The crescent shaped beach at Mirissa with fine, golden sand is just off the main road from Galle to Matara in the deep south of Sri Lanka. I first visited it in 2012 and spent a day there again this February. The sea is as appealing as ever and there is a handful of cheap cafes and beach bars with rooms to rent, all along the beach. Paradise Beach Club is the only ‘established’ hotel here with a restaurant and outdoor swimming pool open to non-residents. The pool charge is Rs. 300 (£1.50) and a beach bed with pillow and towel costs Rs.150 (£0.75). Mirissa is still frequented by budget tourists and back packers. The Paradise Beach Club restaurant attracts Chinese engineers building the Southern Highway to Matara and the menu as a result tends to have a Chinese slant. I had dinner there on two occasions with friends (seafood platter, pork chops, mixed grill, deviled fish & meat) and found the food very ordinary and smothered with sweet tomato sauce. Most ‘rooms for rent’ at the cheap cafes including Our World (Tel: 041 4906342) are very basic with shared toilets and cost about Rs.1000 (£5) per day without food.
Verdict: Lovely beach, still relatively unspoilt compared to nearby Unawatuna. Only satisfactory accommodation is at Paradise Beach Club. There is no decent place to eat.