The East

Sri Lanka’s equivalent of the Maldives, with never‐ending white sandy beaches, coral islands and shimmering blue seas, the North East coast is distinctly different from the coastal areas of the rest of the island. The East Coast covers Trincomalee, Passikudah in Batticaloa, and Arugam Bay. This region has a long season that extends from March to October when the seas are at their best. Bask in the sun on the secluded beaches of Trincomalee and Passikudah Bay, go snorkelling and discover the magnificent marine life around the coral reefs, or take a whale‐watching expedition. It is not all about the sun and surf on the East Coast. Explore ancient Hindu temples dating back centuries, and the breathtaking views of the Trincomalee Harbour – the world’s deepest and largest natural harbour.

Highlights:

Trincomalee

Visit Trinco’s Harbour, Swami Rock and the seven hot springs of Kanniya. Enjoy a boat trip to Pigeon Island. This rocky island got its name from the large number of blue rock pigeons that breed here. It is famous for its corals and colourful fish.

Passikudah

Passikudah is a small coastal town famous for its golden bay and clear, shallow waters in which you can wade 50m out to sea. It is a virgin beach and renowned throughout the country for its beauty.

From here you can visit Batticaloa, which is home to a historic Dutch Fort and a lagoon that reportedly has singing fish in it. If you are a keen diver, then there are some excellent diving spots, including the wreck of the HMS Hermes, a WW2 British naval ship. You can also enjoy exploring the Maduru Oya National Park where you have a good chance of seeing elephants as well as Hindu temples and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s South East Coast is famously known as one of ten top surf spots in the world. This is Sri Lanka at its most escapist. The relatively isolated beaches here and a simple, laid‐back lifestyle away from the main tourist haunts, have many devotees. Dedicated surfers usually arrive at Colombo’s international airport and head straight across the island to Arugam Bay which takes up to eight hours. The best time for surfing in Arugam Bay is in July and August when the swells are high and the wave breaks are thrilling. It is not all about the sun and surf on the South East Coast. The Arugam Bay community is a particularly chilled‐out and welcoming one where travellers and locals mingle contentedly. Visit ancient ruins and rock sculptures dating back centuries, and explore untouched wilderness where elephants roam free.