3 Places For Solo-Adventures On The East Coast
One of the best things about Sri Lanka is that you are guaranteed good weather year-round; when one coast is being hit by monsoon rains, the other is basking in gorgeous sunshine. The season to visit the east coast is from April to September, and you should definitely visit its white sandy beaches, dreamy lagoons, and its world-famous surfing points. Here’s a list of a few of the main attractions on the east coast.
Situated on the northeast coast of the island, the beach is definitely the main attraction in Trinco. Home to the picturesque beaches of Nilaveli and Uppuveli, the beaches here are unlike any on the south coast, with white sand instead of the archetypical golden beaches and calm seas. But along with the wonderful beaches, there are some cultural excursions which you must do.
- Pigeon Island National Park: one of the two aquatic National Parks in Sri Lanka, 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 barren 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. Like most of 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.
- Muhudu Maha Vihara: this is a temple that is built on the sand dunes of Pottuvil, surrounded by shrubbery and overlooking the blue ocean. 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. Princess Devi- better known as Viharamahadevi- arrived in the Ruhuna kingdom, married King Kavan Tissa and had a son who became Sri Lanka’s most revered king– King Dutugamunu. One of the most serene locations in Arugam Bay, this temple is a must-visit.
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.
- Passikudah Beach: best known for its calm blue waters, Passikudah 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 off the coast and not worry too much.
- 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.