The Perfect Getaway on Trinco Shorelines

Road to Trincomalee

Trinco, here we come 🙂

Despite having busy schedules, when it comes to travel, me and Malith or the two native travelers 🙂 would simply sacrifice anything to pack our bags and explore something unique in this picturesque Ceylon. So it was in September along with our travel buddies we decided to put some unplanned leave and arrange this long journey to Trincomalee, a place where you could actually feel the serene of some fascinating beaches overlooking one of the largest natural harbors in our country.

Trincomalee, most commonly addressed as “Trinco”, is also an attractive water sports goal owing to the unblemished oceanfront which is ranked among the most picturesque in the island. So without any doubts we could simply recommend Trinco to any of our followers for a scenic and relaxing vacation. We all are aware that nothing good comes easy, so mind you when visiting this part of Sri Lanka, there involves some distance to travel.

If you are up for the challenge, go for it !

Trinco is the capital of Eastern province Sri Lanka, on the Bay of Bengal which can accommodate the larger vessels. Trincomalee was the British naval headquarters in the Pacific Rim until 1957 and had an airstrip from which U.S. planes operated against the Japanese in Myanmar and Malaya. With the fame of having significant deep water harbors in the country, Trincomalee is appreciated for its white sandy shorelines of Nilaveli and Uppuveli.

Trincomalee harbor sculpture

Trincomalee, how it would have been in the past

Trincomalee town

Present day Trincomalee

View Town Trincomalee

View of Trincomalee Town from the premises of Koneswaram Temple

So one fine day Approximately 266 km away from Colombo, our journey to Trincomalee began. As we stepped out just before the sun rise the journey did not take more than 5 hrs and 30 mins via Ambepussa – Kurunegala route. Trincomalee lies in the dry zone of Sri Lanka which is normally sunny during any part of the year, while the temperature can reach also up to 35°-36° C (95°-96°F) amid April to September period. So if you are to enjoy some sunny weather, it would be the best you could find at the beaches there.

Trincomalee Town

Look whom I met along the side paths  on Trinco roads 🙂

We reached Trinco during noon and look whom I found in the Trinco town. Well she was so harmless and innocent so I was tempted to offer her some food so that whilst offering food I could also get close to her and pat her head softly. We saw many of them along the main road of Trinco, and also saw plenty of kind-hearted people offering them food. But what we should keep in mind is that these innocent creatures do not know the difference between food and the polythene food wrappers. So if anyone throws food wrapped in a polythene cover, they would just gulp it all and eventually die because of polythene in their stomachs. So we two as LetsgoCeylon make a very humble request from all our readers to be mindful when feeding these harmless animals as they are assets for bio-diversity of Ceylon.

Places we have visited in Trincomalee within 3 days.

  1. Koneswaram Temple
  2. Nilaveli Beach
  3. Marble Beach
  4. Maritime & Naval History Museum
  5. Pigeon Island

Koneswaram Temple

After having a small snack from the Trinco town, we made our way to visit one sacred site in Trinco. You could always experience the true Dutch influence in this part of Sri Lanka if you visit many places like the Fort Frederick which is home to the Swami Rock, on which the famous Koneswaram Temple is found. Devoted to the Hindu God Shiva, the sacred location is only around 15 mins (5.5 km) away from the Trinco town and only took us nearly 10 mins of travel time from the town. It is one of the primary destinations mirroring the verifiable importance of Trinco.

Though the main objective is visiting the attractions, I know well that there is some part in our hearts which is always in for Shopping 🙂 . So before entering the temple we had to pass a busy walk way with lots and lots of colorful stalls filled with accessories and some very tasty  sweets and drinks (which you simply can’t resist tasting). Well the stuff sold there are very vibrant and it is from there where I bought another hat 🙂 . Though you might have to pay a little premium when doing street shopping there, trust me the memories you could make are just priceless.

Trinco - Busy walkway to the Koneswaram Temple

Busy walkway to the temple

You can also take a tuk tuk to the top of the hill or come in your vehicle rather than parking your vehicle in the large car park at the bottom of the walkway. But we would recommend you to take the walk, experience the culture and surroundings and be more native. Also keep in mind the tuk tuks would charge you bit extra and finding parking for your own vehicles at the top would be a little challenging too at times. So its worth the walk!

Trinco - The Koneswaram Temple

The entrance of the Koneswaram Temple

There you go, we reached the shrine of Koneswaram. The seated statue of God Shiva, in front of the temple is just fascinating and unleashes the pride of the shrine. After keeping our slippers and shoes at the counter, permission was granted to enter the sacred temple. It is from the legends we hear that the temple has lot of healing powers. Many married without children visit the shrine and offer their prayers to fulfill their dreams about a child birth.

Trinco - The Koneswaram Temple

Rear end of Koneswaram Temple

The scared Hindu temple which is eternally crowded during day time had long queues to enter. The unique interior, murals and other different paintings which were on the walls of the temple were clear symbols of the importance of the sacred shrine. By the way photography was restricted inside the temple so we were unable to capture the interior of the Koneswaram temple. However, at the top of the rock you could enjoy superb views of the Trincomalee sea. If you stay there for few minutes, you will find fishing boats or even small luxury yachts from the top.

Trincomalee Sea

By the time we stepped out of the temple it was half past three in the evening and we almost heard our hungry tummies grumbling inside, pleading for food. So we had our lunch and some tasty orange juice from a shop in that walkway.

The pristine beach in Trinco – Nilaveli Beach

Hitting a beach always excites me and Malith a lot. So Trinco being a paradise for so many pristine beaches,  we all could not just figure out to which beach we would hit first 🙂 . While having lunch we all finalized our next stop which was to visit the beach of Nilaveli, 18 km away from Koneswaram.

The Nilaveli Beach lies 11 km north of Trincomalee town and is the much sort after beachfront among the four main shorelines in Trinco. With best star class hotels including Anilana Nilaveli and Pigeon Island Hotel Nilaveli being on the pristine white sandy shoreline, the beach offers much needed relaxation for a perfect getaway.

Nilaveli beach in Trincomalee

Nilaveli beach

Despite all the plans made by our gang, I had a small other plan in my mind to specifically visit the beautiful hotel “Anilana Nilaveli” which was just adjoining the coastline there. Whilst checking out the place to give out some comprehensive review for all our readers I strategically convinced everyone to have a snack from the hotel as well 🙂 .

Anilana Nilaveli Hotel

Hotel – Anilana Nilaveli

The hotel is simply awesome.

The relaxed spaces, nice pool facing the great blue waters and the beautiful small gardens just drew an art in our minds which I believe would never fade. You could just be in the pool for hours gazing at the beach. And the food was OK I would say but a better review could have been given if we had time to check out one of their main meals. Despite all that being said we definitely feel Anilana is one good choice if you are planning to explore the East Coast of our beautiful motherland, Sri Lanka.

Anilana Nilaveli Hotel

Anilana Nilaveli Hotel

Collecting memories is always fun.

So after spending couple of hours in the beach and checking out the hotels in the stretch, we knew it was high time to get back to hotel where we were stayed. Then hopping into the vehicle, we took our way back to the hotel and after a drive of 45 mins we all arrived at the gates of Eagle’s Golf-Links.

While having a relaxing music session with Malith playing the guitar and others supporting him by singing to the beat we did not forget to go for delicious Dolphin Kottu and Crab Kottu in the night which we purchased from a small Kottu shop near by Trinco town for just LKR450.00. So yea our meal plan was complete and the per day cost per person for meals was around LKR1,500. So that wrapped up our day-one in Trinco.

Another Snorkeling Corner in Trinco – Marble Beach

Early morning on the following day we decided that it was the best time that we all should visit Marble beach which is yet another fabulous snorkeling corner in Trinco. The Marble Beach which is located within the Koddiar Bay (Trincomalee Bay) is one exceptional beach with some very calm and quiet waters where we enjoyed a good sea bath of 2-3 hrs. Further boat rides could also be arranged in the location which could be negotiated at reasonable rates near LKR4,000. However the rate would vary based on the number of travelers and the islands that you plan to explore in the area.

Marble beach Trincomalee

Marble Beach

The time frame between April to September and November to December are said to be the best times to visit the Marble Beach. Moreover, all essential conveniences including changing rooms, drinking water, eateries, vehicle stopping and resting hovels are accessible at the location. There are some decent lodging line the Marble Beach Resort and another resort managed by the Sri Lankan Air Force which are also situated on the shorelines of Marble Beach.

Marble Beach

Wondering over the powdery shorelines of Marble Beach

Marble Beach

Maritime and Naval History Museum

The post lunch session was more like one all round trip about the history and the surroundings of Trincomalee, as we thought of visiting Trinco’s Maritime and Naval Museum. Wow! the entry point of the museum was one amazing scenery. A bungalow then was converted to a navel museum which had different historical monuments depicting the great times then. There were sculptures of boats, ships, weapons used in war, different uniforms in the naval hierarchy along with some more sculptures of marine life existent in the deep blue waters of Trinco coupled with some paintings depicting the culture in the East Coast of Sri Lanka centuries back.

The entrance of Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

The entrance of Maritime and Naval History Museum

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

Past days of Trincomalee

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

Dutch Ship – 1602 – 1796 A.D.

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

The sculpture of the ancient army of Ceylon

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

Trincomalee, getting more civilized.

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee

The good old days of Sri Lankan war heroes

As a summary Maritime and Naval History Museum is a must visit for anyone who is really interested about the naval history of Ceylon, ancient Trincomalee and how it got civilized up to the present day. Day two was wrapped up with a bigger hope for an exciting and thrilling next day.

Pigeon Island in Trincomalee

Day three was a much awaited one as all of us were excited about visiting Pigeon Island. Do you actually know why the place is named as Pigeon Island ? Well I was a bit curious to find that out once we visited the place which was approximately 30 mins away from our hotel. Any guesses from all those smarty pants as to how the place got its name 🙂 ??

Trincomalee - Pigeon Island

First impression of the Pigeon Island

Ok, let me be honest with you…Pigeon Island is what everybody is looking for in Trincomalee nowadays. Adding to the unique magnificence of Trincomalee, Pigeon Island which comprise of two enchanting islets off the east coast of Trincomalee is just 1 km off the bank of the picturesque Nilaveli Beach. The best time to visit the island is in the morning hours as that’s when you could explore the nature and feel the beauty at its best. So let me tell you why the name has pigeons 🙂 .Since it had been a popular reproducing ground for the famous blue rock pigeons, it was then named as “Pigeon Island”.

Pigeon Island

The islands were declared a national park/sanctuary in 1963 for the purpose of protecting these birds. The national park is a true pearl in the island nation with great bio diversity which unleashes a breath taking opportunity for diving, Scuba diving, snorkeling and sightseeing, whilst the islands are under the guardianship of Sri Lankan Navy. For non residents the charges for visiting Pigeon Island National Park comprise of an entry fee adult/child USD10.5 and a service charge per group of USD8.0. There are boat operators who will charge LKR1,500 – LKR1,800 for a return trip to the island.

Pigeon Island

The speedboat ride is the best possible way to explore all islets.

The crystal clear waters were simply amazing and we can definitely say it was a paradise on earth if you are a fan of sea-baths, snorkeling or diving. Apart from all that, you could also have a small hike in the small mountain which you could spot below which is a very rocky one indeed. The waters are so clear and shallow just near the shore whilst the sand is so soft and white. But one thing you need to watch out when walking on the shore is about the rough edges of the broken coral reefs which has washed and reached the shorelines. It might even cut your feet, so watch your step if your without your slippons :).

Pigeon Island

The water is not deep at all in this bey area in the island.

Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island view from the top. Image courtesy at

Pigeon Island

You will hardly find any waves crashing which implies it is a paradise to do snorkeling.

Pigeon Island

The broken coral reef edges all over the shore… Watch out ! it’s a bit rough there…

So after a relaxed time at the Pigeon Island it was the time to catch up the boat back to the main island. So this ended our much awaited long journey to the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

Pigeon Island

Crystal clear water, feel so bad to leave the place.

Pigeon Island

The land you can see far is the Nilaveli beach.

 About Food & Lodging

We spent our 3 day trip to Trinco at “Eagles’ Golf Links” Club House where the rooms with all facilities were priced at a very affordable rate of LKR3,500 (Room Only) and was only a few kilometers away from all attractions at Trinco. There were plenty of cafes around Trinco town which we had our meals at a reasonable rate of LKR300 – LKR600. However, the reservations for this place should be done through a member of this Club House like we did. Following is the link if you would like to make a visit there Eagles’ Golf Links

Eagles' Golf Links

Eagles’ Golf Links Club House

Eagles' Golf Links

We didn’t play Golf 🙂 but it was fun to keep watching

So if you are also interested in visiting the East coast of Sri Lanka, we think you could try out with Trinco with no hassles for sure. The drive is a bit long but the road network would definitely make the journey smooth. There is so much to explore here… so we would recommend if you could prepare your itinerary as ours and be prepared for a three or four day stay there. Trust us… lots of excitement awaits you there !!!

Happy Travels Everyone 🙂

Shadini & Malith

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19 Responses

  1. Wow ! this place looks like one paradise. we missed heading here in our srilanka trip.. biut there’s always next time. thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve been wanting to visit Srilanka so bad . I was planning to, this year, but somehow it didn’t work out. Nilaveli beach and Marble beach are just too gorgeous!!!

  3. Anushka says:

    Amazing post.. definately I will be heading to Sri Lanka soon.. it’s so beautiful with pristine beaches. I loved your pictures as well it does justify the beauty of Ceylon 🙂

  4. Samir says:

    Damn i would like to win some lottery money and to go there for new year. Great blog, and i can see that you really enjoyed during your trip 🙂

  5. The view of the beaches and coastline with those jewel-toned waters is incredible. I’ve been researching Sri Lanka for some time now, and it seems so vast. Anilana Nilaveli looks like an idyllic place to stay and enjoy the beauty of Trincomalee.

  6. The temple has amazingly vibrant colors! The naval history museum would interest me a lot as I enjoy learning about history. The water colors is wonderful. I don’t think I have ever been to a beach that doesn’t have waves crashing on the sand.

  7. Kiyoko says:

    Great post! Pigeon Island looks like the perfect getaway! What an absolutely beautiful place!

  8. David says:

    Wow these photos are amazing!! I’d love to visit Sri Lanka, this just makes me want to visit even more

  9. This place seems so beautiful. I’d love to visit, especially Koneswaram Temple. Thanks for sharing your experiences. This is definitely paradise on earth.

  10. Harsh Gupta says:

    We were in Sri Lanka last month and were really keen on exploring Trincomalee but due to a packed scheduled decided to stick to Southern part of the country. I’d love to come back and see this side too. Lucky you guys!

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