Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle and 98 km south of Colombo.
The name Hikkaduwa is thought to have been derived from the two words Ship Kaduwa, with Ship being the shorter version of Shilpaya which refers to knowledge in Sinhalese and Kaduwa which means sword. It is believed therefore that the name Hikkaduwa means sword of knowledge.
Hikkaduwa is good for palm fringed beaches, snorkelling, surfing, seafood curries, Buddhist temples and exotic massages. While some travellers claim Hikkaduwa isn’t as idyllic as it used to be, this beach-side Sri Lanka holiday spot isn’t a bad place to relax for a week or two.
If you’re stopping over in Colombo or holidaying in Sri Lanka for longer, beachfront Hikkaduwa, about 2½ hours’ drive south of the capital, is a relaxing place to laze about and explore this fascinating Buddhist island nation.
You can surf and snorkel at Hikkaduwa’s beaches. Surfing is best November to March when waves are up to 3m high. If you’re a novice, you can hire a board and try learning to surf in front of the bars and restaurants on Hikkaduwa’s main beach.
There are coral reefs straight off the beach and turtles are regularly seen in these waters. Snorkels and flippers are available at numerous stalls, while boat trips offshore for snorkelling are also on offer.