Why is surfing in Unawatuna so famous? Unawatuna, located south of Galle, is a great place to surf since it’s a laid-back tourist destination. Beginners will like the calm beach, although there are some quicker reefs nearby for anyone looking to enhance their skills.
As you make your way south from Galle, you’ll pass through Unawatuna, the first of several beach towns you’ll see. Because of its accessibility, charming coves, and lengths of beach, it has become one of the most popular vacation spots on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast.
In the Unawatuna Surf Guide, you’ll find information on the following topics:
- An introduction to Unawatuna surf
- Where is Unawatuna?
- Surf spots in Unawatuna
- When to surf in Unawatuna
- Unawatuna surf shops
- How to get to Unawatuna
An introduction to surfing in Unawatuna
When visiting Unawatuna, be prepared for shabby-chic beach bungalows with infinity pools surrounded by low coconut trees and a sun-kissed seashore. Nothing can go wrong if you’re looking for a little rest and leisure with a bit of surfing.
On the subject of surfing in Unawatuna, there is an abundance in Unawatuna. Unawatuna Bay’s interior has beginner-friendly areas, which are located closer to Galle than at the mouth of the bay. More secluded areas, such as Weligama, may be found along the coast beyond several reefs (artificial and natural). There are terrific rippable point breaks and good lefts when the wave breaks open up.
Overall, we believe that Unawatuna is not the best place to go surfing in Sri Lanka. Better surf spots may be found at Midigama, which is just a short tuk-tuk ride away. Although this is a long way from Galle, there’s no reason it can’t be your first pit stop after that. You’ll be able to learn to surf on gentle waves, and there are excellent surf schools and hotels right on the beach for you to stay in while you’re there.
Where is Unawatuna?
Unawatuna is located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. As the first of several popular beach resorts along this stunning stretch of coastline south of Galle, this one stands out for obvious reasons. All of these resorts are connected by the resort’s main Matara Road. If you take a direct flight to the north, the city of Colombo, which also houses the island’s primary airport, is a little over two hours away. So, surfing in Unawatuna is more of a convenient experience, as well.
A guide to the Unawatuna surf spots
However, compared to Arugam Bay, the Unawatuna waves are inferior. This isn’t Sri Lanka’s best showing, to put it another way: That being said, it’s a great destination for surfers of all skill levels who want to visit the ancient town of Galle or one of the many surf camps along the Matara Road on their way to Midigama or Weligama. So, let’s see what’s on the menu this time.
Dewata Beach/Clossenburg Beach
Unawatuna’s beginning surfers flock to this place. It’s nestled away in Unawatuna Bay and goes by the name of Unawatuna. The waves must have enough oomph to smash through the bona fide reefs of Bonavista and the protruding headlands to the southeast. So you’re looking at super-mellow rides with loads of whitewashes when this happens. If surfing in Unawatuna sounds like a learner’s paradise, it is. For their initial few lessons, most Unawatuna surf schools come to this spot. Don’t be shocked if you hear people refer to Dewata’s north-western tip as Clossenburg Point or Beach.
If you have 20 minutes to spare and are willing to strap the board to the top of your tuk-tuk, you can get to Kabalana from Matara Road in no time at all. It’s one of the island’s newest places, but it’s still relatively undiscovered due to its distance from the country’s most popular towns and tourist destinations. Even though it’s a decent beginning wave, it’s a bit heavier than the big beach breaks at Unawatuna, so be aware of that. Another option is a frantic A-frame, which is wonderful at a distance of around 10 feet or so from the ground. If the peaks line up, you’ll have a sharp takeoff and a roughly half-kilometer ride ahead of you. Avoid the crowd and the wind by arriving early.
Bonavista is a reef break between Dewata Beach on the south and the temple headland on the north. Coral and pebbles are out in the bay, so it’s more a beach break than a reef. You’ll only be able to surf on the beach, and the waves are only good for beginners. When Dewata becomes too crowded, the Galle surf schools use this place as an alternative. However, it was rather nice, with a view of the nearby whitewashed pagoda to boot.
Dalawella’s offshore reefs
The Dalawella Reef at Unawatuna, a few clicks from the temple headland, isn’t commonly surfed but still delivers some fun rides off the rocky bottom. It was left by the elements and extended from the torso to the crown of the head. The waves smash straight up and into the bay, making paddling difficult. There’s also an urchin bash going on!
When to surf in Unawatuna?
There are two distinct seasons in Unawatuna. Like clockwork, they keep making their way through this part of Sri Lanka, affecting Unawatuna’s surf conditions.
In the wet season (April-November)
Yes, during the rainy season, it’s always rainy. Arugam Bay surf gets the greatest waves from approximately June onwards because of the Sri Lankan monsoon. To get the most out of your surfing experience, we suggest traveling to the other half of the island. Until the end of October, the seas around Unawatuna are boisterous, blown out, and unpredictable. So, avoiding surfing in Unawatuna in the wet season is a wise choice.
Dry season (December-March)
When Unawatuna’s dry season months arrived, the rains subsided (for the most part). That translates to quieter nights and longer days filled with lots of sunlight. It also implies less turbulence on the waters. With the waves coming in from the south and southwest, the reefs surrounding Midigama get a boost. After passing the temple, they’ll enter Unawatuna Bay, where novices also have simple beach breaks. Early December is often more expensive and more crowded than the rest of the year. January and February are notorious for swollen crowds, but surf camps in the area are in a good mood.
Surf shops in Unawatuna
In Unawatuna, there are just a few surf shops to choose from. There aren’t as many as at Sri Lanka’s more renowned surf spots, but the ones nearby should provide all you need for a starting trip — leashes, wax, rash vests, and so on.
Ahikava Surf is a small, locally-owned surf store in the center of Unawatuna with a large selection of colorful tail pads, leashes, fins, and a few boards. On top of that, they provide surfing classes for people at all skill levels.
Nalu Surf School & Shop
Nalu is primarily a surf school that offers private lessons on Unawatuna’s beginners’ waves, but it also has a small retail store. It is not the best for gear, but it sells some amazing locally made surfwear, such as t-shirts and board shorts with prints. Visit the site if you have the time.
How to get to Unawatuna?
Colombo International Airport is the primary gateway to Sri Lanka (Bandaranaike International Airport). Private transfers from Unawatuna take around 2-3 hours. A one-way cab fare will cost you between 10,000 and 11,000 rupees.
Unawatuna is easily accessible by local bus from the cities of Galle, Colombo, and Matara. Although the links are inconsistent, you should check before you arrive at the station about the availability of an Ella service.
The best way to see Sri Lanka! From Colombo, take the Matara Train to Galle. You’re going to want to check out that amazing city anyway! A native tuk-tuk will take you to Unawatuna from there in no time.
Images by Google – Credit to original owners