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Things to do in Trincomalee

Updated on January 20, 2012
Nilaveli Beach, a top attraction in Trincomalee
Nilaveli Beach, a top attraction in Trincomalee

places to visit and activities near Trincomalee

Trincomalee is one of the largest towns in the Eastern coast and access to it was limited because of the terrorism issues. But after the end of the war thousands of people started going there and how it is turning out to be major tourist attraction. There are many places to visit near Trincomalee and lots of activities available to you as well.It boast some of the best white sand beaches in Asia and one of the few places in Sri Lanka for dolphin and whale spotting. It has some religious destinations as well such as the Koneswarm kovil,Girihadu seya(one of the oldest stupa in Sri Lanka) and it is also popular for hot water wells. It is quite a distance from Colombo but the roads are good so if you leave early in the morning you can get there around 5-6 hours. Since the city started to get crowds only recently there is not many luxurious hotels in the area so you will find it a bit difficult to find good lodging for an affordable price. There are some small houses which are converted to small guest houses, which are ideal for a small group if you are staying a while.Lets take a look at some of the must visit places in Trincomalee and some of the top things to do around Trincomalee as well.

Crystal blue waters just below the Swami rock Koneswaram Temple
Crystal blue waters just below the Swami rock Koneswaram Temple

Places to visit in Trincomalee

Below is a list of must visit places in Trincomalee with a brief description of each place.

Nilaveli Beach - Considered one of the purest white sand beaches in Asia, Nilaveli beach is a great place to sea bath and to have a relaxing evening. If you can afford to stay at the Nilaveli beach hotel then you have easy access to the Nilaveli beach and even from the Trincomalee town it is about 15 minutes drive. There are no fresh water bathing facilities nearby, something you should consider before leaping to the sea.

Koneswaram Hindu Temple - Koneswarm Kovil is on top of the Swami rock, which can be considered the highest place in Trincomalee. Once you reach the temple you have a beautiful view of the surrounding area and if you can make it in the morning you can watch and take photos of a beautiful sunrise. As in most Hindu kovils you have beautiful and colorful carved figures.There is a sacred bo tree as well but reaching it is a bit difficult since it is near a steep rock slope.Just below you can see some of the most crystal blue waters you can find anywhere in Sri Lanka.

Lovers Leap - As the name suggests this place is famous fo couples committing suicide.There is a monument built for a lady that has committed suicide here but the historical facts suggest that the mentioned lady has actually lived, married and had children. This is just beside the Koneswaram temple so you want miss it if you are visiting the Koneswaram hindu kovil.

Fort Fredrick - Sometimes mentioned as the Trinco fort, this is an old fort built by the Portuguese. Currently it is used as an army base but you have the freedom to explore some parts inside the fort. You can still see the remains of some old building and guns and you can see various crested in some building as well. There are some administrative buildings inside the fort as well.

Kanniya Hot Water Wells - This is around 30 minutes ride from Trincomalee early you get there the better. There are seven wells built on top of hot water springs and the temperature varies from well to well.It can get pretty crowded during a public holiday, so if you are visiting there during a public holiday make sure to ge there as early as possible.You need to pay a small fee to enter the place

Pigeon Island - A small island near Trincomalee which is a national park as well.The island got its name because of hundreds of pigeon that gather in the island.There is a coral reef there with many species so it is a great place to go snorkeling or diving.There are two beaches in the island as well where you can have a relaxing time.

Marble Beach - A very beautiful beach near Trincomalee, where you can enjoy a bath in relatively shallow water. There is a restaurant maintained by the Air Force so you can enjoy a meal by the sea as well. There is a small charge per person and you need prior approval to visit this beach, which can be obtained from the nearby Air Force base

Naval Base Tour - One of the lesser known attractions in Trincomalee. Trincomalee has one of the largest naval bases in Sri Lanka and you can visit many places of interest as well. There is the naval museum where you can learn about the history of Sri Lanka navy, watch captured LTTE boats, learn about sea mines, boat engines, radar and get a great view of the Trincomalee harbor as well. Then you can visit the beautiful coral drove beach, Elephant point and finally you can end the tour by going on a boat ride in the Trincomalee harbor area where you can see Prima factory Mitsui cement factory and a whole lot more. You need prior permission to visit the naval base.

Koneswaram Hindu Kovil Trincomalee
Koneswaram Hindu Kovil Trincomalee
Lovers leap in Trincomalee
Lovers leap in Trincomalee

Sri Lanka Travel Guide from Lonely Planet at Amazon

Things to do in Trincomalee

Below are some of the top activities you can enjoy while visiting Trincomalee.

Whale and Dolphin Watching - Trincomalee is one of the few places in Sri Lanka where you can spot Whaled and Dolphins. The boat ride takes a while and it will cost you a considerable amount. You want always spot Dolphins so don't have high expectations when you are going there because you will feel bitterly disappointed.

Snorkeling - As I mentioned previously there is a huge coral reef near the pigeon island so you can go snorkeling or diving near the reef.There are plenty of marine life there so you can sure to get a glimpse of some beautiful fish and Turtles if you are lucky.

Sea bathing and sun bathing - Nilaveli beach is the best place to do this but there are plenty other areas with access to the beach in Trincomalee. Not all areas are safe for sea bathing to make sure to get some local help before you go on sea bathing. Most small hotels near the beach have facilities for sunbathing.

Boat ride in the bay - You can take a boat ride in the nearby bay, there isn't much to see but it is an enjoyable experience, especially if you live in the middle of the country where you don't get much chance to go on a boat.


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    • rumbling profile image

      Nishadha Silva 4 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thanks Amber, Glad you like the article and the comments

    • Amber Vyn profile image

      Amber Vyn 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great article and list of 'must see' places. The photos are fantastic! Voted 'up'.