A vision of tropical bliss, Mirissa Beach boasts powdery pale sand, while its azure water is framed by an arc of coconut palms. The west side is the nicest and has the broadest expanse of sand; as the bay curves gently around to the east it meets up with the roar of the Galle-Matara Rd. Close to the centre of Mirissa bay is a much-photographed sandbar that connects to a tiny island that you can walk to at low tide. The western end also has a reasonable right point break for surfers. The far eastern section of the beach has been lost to coastal erosion and is lined with unsightly concrete sea defences. There's also very little shade on the beach thanks to much of the original fringe of palm trees being chopped down to make way for beachfront cafes and hundreds of sun loungers. Nearby hotels and restaurants Numerous places set up tables and chairs right up to the tide line day and night. Wander and compare which one has the freshest seafood. All are good for a beer; some also serve espresso coffee. You'll find a thicket of good-value guesthouses and modest beach hotels at the west end of Mirissa. Options include Poppies and Surf Sea Breeze, among numerous others. Beware of road noise at the east end of the beach and loud and late music near the beach cafes.