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The Best Beaches in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

While it may not be as popular as other South Asian destinations, Sri Lanka is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

I visited Sri Lanka for the first time last year, and I was blown away by Sri Lanka’s diverse natural wonders, hospitable people, and seriously good cuisine.

Not only is this tiny, teardrop-shaped island home to an abundance of hiking trails, colonial architecture, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Sigiriya Lion Rock (check out my post about Sri Lanka’s highlights for all my must-visit spots) but it also has some gorgeous beaches, particularly in the coastal city of Trincomalee.

Of all the places I visited in Sri Lanka, Trincomalee was probably my favourite.

It was there that I visited Hindu temples, went dolphin-watching at sunrise, feasted on gloriously spicy crab curry, and of course, relaxed on some gorgeous Trincomalee beaches.

In this post I’m going to share the best beaches in Trincomalee, some packing essentials, and which Trincomalee hotel I recommend (spoiler alert – it’s on a beach).

So, if you’re visiting Trincomalee and want to know the best places to catch some rays, just keep reading, because this post is for you.

Here are the best beaches in Trincomalee.

The Best Beaches in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Trincomalee at a Glance

Although it has so much to offer, Trincomalee is still up-and-coming as a tourist destination, making it perfect if you want to experience the real Sri Lanka and visit somewhere that isn’t overrun with tourists.

Located on Sri Lanka’s east coast, Trincomalee is a port city with a laid-back atmosphere, pristine beaches, interesting cultural sites, and delicious fresh seafood.

While Trincomalee may not have the tourist infrastructure of other beach destinations in Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is the perfect choice for people who want to experience the beauty of Sri Lanka’s east coast in a relaxed and less crowded setting.

Best Beaches in Trincomalee

Nilaveli Beach

This remote beach is considered one of the most beautiful places in Trincomalee, and Sri Lanka as a whole!

Located about 15km north of Trincomalee, this horseshoe-shaped beach has a 4km stretch of golden sand, lush vegetation, and shallow waters, making it a real haven.

Nilaveli Beach is also the perfect spot if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, due to its total absence of crowds. I visited Nilaveli when I took the boat to Pigeon Island (which is coming up later!), and my friends and I were the only people for miles!

nilaveli beach trincomalee
When I visited Nilaveli Beach, there wasn’t another soul

Uppuveli Beach

When I stayed in Trincomalee, my hotel was on Uppuveli Beach (I actually had a beach chalet right on the sand!), and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Like Nilaveli, Uppuveli is known for being an island paradise of palm trees and honey-coloured sand.

uppuveli beach trincomalee
Despite being a popular beach, Uppuveli is still so peaceful.
I took this from my beach chalet!

There are stronger currents here than on Nilaveli, making it a better choice for amateur surfers, as well as plenty of beach activities you can do here, including jet skiing, kayaking, and riding on banana boats!

There are more beach bars here than on Nileveli, making it a great place to enjoy a beer when the sun sets, and sometimes you can even find some live music.

lion lager in sri lanka
Enjoying a pre-dinner beer on the beach – I’d forgotten how quickly it gets dark in Asia!

Marble Beach

Marble Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Trincomalee, and the best bit is that it’s practically untouched.

Marble Beach takes its name from the fact that on a sunny day, the surface of the water shines like marble, and if that isn’t enough to make you want to visit, I don’t know what it!

Offering a secluded and scenic atmosphere, Marble Beach is the perfect place to connect with nature, go snorkelling, and relax on the pristine white sand.

marble beach trincomalee
Marble Beach
IMG: Supuni93 at Wikimedia Commons

Pigeon Island

Of all the places to visit in Trincomalee, Pigeon Island should be a non-negotiable.

A short boat ride from Nilaveli Beach, Pigeon Island is totally unspoilt (there isn’t even a toilet there!), and its beauty is unparalleled.

On one side of the island, there is a gorgeous pebble beach, and on the other side (literally about 20 steps away) is where you’ll find velvety white sand that’s so bright it will actually hurt your eyes!

I spent a few hours here enjoying the sun and the shallow waters, and it was so relaxing.

pigeon island sri lanka
The pebble beach on Pigeon Island
pigeon island sri lanka
The length of the walk between beaches. You literally just pass under a tree and you’re there!

If you aren’t a fan of sunbathing, Pigeon Island is also known for its stunning coral reefs and tropical fish (there are actually over 300 species of fish and more than 100 varieties of coral here!).

The clear waters around the island provide excellent visibility, and you can rent snorkels if you want to do some underwater exploration.

pigeon island sri lanka
The white sand beach on Pigeon Island

What to Pack for Trincomalee


While you’re likely to enjoy the year-round sunny weather in Sri Lanka, the ultraviolet index can reach extreme levels, which can damage your eyes. For the best protection, make sure to get some good quality sunglasses from a reputable retailer, rather than a random market stall, where you can’t be sure how much protection you’re actually getting.

A good place to start is somewhere like Vision Express, where all sunglasses offer 100% UV protection. You can choose from top brands like Ray-Ban, Prada, and Gucci, which are guaranteed to be long-lasting due to high-quality frame and lens materials and free lifetime servicing.

the author and her boyfriend taking a selfie
Be like Ethan. Don’t be like me.


I cannot overstate how HUMID Sri Lanka is.

Wear LOOSE, LIGHTWEIGHT clothing that isn’t going to stick to you (or is less likely to stick to you, at least). Breathable materials include cotton and linen.

Trincomalee (and Sri Lanka as a whole) is pretty casual, so you won’t need fancy clothes.


Sri Lankans seem to live in flip-flops, so for the most part, you’ll be fine with these.

However, on pebbly beaches, you might want a pair of water shoes.

Pigeon Island in particular has some quite sharp coral and pebbles (I cut my foot here), and if you want to paddle, you’ll thank yourself for bringing water shoes!


Make sure to also wear sunscreen and reapply every few hours. When buying sunscreen, prioritise a product with an SPF of at least 30, such as COSRX’s Ultra-Light Invisible Sunscreen SPF50 PA++++.

On top of providing protection against UVA and UVB rays, it’s formulated with Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water and Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water for intense hydration across all skin types. It also doesn’t leave any residue, which is a bonus!

You might also want to consider bringing a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.

My Hotel Recommendation

I stayed at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, which is one of the best beach hotels in Sri Lanka.

Situated right on Uppuveli Beach, you can open your patio doors and step right onto the sand directly from your bedroom (which I did, many times!).

trinco blu by cinnamon balcony
My beach chalet in Trinco Blu by Cinnamon

Trinco Blu has a large swimming pool, two restaurants, a private section of beach, and a PADI-certified dive centre where you can organise snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing expeditions, and even dolphin and whale watching!

I stayed in a ‘Beach Chalet,’ which is only about 20 EUR more expensive than a ‘Superior Room,’ and I highly recommend going with this option.

Check rates and reviews of Trinco Blu by Cinnamon here.

trinco blu by cinnamon
My room at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon
sri lankan food
Just a small portion…

Beaches in Trincomalee | Final Thoughts

Trincomalee beaches really do have it all.

Golden sands, calm and clear waters, unspoilt nature, and a serenity that can be difficult to find in more popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

I hope that this article was helpful, and as always, if you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section below!

Other posts you might enjoy are:

The Best Luxury Hotels in Sri Lanka

18 Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka

Staying Safe in Sri Lanka

That’s all for today folks.

Until next time,


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