Six Amazing Things To Do In Trincomalee
Trincomalee, an idyllic beach paradise at the northeast coast of Sri Lanka is upcoming as a tourist destination. And the place to be to see some unspoiled local life as well as some of Sri Lanka’s best beaches. Although it might be tempting to only relax on the white sandy beaches and swim in it’s clear blue waters for an extended amount of time, the small port city offers plenty of things to explore in two to three days.
1. Rent a scooter and drive up north
One of the most adventurous and unique experiences you can get in Trincomalee is to rent a scooter and explore the northern side of the country. Simply follow the road up and let your curiosity guide you. Don’t shy away and follow the small dirt roads into the unknown to find some of Sri Lanka’s hidden treasures. Might those be the most welcoming locals, beautiful lakes, lagoons, beaches or villages, a day on the scooter will surely be a blast. Most hotel and guesthouse managers will be happy to help you rent a scooter. Prices excl. fuel should be around 1500 rupees a day.
2. Do a paradise beach tour
Home to some of Sri Lanka’s most magnificent beaches Trincomalee might just be the best place for a paradise beach-tour. Mingle with locals at the white sands of the more remote Niaveli beach, sway away under the palm lined beach of Upuveli and swim along bright colored fishes in the crystal clear water of the Marble beach bay. A hike up to Diamond hill, accessible from Marble beach offers fabulous views over Trincomalee and its harbor. Be sure to enjoy a spectacular sunrise if you start the day early.
3. Explore phenomenal marine life
Famed to be one of the best places for whale watching Trincomalee offers great opportunity to see these majestic sea creatures from March to August, with peaks for blue whales in March and April and sperm whales in August and September. The northeast coast is furthermore an excellent place for dolphin watching, as large groups up to hundreds of dolphins are active between May and August.
For a more physical activity you can go snorkeling at the popular Pidgeon island, although I’ve heard bad reviews about dying corals and overall insufficient maintenance of this national park.
In any case be mindful about the environment and choose your company wisely.
4. Gaze at the colorful Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil temple.
Dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali this might just be one of Sri Lanka’s most unique Hindu temples. Featuring thousands of colorful decorations of deities and gods, and a mesmerizing amount of details in both interior and exterior. With regular ceremonies and prayers being held you might find yourself lucky to get a real authentic experience. Located at a stone’s throw from the Trincomalee bus station this temple can easily be visited on your way in-or out. Be sure to take off your shoes before entering the complex. The temple is opened daily and free to visit.
5. Visit the Koneswaram temple and spot whales from the cliff
Dedicated to Lord Shiva this temple is an important place for worship. Located on top of a cliff it offers spectacular views on the Indian ocean as well as Trincomalee’s natural harbor. Follow the ancient path up in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims and come across large Shiva statues and jaw-dropping scenery. Those interested in Hinduism or rituals should visit in the early hours and observe the ceremonial prayers in the cool temperatures of the new day.
The cliff itself is known to be one of the best places to spot blue whales from the shore, so you might be fortunate to see them. Temple is open daily and free to visit.
6. Spot wild deer at Fort Frederick
Originally build by the Portuguese in 1623, rebuild by the Dutch in 1655 and later taken over by the British. Fort Frederick has a long history as a defense site. Currently in use by the Sri Lankan army not every part of the fort is accessible, but it’s still a good place to visit.
Spot the British insignia as you enter through the massive gateway and walk on the forts impressive walls when visiting the Gorkana temple. Admire the many wild deer, peacocks and monkeys wandering around the complex or seek shadow under some magnificent trees. From the Fort you can walk up to the holy Koneswaram temple. And on the way back you can make a small stroll into town to see the local fish market along with lovely views on fisher boats in the bay. The Fort can be visited daily and is free of charge.
Is this city guide helpful? Tell others by sharing it on social media!
For more travel inspiration about Sri Lanka and Trincomalee, be sure to check out this page with travel stories, tips and guides.