Is Mirissa Really All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Everything I read when I was researching our itinerary for Sri Lanka said: “You have to see Mirissa.” “Mirissa is the best beach.” “Don’t miss Mirissa.”

So we went to Mirissa.

Why then did I find that Mirissa was a busy, expensive tourist trap where you could barely even get a spot on the beach? It must be me that’s wrong because everyone else seems to be in agreement. But here’s why I was not impressed with Mirissa:

Accommodation in Mirissa

I’ll admit that when I arrived in Mirissa after the bus ride from hell from Tangalle I was not in the best of moods.

Trekking up and down the beach in the scorching three o’clock heat with backpacks on searching for accommodation did nothing to brighten my mood.

I had seriously underestimated how busy Mirissa would be and hadn’t booked anywhere to stay in advance. We enquired at a few places I had on my list of potentials but they were all either crazy expensive or full.

The beach was packed, something which came as a bit of a culture shock. We were coming from the expansive, empty beaches of Tangalle. And what’s more, Mirissa seemed to be packed with package tourists. Not that I’ve anything against package tourists, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting to find many. I was still under the illusion that Mirissa was relatively untouched.

La Breeze, Mirissa

Anyway, after little luck elsewhere, we found La Breeze almost on the beach for 4,500rs/night (29€) with breakfast. Except we didn’t get breakfast.

The place was brand new; so new that it wasn’t quite finished. And no, that didn’t add to the charm. But we were so desperate to ditch the bags and get on the beach that we didn’t care anymore.

We had a big problem at La Breeze when we were checking out. They tried to charge us 6,000rs for the second night, saying that we had only agreed 4,500rs for the first night as a special rate. Of course that was not true and of course we did not pay it. In the end we paid 8,000rs for the two nights as we hadn’t had breakfast either.

mirissa

Clockwise from top left: Mirissa Eye Restaurant – photo source: Trip Advisor | Mirissa Beach – photo source: Booking.com | Fish Grill – photo source: kirstyandpeter.com | Mirissa Sunshine Bar – photo source Alamy Images

Restaurants in Mirissa

Something we had really looked forward to about Mirissa was fresh fish barbecues on the beach. We were salivating when we went for a walk down the beach the first evening and saw all the barbecues in action: fresh fish on display and two-for-one cocktails everywhere we looked.

Unfortunately the fish was always so overcooked it was devoid of all flavour, it generally took 45 minutes to an hour for the fish to arrive at the table after ordering and the cocktails were really poor.

Where we ate in Mirissa

We ate the first night at the Sunshine Bar where we had fish barbecue, fresh prawns and 6 cocktails (I told you the service was slow). We spent 4,300rs.

The second night we ate at Mirissa Eye. We shared a huge tuna (which was so overcooked we might as well have been chewing an old flip flop) and we had 5 ginger beers. We spent 2,500rs (16,30€).

I wouldn’t recommend either of the above two restaurants.

dewmini roti shop

Dewmini Roti Shop by Yamu.lk

If you go away from the beach up the side streets there are a couple of more local restaurants that are good for rotis…

We had a roti and a beer at Amasinghe (1,400rs – 9€), a place that looked like nothing but where the roti was amazing.

And of course, we had to try the famous Dewmini Roti Shop which seems to be mentioned by everyone who has ever written about Mirissa. As a result it was packed with tourists, as expected. But that didn’t mean there was anything wrong with the place. Apart from the painfully slow service, all was good. I’d go back. It was cheap too, we paid 1,250rs (8€) for a prawn roti, a veg roti, a banoffee and ice cream roti (couldn’t leave Mirissa without having tried it), one fresh fruit juice and three coffees.

Mirissa Highlight

The highlight of Mirissa was the whale-watching trip that we did. It was one of the best things I have done and it made our 36 hours in Mirissa worthwhile.

I will dedicate a whole post to that next time though.

What did you think of Mirissa? Have you been? Are you thinking of going? If you want to ask me anything, feel free.

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About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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