This is a very underrated bit of Colombo beach-front. While Mt Lavinia has been a beach destination for over a 100 years and the Beach Wadiya has been drawing Colombars down to Wellawatte’s little cove for decades Dehiwala’s own Golden mile (well 400 meters) has long been overlooked.
By the standards of Colombo beaches though this is a fine sweep of sand. It’s broad, golden and crucially fringed by a real density of palms which gives it the look of a postcard tropical (if you squint) beach. Looking north up the beach you also get one the best views of the city’s skyline. It’s far enough from the centre that you can see the city’s entire clutch of high-rises and from Dehiwala at least, Colombo looks like quite the high-rise metropolis.
Like all of the city’s southern beaches you have to hop the railway tracks to reach the sand but watching the intermittent clatter of our rather quaint commuter trains ads to the charm. A string of great beach side shack-restaurants makes this a particularly salubrious spot to spend the day. We favour Lani’s Sea Food Restaurant but there are other worthy options- including one of the city’s few Maldivian restaurants and the Station further up the beach. This mushrooming of eating establishments seems to have helped with beach cleanliness. Lani’s has done a great job cleaning the beach in front of their premise and after years of grubbiness Dehiwala’s seafront now makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll.
In the Decmeber/January season the sea is blue and perhaps even swimmable – though if you really want to swim Mt Lavinia a mile down the coast is preferable. Still you can wade and splash as the breeze moves the coconut trees and a cold beer or fresh-cut thambili is always available.
This is a lovely slice of beach life, less crowded than Mt Lavinia, closer to Colombo and utterly laid back.
So laid back most Colomobars haven’t noticed it’s existence though it’s probably time they did.