Discover Sri Lanka’s best-kept secret: the East Coast
Sri Lanka’s east coast is one of its least-visited areas and has long been the secret destination for the well-informed. Trincomalee (or more commonly just Trinco) is the largest town and has been a key port for at least two thousand years. It was a major centre of trade between the Anuradhapura, and later the Polonnaruwa kingdoms and the ports of eastern India, Cambodia and Indonesia. The east coast later became a major area of Muslim settlement and Trinco, Batticaloa, and Pottvil (Arugam Bay) were trading areas.
The Dutch first settled at Batticaloa, while the British and French vied over Trinco. There are miles of glorious beaches stretching from Kuchchiveli, to the north of Trinco, south to Passikudah, Arugambay and Kumana National Park at the island’s South Eastern point. The beaches of Passikudah Bay are an attraction for water sports and relaxation.
The nearby village of Kalkudah has retained its original charm. In addition to great beaches along the coast are some world-class surfing, seasonal whale and dolphin watching, and some spectacular diving. Trinco is a quiet town and easy to explore. Fort Frederick and the Maritime Museum are both accessed from the Dutch Bay.
Delight in a glorious family holiday that showcases the best of Sri Lanka, and provides great insight into the breath-taking natural beauty, colourful rich culture and heritage, and unique history that weaves together the vibrant tapestry of this unique destination. Enjoy long, relaxing days participating in an array of enticing and exciting activities and excursion that include leisurely cycling around a vast lush coconut plantation, and interacting and engaging with welcoming locals in communities on nature walks. Learn about the ancient art of tea on a wonderfully fragrant tea experience, appreciating how the delicious brew is created, and stroll around magnificently manicured Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, marvelling at fragile gentle orchids.
Observe devout reverence at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic as pilgrims and devotees worship a fragment of the Buddha. Discover a trio of stunning temples at Pilimatalawa, and submerge yourself in aquamarine depths as you relax in paradise on tropical golden sandy beaches. Glide into the deep and observe magnificent giants of the deep on a blue whale-watching expedition. Step back in time and wander around the historic city of Trincomalee and explore the Old Dutch Fort and Koneswaram Temple. Delve into the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, dotted with temples, palaces and monuments, and revel in a safari at Minneriya National Park, with sensational sightings of massive elephant herds. Climb to the top of the impressive Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and step into the unique Dambulla Cave Temple complex, an extraordinary World Heritage Site, brimming with exquisite Buddha statues and paintings. This is a sensational family experience, with a wealth of incredible experiences and memories, highlighting the uniqueness of this spectacular country.
Day 1-2: Horathapola Estate
- Head to Horathapola Estate, a plantation bungalow hidden amidst the beautiful lush landscapes of rural Sri Lanka.
- Explore this fully functioning 50-acre organic coconut plantation, which dates back to the early 1900s.
- This is an ideal place to start your journey and relax and unwind before you set out to explore the rest of the Island.
- Hop on a bicycle and go for a leisurely ride, passing temples, plantations and farmlands
- Stroll on a nature walk into the community to engage and interact with the friendly locals.
- Sit atop a bullock cart and traverse the lush expanse, and gain insight into how this organic plantation works.
- Visit the local ‘pola’, a bustling farmers-market selling delicious fresh produce.
- Explore an organic coconut oil manufacturing plant.
- If you are an avid birdwatcher, there is a diverse array of kaleidoscopic birdlife painting the sky above.
Discover Sri Lanka’s best-kept secret: the East Coast
Day 3-5: Kandy
- Wander around the gardens of Rosyth Estate House, and observe the abundance of birdlife that inhabits leafy trees.
- Visit local schools and a village, interacting with the communities that the Rosyth Estate works closely with.
- An optional excursion is to visit a Tea Estate adjacent to the hotel and gain insight into how tea is grown and then transformed into a delicious brew.
- Meander through the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, and discover a vibrantly colourful montage of over 4 000 different species of plants and flowers
- Visit the Temple of the Sacred Relic Temple, the most revered site in Sri Lanka. While the tooth stays hidden within a gold casket, visitors and devotees always visit the temple during puja, the prayer session, just to glimpse the well-protected inner shrine where it is housed.
- Visit the loop of 3 Temples in Pilimatalawa located in the central highlands.
Day 6-9: Trincomalee
- Embark on the drive to the Jungle Beach, Kuchchaweli for your wonderfully relaxing beach stay.
- Revel in days of barefoot luxury as you foray into some ocean activities, cultural excursions or culinary delights.
- Pick and choose from a range of wonderful activities, including snorkelling and frolicking in the sparkling pool.
- Hop on bicycles and take a leisurely cycle around the beautiful surroundings, or try out a jet ski.
- Cast your line as you go deep-sea fishing with the local fishermen.
- Choose to feast your way through a variety of superb restaurants, cafes and bars, tasting traditional Sri Lankan fare.
- Optional day excursions including a visit to the Koneswaram Temple and Fort Fredrick, the Old Dutch Fort in Trincomalee.
Day 10-12: Cultural Triangle
- Head to Cinnamon Lodge and enjoying a variety of activities including cycling around the lush area, playing a spot of tennis, sitting under a shady tree with a game of chess, or enjoying a delicious lunch at the pool.
- There is a wonderful play area, constantly supervised, for the little ones who will love the merry-go-round, swing set, and see-saw.
- Relax and rejuvenate with various massages and treatments at the Azmaara Spa, and visit the Environment Centre and learn about the initiatives used at the lodge that ensure a lighter ecological footprint.
- Visit Polonnaruwa, abundant with magnificent crumbling ruins and beautiful ancient temples draping the landscape.
- Delve into the past and wander around the Royal Palace, the stunning collection of ruins of the Sacred Quadrangle, and the magnificent Buddha figures at Gal Vihara, just to name a few.
- Visit the Minneriya National Park in search of wild Asian elephants as well as macaque and purple-faced langur monkeys, spotted deer and sambar.
- Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an exquisite ancient palace and fortress complex and site of significant archaeological importance, and explore archaic paintings of the King’s maids in waiting at the fresco gallery and Mirror Wall.
Day 13: Negombo and Dambulla
- Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple, one of the most magnificently preserved monastic temple cave complexes in Sri Lanka.
- Read the walls with their rock paintings and marvel at 150 Buddha statues located in over 2000 square metres of colourfully painted walls and ceilings.
- Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying exhilarating water sports, relaxing on the beach with a good book, sipping colourful cocktails at the pool, or exploring and delving into the cultural and historical heritage of the fishing village of Negombo.
- Watch the jostle and selling of fish as they come in fresh from the ocean at the Lellama Fish Market
- Enjoy stunning endemic and migratory bird sightings at Anawilundawa Sanctuary and in the mangroves of Muthurajawela
Day 14: Departure
- Wave a fond farewell as your getaway comes to an end. You will be collected and driven to the airport for your international flight onward.
Explore our fantastic array of Family packages with my world in style here.