Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Pettitts Travel UK 01892 515966

Sri Lanka East Coast Holidays

With sweeping sandy beaches, historic trading cities, colonial-era forts and some of the island’s finest wildlife viewing, the little-visited east coast of Sri Lanka remains a largely undiscovered gem. Add to the mix that the best time to visit is over the summer months, plus the region’s proximity to the historic sites of the Cultural Triangle as well as efficient domestic air routes that link the major cities to the capital Colombo, and it quickly becomes apparent that Sri Lanka’s east coast is the perfect destination for an Asian summer holiday. Discover Trincomalee a melting pot of cultures and traditions which profited from a strategic position and large natural harbour or visit neighbouring Batticaloa setting for one of Sri Lanka’s most important colonial-era forts. This coastline, from Passikudah to Pottuvil and Arugam Bay is home to some of the country’s very best beaches – long stretches of golden sand perfect for relaxation with calm waters ideal for swimming. Head to the interior for Gal Oya National Park, a fabulous, relatively untouched, reserve of forested hills centred around Sri Lanka’s largest lake. This, uniquely, allows for safaris both by jeep and boat with the reserve supporting populations of elephant, deer, leopard, sloth bear and mugger crocodile. Gal Oya also has excellent birdwatching with the park home a wide variety of endemic and migratory bird species.

Holiday Ideas for Sri Lanka East Coast

Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka

16 days from
£4790 to £5750 per person


Sri Lanka: A Summer Family Adventure

14 days from
£3100 to £3720 per person


Wild Sri Lanka

15 days from
£3800 to £4560 per person


When to visit Sri-Lanka-East-Coast

Best Times
Good Times

The east coast of Sri Lanka has a very different weather pattern to the rest of the country with the region affected by the north-east, or ‘Maha’, monsoon which makes landfall on the island’s east coast towards the end of October. Therefore, in contrast to the rest of the island, the best time to visit the eastern region is during the Sri Lankan summer between the months of May and September. At this time temperatures steadily increase from high-20s to mid-30s but with humidity a little lower and very little risk of rainfall, if any, at all. Seas are also warm and calm which, in turn, means waters are clear making this the best time for sea swimming and snorkelling. Towards the end of the season in September there is also the possibility of whale sightings, particularly from Trincomalee. From October the weather is decidedly more changeable and as the month progresses the north-east monsoon starts to make its presence felt. Rainfall increases in both regularity and intensity through November with November and December the two wettest months on Sri Lanka’s east coast although this decreases throughout January and February with showers petering out by April.

What is a Tailor-Made Holiday?

We create a holiday tailored to your specific requirements, including:

  • When you go
  • Duration
  • Time spent in each place
  • How much you want to spend

We offer our experience and knowledge to help create your perfect, tailor-made itinerary

What to do in Sri Lanka East Coast

Sri Lanka’s east coast, less visited than many of Sri Lanka’s better known regions, is another of the island’s undiscovered treasures. This slither of coast, a ribbon of golden sand lapped by calm, shallow, warm waters is dotted by historic settlements, centuries-old trading towns, barefoot beach hotels and, slightly inland, a pristine national park of extraordinary diversity home to one of Sri Lanka’s earliest communities. A perennially popular highlight of the region is its coast which is both ideal for summer holidays and popular with couples and families alike. The stretch between Passikudah and Arugam Bay has some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, picturesque stretches of soft sand with waist-deep crystal-clear waters and long reefs of colourful coral and abundant tropical marine life. Spend days sun bathing, swimming and snorkelling, walk to nearby fishing villages or, if staying in Passikudah, visit the Portuguese fort in Batticaloa. Trincomalee, one of the earliest Indian Tamil settlements in Sri Lanka, was always an important regional harbour and from the 17th century drew Portuguese, Dutch, French and British attention developing into one of the wealthiest and most influential trading centres in Asia. Highlights here include Fort Fredrick and the colourful Koneswaram Temple. For wildlife enthusiasts travel inland to Gal Oya National Park, a beautiful 70 year old reserve set around Senanayake Samudraya Lake and home to leopard, monkey, wild boar and deer, an incredible diversity of birdlife and a large elephant population which, memorably, can sometimes be seen swimming from island to island across the lake.

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