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Trincomalee Tourism And Travel Guide
27.2° C / 80.9° F
January to September
2 to 3 Days
Sigiriya Airport, Dambulla (81 kms)
Trincomalee is a major port city and the administrative headquarter of the Trincomalee District, located on Sri Lanka’s east coast province. With one of the best beaches in the country, tourism in Trincomalee is spellbinding. The landscape is surrounded by abundant wildlife, hilltops and rock structures. The Trincomalee peninsula separates the city’s internal and external ports and to reach Trincomalee, you can fly, get a train ride, go by bus or travel by taxi. Here’s a travel guide to help you in getting around in Trincomalee.
How to Reach
Sigiriya is the nearest airport to Trincomalee to a distance of 81 km, so you can take a flight from Colombo’s Domestic Airport which takes about half an hour by air. The plane ride costs anything between INR 16,000-19,000 and is by far one of the most expensive ways to reach Trincomalee. The onward journey from Sigirya Airport can be made to Habarana (15 km) in a cab and then from the Habarana Station, via train to Trincomalee in 2 hours and 24 minutes.
You can travel by train to Trincomalee from the Colombo Fort Station, which takes about 3 ½ hours and is one of the best ways to travel to Trincomalee. The train journey would cost you INR 370 max.
You can travel to Trincomalee either by bus or by cab. The distance between Trincomalee and Colombo is 236.7 km by road and takes roughly 4 hours. There’s a bus for Trincomalee from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal, costing INR 110-150. Yet another way to reach Trincomalee is to hire a taxi that will have you reach there in approx. 4 hours.
Trincomalee is a small town and although you can cover a lot of ground on foot, walking may be a bit of a hassle, since there are a lot of beggars and street hawkers flocking the streets and tend to pester tourists a lot. Hence getting around in Trincomalee is best in tuk-tuks.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Trincomalee is when the weather is warm and rainfall’s the least, in the months of January through September and then in December. Since the average high temperature in Trincomalee varies rarely, the temperature and weather here are usually hot through most parts of the year. Tourism’s the busiest in June-August.
The humidity level and temperature make the months of March-May warm with the average high temperature fluctuating between 35.7°C-30.4°C and just 2-3 days of rainfall each month. This makes spring season the slowest period for tourism.
June-August is usually warm with 1-4 days of rainfall every month and hence summer is the best time to come to Trincomalee, albeit the hotel tariffs and travel may turn out to be an expensive proposition during this period.
The weather during fall is pleasant with an average rainfall of 4-16 days a month and an average high temperature of 35°C. The incoming tourist traffic is slow during September-November and travelers looking for deals can cash in during this period.
December through February is the best time to enjoy Trincomalee for its warm weather. Since the average high temperature during this period is 30.4°C and rainfall is between 5-15 days every month, winter is the second best time to visit Trincomalee.
Things To Do
With some of the finest deep water ports spanning the country’s Eastern coastline, Trincomalee has an interesting mélange of people, a gorgeous stretch of white beaches with a sparkling coastal view and magnificent ancient history to brag about. There’s so much more to this town than what meets the eye!
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving:
A delight for snorkeling & scuba diving fans, Trincomalee makes for an enjoyable and exciting snorkeling experience at the Pigeon Island, located a kilometer from the coast of Nilaveli and is popular for some of its best coral reefs. The snorkeling expedition is a 3-hour activity which introduces you to the marine life that dwells in the shallow waters with a captivating world below the sea’s blues including the scurrying silvery fish, vibrantly colored corals and the sparkling clownfish. In addition, there are other species of coral gardens, eels, black tip sharks, colorful exotic fish and more to hold your interest, not to forget, different other activities of a speedboat ride, windsurfing or swimming.
Dolphin & Whale Watching:
Trincomalee is ideal for venturing into the deep waters to enjoy the Whale Watching and Dolphin tours, where you enjoy an extensive tour of witnessing Blue Whales, the marine giants and the Dolphins in different varieties and even see a super pod of nearly 40 dolphins at a time.
Adventure Sports & Water Rides:
Aside from the snorkeling and diving expeditions, there are other water sports that you can enjoy, including the sea kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing or water rides at the Trincomalee Water Park, ideal for family vacations. There are some diving excursions that include deep dives, diving for kids and nighttime diving to make it more interesting for you.
The Kanniya Hot Springs in Trincomalee is considered a sacred bathing site, with medicinal properties as per popular belief. With a tiled floor and seven man-made wells shaped like a square, the spring water is only waist-high can be used with the help of a bucket to bathe in. The water comes from the natural springs below the well and the temperature of the waters in each well varies slightly.
Trincomalee is known to have the most pristine beaches in the country, with Uppuveli, 6 km from the city and Nilaveli about 16 km from town. These untouched, palm-fringed beaches with soft white sand, emerald green or turquoise blue waters offer a lovely vibe with an array of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. These beaches also make for an exciting and unique experience with a variety of watersports, adventurous activities and wondrous underwater expeditions.
Where To Eat
Trincomalee’s a leading tourist attraction from the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, with beautiful blue skylines and deep blue seas. There’s a variety of eateries and restaurants that offer delicious and authentic Sri Lankan meals, but for the seafood, which comes in an assortment of delicacies and is a category of food you definitely shouldn’t miss gorging on!
Café on the 18th, Alles garden is among the top restaurants in town, ideal to grab a delightful breakfast, to begin with. The place has one of the best coffees on the island, in addition to pancakes, oat and banana porridge, not to forget the Panini sandwiches. Then there’s the Trinco Lanka Restaurant, 21 Alles Garden which is moderately priced and has a variety of seafood, chips, steak and some other traditional dishes to offer. It is an ideal place for budget travelers. The Dutch Bank Café’s Kothu is one of the most popular dishes in the country. The place is lovely to relax back at and order food which comes in large portions and made with fresh ingredients.
Rea Beach Restaurant is a popular beach restaurant renowned for its Sri Lankan delicacies with an add-on of global cuisine that includes salads, fish ‘n’ chips, different kinds of pasta and curries with rice. The Crab Seafood Restaurant is known for its crabs and drinks. With a beach view and a wonderful ambiance, their ala-carte menu offers for fast food items and other meals that can appease the hungriest of tummies! With delicious offerings of crab salads, lobsters and prawns, the restaurant’s service is commendable even with a full house.
The New Parrot Restaurant is one of the most inviting eateries in Trincomalee for tourists with an assortment of the typical local, Asian and Chinese cuisines. From among the best, fried rice/noodles with a curry of choice, and Kottu roti are worth a bite. Nilla Rice and Curry Restaurant is crowded almost always and is known for its curries made of lentils, vegetables and served with rice or roti.
Where To Shop
Given its small size, Trincomalee has only 2-3 large shopping streets, of which Central Road is a centrally located shopping destination with few apparel chain stores, where you can expect fabrics or local handicrafts with high pricing for tourists. Hence you need to exercise your smart negotiating skills to get the best price out! While, Nawamila's Textiles is one of the oldest textile stores in Trincomalee with a wide range of fabrics for both men and women, and customized tailoring options available; there’s Thassim Jewellers, one of the oldest jewellery shops since the British Era, specializing in gold & silver jewelry, antiques and gems. An ideal place to shop for gift items and souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones.