view porto city douro river portugal

Porto city guide: 10 best things to do


Porto City Guide: 10 Best things to do

Cities can be quite overwhelming. So much to do, so much to see, so little time. At least, that’s my problem when visiting cities. Whether you’re staying in a city for three days or got a full week to discover all its gems, it’s never enough. Porto is no exception in this, and that’s why we figured we should help you out a bit. With a bit of help from locals, some online searching, and lots of wandering, we came up with a top 10 of our favorite things to do in Porto (map)!

1. Do a Port tour

You can’t go to Porto and not try out the port. Go to Vila Nova de Gaia and get yourself on one of those tours with accompanied tastings (the best part). I did the one at Sandeman, which was really nice! Of course, I don’t have any comparisons, but this one is definitely recommended. The ultimate excuse to start drinking port around noon and just keep on going till dinner.

port cellars sandeman tour gaia porto portugal
porto city view dom luis bridge portugal

2. Walk the Ponte Dom Luis I

Designed by the partner in crime of mister Gustavo Eiffel this bridge will give you stunning views over both the Ribeira and the Gaia sides of the river Douro. The red rooftops of the port houses on the one side and the colorful houses and churches on the other make a beautiful picture. Of course, those views are pretty at every moment of the day, but at sunset, the city gets a golden glow that will make it extra special.

3. Eat at La Cafeína or Terra

Probably one of my favorite restaurants in Porto. Compared to other restaurants this might be a bit of a splurge, but so so worth it! Everything that comes out of those kitchens is absolutely delicious. In combination with the gorgeous interior (serious envy here) and good wine selection, both restaurants are a treat for the taste buds.

Make sure you make reservations if you’d like to go here!

food prawns pasta restaurant la cafeina porto portugal
praia da luz restaurant sunset porto portugal

4. Visit Praia da Luz for sundowners

Drinks just simply taste better with your feet in the sand and the sun setting. No better place in Porto to have this ultimate drinking experience than Praia da Luz. Get there around 4/5 pm, order a bottle of wine and some typical Portuguese snacks, and I’ll guarantee you, you’ll have the time of your life.

5. Visit Stash Sandwichroom for lunch

The Stash Sandwichroom makes the best sandwiches in town. Their Iberico pulled pork sandwich is to die for and will make you go back for every single lunch you’re having in Porto. Don’t forget about their rosemary fries either.

stash sandwichroom iberico pulled pork restaurant porto portugal
drinking cocktails in Porto

6. Have a drink at night in one of the many bars of R. de Candido dos Reis

The place to be for drinks for almost every night of the week (except for Tuesdays, so I’ve heard) is definitely this street. Packed with both locals and travelers enjoying their buckets of Sangria, this is one bustling place. Do your own pub crawl or find a spot on one of the terraces and have a great night.

7. Eat fresh fish from the grills in Matosinhos

This beach suburb north of the city center is not only the place to surf in Porto but also the place for the best fresh fish. It doesn’t really matter which restaurant you’ll choose, cause they all know how to grill their Snappers and Cods. Seafood heaven is right here, and what better way to experience this than to test them all.

matosinhos beach seafood grill restaurants porto portugal
porto city ribeira streets houses portugal

8. Wander the street of Ribeira

Don’t make a plan but just start walking. With the small streets, beautiful tiled houses, and charming little restaurants the Ribeira area is like a labyrinth. Walking up and down the steep streets will give you the perfect experience of Porto.

9. Jardins do Palacio de Cristal

The gardens of the crystal palace are a tranquil contrast to the rest of the bustling city. The gardens offer you the most stunning views of Porto and the opposite city of Gaia. Perfect for picnics and siestas.

porto view douro river jardins palacio cristal portugal
botequim bar porto city portugal

10. Have a drink at Botequim Nostalgic

The riverside of the Ribeira area is one big tourist happening, but this little bar is quite the opposite. With good-looking hipster waiters, a cute terrace with river views, and ever tasty drinks. So skip all the other bars and head straight to this spot for some well-deserved drinks after a long day strolling the city. Nothing beats a plate of snacks accompanied by some port, right?

Porto on your bucket list

Europe might be the continent of cities with all its history and culture. Normally people are mainly visiting the capitals of European countries, but I do advise making an exception for Portugal. Porto has been an absolute blast with its beautiful architecture, amazing food, friendly people (who all speak so well English!), and relaxed vibe. So planning a city trip? Take Porto into consideration, keep this top 10 in mind, and enjoy every single moment of it.



houses porto streets city portugal

Photos by: M. Barends, J. Roeland©

Surfer girl on the beach of Hossegor France

The Ultimate Hossegor Surf Guide


Hossegor: Europe's surf capital

It’s been a few years since we visited one of our favorite surf spots in France, but this year we’re back! During our surf road trip last spring, we drove straight from Amsterdam to Hossegor, because we couldn’t wait to return. Golden beaches, consistent swell, after surf lunches with wine and oysters, we have missed it all. Over the years there has been some development here, so it’s about time we update our Hossegor Guide again. Where should you surf, eat, and sleep? We have figured it all out for you!

Surf competition in Hossegor France

Surf like there's no tomorrow in Hossegor

So, first things first. The surf. Because if you haven’t heard about Hossegor just yet, well, are you even a surfer then? No, kidding. For those having no idea what all the fuss is about, here a little introduction: barrels, barrels, and barrels. Not that we surf those, so thankfully there are more spots than just the expert tube magnet.

Actually, there are many surf spots around Hossegor for different levels. While Hossegor’s main spots close to town are mostly suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers, there are some fine spots on offer for beginners on the outskirts as well. The best time to visit Hossegor is from September till May, with the biggest swells rolling in during winter. Surfing is definitely still possible from June till September, but the waves will be smaller and the crowds bigger.

La Graviere

La Graviere is Hossegor’s most famous spot and is often named one of the best beach breaks in the world. This is where Hossegor gets its barrel reputation from. It’s a very powerful, hollow, and fast wave, especially in autumn and winter. It works best with incoming tide, and a north or western swell. 

Surfer at La Graviere in Hossegor
Surfer girl on the beach of Hossegor France

Le Nord

If you think La Graviere is big and challenging, spitting you out in a killer shore break, then wait till Le Nord gets working. This is a proper big wave spot which can hold swells up to 6 meter. The currents are incredibly strong, so this is definitely an expert-only spot. 

Le Sud

Not to worry for those who aren’t up for barrels and big waves, as there’s still Le Sud. Due to its more sheltered location, Le Sud produces more mellow waves perfect for beginners, intermediates, and longboarders. It’s also a spot you might want to avoid during summer months, as the surf schools love it too. This beach breaks works best with incoming tide, with a north or west swell.

Surfer at Le Sud in Hossegor
Surfer girl on the beach of Seignosse France

Les Culs Nuls

This beach break is one of the most consistent spots around, as it can be fun in so many different conditions. It works on all tides, preferably with a W-NW swell. It’s definitely a more advanced wave as it’s fast, steep, hollow, and punchy. Not with the exact same killer instinct as La Graviere and Le Nord, but definitely not a wave to underestimate.

Le Penon

This is one of our favorite spots in the area. Le Penon can be firing as well, but it’s a bit more forgiving than Le Nord and La Graviere. The long stretch of beach of Seignosse offers multiple peaks, spreading the crowds. It’s still a very consistent wave, with both left and right handers. It works best with winds from the east and swell from the west. A fun wave for all levels, although it does get too crowded in the summer months with surf schools and kamikaze beginners.

Surf beach Le Penon in Hossegor
Surf beach at Seignosse

Les Estagnots

Another big wave spot on autumn and winter days filled with swell. It’s the only spot in Seignosse that can hold the bigger swells and still produce huge rideable waves and fast, hollow barrels. Les Estagnots works in many conditions, though, so in summer it can actually be a fun long boarding spot. Ideally, it needs a swell from the west and an easterly offshore wind. As it’s also the most popular break in Seignosse, it means the crowds arrive when the swell does too. 

Plage des Casernes

One of the least crowded spots in the Hossegor area that can still offer some fun waves. It’s an exposed beach break that works best with a NW swell at mid tide. Best thing about this spot? The fresh croissant you can get afterward at L’autre Endroit.

Plage les Casernes in Hossegor


As if Hossegor and Seignosse aren’t offering enough surf spots to choose from, we haven’t even mentioned Capbreton. South of Hossegor you can find the break La Piste. Another very consistent beach break that works all year long, offering you heavy barrels in winter and more intermediate appropriate waves in summer. While most of the previous mentioned breaks offer both right and left-handers, La Piste definitely favors the regulars among us. Just like all the other spots in this nook of the world, it works best with an easterly wind and a west swell.

Camping les chevreuils in Hossegor

Where to stay in Hossegor

Hossegor isn’t an easy place to find nice accommodation. It’s either not that special or(/and) crazy expensive. Value for money is not an easy thing to find around here. That’s why we always end up camping here. We don’t necessarily like campings in France, as French campsites are well known for their entertainment programs and tons of Dutch people. This to me is normally a big red flag. But, outside the holiday season, we found two spots that aren’t too bad.

Firstly, Camping Les Chevreuils. This one is the closest to the beach of Seignosse and is pretty nice with decent facilities, a pool, and shaded spots. Another option would be Camping De Saubrigues. This is a bit more inland, but a very quiet camping spot at a farmer’s land. Facilities are simple and basic, but clean, and there’s definitely no entertainment program. 

Where to eat in Hossegor

Food, however, is good almost everywhere in Hossegor. The French know their foods and wines, and I always find it a treat to come down here and indulge. Our favorite breakfast spot is Pacific Coast Cafe. This little café in the center of town is a bit hidden from all the hustle and bustle of the main street and is run by a super welcoming couple. They got great coffees, yummy juices, and lots of healthy, breakfast and lunch options. 

Le Mango Tree in Hossegor

Spot Palace

This year we visited Hossegor again, after living in the tropics for a few years, and we were so happy to discover a lot of new spots. Especially in the area of all the surf shops and outlets, there’s an explosion of cool new restaurants. We stumbled upon Spot Palace and really enjoyed this place. Their outside terrace has such a nice vibe (the inside looked pretty cool as well!) and instead of having one coffee, we stuck around for hours, ordering more and more. Definitely try out their Smash Burger and Miso Carbonara Noodles. 

Le Mango Tree

Le Mango Tree is giving you all the Instagram summer vibes you could possibly wish. Their beautiful healthy bowls, avocado toasts, and yummy snacks, are a good reason to visit this spot. What makes it even better? You can enjoy your order on a picnic blanket overlooking the lake and beach. 

L’Autre Endroit

Whether we went for an early morning surf session or beach walk, we’d always stop at L’Autre Endroit for a fresh croissant and cup of coffee (tea in my case) on the way home. I loved this little morning routine of waking up with the sound of the ocean and slowly starting a new day overlooking the beach. Also, their croissants might just be the best we’ve had during this trip. 

Tante Jeanne

A Hossegor classic, Tante Jeanne is that place where you know the food is always good. They serve some French classics combined with healthier options like poke bowls (isn’t that the most popular dish these days!?). If there’s one thing you should never miss out on at Tante Jeanne, it’s their desserts. Waffles and ice-cream… who can say no to that?

tante jeanne restaurant food hossegor france

Le Bistro Balnéaire

This typical French bistro has a not so typical view over the lake of Hossegor. Great spot for sun downers or a French style Summer dinner. If there’s one thing you definitely shouldn’t miss out on, it’s the profiteroles. I called dibs on this dessert (it’s my favorite), but retreated after seeing the size of this gigantic profiterole covered in chocolate sauce. Sharing is caring, right? Best dessert in a long time!


There’s a new kid in town and one you absolutely want to visit. Baraketa is situated by the lake, giving you great Hossegor views while enjoying your cold glass of wine. They don’t do dinner, but it’s a great spot for lunch or afternoon drinks and snacks. 

Bay of Guethary in France

Charming Guéthary

When the swell isn’t working for you (either flat or too big), there are plenty of places to explore in Hossegor’s surroundings. If you’re up for a bit of a field trip, then drive down South. What Hossegor might lack in charm, nearby Guéthary makes up for it. The whole village is built in basque style with white houses and red rooftops, balconies covered in flowers, and seaside views. Wine is served as breakfast, the coastline is covered with little beach bars, and the surfers walk bare feet through the small streets. Because of the shape of Guéthary’s bay, it’s perfect for stand-up paddling. Moving a little more towards Bidart there are plenty of waves for the surf-minded among us.

Follow the waves to Hossegor

We have spent many summers in Hossegor, and always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. Love it because of the waves and food, of course, but a bit of hate because it can get so crowded in July and August. However, if you’re visiting any other month of the year, this can only be a love relationship. The surf is great all year long, you don’t need your thickest wetsuit most of the time, the beaches are beautiful, and the food very French and plentiful. And with a playground like Hossegor, which surfer with common sense could even think of skipping this surfing hotspot? I guess we’re back on track with yearly visits, because one day… we will surf a Hossegor barrel.

Surf’s up people, see ya in Hossegor!


hossegor plage beach basque country france

Photos by: M. Barends, J. Roeland©

port vieux beach biarritz old city france

Biarritz: the famous French surf town


Biarritz: The famous French surf town

While traveling around the world, you sometimes forget how pretty your own ‘little’ continent is. Maybe we are getting too spoiled or staying in Europe seems to be too boring and easy. Cause honestly, I do tend to travel as far as possible with the idea of finding more exoticness and adventure on the other side of the world (my first trip on my own was Australia.. can it be much further?!). I think it’s time to admit… this is not entirely true. Europe has so much to offer with its beautiful cities, amazing landscapes, insanely tasty cuisines, and beautiful coastlines covered in surf spots. So I think it’s time we’re gonna talk about our own backyard! We are gonna do a road trip through France, Spain, and Portugal and going to tell you all about it. Let’s hit it off with Biarritz!

port vieux beach biarritz old city france
Beach view of Biarritz France

Surf and dine in Biarritz

Since we love surf spots and try to incorporate them in all our travels, there’s literally one spot we shouldn’t miss out on; Biarritz! Biarritz might be one of the most famous surf towns of France and not without reason. The charming little streets, the lively ‘centre ville’, and of course the waves. It all adds up to the charm of this town. It’s bigger and busier than all the other towns around, which also makes the place a lot more bustling. It’s a place to flaunt. Whether you’re showing off on your surf skills or your excellent style, there’s room for both. Most surf at the plage Côtes des Basques, where waves are constant, even on a flat day. Because of the beach breaks, it’s perfect for beginners, but the more advanced will be able to get their fix as well. The place is of course well known… so you won’t be able to find empty line-ups here. But hey, waves are waves, and who am I to say no to them?

Act like the French

One of the good things about France is the French know how to do lunch. Bottles of rose, plenty of time, oysters to start, and much more to follow. From Paris to Lyon to St. Tropez, and Biarritz is no different. Around Les Halles (a very nice food market in the mornings!) there are plenty of terraces packed with people and good food. Bar Jean is one of those places. Waiters running around, young and old people mixed together, and just one buzzing vibe. Whether it’s mussels, baby squid, or traditional steak tartare, everything is mouthwatering and worth a try. Make sure you are very hungry or find a crowd, so you can try it all.

restaurant bar jean biarritz france
restaurant le comptoir du foie gras biarritz

Who says you can't eat all day long?

It’s not like they only know how to do lunch. Dinner comes them pretty easily as well. So we moved to the other side of the road at Le Comptoir du foie gras…. The name alone makes me drool. Little tables on the sidewalk and the road itself (which is blocked because we and the French need to drink wine and eat), people looking fabulous, and the wine and sangria flowing like water. I can get used to this.

The Biarritz charm

Even though Biarritz might be one of the most touristy towns along the coast of Les Landes, it’s definitely worth the visit. It has such a nice vibe and somehow did know how to hold on to this old charming feeling you expect in French coastal towns (which a lot of them actually lost a long time ago…). So go check it out. Surf a bit, drink wine all day, and taste all the delicacies you can find. I promise you, you won’t regret it!



view beaches ocean biarritz france

Photos by: M. Barends, J. Roeland©

mokum surf club tshirt surfing ahangama sri lanka

Ahangama: The surfer life at Camp Poe

Sri Lanka

Ahangama: The surfer life at Camp Poe

Welcome to little surfers’ paradise on the south coast of Sri Lanka: Ahangama (and alright, Midigama and Meligama as well)(map). With left-handers and right-handers that always seem to work, this might be a tricky spot if you’d actually like to see more of the country. Because you won’t. You’ll get stuck and have the time of your life, and you wouldn’t be the first.

The south coast of Sri Lanka is covered in surf spots and pretty beaches. While Mirissa and Weligama are the well-known ones, Ahangama is more of a hidden treasure. Including nearly empty lineups and fewer tourists overall. With the city of Galle only thirty minutes away and many little surf towns just a tuk-tuk drive away, this is the perfect little spot to chill, surf, and discover the surroundings.

Find your flow at Camp Poe

It seems like new places pop up like mushrooms all along the South coast. Camp Poe in Ahangama is one of them and only opened its doors end of January (2016). It’s a sustainable surf and yoga retreat with luxury tents, charming rooms, amazing food, and a swimming pool which I seriously wanna have when I grow up.

surf camp poe accommodation jungle ahangama sri lanka
swimmingpool surf camp poe ahangama sri lanka

The first thing Till asks me when I get in; “Do you paint?” Yes, sort of. “Alright then, find a white wall and enjoy!”. This practically sums up the vibe at Camp Poe. Creativity, relaxing, surfing, and yoga is what you get. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Both travelers and staff seem to indulge in creativity. Painting the walls with beautiful murals, making gorgeous bamboo tattoos, or jamming and singing the day away. Meanwhile, I’m just laying in their pool absorbing this vibe with a big grin on my face.

The surfer life in Ahangama

Everyone wakes up at 6 am for morning surf sessions, with the sun rising and the turtles swimming around you. Since no one else is crazy enough to get up at this insane time, the waves are empty and perfect for improving your skills. With a huge range of different surfboards and surf lessons available, Camp Poe covers any level of surfing. So whether you’re already a pro or never ever seen a surfboard in your life, there’s something for everyone. There are several surf spots in the area challenging every skill level with both left and right-handers. MarshMellows and Sticks are the two spots just across the road and depending on the conditions they can fire up nicely and sometimes even barrel. On smaller days these spots are definitely suitable for beginners and longboarders as well, offering mellow rides.

surfing waves ahangama beach surf camp poe sri lanka
fish market ahangama sri lanka

Relaxing and eating the day away

Wondering how you should spend the rest of your day after waking up so early? Well, maybe a bit of yoga to keep you flexible, a massage to relax (seriously one of the best I’ve ever had), or take a walk into town. Recharge your battery by doing nothing or discover everything the South Coast has in store for you, just make sure you’re back for dinner. Since I’m quite the sucker for food, I cannot not mention the breakfasts and dinners here. Fresh butterfish and red snapper, wraps, salads, and pasta, name it, they make it and you’ll keep going for seconds and thirds.

Camp Poe ticks all boxes

So yes, Camp Poe has it all covered. Paradise setting, perfect surf sessions, friendly people, insane sunsets, and an amazing vibe. Stay for a day (I bet you won’t be able to), a week or a month… cause this place will have you hooked. I can assure you it will be one of the highlights of your Sri Lanka trip. Don’t miss out and go live that surfer life.




For bookings and information check out their website!

mokum surf club tshirt surfing ahangama sri lanka

Photos by: M. Barends©

yoga session sigiriya rock sunset sri lanka

Sigiriya Rock: the most stunning views

Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock: The most stunning views

A lot of travelers visiting Sri Lanka tend to go straight to the Southern beaches and get stuck there. Not a surprise of course when you go straight to paradise. Who wouldn’t just stay there sipping coconuts all day? Unfortunately, you are missing out on some gems in the north of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya (map) in specific.

view sigiriya rock sunset nature sri lanka
rock fortress sigiriya unesco heritage site sri lanka

Sigiriya Views

So Sigiriya basically is this big rock with an ancient fortress on top of it and is part of the Unesco World Heritage Site. Built by an obsessed monarch in the 5th century who was scared to get caught, the fortress oversees the whole green valley as far as the eye can see.When we got there we got the delight of walking up this rock with about a zillion school kids frantically running around and looking at us strange tourists. Honestly, this place is a bit overpriced (freekin’ 30USD and you have to climb the whole damn thing yourself! Not even a welcome drink at the end…), but the views will make you forget that pretty quickly.

Sunset Sessions

We chose to walk up there end afternoon, so we could enjoy the magnificent views with a sunset on top of that. Bring some snacks and drinks and you’ll have a blast. While monkeys are trying to steal your food, the sky turns golden, and the views only get better and better. The more colors the sky gets, the fewer people there’ll be on top of the rock. By the time the sky’s a zillion shades of purple and pink, we were literally the last two souls around, showing off on some yoga moves. There’s something about sunsets (and sunrises for that matter) that just make me so in awe of nature. No place makes me happier than the ones with gorgeous sunsets. And Sigiriya definitely delivers.

yoga session sigiriya rock sri lanka

Sigiriya town

The town of Sigiriya is no place to stick around for days, but this highlight is definitely one you shouldn’t miss. There are plenty of places to stay, and plenty of local eateries. Unfortunately didn’t find one that actually sticks out, so it’s rice, rice, and rice for dinner no matter where you eat. However, after sweating your ass off and climbing those endless stairs, the rice will taste heavenly and any bed will make you sleep like a baby.



tree sigiriya rock fortress view sunset sri lanka

Photos by: M. Barends & T. Barends ©

sunrise hiriketiya beach view dots bay house sri lanka

Dots Bay House: Hiriketiya Bay

Sri Lanka

Dots Bay House: Hiriketiya Bay

In our last post, we were talking about this dream of a beach called Hiriketiya. The South Coast of Sri Lanka is covered in beautiful beaches, but this one is definitely a winner. The day will fly by surfing, doing yoga, or just relaxing, but at the end of the day, you do need a bed to sleep in. Though sleeping on the beach with a sky full of stars sounds very tempting (definitely leaving out the sandflies in this hypothetical setting), I would recommend finding your way to Dots Bay House when the sun goes down.

Little piece of paradise

So, have you ever just stumbled across a place (as in literally, I invited myself for a little sneak around) that instantly made you fall in love? Where the hammocks invited you to dive into them and not get out? A place where the little restaurant makes you wanna crash down and order everything on the menu? Where the sound of the waves and the songs of the birds are the only thing you hear? Well, I just did and the place is called Dots Bay House in Hiriketiya.

beach bar restaurant dots bay house hiriketiya sri lanka
dots bay house private room hiriketiya sri lanka

Dots Bay House for everyone

There’s something about Dots Bay House that makes everyone extend their stay or come back at least three times. Located on the beautiful beach of Hiriketiya, this little boutique-style accommodation has something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling on a shoestring or giving yourself a bit of a splurge, both their dorm as their privates will make you feel at home.

Check availability

Hiriketiya Surf

With Hiriketiya bay in their back yard, Dots Bay House got paradise at their doorstep. Hiriketiya bay is a 200m horseshoe-shaped bay with a surf break that works all year. During the wet season from May till November (which still isn’t really wet) the waves become bigger and stronger. During the dry months, Hiriketiya offers you a fine point break for the more advanced and the perfect setting for the beginner surfer. Combine this with early morning yoga sessions at Dots Bay House and you are feeling beyond zen before it’s even noon.

hiriketiya bay surfing sri lanka
seafood grill bbq food hiriketiya dots bay house sri lanka

Food, food, and more food, please

As if this isn’t enough already, the food here is amazing. Whether it’s their local dishes, fresh seafood, or to-die-for banana french toast, it’s all finger-licking good. As they only work with fresh and local products it’s a lot of seafood in combination with local delicacies. Their menu might be changing, but if you get a chance try their seafood kebab and their curry.. so so tasty!

Where to find Dots Bay House

So, are you sold? Dots Bay House offers surf and yoga packages for both groups and solo travelers. Don’t feel pressured though, even when you just want to do nothing and eat, this is your spot! You can find and book Dots Bay House here!

Lucky for you… In the near future, this won’t be the only ‘Dot’ in Sri Lanka. Give it a bit of time and this place will put its mark on more special places in this beautiful country. Keep an eye on them and just follow the Dots…


This post contains affiliate links. When you book through links in this post, we may earn a commission.

wall marks dots bay house mokum surf club hiriketiya sri lanka

Photos by: M. Barends ©

surf rental hiriketiya bay beach relax sri lanka

Hiriketiya: Sri Lanka's most beautiful beach

Sri Lanka

Hiriketiya: Sri Lanka's most beautiful beach

Honestly, the moment I arrived at Dickwella I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful beach, palm trees, blue ocean, everything. But it didn’t get to me. There was literally no one on the beach (no footsteps either, just two dogs), no surfers at all and it almost felt like some sort of ghost beach. So my first day there, I really thought… Where is all the fuss about?

hiriketiya bay beach paradise sri lanka

The Hidden Gem called Hiriketiya Bay

On day two I figured I should take a walk around and immediately found where I was looking for. Through the coconut plantations and the little village up the hill, I ended up at Hiriketiya Bay a.k.a. a hidden gem (map). Same picture-perfect beach with the whole shebang that comes with paradise, including some people and surfer waves! This horseshoe bay has waves for both beginners and the more advanced, has cute little beach huts with amazing juices and banana pancakes and it definitely has a tropical vibe. Jackpot!

Paradise found

After catching some waves while sea turtles were swimming beneath me in the crystal clear ocean I suddenly knew where all the fuss was about. This place is. A hotel move was undeniable. The moment you drop your bags in your room I bet you don’t want to touch them for at least a week. Bikini’s, surfboards, palm trees, and Lion Beer, what more can you ask for? Offering a mellow beach break for beginners and a fast lefthander point break over shallow reef to challenge the more advance among us, Hiriketiya caters to all.

Find the best place to stay in Hiriketiya here!
sunrise hiriketiya beach view dots bay house sri lanka

Hiriketiya's Dream

Even though I had quite a tight schedule traveling along the South coast of Sri Lanka, I messed it up the moment I set foot at Hiriketiya beach. The vibe, the food, the surf, the view. This is it! Maybe, just maybe, I’ll just stay here. I’ll send you a postcard. Will you come to visit me?


hiriketiya bay beach paradise sri lanka

Photos by: M. Barends ©