Whales, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

The North Coast

Sri Lanka’s north and east coast region are alive with a newfound buoyancy and electric vibrancy which is drawing in increasing numbers of travellers seeking to explore this dynamic area.


This side of the island is relatively undisturbed by the tourist footprint. Peaceful and slow-paced – the east coast is one of the most restful areas of the island.

Visitors to Sri Lanka head to the north-east coast for their beach holiday during the summer months when the climate is at its best. This region is well-known for excellent dolphin and whale watching experiences.


It’s all here. Things to see and do, places to explore and moments to discover.

Beach, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Coastal Adventures

Swim from the clear, calm east coast beaches near Trincomalee or Passekudah.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Elephant, Gal Oya National Park, Sri Lanka

Gal Oya National Park

Watch elephants swimming across the lake at Gal Oya National Park.

Suggested lodge stay

Chidlren on Beach, Sri Lanka


The palm-fringed beaches on the north-east coast are blissfully quiet with calm waters and golden sands as far as the eye can see.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kantharoda Ancient Vihara, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Jaffna Town

Experience the fascinating mix of Tamil cultural and colonial charm of Jaffna while exploring its Dutch fort and colourful markets.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Dambakola Patuna Sri Sangamitta Viharaya Temple, Jafffna, Sri Lanka

Buddhist Temples

Attend a morning Buddhist blessing at a local temple with chanting and drumming.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Sperm Whale, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Whale Watching

Go whale and dolphin spotting off the coast at Trincomalee.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Uga Jungle Beach £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Uga Jungle Beach has the feeling of a luxury tree house. With 48 villas facing the beach, lagoon or jungle, thatched with Illuk grass and set around pathways through gardens, there is an air of seclusion. Most villas have private decks and tropical style outdoor rain showers and the beach cabins have their own walkway to the seashore.

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Maalu Maalu £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Maalu Maalu is located on a beautiful stretch of coast in the north east of Sri Lanka. The resort is dominated by a huge infinity pool which looks straight out to sea and the sea shanty beach huts that surround it are perfectly designed with rustic and colourful interiors. It is easy to get drawn into the laid-back vibe but if you feel like being more active, there are opportunities to cycle, try out watersports and wander through the on site coral museum.

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Uga Bay £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Uga Bay is a luxurious hotel with beautiful views of the unspoiled beaches. A combination of lavish surroundings and a peaceful setting, the hotel provides a breathtakingly serene ambience to its guests.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

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