History, culture and picturesque beaches off the tourist track
The East Coast is one of Sri Lanka’s most up and coming areas and with beautiful swathes of beach giving way to the calm shallow waters, it’s easy to see why. Relatively undiscovered, it’s still charming and relaxed. Not only that but it’s also home to some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and its popularity is only going to increase, so now is the time to visit. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and you can now fly in from Colombo with Cinnamon Air. For families it’s ideal, not only do the calm waters make it ideal for children, but the seasonality is very similar to ours, meaning our summer is also theirs, perfect for escaping over the summer holidays.
- White sand beaches, soft white sands, the perfect place to relax
- Jump onboard a Cinnamon Air flight from Colombo and start your holiday on the quieter East Coast
- The ideal starting place from which to continue your journey across Sri Lanka taking in the Cultural Triangle
Best time to visit East Coast Sri Lanka
• The dry periods in Sri Lanka are split by area with December to March being the best period for the west and south coast and from April to September for the heart of Sri Lanka and the East Coast
• The northeast monsoon takes place between November and March and affects the East Coast
• Temperatures are relatively consistent year round (26-32°C) all around the island, especially around the coast and the Cultural Triangle.
East Coast Sri Lanka holiday highlights
The town of Trincomalee has played an important role in Sri Lanka’s history due to its deep water harbour. First it was occupied by the Portugese, then the Dutch, French and English as each strove to control this ideally located port. Since the end of the fighting, the west coast has started to appear on tourist radars all over the world. This said, it is still relatively untouched when compared with the east coast.
Due to its deep harbour, Trincomalee is an ideal destination for those with a love of the sea. Boats of all sizes are scattered throughout the bay and beyond and many offer day trips and excursions to nearby islands like Pigeon Island. You can also enjoy a multitude of watersports including surfing, diving and snorkelling as well as enjoy whale watching excursions with opportunities to see the largest mammal in the world, the blue whale.
Within and around Trincomalee you’ll find a plethora of things to see and do. Within the town there is the fort, built by the Portugese before the Dutch ousted them as well as the famed Koneswaram temple. Outside you’ll find the ruins of various temples, settlements and monasteries as well as statues and inscriptions. There are also seven hot wells of varying temperatures just outside of Trincomalee.
Passikudah is a coastal town famed for its wonderful stretch of beach with one of the longest shallow coastlines in the world. Here you can wade out into the sea for kilometres before it becomes deep which is ideal for families, especially as Passikudah and the rest of the east coast have similar seasonality to the UK, meaning its best weather is during our summer months.
It’s an up and coming resort, with plenty of new hotel offerings as well as some bars and restaurants. It’s also close to the town of Batticoloa, which is where you’ll fly into if you choose a domestic flight with Cinnamon Air and is also home to a historic Dutch fort.
Out to sea you’ll find some great diving opportunities, including the wreck of the HMS Hermes, which was a British naval ship sunk in World War II and some beautiful reef gardens. Back on dry land you have the nearby Maduru Oya National Park which is famed for its elephant sightings, as well a collection of Hindu temples.
Recommended East Coast Sri Lanka Hotels
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