Best known for it’s reef filled underwater world, the coast around Trincomalee is enough to make you want to drop everything and exchange your pins for a mermaid tail. Although that’s slightly beyond reality, in all seriousness spending some time beach hopping in the area is a must for any traveller.
From deserted beaches and clear waters, to beautiful mellow waves for bodysurfing and a pristine island that comes complete with sharks (friendly ones); if you’re an adventure seeker, you’ll love this coastline in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province.
In this post I’m going to tell you all about how you can spend two days beach hopping in Trincomalee with a suggested itinerary, maps, and nice pics to inspire your own adventures.
Day 1. Pigeon Island, Nilavelli & Kuchchaveli
Start the day early, and set out to Pigeon Island National Park on one of the first boats of the day. While most people head out at about 9:00am we left Nilaveli beach just after 7:30am. Always check to see if it can be arranged to leave earlier. Snorkelling on Pigeon Island is so easy – we just put on our fins and flippered right in. There’s heaps of beautiful tropical fish, corals and even sharks! You only really need 2 hours here to enjoy snorkelling on both sides of the small island.
Head back to Nilaveli for breakfast at your guesthouse before freshening up and hopping on the scooter. Grab some fresh bananas, biscuits and water from the tiny local shops on the sandy streets of Nilaveli before driving up to Kuchchaveli beach.
Even if there are a few people there, it’s generally pretty quiet with calm waters and a long stretch of beach. If you’re lucky you might have the beach to yourself. Go exploring round the headland on the south and see if you can find the beautiful little rock pool we discovered (pictured above). I think it’s a hidden gem of Sri Lanka, I can’t get over how fricking gorgeous it is.
Head back to Nilaveli beach and spend the next few hours playing in the waves. Have some lunch if you’re hungry too (we just ate bananas and held out for a big dinner!). If you bodysurf, you’ll love these clean waves! If you can’t bodysurf? Either play in the waves or give it a go! Here’s a cool instructional video I found if you want some tips: watch video.
Freshen up, then head back to the beach to enjoy watching the sky turn to all of the shades of pink.
Go for dinner at Nilaa Restaurant (it gets busy so get there just after sunset). Try the rice and curry or fried prawns and French fries if you’re craving something a little home comfort. Remember to ask for no plastic straw or BYO steel straw.
Day 2. Marble Beach
Ok, you can have a bit of a lie in today. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your guesthouse or home stay before you pack up a day bag. You’ll need all beach essentials – a good book, a towel and lots of water and snacks.
Set off for Marble Beach. Stop off at Trinco Food City on route to stock up on healthy fruit snacks and chips before being on your way. It’ll take about 1 hour to reach Marble Beach. When you get there, you’ll need to pay an entry fee of 20 LKR per person (about £0.10p).
It might be busy – especially on the weekends, but you’ll quickly realise that the crowds are between the flags on the southern end of the beach. Head to the northern end of the beach, under a fixed parasol and chairs and set yourself up for a beach day in this tranquil little paradise of emerald, still waters. If you’re feeling active, put on a pair of closed toe shoes and try the hike to a viewpoint behind the beach resort.
Or whenever you feel ready, hop back on the scooter. Head for a sundown swim and bodysurf or swim at Nilaveli beach to complete another adventurous beach day.
Go for dinner at Pink House Restaurant (see map). Have the rice and curry and lime juice – a delicious and super cheap local meal! Remember to ask for no plastic straw or BYO steel straw.
WHERE TO STAY
Base yourself in Nilaveli Beach for all of the local beach vibes and good accessibility to both locations.
MID-RANGE: Antheia Beach Resort (it’s a bit further south than Nilaveli village but it looks LUSH with cabanas on the beach!)
CASH SPLASH: Oceanfront Condos – Nilaveli (ok this one is a mega splash, it looks amazing)
Just take a look at booking.com for the latest deals.
Switch on the Satellite
Put the satellite version on google maps to have some indication of a where a beach is while you explore.
Check for military beaches
Double check with your guesthouse if the beach you are looking at is within military land – in most cases these won’t be accessible (apart from Marble Beach which is).
Factor in scuba time!
If you enjoy scuba diving, you’ll love Trinco even more so factor in enough time to explore the sea as well as the land when planning your trip to the Eastern Province.
Bring snacks and water
My most important piece of advice for exploring days and going off the beaten track, bring enough food to keep your sugar levels up and plenty of water. Sometimes you just never know where the next little shop is going to be… or if there’s even going to be one!
If you hear the whistling tune of it’s a small world it means only one thing… and that’s BREAD. Listen out for it, and when the bread van comes around, just flag them down to add baked goodies to your snack pack for the day.
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