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Sri Lanka East Coast Itinerary – East Coast Holidays

Discover the largely untouched east coast of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka East Coast Itinerary

With stunningly beautiful, untouched beaches, an East coast Sri Lanka itinerary would be an opposite image of the West. While the western beaches see quite a crowd, the eastern coast has a much less proportion of tourists and locals hanging out on the beaches. If you are planning a Sri Lanka east coast holiday, be sure to do your research on the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. You can then come up with an interesting Sri Lanka east coast itinerary including the best beaches and other tourist attractions to make your holiday an adventurous one. We have a range of Sri Lanka Itineraries created just for you.

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Highlights of a Sri Lanka East coast itinerary

  • Sri Lanka east coast holidays entails a visit to the exotic beaches of Passikuda, Arugam Bay, Trincomalee, and Nilaveli
  • Enjoy adventurous water sports and spend a lot of time surfing against the waves of the east coast
  • Experience a well pampered stay at some of the most luxurious holiday resorts in the island

Best places to visit for Sri Lanka east coast holidays

Day 1 & 2 – Trincomalee

The capital of the east is the energetic town of Trincomalee. The town has an attractive collection of colorful Hindu Temples, beautiful coastal scenery and a slight mix of colonial charm. The town has a lot of history, dating back to centuries, and an interesting combination of people to meet and converse with. The deep-water coast has been a port used for trading as well as colonial attacks. Before the British came to rule in 1795, the port had already been attacked seven times!

Just a little further up the coast of Trincomalee are the low-key, yet extremely charming beachside villages of Nilaveli and Uppuveli. Backpacker tourists often target these less developed areas for their Sri Lanka east coast itinerary as there are not many luxury hotel options for accommodation. Pigeon Island is a major attraction here: a pretty island surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. Snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing is popular on this island.

Day 3, 4 & 5 – Passikuda & Kalkudah

Before the civil war broke out, Passikuda and Kalkudah were the most developed beaches of the east coast, drawing several European tourists in particular to this corner of the island. The modest collection of hotels were all deserted and blown up until recently (after the civil war ended); the tourism industry began to boom on this coastline. There are now about 14 luxury resorts as well as decent motels (for the budgeted tourists), to relax in and explore this exotic beach destination. Soon it is expected that this area will become as popular as the south-western coastline of Sri Lanka.

The long stretches of shallow waters on Passikuda Bay heats up during warm days and one would have to wade out quite further into the sea for a cooling swim. Take care while digging deep into the water as you may come across sharp corals pricking into your feet. On holidays, bus loads of locals visit this beach. Try walking up north along the shore in order to avoid crowds.

The Kalkudah beach is 2km south from Passikuda and is very much deserted, except for a rare fisherman’s boat. This stretch does not have a great choice for accommodation but since it is not too far from the Passikuda beaches, you can simply walk along to find your own stretch of sand.

Day 6 & 7 – Arugam Bay

A surfer’s paradise is what they call this moon shaped stretch of soft sand. Spend a couple of days here during your Sri Lanka east coast holidays and make the most of the best surf spot in the country. Apart from surfing, there are beachfront guesthouses, restaurants on the ocean shore, and a peaceful ‘hammock’ day kind of vibe in Arugam Bay.

Day 8 – Batticalo

Heading further south on the east coast is the historic town of Batticaloa. A morning alone is sufficient to explore the huge fortress and many churches in this small town. As you walk around, notice the intriguing reminders of Batticaloa’s long colonial history and the remnants of the civil war. The town itself is placed in a charming setting: a narrow stretch of land backed by a lagoon and surrounded by ocean water on three sides. Shifting views of land, lagoon and ocean gives Batticaloa a unique twist.

Related Sri Lanka Beach Itineraries :

We can help build a suitable Sri Lanka east coast itinerary

If you are visiting Sri Lanka only to explore the east coast, above is a suitable Sri Lanka east coast holiday for you. Our clients travelling from UK, USA, Europe and Canada are appalled at the beauty of the east coast and often prefer this itinerary. But we also cater to other clients from countries like New Zealand, Australia, India, Africa, Singapore and Thailand who want to mix an east coast exploration along with a visit to the central hills or the south and western coast as well. We can prepare tailor-made itineraries for every individual client, based on their preferences.

Let us help you build the perfect Sri Lanka Itinerary

Did you know that we offer a free itinerary design service to help you make most of your holiday in Sri Lanka? Our free itinerary will include the following and much more information.

    • BEST PLACES TO VISIT WITH A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EACH PLACE
    • DISTANCE BETWEEN PLACES WHICH WOULD HELP YOU PLAN YOUR DAY
    • HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS HAND PIACKED BY YOUR EXPERT
    • COST FOR A TOUR JUST IN CASE YOU DECIDE TO BOOK A TOUR WITH US
    • SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OVER THE PHONE OR EMAIL

REQUEST YOUR FREE ITINERARY