Unawatuna – Sri Lanka

Located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka, close to Galle, Unawatuna was once voted the best beach in the world. Naturally we had to go and see what all the fuss is about.

It's quite a built up area and very "touristy", though still beautiful.

Things to do in Unawatuna:

The Beaches:

The main beach in Unawatuna is a crescent of golden sand, with cafes and bars built right onto the sand. Most rent sun beds for free as long as you buy something. We went during low season and it was peaceful with just a few other tourists, but it gets really busy during high season.

To escape the masses for a while, take a short hike (about 45 minutes) to the hidden jungle beach, also named the secret beach although not much of a secret anymore. If you don't fancy the walk then you can take a tuk-tuk the majority of the way there. Even though you can no longer guarantee the beach to yourself, it's still incredibly peaceful and the sea is a lot calmer.

Dalawella beach has the Instagram famous rope swing, and not much else, it's about 20 minutes walk from Unawatuna and another perfect getaway from the crowd. If your lucky you might even see a few of Sri Lanka's famous stilt fishermen. Sadly the sea was to rough for them on the day that we visited.

Buddhist Temples:

The Japanese peace pagoda is the perfect detour on the jungle beach walk, they do ask that you have shoulders and knees covered at this one, and like all the others, you will need to remove shoes. It's free to visit but there are donation boxes scattered around.

The Unawatuna Devol Devalaya is right at the tip of Unawatuna beach. You don't need to be too covered up but swimming costumes are a no no. You will likely be shown around by a local who is happy to take photos for you and will expect a small tip for his time.

Visit Galle:

Less than a 20 minute drive away, Galle is the perfect day trip, either take a tuk-tuk or one of the many busses heading that way from the main road. See my post on Galle by clicking here.

Night Life and Dining:

Being a more developed tourist destination means more choices when eating out, our favourites were:

Bedspace Kitchen, number 1 on TripAdvisor for good reason!

Coconut Style, for traditional rice and curry at really low prices.

Marcos, hidden down a narrow side street and authentic Italian food (the owner is from Italy)

There is also quite a good nightlife (more so in high season) in the many bars along the beachfront. Alcohol is quite expensive in Sri Lanka, about the same as you would pay in the UK.

Look After Yourself:

The gym was only Rs300/day, and we both got massages from the many different spas on the main street, we also spent a lot of our time on the balcony with a book.

Yoga was advised in a few different places every morning from 7am, but I never got out of bed on time 🙂

Where To Stay:

Sadly for the second time in Sri Lanka (and luckily the last) the hotel was not worth recommending.

How To Get There:

Unawatuna has its own train station but service isn't very regular, you may need to go to Galle first then take a bus (headed toward Matara) or tuk-tuk to Unawatuna. From Galle is less than 20 minutes.

My Asia Bucket List 

With just a few days to go until our 1 year adventure, I’m most looking forward to spending 365 days alone with my perfect husband. But there are a few other things I’m looking forward to.

My dad bought me this massive wall map as soon as I told him that we were thinking of going long tern traveling. We’ve spent the past 6 months on Pinterest planning where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see.

A few day ago my friend asked me what my bucket list was. So, I thought I’d write down everything I want to do over the next year so that I don’t forget anything. Plus it will be fun to tick them off the list as we go!

1. Swim with turtles in the wild – Maldives

2. Release a baby turtles into the wild – Malaysia

3. See elephants in the wild – Sri Lanka

4. Hike along a section of the Great Wall – China

5. Attend a tea ceremony – Japan

6. See the Taj Mahal – India

7. See Everest (just see it, have no intention of climbing it ☺️) – Nepal

8. Sleep on the beach at least once – Wherever

9. Try food I’ve never even heard off – Everywhere

10. See a Komodo Dragon in the wild – Komodo Island

11. See an Orangutan in the wild – Borneo

12. Climb Adams Peak to watch the sun rise – Sri Lanka

13. See some bioluminescent plankton – Vietnam

14. See Pandas – China

15. Do yoga – Bali  

16. Get rid of my office butt and get really fit 😉 – Everywhere

I already feel like the luckiest girl on the planet, hopefully we can do as many of these things as possible, but even if we don’t, it’s going to be the greatest year ever.