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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa Holidays

Hikkaduwa is one of Sri Lanka's most popular and enduring tourist destinations. It's a refreshingly lively venue with beautiful, well kept beaches. There are boat trips, museums and impressive coral reefs to explore and a range of watersports to enjoy.

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Bustling Hikkaduwa

The small town of Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka lies on the island's southwest coast. It's around 105 kilometres south of the capital Colombo and 20 kilometres north of Galle, with its old town UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although there are some local facilities in town, Hikkaduwa Beach is where the action is. Alongside the watersports you'll find hotels, seafood restaurants and beach bars. Enjoy a drink in The Funky De Bar, for example, not only has it got the best name in town it serves some great local beer and a nice plate of Sri Lankan curry. Best of all is that Indian Ocean view.

Quick Tips

  • Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Christian
  • Sri Lankan Rupee
  • Sinhala and tamil
  • GMT +5.5

Full Board or Self Catering

Hikkaduwa hotels and villas are many and varied, whether beachfront or inland, Self Catering or All Inclusive. The Coral Sands Hotel, for example is located on Hikkaduwa Beach near the Marine Park. They have a massage centre and their own swimming pool, which is sometimes a nice change from the salty ocean. Should you want to explore some of the nearby attractions they have a number of excursions on offer which the staff are happy to arrange for you.

There are numerous restaurants on or near the beach.The popular Refresh Restaurant on Galle Road is well-known for its great seafood – the prawns and calamari are particularly good but if you prefer a pizza, they have that too.

If you have the opportunity to dine outdoors, eating alfresco on a warm tropical evening is one of life's greatest pleasures. And there are few better places to have your evening meal than on Hikkaduwa Beach.

Watersports

The area has a great reputation for watersports including surfboarding, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking and jet skiing. There are places to hire equipment and professional instruction is on hand should you need it. It's easy to get involved, so join in and have the time of your life.

If you're a diving enthusiast or want to dive for the first time, the best time to dive in this part of Sri Lanka is between October and April. Head to Hikkaduwa's International Diving School to hire equipment, get lessons from qualified instructors and be guided to the top dive sites.

Party party party

Hikkaduwa is a fun place to stay with a real party atmosphere when the sun goes down. Try Mambos on Galle Road if you want to dance or the buzzing Vibration Music Bar, it's one of the best party venues in town. You'll find live music and percussion sessions from the resident band. While it's open every night, Friday night is extra special as locals and tourists come together to enjoy the music.

Exploring the area

The Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary, populated by a host of tropical fish, is the first of Sri Lanka's Marine National Parks. You can admire the natural beauty here with a clear conscience as it's a carefully protected environment. Take a trip in a glass-bottomed boat or don your snorkelling mask to get a fish-eye view. If you're really lucky a curious giant turtle might pass by and make your acquaintance.

If turtles are your thing and you have a passion for conservation, then the Hikkaduwa Turtle Sanctuary is the place to go. It's just a short tuk tuk ride away from town, and the tuk tuk journey is an experience in itself. Find out about the sanctuary's work to protect this magnificent but sadly endangered species. The chance to release some of the young turtles into the sea at sunset is an unforgettable experience.

Moonstone magic

From Hikkaduwa, travel northeast around 7 kilometres to the Moonstone mines of Meetiyagoda to see how the mining process works. Moonstone is a beautiful stone, particularly the blue variety, thought by some to have a mythical healing energy. Should you want to treat yourself, the many jewellery shops on the island will have a selection of the stones set in rings and pendants.