Dickwella is a small coastal town located south of Sri Lanka.
In the last years, it has been gaining a lot in popularity thanks to Hiriketiya Beach (also called Hiri). Surrounded by jungle, the beaches offers some fun waves for surfing, hip cafe’s and restaurants, yoga, and even one of Sri Lanka’s first co-working space.
How to get to Dickwella
Dickwella is often the next destination after visiting Mirissa, but several travellers also come straight from Colombo. For the Colombo route, we created a step-by-step guide specifically for this route:
Coming from another destination? Below, we describe the best way you can reach Dickwella.
Getting to Dickwella by Train
Wewurukannala is the closest train station, but we recommend taking the train to Matara. Although the former is only 10mins away from Dickwella, trains bound for Wewurukannala have a very irregular schedule. There’s a great chance you will be waiting a long time for your train transfer, as I experienced myself when I travelled this route.
When taking the train from wherever you are in Sri Lanka, most probably you will have to make your transfer in Colombo. From Colombo Fort, the train to Matara takes at least 2.5 hours.
From Matara Railway Station, you can take a 30-min taxi ride to Dickwella starting at 1,500 LKR ($4.80). Taking the bus is cheaper, but note that Matara Bus Station is another 1.5 km away from the train station.
First time in Sri Lanka? Buying train tickets can be complicated. Check out our guide about booking train tickets in Sri Lanka for more details.
Getting to Dickwella by Bus
When coming from Colombo, buses bound for Kataragama (#3) or Tangalle (#32-4) can drop you off directly in Dickwella. A ticket costs around 420 LKR ($1.40) for a semi-luxury bus and the journey takes about 2hr 30min.
When coming from other destinations, we recommend asking your hotel if there are any buses from there that will pass by Dickwella.
If they can’t help you, you can also opt to take a bus to Matara. Buses bound for Matara run more frequently, and there are local buses departing from Negombo, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, and Kandy. See below a short summary of these routes:
|Bus Route & No.
|From Negombo (#270/#17/#2)
|310 LKR ($1)
|From Colombo (#2)
|445 LKR ($1.40)
580 LKR ($1.90)
|From Nuwara Eliya (#31-1)
|560 LKR ($1.80)
|From Badulla (#31-2)
|315 LKR ($1)
|From Kandy (EX1-24/#1)
|900 LKR ($2.90)
From Matara Bus Station, you can take another bus to Dickwella. Buses bound for Tangalle (#32-4) or Hambanthota (#32-1) will pass by Dickwella. A ticket should cost less than a dollar and the bus journey takes 1hr. Another option is to take a taxi from the bus station to Dickwella for 1,100 LKR ($3.50).
Getting to Dickwella by Taxi
Travelling in a group? Or maybe carrying a lot of luggage on top of your surfboard? The taxi is the easiest option to reach Dickwella. From Colombo, fares start at 9,100 Rs ($50) when you book with taxi apps like Uber and Pickme.
In case they are not available, TaxiGo offers more extensive routes, although a bit more expensive.
8 Awesome Things to Do in Dickwella
Formerly a hidden gem, lately it has been attracting a lot of travellers for its good swells and chill vibe.
Dickwella enjoys good weather almost all-year-round but the best time to go is between December to April, when there is lots of sunshine and the waves are at their finest.
While Dickwella is only a small town, it has quite a lot to offer. Below, we share some of the best activities you can do in this coastal town.
- Surf lesson at Hiriketiya Beach
- Enjoy solitude at Paradise Beach or Goyambokka Beach
- Watch up to 30-meter high water splashes at Hummanaya Blow Hole
- Day trip to Tangalle and dinner at The Lounge
- Walk the rocks of Blue Beach Island
- Watch the sunset at Dickwella Beach
- Enjoy delicious food
- Healing massage at Soul Spa
#1 Take a surf lesson at Hiriketiya Beach
Hiriketiya Beach is a surfer’s paradise located about 2 km east of Dickwella. Also called Hiri, it is the main thing that draws travellers to Sri Lanka’s southern coast and it is easy to see why.
New to surfing? No problem. You will find a lot of good surf schools by the beach and also many shops to rent a board. A 1.5-hour surfing class normally costs between 3,500 LKR ($11.30) to 4,000 LKR ($12.90) during high season.
Already more experienced? Surf the left-hander which is for intermediate surfers on the left side of the beach.
PRO TIP: Start your day early and paddle out in the water around 6AM during sunrise. This beautiful moment will become one of the best memories of your Sri Lanka trip.
#2 Enjoy solitude at Paradise Beach or Goyambokka Beach
When you get tired of the crowd at Hiri, we recommend that you visit at least one of the nearby beaches.
Take for example Paradise Beach or Goyambokka Beach. There’s a great chance you’ll have the sand strip almost all to yourself.
#3 Watch high water splashes at Hummanaya Blow Hole
Only 10 to 15-min drive from Dickwella, you’ll find the Hummanaya Blow Hole which is known as the second largest in the world.
If you are lucky, you can see the water splashing up to 30 meters high.
PRO TIP: Time your visit around high tide so you to see the biggest sprays.
Unfortunately, they have started charging money for this natural attraction. The entrance fee costs 250 Rs ($1.50), but we think it is still worth the visit if you come around high tide.
#4 Day trip to Tangalle and dinner at The Lounge
Travellers often skip Tangalle out of their Sri Lankan itinerary, but we think it’s worth a visit, especially when you’re already in Dickwella.
You can rent a bike (or tuk-tuk) and make a day trip from Dickwella o Tangalle and make it complete it with a mouthwatering dinner at The Lounge.
Seriously, this is the best restaurant I know in Sri Lanka.
The fresh tuna sashimi as a starter will make you speechless and is the best tuna I’ve ever had. For the main dish, ask Gihan for the best catch of the day. He is in the business with all his heart and will love to give you a good food recommendation. The food, the cocktails, and the ambiance were so good that we came back twice, even though it was a 30-45min drive from Dickwella.
PRO TIP: This day trip is also perfect to combine with one of the beaches above and a visit to the blow hole.
#5 Walk the rocks of Blue Beach Island
The Blue Beach Island is a beautiful landform called tombolo, or a piece of land connected to the mainland by a narrow spit or bar.
In this case, you will walk through a fine sandbar to reach the island. It’s surrounded by a rocky beach, which is fun to explore in the morning or in the afternoon but can get very hot during the middle of the day. You can watch the waves splash against the shore and marvel at the magic of nature.
You can reach the Blue Beach Island with a 15-min tuk-tuk or bike ride from Dickwella.
#6 Watch the sunset at Dickwella Beach
While Hiri is famous for its fine swells, Dickwella Beach is the place to be if you fancy a good swim. Reefs and sandbars protect the beach from the waves so even kids can enjoy the water.
Dickwella Beach is also perfect to make a sunset walk or just relax with a cold coconut on a sunbath and watch the sun go down. Feeling more active? This beach is also great for early morning runs during sunrise or late afternoon runs just before sunset.
#7 Enjoy delicious food
You will not run out of good restaurants to choose from when in Dickwella. Below are my personal favourites and I think you will love them too!
- Start your day with a freshly baken chocolate pain with roasted coffee at Mond while enjoying the view overlooking the ocean from the concrete rooftop restaurant.
- Head to Daily Coolspot Dickwella for the freshest and most delicious juices and smoothies of Sri Lanka. Tell the owner what fruit you like and he will make the perfect juice, smoothie or lassi out of it!
- Have a Sri Lankan-made Kambucha at Verse Collective. This hip co-working space is not only the perfect place to spend for an afternoon of trip planning, also is it a beautiful spot to watch the sunset, overlooking Dickwella Beach.
- Eat the best fish taco you will ever have at Dots Bay House. Their smoothie bowls and coffee are also highly recommended. If you come here at night, you will be treated to good music by the beach.
#8 Healing massage at Soul Spa
When you’ve had too much surfing or just tired from all your town-hopping, try out the 1.5-hour healing massage offered at Soul Spa. It’s a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience, you’ll feel like you’re ready to take on the world after, or maybe a day after…
I personally recommend planning a recovery day after this massage, as Helen knows how to release all your toxins that were stuck in your body for years. It took me a complete day to recover, but felt so good after!
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Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.