A growing number of people are travelling to hotspots like the tea plantation-covered highlands of Kandy and the port town of Galle in southern Sri Lanka, which is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s coolest travel destinations. Our recommendation? Before the rest of the world follows suit, avoid the throng and make your way to Sri Lanka’s east coast.
- The beaches are the main draw for travellers to Sri Lanka’s east coast.
Although there are more and more resorts popping up in some places (Passekudah Beach, north of Batticaloa, for instance), the eastern coast is still home to limitless lengths of immaculate white sand. Your preferred beach will probably be all yours—well, maybe with the exception of the odd crab. One of our favourites is Kalkudah Beach, but we also adore the section of coastline near Kuchaveli, with its palm-fringed bays and desolate dunes.
- The dearth of throngs
While some sections of the eastern coast have been designated for development in the future (typically through the establishment of Special Economic Zones, or SEZs), other parts of the coast are completely uninhabited. Those beaches north of Trincomalee, which were along the fighting lines and were spared from development during the civil war, are included in this. Other undiscovered beauties worth seeing are the beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, as well as Pigeon Island National Park, a protected region with a few carefully regulated designated dive sites.
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- The fauna
Large groups of up to 1,000 dolphins are frequently sighted off the east coast, so don’t be shocked if you see whales and dolphins right offshore. You may enjoy the amazing marine life without being a scuba diver by using a snorkel to see giant rays, sea turtles, and reef sharks. The area is home to a variety of animals, not just underwater. The stunning Arugam Bay, located close to the eastern coast’s southernmost point, serves as an excellent starting point for trips into Yala East National Park and Kudumbigala Forest Hermitage, a reserve renowned for its birdlife.
All along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka are excellent diving locations, and the country is fast becoming one of the world’s top diving destinations. Between May and October is the best time of the year to travel to Sri Lanka’s east coast. Divers and snorkelers alike frequent Nilaveli Beach for its shallow waters, which are ideal for exploring the nearby wreckage. Pigeon Island National Park, well-known for its vibrant corals, reef sharks, and turtles, is also located here. Scuba divers love Trincomalee because of its massive harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in the world. Numerous shipwrecks can be found here, some containing the wreckage of British fighter aircraft. Another excellent location for snorkelers is Passekudah, which has additional shipwrecks.
- The cuisine
Seafood is the main cuisine in this region of Sri Lanka, which may come as no surprise. Anticipate aromatic seafood dishes enhanced by regional components like mackerel, green chilies, mustard, turmeric, and coconut. One reason for the delectable diversity of Eastern Sri Lanka’s cuisine is the coexistence of three main ethnic groups: Sinhala, Muslims, and Tamils. Don’t forget to sample thosai, which are mouthwatering lentil pancakes that are particularly well-liked in the nation’s east and north. The many breads are equally tasty, whether they are the flaky paratha flatbreads or the freshly baked roti prepared with grated coconut, flour, water, and salt.
Check out our list of must-try Sri Lankan cuisines for additional details on the cuisine.
- The background
Sri Lanka’s past is convoluted. The eastern coast was split between government- and LTTE-controlled areas during the civil war. After being driven out in 2007, the former left behind a path of demolished cities, villages, and once-thriving coastal resorts. This is one of the long-standing causes of the eastern coast’s lack of major tourism attractions. Though not as dramatically, the Dutch and Portuguese also left their imprint. The stunning Dutch and Portuguese buildings along the coastline are numerous, with Fort Frederick in Trincomalee being one of the most notable. Another is the intriguing Maritime and Naval History Museum, located in a structure designed in the colonial style at Dutch Bay. The Dutch Naval Commissioner used to officially reside at this palace.
- The sacred places
The east coast is home to some stunning mosques and temples. One such example is the Hindu Koneswaram temple in Dutch Bay, which perches precariously on a rocky promontory with a view of the ocean. One of Sri Lanka’s most well-known shrines is where the local fishermen pray to Mother Nature for protection. The Buddhist Velgam Vehera temple ruins are located outside of Trincomalee. Established in the year 992 AD, the structure was demolished. Then, with donations from those who had caused its destruction, it was reconstructed.
Even though Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka, we’re utilising the fact that it’s the country’s principal entry point—the Red Mosque, also known as Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque—as an excuse to highlight one of the most stunning structures in the country.
The act of surfing
Indeed, indeed. With time, Sri Lanka may emerge as the most popular new surfing destination in Asia (see our most recent post for details). When it’s monsoon in the west, it’s sunny in the east, and vice versa for the west coast weather. The months of April through October are the ideal times to hang 10. The best place to surf in Sri Lanka is Laidback Arugam Bay, which draws both locals and international pros. Here, too, stand-up paddle boarding has become popular.
- The easier way to
The eastern shore is getting easier to get to, which is a benefit of its rising appeal. This indicates that more tour companies are providing planned east coast explorations. Experience Sri Lanka’s east coast like never before with travel operators offering everything from sailing tours to surf camps to fully customised Sri Lanka tour itineraries.
- How to book a trips to Sri Lanka East Coast A trip to Sri Lanka is available in many forms. The tourist can even book a Sri Lanka one-day tour to the east coast from many cultural triangle cities such as Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla. However, a one-day tour from Colombo to the east can be a daunting task due to the long distance to cover. The tourists might need to plan at least a 2-day Sri Lankan trip in order to visit the east coast of Sri Lanka from Colombo. Tour operators like Serendipity Tours organise Sri Lanka tour packages with inclusions of the east coast throughout the year. If you would like to book a Sri Lankan tour itinerary with the East Coast, please get in touch with us at email@example.com, call us, or WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.