Trincomalee is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Summer Holiday Destinations in Asia.
The largest town on Sri Lanka's up-and-coming eastern coast, Trincomalee spreads across a number of rocky promontories surrounding a beautiful harbour and bay. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the King of Kandy, the French and the English all repeatedly fought over this strategically-located harbour, which ultimately even served as a base for the Allied fleet in World War II.
Some of the best beaches in the country can be found here, especially in the northern stretch of 'Trinco', known as Nilaveli, where shallow beach goes up to half a mile into the sea. Palms sway in the breeze and provide dappled shade onto the soft white sand, meaning these beaches are both scenic and comfortable. Snorkel and scuba-dive here to join the colourful marine life and visit the Pigeon Island National Park nearby if you’re after particularly good sightings.
Famed for whale and dolphin watching, we highly recommend visiting Trincomalee if you would like to see these wonderful sea creatures leaping out of the ocean in front of you. While this is mostly done by boat, we would say that the best way to witness the movements of these magnificent animals is from a helicopter high above, where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view.
Towards sunset, the town comes to life around Dutch Bay and there’s nothing better than watching the golden glow reflecting off the ocean water as the sun goes down to get a taste of local island life. To mix in some cultural sightseeing, we recommend visiting the 17th century Fort Frederik, before heading uphill to the Hindu sacred site, Koneswaram Temple, perched on the edge of Swami Rock.
Stay at Chaaya Blu hotel for a relaxed, family-friendly feel or venture further up the coast to Kuchchaveli and spend a night or two at Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes for a more luxurious stay.
Features in the following itineraries
My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
- Anonymous, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India