Lanka is not short of coast to surf from. To the south, you’ll find surfers’ favourite spot Weligama; in the west, Kalpitiya has excellent conditions for kitesurfing and, heading east, popular surf spot Arugam Bay remains relatively small and undeveloped to ensure an authentic local experience for visitors. Year-round you’ll find a spot on this island to brush up on your surf skills. Below we’ve selected the top five based on guest reviews, location and value for money.
KIMASURF IN WELIGAMA
From $186/ per person
Located in a spot that is ideal for those new to the sport, KIMASurf offers beginners’ five-day packages that are comprised of surf lessons with individual supervision and one-to-one pool sessions with photography analysis. The surf camp’s eight, eleven and fifteen-day packages are aimed at intermediate and experienced surfers. These packages include yoga and guided surfing classes. Surrounded by tropical gardens, KIMASurf’s accommodation includes both private double and shared dorm-style bedrooms, all with their own bathrooms. Optional excursions are available for an additional fee, these include a river cruise on Koggala Lake, exploring the Dutch Galle Fort and a day trip to Yala National Park.
Nestled on Sri Lanka’s Arugam Bay, on the edge of Yala National Park, Star Rest Beach Hotel offers surf vacations at all levels. Whilst this surfers’ paradise might be well-known to surfers, it maintains its local charm with a community of only a couple of hundred people making it an authentic surf retreat. Visitors can enjoy surf packages from six days to two weeks, with some camps specifically oriented toward beginner and intermediate surfers. Surfers are lead by a professional team of ISA-certified instructors. This surf holiday includes equipment rental, daily surf lessons and accommodation, as well as daily breakfast and a complimentary massage and yoga lesson. Guests can select their room at the Star Rest Beach Hotel, where dorms and private rooms are both available. For an additional price, optional excursions to surrounding areas are also available.
Weligama is a sleepy fishing village meets beach resort thanks to its beaches and surfing opportunities. The Surfer Weligama offers a variety of eight-day surf vacations with focuses on surf, yoga and guiding. Experienced instructors transport surfers to the best surfing spots on the coast, many of which are ideal for novice surfers. Within each package, surfers are able to select their level to ensure they are placed in a group that fits and challenges their abilities. The diversity of instructors, who come from Sri Lanka, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Britain, are a bonus to the team and are able to guide guests in a number of languages. Guests can select to stay in either private or dorm rooms, all of which have their own private balcony and bathroom. The rooftop restaurant area gives visitors the opportunity to socialise with other surfers or guests can head to the onsite swimming pool to relax.
In the small village of Margarita, an eco-tropical kitesurfing environment welcomes guests keen to develop their kitesurfing skills. Here you can choose to spend either four or eight days navigating the waves of Sri Lanka’s west coast. The year-round surf camps are designed for beginner level kitesurfers, with sessions taking place in a number of beautiful surfing spots near Kalpitiya, such as the Kalpitiya Lagoon, Dream Spot, Ilimpattivu Island and Vella Island. The surf school offers local villa-style accommodation as well as private tropical chalets. Daily breakfast is included in the price, as well as hire of equipment.
Happy Go Island offers an all-inclusive, seven-day surf vacation in Weligama at featuring a combination of both surfing and yoga. This south-coast location offers the best conditions and greatest variety of waves typically from November through April, when this surf camp is open. Start the day with a vigorous surf session, before heading to a yoga class in the evening, followed by a meditation. Between your activities, relax in the cosy dorms and double rooms that are nestled within the lush garden or head up to the rooftop where you’ll get 360-degree views of the ocean and surrounding areas.