5 Reasons Every Surf Lover Should Add Weligama To Their Bucket List
Lately it feels like everyone is either just back from Sri Lanka, planning to visit Sri Lanka, or knows someone who has been to Sri Lanka, and with good reason.
The lush, tropical island nation is packed with exotic wildlife, interesting history, diverse landscapes, and fascinating tradition and culture. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful surf spots in the world.
And as it goes with all good surf spots, the travel culture that is often associated with beaches, babes and waves is starting to trickle through Sri Lanka.
Often overshadowed by neighbouring tourist hotspot Mirissia, Weligama is gaining traction as a must-visit destination for those who feel at home around yoga retreats, harem pants, and plenty of Instagram-worthy cafes and restaurants.
Just like Canggu in Bali, Weligama was once a small, sleepy village, but is now a hotspot for young travellers. The town has drastically changed in the past five years, and generally speaking, the local community has embraced this development.
If you do find yourself planning a trip to Sri Lanka, there are plenty of reasons why Weligama should be on your itinerary.
#1 The Waves
Weligama is the perfect spot for learning how to surf, or brushing up on your skills before heading to some more advanced destinations.
And if you’re looking for professional lessons, you’re in the right location. There are over 30 surf schools within a 500m radius! Basecamp offers lessons with some of the best surf instructors in the area, and is located right on Beach Road.
#2 The Food
You won’t go hungry or feel unsatisfied in Weligama – while the town is small, it boasts some pretty impressive cafe and restaurant options. Aloha on Beach Road has a good range of Western favourites, and SOUL Cafe has a mixture of both Western and Sri Lankan eats with a healthy twist.
If you’re looking for somewhere to dial up the Instagram brag-factor, there’s also Ceylon Sliders, which comprises a boutique hotel, surf school, and yoga school, making it a full-on Weligama experience.
But, as much as I love a shipping crate-turned-cafe as much as the next young traveller, you really can’t beat the local food in town. Seriously, you have no idea how good Roti is. Like most places in Sri Lanka, Weligama has plenty of local “roti huts” and small restaurant options, which serve fantastic food at extremely cheap prices.
You can’t miss a meal at Mewitha Cool Spot, either. The wait, which is usually around an hour, is totally worth it. The friendly family of owners will even let you wait in their living room before you’re blessed with the best plate of Sri Lankan goodness you’ll ever have in your life.
#3 The Health And Wellness Scene
The yoga scene in Sri Lanka can’t quite compete with India, but it’s definitely growing. Weligama is home to some amazing local teachers, yoga studios and health-focused cafes.
Green Peace Inn is a must for those who love a smoothie bowl after a morning of up-dogs and namaste.
#4 The Laid-Back Atmosphere
The slow pace of Weligama is perfect for those who need to unwind, but that doesn’t mean the social scene is lacking. The beach bar W15 is a favourite for travellers keen to grab a drink and mingle with fellow sun-kissed foreigners.
And, if you fancy a more lively vibe and a bit of a boogie, the south-coast town of Mirissa is only a short eight-minute tuktuk away.
#5 The Accommodation
There is something for every type of traveller in Weligama; homestays, boutique hotels, hostels, resorts…
It’s hard to ignore the Hangtime Hostel, which dominates the Beach Road, but not in an unappealing, obnoxious way. Rather, in a way that makes you want to cancel the rest of your plans and spend your trip hanging out there.
The hostel rooftop is the perfect place to sit and watch the sun set over the trees after a perfect day of sunshine, waves and just generally feeling stoked with life.
How To Get There
(Lead image: Sasha Set)