From Trincomalee in the north of the province to Arugam Bay in the south, some of the most beautiful beaches on the island can be found on the East Coast. With a coastline over 400km long, there is no doubt the majority of beaches and bays remain untouched and undiscovered. But with an average water temperature of 29 degrees, and calm seas from March to November, the beaches are truly a not-to-be-missed experience.

As a snapshot, here’s a list of key beaches to mark down (categorized by location, north to south). There’s more information about our top picks further below:

  • Arisimale beach
  • Kuchaveli beach
  • Nilaveli beach
  • Uppuveli beach
  • Dutch Bay / Trincomalee
  • Marble Beach
  • Lanka Patuna
  • Pasikuda
  • Kalkuda
  • Whiskey point (surf)
  • Arugam Bay mainpoint (surf)
  • Peanut farm (surf)
  • Panama (surf)
  • Okanda (surf)


Must see Beaches

Nilaveli Beach

One of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast with its crystal-clear water and untouched vibe. Nilaveli is home to Pigeon Island, ideal for snorkeling, whale watching and a number of dive sites.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Swimming February – November, Diving March – October, Whale watching February – October, Pigeon Island open all seasons

Approximately 15km north of Trincomalee, 20 minutes by car/tuk tuk

Top tip: Bring water, sun cream and snacks if you’re visiting for a day trip as there are limited venders in the area.

Uppuveli

Located only 3km from Trincomalee town, Uppuveli offers a great balance between the palm tree laden sandy beach and water front bars and an array of accommodation options.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Best season February – November

Three kilometers north of Trincomalee, 10 minutes by car

Top tip: Uppuveli looks straight East onto the Indian Ocean, making it another perfect location on the East to view a ocean front sunrise.

Marble Beach

If you’re looking for a sandy beach with little to no waves then Marble Beach is the go-to. Currently managed by the Sri Lankan AirForce, beach access requires a small fee per vehicle, accommodation is also available.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Best season February – November

Approximately 17km from Trincomalee, 30 minutes by car

Top tip: The beach is split into two sides, a public beach and an area run by the AirForce where you can get a massage and sit under a beach cabana.

Arugam Bay

Renowned for some of the best surf spots in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay offers a lively yet relaxed atmosphere ideal for solo travelers and families. Many local guest houses and hotels offer yoga classes and tours to local temples.

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

All season, Surfing March – November (peak season July – September)

Approximately 6/7 hour drive from Colombo, 5 hours from Trincomalee or 4.5 hours from Kandy

Top tip: Yoga is increasingly becoming popular at most guest houses and hotels, not to mention the beach parties

Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. The island's name derives from the rock pigeon which has colonized it

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Open daily from 6am to 10pm

The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province,

OKANDA BEACH

Okanda is located at the entrance gate of kumana national park, 20km south of Arugam- bay.okanda’s picturesque coastline is free of hotel building and tourism and traffic noise and pollution, although it’s one of the island’s most beautiful beaches

Ampara, Sri Lanka

20km south of Arugam- bay.okanda

THINGS TO DO

View our top of things to do and see in Trincomalee, Pasikuda, Batticaloa, Ampara and Arugam Bay

ABOUT EAST

Information about when is the best time to visit, water temperature, prime whale watching season and more

HOW TO GET HERE

Find out how you can get to the East via car, train, bus or by air from main cities around the country

TRAIN TIMES

Check out the Sri Lankan Railways official website for train times connecting the Eastern Province to the rest of the island

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WEATHER

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