Sri Lanka Holiday: Trincomalee Beach Holiday
Part of the travelling through Sri Lanka series by Jessica E:
Trincomalee is on the east coast of Sri Lanka and was historically significant for its natural harbour. Trincomalee (or Trinco to Sri Lankans) is today famous for its surrounding beaches and is one of the most popular beach holiday locations in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankans. While many people just pass through the town on their way to the surrounding beaches I found the town to be quite charming. The city has a large Tamil population and had been heavily involved in the civil war up until it ended in 2009 – the area still shows some of the scars.
I was staying at the Jungle Beach Resort near Trincomalee. The luxury beach resort features a natural lagoon and beachside villas located within a ten-acre nature reserve. I loved the way the resort had incorporated its natural surroundings into the design. My villa felt like a luxury treehouse facing the lagoon – my favourite part was m
y private deck that faced the lagoon. I ordered breakfast via room service each morning and enjoyed my private jungle and lagoon view before setting out on an adventure.
On my first day in the area, I went to Fort Frederick, an Old Dutch fort located on the peninsula. The fort had originally been constructed by the Portuguese but was taken over by the Dutch in 1623 and the British in 1782. Even nowadays the fort has a strong military presence as the whole peninsula is part of a military base. At the tip of the peninsula, I saw a pretty Hindu temple, Koneswaram, sitting on the clifftop and opted to climb it. The top featured spectacular views of the peninsula, harbor and central Trinco.
I spent the late afternoon in Trinco’s picturesque Dutch Bay, with its colorful boats. Later on, I had great, fresh lobster at the famous Ceylon Seafood Cafe.
The following morning the hotel arranged transport to the beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli. Since Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009 the beaches have been rediscovered by tourists and are becoming increasing popular as Sri Lanka beach holiday destinations. I enjoyed the fact that the tourism industry was not over-developed in and around Trinco as the beaches were less busy than in south-west. The beaches were easy to reach and very accessible yet relatively untouched.
I took a boat to Pigeon Island from Nilaveli. The island is one kilometer offshore and has powdery white sands as fine as icing sugar. The island is a nesting rock for pigeons and surrounded by little coral gardens and rock pools. There were countless walking paths weaving in and around the island. The boat had provided us with snorkel gear, though some people chose to dive instead. I was a little squeamish though as I was aware the area was home to blacktip reef sharks, fortunately though I did not spot any sharks, but I did see some lovely turtles. It was a short visit but a great one!
As the afternoon heat began to dissipate I headed towards Kanniya hot springs 5 kilometers west of Uppuveli. The hot springs consisted of seven springs each with their own unique water. The water is said to have different medicinal qualities and are the most popular hot springs in Sri Lanka. Each well was only 3-4 feet deep and we were given buckets to fetch the water and pour it over ourselves. It was a bit different to other hot springs I had been to throughout the world but probably for the best as being completely immersed in hot water in a hot climate was not ideal.
I got back to my villa in the Jungle Beach Resort rather late that evening and ate dinner in the resort’s restaurant. I had been on holiday in Sri Lanka for over a month and had seen the country from south to north and east to west. Somehow I still felt as though there was so much left to see! While I was looking forward to going home and sleeping in my own bed I knew I would be leaving a part of myself behind here in Sri Lanka. My trip had been such a perfect mix of history, nature, and self-reflection. In the morning I checked out of the hotel and headed to Colombo to board my flight home. As I watched the lush greenery and golden coastlines retreat into the distance from the airplane window I vowed to return to country one day.
For more information on Sri Lanka holidays have a look at our comprehensive Sri Lanka Travel Guide.