Unawatuna Guide – How to Spend a Few Relax Days
Located just 2 hours south of Colombo, Unawatuna is the most popular resort town of Sri Lanka and a next stop during your 3 weeks route. And for a good reason: it has a long white sand beach with many beach bars and restaurants, calm waters year-round ideal for swimming and a chill vibe. With few hidden gems located just around the corner, Unawatuna is just a perfect place to stay and relax for a few days. This guide will help you find out what’s the best things to do in the chill area of Unawatuna.
- Relax at Unawatuna Beach
- Snorkel at The Jungle Beach
- Swing at Dalawella Beach
- Look for Turtles at Wijaya Beach
- Visit Galle Fort
- The Ayurveda Spa Experience
- Where to Eat
- Where to Stay
Relax at Unawatuna Beach
The main beach of the town attracts most visitors. It seems that everything happens right here. The waters are perfect to swim in year-round, as the bay is protected by the land from both sides. You can relax on the sand, try out surfing or just sip drinks at one of the beach bars that are lively even after the sunset.
↬ TIP : There is a the small pagoda on the right side of the bay. It’s very nice viewpoint for sunset.
Snorkel at The Jungle Beach
On the opposite side of Unawatuna, there is a hidden beach and a great spot to relax, swim and snorkel. The Jungle Beach is located about 2km from the town. You can either walk or hire a tuk-tuk from Unawatuna that will guide you most of the way.
Swing at Dalawella Beach
Located just 3 km outside of Unawatuna, Dalawella Beach became especially popular because of the insta-famous beach swing!
Visiting Sri Lanka without swinging from a palm tree would be a shame. It’s not only an instagramable picture, but a fun thing to do (I ended up swinging 3 times, because I liked it that much!)
The swing is located at the Dream Cabana. It’s a bit difficult to find as there are no signs from the road, so make sure to save this spot on your google maps before going.
To swing you must pay 500 LRK (2.5 EUR), but it’s totally worth it. We heard from other bloggers, that the fee might change: a free swing if you purchase something at the Dream Cabana bar.
Look for Turtles at Wijaya Beach
Just a few minutes walking from the Dream Cabana and the famous swing, you’ll find one of the most beautiful Sri Lankan beaches: Wijaya Beach. Have lunch at the beach cafe and look out for turtles swimming just off shore. There is a small surf break, assuring you that the waters are calm most of the year.
Visit Galle Fort
Just 20 min scooter or tuk-tuk ride from Unawatuna lies 17th century old Dutch quarter, known as Galle Fort, and named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area with stunning colonial architecture is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll. There are many good restaurants and great shopping for goodies and souvenirs from your Sri Lankan vacation. Galle Fort can be a day trip from Unawatuna or a 1 night stop during your trip, in any case we wrote a guide foe Galle Fort as well. ?
Have a Real Ayurveda Spa Experience
Sri Lankan traditional form of medicine uses plants, oils and herbs in its treatments. Ayurveda works on the theory that the body is ruled by 3 dosas: vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth). You can choose from various type of full body massages, facials, baths or other special treatments like shirodhara: a warm oil poured steadily onto the centre of the forehead “the third eye”. Our recommendation in this Unawatuna guide are Ayurveda Lanka Spa and Thambapanni Retreat.
Getting to Unawatuna
Unawatuna is located just 2 hours drive to and from Colombo. You can arrive here by car or a taxi. There is a newly constructed highway which makes the trip pleasant.
There are multiple trains departing daily to Colombo and vice versa. The Unawatuna Railway Station is located 2 km from Unawatuna Beach and you can get a tuk-tuk both ways easily. Check the train time table here.
The cheapest option, however a bit more complicated, is travelling by bus. The bus stop is located on the main road of Unawatuna. Take the bus to Galle and then change for another bus to Colombo. Make sure to have plenty of spare time, as you might need to wait for the first bus for a while. We actually ended up taking a tuk-tuk to Galle as we waited for the bus for 30 min and it was just not arriving. In Galle, you can pick either a faster, small air conditioned van or a typical Sri Lankan bus. Note that there isn’t any time table for either of the buses, and they leave only once they are full.
Getting around Unawatuna
The easiest way is stopping a tuk-tuk on the street once you need a ride. Otherwise rent a scooter to be more free.
Where to eat
King Fisher has a beautiful setting right on the beach, delicious food and always fresh fish served daily. Make sure to ask for the catch of the day.
SkinnyToms’s Deli is the best spot for breakfast and afternoon coffee. One of the very few places in Sri Lanka that had soy and almond milk!
Toddy by Hoppa we absolutely loved the setting on the beach with comfortable cushions placed on the sand and lights hanged on the palm trees. Great selection of cocktails and good food.
Bedspace Kitchen is suppose to be an amazing space that we have unfortunately missed. We wish to go back and try it out. Please go and let us know if the food is really that delicious!
Where to stay
Unawatuna has a great range of hotels and hostels to choose from. You can stay right on the beach in Unawatuna or in the beautiful hills around the beach town.
↬ Find all the hotels in and around Unawatuna on booking.com