Mount Lavinia Beach is Sri Lanka’s main sea-bathing spot. Here, depending on season, the waves can be swimmable and it’s host to some amazing sunsets. Note, however, that this is not a bay like Unawatuna. The waters is swimmable only at certain times of the year and can be very rough, with undertow. If no one else is swimming, don’t swim.
When Mount Beach is happening, however, it is great – like right now. You can always start from a perch high above, at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, but what’s more recommended is driving or tuk-ing down College Road to enter the public beach.
From there you can cross the rail-tracks, past the three legged dog and Golden Mile restaurant, and you’re on the beach. People sell swimsuits, inflatable balls, sour mango, and manioca chips if you need. The strip also hosts higher end restaurants like Lavinia Breeze, Long Feng, Steamboat, Belize, etc.
The main draw, of course, is the beach. Lately it’s been clear, relatively non-violent and full of people. It is important, however, to always be wary of the Colombo seas. Like we said before, this isn’t a bay. Waves are breaking directly on the shore and the rips have pulled people way out to sea. It’s always wise to swim near groups and always keep a close eye on children (and dogs).
If you’re just wading up to your hips and building sand castles, however, Mount Beach is fine. Around 6 PM it also has some amazing sunsets. If you live here or are only visiting Sri Lanka for a few days, Mount Beach is a decent dip in the sea.