Updated on 8/11/2017 by Ella Davis.
Hikkaduwa’s popularity has been growing year on year, and it’s not hard to see why. This laid-back surf town is situated 17km north of Galle and is one of a series of beaches which attracts keen surfers from around the globe. While many of these popular beaches remain undeveloped, Hikkaduwa has grown into its own little paradise. Trendy bars and surf schools line the coast, offering a hipster alternative to surrounding resorts. There is a wealth of great restaurants and unique shops to enjoy. While the lively local crowd keep things fresh and have permanently put Hikkaduwa on the tourist radar.
Getting there and around
Hikkaduwa is off the Colombo-Galle road making it easily accessible from both main cities. If travelling from the airport you can opt to take a Bus or train from Colombo City centre. The easiest way to reach the town is by taxi. You can take one directly from the airport for around $60 but be sure to haggle for a good fixed price. Once in the town, you will notice fewer tuk-tuks than elsewhere in Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa stretches just 1 km along the Galle road so many visitors choose to explore by foot. If you feeling adventurous, scooter rental is available along the main road and can be a great way to explore the coastline.
Things to see and do in Hikkaduwa
1. Learn to Surf
No guide to Hikkaduwa is complete without mentioning its main draw – Surfing. While this isn’t the most popular beach for beginners, the experienced teachers seek out safe spots for you to test your skills. Reef End Surf School cater to all abilities whether your a complete beginner or a pro looking for a good quality board to hire. For those planning to spend a while in Hikkaduwa, why not try the 5 day package. 2 hours of lessons per day help to build up your skill and confidence and get a real feel for the waves. For $150 for a five day package, its a great way to experience the surf in Sri Lanka.
The south coast surfing season runs from November to April, so its a great time to visit Hikkaduwa if you want to try your hand at riding the waves!
2. Swim among the Hikkaduwa National Marine Park:
The Hikkaduwa Marine National Park is one of only 3 Marine parks in Sri Lanka. The extensive coral reef stretches across 4km of the southern coast, making this a popular spot for divers and snorkelers alike. The water here is shallow and offers a family-friendly alternative to the large surf along the bay. By simply snorkelling off the beach you will be greeted by turtles and schools of colourful fish. For those who want to see more, boat trips take snorkelers out into the reef giving them the chance to experience the natural beauty away from the crowds on the beach.
3. Visit a Turtle Hatchery
Another side to ‘hip’ Hikkaduwa is the determination to protect its wildlife. The southern coastline was once alive with turtles hatching under the full moon. However, human intervention, a rise in theft of turtle eggs and the increasing light pollution which confuses the newly emerged babies, are all reasons for the decline in turtle populations. Hikkaduwa has set about to protect these eggs, rearing the babies and releasing them safely into the wild. As well as rearing baby turtles, these hatcheries are a refuge for injured turtles who are in danger of predictors. Visitors can see turtles of different ages and even hold them. This is a great day out especially for children who can help release turtles into the sea which are ready for the wild.
Where to eat and drink in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is essentially a straight stretch of road and you don’t have to walk far to stumble across a great bar or restaurant. Whether you prefer laid back cafes with healthy options or burger joints to please the whole family, Hikkaduwa has it all. Here are some of our favourites:
Salty Swamis Cafe & Surf Shop
Whether you are looking to grab a coffee or have a hearty meal, Salty’s is the spot. The roasted coffee draws you into the modern and hipster setting and the menu won’t leave you disappointed. For those looking for a healthy and filling breakfast before they hit the waves look no further. Their smashed avocado and poached eggs are a breakfast lovers dream. Everything is served with a smile and the tasty fresh ingredients will leave you wanting to start every morning in salty’s.
Contact: Salty Swamis Cafe & Surf Shop, +94 77 729 1722
Get Fresh is a true taste of Sri Lankan home cooking. Offering a great range of seafood dishes and the option to choose your fish tableside, this restaurant is excellent value for money. The generous helping and friendly service will help you relax and enjoy the many side dishes and accompaniments which go with Sri Lankan cooking. Get Fresh is famed for its mango coconut shrimp and it truly is a must try in Hikkaduwa!
Contact: +94 77 667 1299
It’s no surprise that in Hikkaduwa seafood is the star of the show. J.L.H has a picturesque setting, where diners can take in the ocean views. There is a wide variety of seafood available, all freshly caught. If you can’t make up your mind then we recommend the ‘sea basket’ a mixed platter that certainly won’t leave you hungry.
Contact: J.L.H Restaurant, +94 91 2 277139
Where to stay in Hikkaduwa
With so much exploring to do in Hikkaduwa, you’ll need a perfectly located villa to really make this stay in Sri Lanka special.
Tropical Beach House
This 8 berth beach-side villa is perfectly located off of Narigama Beach. With 2 large double bedrooms as well as an ample queen and twin room this could be the perfect getaway for all the family. Tropical Beach House has superb outside space including a large garden and pool area with beach panoramic views. As this villa comes with a fully equipped kitchen, you’ll have everything you need to relax around the villa. Yet this prime location is also just a short walk from a selection of great restaurants and bars.
This villa starts at just $235 per night. Find out how you can book Tropical Beach house here.
This stunning contemporary villa is perfect for couples looking for a romantic break away. The ideal location on the beach front gives the villa uninterrupted views. With 2 modern and stylish double rooms and large en-suites as well as a fantastic outdoor living area, this villa has everything you need to relax and enjoy all Hikkaduwa has to offer. The inviting pool overlooks the sea and is a great spot for a sunset swim. A short stroll down the beach and you will stumble upon bars to enjoy in the evening and a whole host of superb restaurants.
This villa for 4 starts at just $326 per night. Find out how you can book Villa 906 here.
Villa Lake View
For those who want to really get away from it all, Villa Lake View could be the seclusion you are looking for. Just 3 miles away from Hikkaduwa town and beaches, Villa Lake view is set beside the Hikkaduwa lake. The calm of the surrounding scenery is perfect for anyone who is looking to get away from it all. You can enjoy the views of the lake from the stunning rooftop terrace or while swimming in the private pool. This villa sleeps 6 in 2 generous doubles and a twin. The lake views guarantee your privacy as you wind down on the veranda to watch the sunset.
This villa starts at just $200 per night. Find out how you can book Villa Lake View here.
Hikkaduwa has a little something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a complete relax, or an action filled holiday, you can find it here. With a great range of villas available in Hikkaduwa, you can truly find that luxury you’re after. Check out Hip Hikkaduwa and I’m sure you’ll love it too!
See our villas in Sri Lanka. Inspected and selected by Villa-Finder.com.