What you must do in Trincomalee before you leave
The charming old town of Trincomalee in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, is a 4 hour and 45 minutes drive away from Colombo. Home to one of the finest natural deep-water harbours in the world, Trincomalee is the perfect getaway for a solo traveller to relax, to be adventurous, or even learn the rich culture and history of the island. Here is what you can do in the town.
1. Visit Nilaveli Beach
The best time to visit Trincomalee is from February to April to enjoy the warm and perfect weather by the beach. Trincomalee has some of the best white sandy beaches in Sri Lanka with clear blue deep waters, such as Nilaveli Beach. The best part about Nilaveli Beach is that it does not get too crowded, making it the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful day under the sun.
If you’re looking for more adventure, try scuba diving where you could explore a treasure trove that thrives beneath the ocean surface. There are many diving centres, offering various packages for beginners and professionals; with trained professionals who would guide you through the expedition. They also offer other water sports activities such as snorkelling or kayaking. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and waterproof cameras.
2. Spend the Day at Pigeon Island
A 10-minute boat ride away from Nilaveli Beach, lies the small island surrounded by clear blue waters called Pigeon Island Marine National Park. You could go snorkelling or diving to see the different species of beautiful corals or colourful reef fish, small jellyfish or even reef sharks. If its your first time solo travelling to Sri Lanka, here are 5 fun experiences you must try.
3. Whale & Dolphin Watching
In the past few years, Trincomalee has become one of the hotspots in Sri Lanka for whale and dolphin watching. You will encounter blue whales, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins and more. The best season to embark on a whale and dolphin watching excursion in Trinco is between the months of March to August, making it an experience that you should not miss out on.
4. Fort Frederik
The colonial Fort Frederik which was built in 1623 CE by the Portuguese provides the perfect opportunity to travel back in time and admire the remnants from the island’s colonial past. Learn its rich history and interesting stories about how the fort was built. While you’re exploring Fort Frederik by either car or by foot, you might encounter spotted deer grazing under the banyan trees.
5. Explore the Koneswaran Temple
As you walk through Fort Frederik, you will come across the ancient temple Koneswaran Temple, which was built for the Hindu God Shiva. Shiva was also called Eeshwar or Eeshwarar, who reigned over the mountain of Holy Konam, which is how the temple received its name. Visit the rear of the beautiful temple, to enjoy the magnificent view of the Trincomalee Bay and learn the history behind the famous Lover’s Leap.
Tip: Try out local sweets and delicacies which are sold by different vendors, who you will encounter during your hike to visit Lover’s Leap.
6. Kanniya Hot Springs
The Kanniya Hot Springs is a famous hot well in Trincomalee, where there are seven square shaped wells that are only 3-4 feet deep. The temperature in the seven springs are all different from one another. Many locals believe that the history of the Kanniya Hot Springs dated back to the Ravana era, which you can learn more about during your visit.
Tip: Make sure to visit Kanniya Hot Springs in the morning before it gets too crowded.