Mirissa - Whale Watching
The whale watching season starts in November until the end of April. The very best months are March and April for blue whale sightings. The sea is calm in the morning and rough in the afternoon. The whale watching tours start very early in the morning between 6 and latest 7. May to October whales can be spotted, but less in number and the sea can be rough. Anyway, booking is possible at low season, give them a call view days in advance. Be aware May, and June is also the worst time of the monsoon.
At the peak season, the chance for sightings is 90 %. We went there in January and spotted one blue whale a couple of times. We got told that they sometimes spot up to eight in one day. Another good option is Trincomalee from June to October with best sightings in August and September.
There is a 90 % chance of a blue whale sighting at the peak season. Sri Lanka is famous for the giant blue whale. It's the largest animal on earth and ever known to have existed. They were hunted for their massive amount of blubber almost to extinction until they got finally protected in 1966. Blue whales are up to 30 meters long; the record is even more than 33 meters. They weigh about 80 up to 140 tons and even more is possible. They migrate around Sri Lanka almost all year with a peak in the south in March/April and August/September in the northeast. You may also spot sperm whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles; you never know. Nature is not predictable.
A trip lasts on average 4-5 hours but can be even 7 depending on the success of a sighting. The sea can be a little rough even on the calmest day. It is a long time sitting around, and people may get seasick. We recommend these trips for wildlife- and nature lovers. Anyhow, nothing is predictable. Before you book a whale watching tour; check recommendations about the different tour operators first. Some overload the boats and don't respect the distance. Instead, they disturb the whales, and unfortunately, they dive deep and disappear. This is pretty annoying. We experienced this on our blue whale trip.
Where to Stay in the South
There is a vast variety of hotels, but an immense difference in what they offer. Not each hotel has a beach. Many hotels and guesthouses are directly located on the main street. This causes much noise already early morning. Therefore, check the location before you book an accommodation. We know this area quite well. Our top recommendations are the Villa Saltasia and Villa Oceane. Both offer an outstanding location and service. If you travel on a low budget check out the Coastal Villa Mirissa. It's more a B&B, and it takes roughly 10 minutes walking to get to the beach.