3 Places For Solo-Adventures On The East Coast
Explore the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on your solo trip in Sri Lanka. The adventurer has a whole heap of excursions to partake in the Eastern Coast, from snorkelling in Pigeon Island to surfing at Elephant Rock. One of the best things about the island, is that you are guaranteed good weather year-round. When one side of the country is hit by monsoon rains, the other is basking in gorgeous sunshine. The best season to visit the east coast is from April to September. Here are 3 favourite places for solo adventurers on the east coast, and what you can do there.
Situated on the northeast coast of the island, the beach is definitely the main attraction in Trinco. Home to the picturesque Nilaveli and Uppuveli, these beaches are unlike any on the island, complete with white sands and clear blue waters. Go snorkelling in Pigeon Island in the morning and visit Koneswaram Temple by evening.
- Pigeon Island National Park
As one of the mandatory experiences for a first-time traveller to Sri Lanka, snorkelling in Pigeon Island is one of the best things to do here. Pigeon Island National Park is a small island off the coast of Nilaveli. The park has a whole host of colourful coral and fish, as well as reef sharks and sea turtles. Snorkelling here is like entering another world; the stark white sand and green shrubbery of the rocky island is contrasted with the technicolour life under the water. If you’re not travelling with snorkelling gear you can rent it from a watersports shop on the mainland.
- Koneswaram Temple
Located within Fort Fedrick, built by the Portuguese in 1623, Koneswaram Temple is an iconic Hindu temple on the east coast. Koneswaram Temple translates to ‘the Temple of a Thousand Pillars’, however, those pillars were destroyed by the Portuguese, the temple seen today was built in the 1950s, even though it dates back to nearly 3000 years ago. The temple is on a hill and gives some fantastic views of the surrounding Trincomalee coves, and a welcomed break from the beach.
Arugam Bay is found on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, and it is best known for being the ultimate surfer’s paradise. The small town was only ‘discovered’ in the 1970s by intrepid surfers, but since then it has become a fixture in any trip to Sri Lanka. Arugam Bay has a mixture of history and nature for you to explore.
- Elephant Rock Point
Named after the rock’s resemblance to an elephant, this surfing point is a secluded beach which only seems to be known by die-hard surfers. It is a bit of trek to actually get to the beach since there’s no road access- it might be a good idea to wear tennis shoes- so you’ll have to walk from the main road to the rock. Here you’ll be greeted with one of the most amazing views of both the ocean and a lagoon separated by a thin strip of golden sand. This point is ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers. Looking for more surfing points, check out the best surfing breaks in Sri Lanka.
- Muhudu Maha Vihara
Built on the sand dunes of Pottuvil, surrounded by shrubbery and overlooking the blue ocean, Muhudu Maha Vihara is steeped in 2000 years of history. The temple is built on the site where Princess Devi- better known as Viharamahadevi, mother of King Dutugamunu, from the Kelaniya kingdom, landed after her father was forced to sacrifice her to appease the gods from cursing the land with a tsunami. This is one of the most serene locations in Arugam Bay and a must visit when you’re here.
Batticaloa often gets overlooked, but this small town has something to please everyone with wonderful beaches, history and religion. Batticaloa translates to ‘The Kingdom of Rice’, the name was given by the Portuguese, and while it may no longer live up to its original name, it is a great place for some downtime.
- Pasikudah Beach
Best known for its calm blue waters, Pasikudah is the ideal place for you to relax and just laze by the beach. The beach is protected by an offshore reef and thus why the ocean is much calmer here, so calm that you can wade far into it, without swimming.
- Batticaloa Fort
Deemed the island’s most picturesque fort, on an islet off the main town, the Batticaloa Fort is nestled between the ocean and the Batticaloa lagoon. The fort was initially built by the Portuguese in 1628 and subsequently taken over by the Dutch. The fort is well preserved, and you should take some time to walk along the cobbled streets where you will see some ancient cannons that were left here by the Dutch. One of the best things to do is watch the sunset from the Batticaloa fort.