Sleepy Mirissa is still one of Sri Lanka’s most appealing beach resorts. Situated on the south coast of the island between Galle and Matara, Mirissa boasts a postcard-pretty palm-shaded curve of beach adored by serenity-loving sun seekers as the atmosphere here is particularly laid back and low key.

Waves roll onto Mirissa’s sandy lounger-scattered shoreline and this is a popular resort for surfing and body boarding; there are lots of places where you can rent equipment and receive tuition. To the east of the bay is Parrot Island and the water here is much calmer, making pursuits such as swimming and snorkelling particularly enjoyable.

Mirissa’s boat-packed harbour is the launch pad for regional whale and dolphin watching trips, and other activities in the area include deep-sea fishing, sailing, coastal cruising and river safaris.