The east coast remains largely undeveloped and offers the closest beaches to the Cultural Triangle. It’s the perfect spot to head to during our summer as the dry season runs from April to September.
Head East For Summer Sun
The most famous town is Trincomalee that sits on one the world’s finest natural harbours (2nd in size to Sydney) and has been fought over for 1,000’s of years. A lot of visitors pass through the town on the way to smaller beach resorts, but those who linger for a night or two will find a vibrant town fronted by beautiful beaches that are largely empty except for the occasional friendly fisherman. Towards sunset, the town comes to life around Dutch Bay. Whale watching is also growing in popularity and run from May to October.
Head slightly north and you’ll find the coastal communities of Uppuveli and Nilaveli. Uppuveli has more hotels and the water is calmer, so good for swimming. Nilaveli has a longer beach with fewer hotels, but the water is more changeable. Both offer pristine beaches from which, if you’re so inclined, you can try surfing, scuba diving and whale / dolphin watching.
Just off the coast, Pigeon Island and Coral Island offer some of Sri Lanka's best diving and snorkelling opportunities. Alternatively head slightly inland and you’ll discover tropical mangroves and jungles, interspersed with pretty lagoons teeming with birdlife. A great all round destination.
Alternatively head south from Trincomalee to discover Pasikuda Bay, the closest beach to Polonnaruwa and an area that’s going to see a lot of development in coming years, but for now visitors can enjoy its stunning golden sand beaches and shallow turquoise seas.
Keep travelling south and you reach Aragum Bay. Primarily known as a mecca for surfers, but many other visitors choose to stay here to learn to surf or just boogie board and enjoy the relaxed, casual atmosphere of the bars and cafes that front the beach.