Sri Lanka, being an island nation, is not shy of its gorgeous beaches. However, whenever you search for good beaches most of them are based on the southern parts of the island. However, the east also has its fair share of beautiful beaches, even among these beautiful sandy paradises “Nilaveli” beach takes a special place.
Photo Credit: Nathalie
Trincomalee famously has 2 beach resort areas and Nilaveli is it’s northernmost one. The sandy shores of Nilaveli stretch for 6 kms from one end to the other filled with golden sands kissing the deep blue ocean.
Nilaveli is specially renowned for it’s natural beauty, as it is surrounded by coconut palm groves, hordes of cattle in the vicinity of a lagoon, living up to its name “Nila-veli” which in Tamil translates to “open land of the moonshine”.
The cultural difference in the region to that of the southern counterparts makes the visitation that much more fruitful and more attractive to the travelers. The reason for this is that this area is mainly populated Hindu Tamils in contrast to the mainly Sinhalese populated southern and western regions.
There are several famous landmarks around the area, one of which is Fort Federick, a monument from the colonial area, it’s history goes back to the times of the Portuguese occupation of the coastal region of the island, and provides a tremendous view of the seascape from the top of the rock that resides in it called “Swami Rock”. There is another hotspot for visitors inside the fort which is the Thirukoneshvaram Kovil.
It also facilitates various water sports/activities such as snorkeling and diving. Snorkeling is mainly done near a small island just off the coast of Nilaveli, diving is also popular and can be done, or just sunbathing.
The area is home for another hotspot known for its natural beauty, and that is Pigeon island, which lies a couple of minutes of a boat ride away from the beach. The main attraction of Pigeon island is its extravagant coral-reefs. There are many animals and vegetation that can be observed and is a protected area.
Photo Credit: Krishan Dominic
How to get there
Nilaveli is situated in the epicenter of the Eastern province, the Trincomalee, hence it is not that hard to get there at all. The drive to Trincomalee from Colombo to Trincomalee is fairly easy, If you take the A1 road and then take the A6 road from Kurunegala, you may reach Trincomalee in about 5 hours. Alternatively, you can reach Anuradhapura and take A12 as well.
You can also take the train, as there are several scheduled trains that you can take from Colombo Fort railway station. The express train leaves at around 6 am in the morning.which takes 8 hours or you could take the night mail, which leaves at 9 pm from Colombo Fort.
There are tons of busses go there as well, so you really are spoiled for choices when it comes to choosing a mode of transport. The luxury buses go from Colombo to Trincomalee at 10.30 pm, so something to probe further into.
Nilaveli beach at least at one point was widely considered the most beautiful beach in Sri Lanka, it is known for its cleanliness and natural beauty, and would definitely be a different experience to its southern counterparts, Hence it is definitely worth visiting.