With waves fresh from Antarctica crashing up onto the beach, Arugam Bay is sometimes claimed to be one of the top ten surf points in the world, and periodically plays host to international tournaments. The best time for surfing is between April and Oct/Nov.

Where to go

There are several breaks close to Arugam Bay, plus others further afield. The biggest waves in A-Bay itself are at The Point (near Mambo’s guesthouse), a long right-hand break which has (on a good day) 2m waves and a 400m ride. Another good break can be found straight off the beach by the Siam View Hotel. Baby Point (between Mambo’s and Siam View Hotel) is ideal for beginners, with smaller waves and a sandy bottom (unlike The Point, which is coral-bottomed), while the beach break in front of the Stardust Beach Hotel is also good for beginners and body surfing.

South of Arugam Bay, the break near Crocodile Rock (3km south of Arugam Bay) is an excellent spot for beginner and intermediate surfers if there’s sufficient swell. Some 5km further on, Peanut Farm has two surf points: a perfect tube for expert surfers and a smaller ride ideal for beginners; there are also good waves further south at Okanda.

A number of spots north of Pottuvil are also becoming popular among more experienced surfers (and are generally quieter than those in A-Bay). About 9km north of Arugam Bay, Pottuvil Point breaks off a long and deserted sandy beach; the ride can be as long as 800m, though the waves are a bit smaller than in A-Bay. Other nearby breaks include Whiskey Point and Lighthouse Point (aka “The Green Room”).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Sri Lanka features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
16 evocative pictures of Sri Lanka

16 evocative pictures of Sri Lanka

After a couple of weeks travelling across Sri Lanka, photographer Nori Jemil shares why this Indian Ocean island is a perfect subject. Here are 16 of her favour…

04 Oct 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

The tear-shaped Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka is a true culinary treat. Through years of colonisation and trade, many cultures have influenced its cuisine, c…

12 Jul 2016 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month