Trincomalee

Photo of Trincomalee

About Trincomalee

The fishing town of Trincomalee (Trinco to the locals), home to striking stretches of golden sands, is one of the teardrop island’s most tranquil gems. The accommodation options here are wide ranging, and whilst the majority of visitors opt to stay in one of the beachfront resorts you'll also find hostels and the odd B&B for those on a tighter budget. Our pick of best places to stay in Trincomalee are all located slightly out of town, but all also offer laid-back beachfront luxury, perfect for those looking to unwind in the sunshine. Whether you’re eager to hide away in a top-notch resort or chill out at a charming boutique spot, there’s plenty to tempt sun-seeking explorers.

Trincomalee — which boasts the world’s fifth largest natural harbour — offers a range of things to see and do. Get up early and experience the bustling fish market or amble slowly through brightly-painted streets lined with shops selling everything from fabric to fresh fruit. The ruins of seventeenth-century Fort Frederick, built by the Portuguese, make for an intriguing visit, as does dazzling Koneswaram Kovil temple.

Those in search of a mini-adventure can take a boat trip to snorkel at nearby Pigeon Island, or an excursion into the jungle to marvel at tropical birds, alligators and even elephants. Venture further afield to discover the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya Rock or impressive nature reserves, all easily do-able from a base here.

Beyond the confines of Trincomalee lie the beach villages of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, with bars, seafood eateries and guesthouses aplenty. Many of the best places to stay in Trincomalee are located around here, set within sight of the rolling Indian Ocean waves. Just don't forget to book in advance if you want to visit during peak season, these hotels get booked up months ahead.

The best places to stay in Trincomalee

For a relaxing retreat

  • Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes offers generously-appointed private chalets tucked away amongst lush tropical foliage. Each 650 square foot cabana boasts a king-sized bed and huge outdoor rain shower, ideal for gazing up at the stars.

For a boutique stay

  • Amanta Beach Resort fuses French and Sri Lankan elements to create a tiny, family-run oasis famed for its relaxed feel, punchy cocktails and fabulous fresh seafood dinners.

For families

  • Anilana Nilaveli offers big contemporary rooms which can be interconnected to create fantastic family suites. Splash around in the pool, hang out on the beach or spot brightly coloured fish whilst snorkelling in turquoise waters.

For a villa or apartment

  • If you’d prefer to stay in a self catering apartment or private villa we recommend that you visit our online partner booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The quickest and simplest way to reach Trincomalee is by hiring a car and driver. Most hotels will be able to recommend a reliable driver who knows Sri Lanka’s roads well. Some drivers also double as guides, if you’re keen to stop at sites of interest en route. Trincomalee is about 5 hours’ drive from the airport at Colombo.
  • Time your trip to coincide with the East Coast's peak season (from May to September) to enjoy calm, clear waters beneath a huge tropical sun. Whilst the sea will be rougher during the off-season, hotels are likely to be quieter and offer off-peak rates. Bear in mind that places will book up quickly during the high season!

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Trincomalee

  • Amanta Beach Resort Trincomalee (Nilaveli) 8 rooms from £67

    Romantic Break  -  A relaxed beach hotel, ideal for unwinding with your significant other
    Beach Life  -  Located right on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach
    Sights nearby  -  Spend a few hours in nearby Trincomalee, exploring the ruins of the Fort, and visiting Koneswaram Kovil
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool

    An east coast beach escape with a funky French twist. Bright contemporary rooms feature four-posters, wooden floors, private terraces and indulgent bathrooms. Expect thoughtful touches, delicious food, warm hospitality and a magical mellow vibe! See More

    Check Availability
  • Anilana Nilaveli Trincomalee (Irakkakandi) 54 rooms from £96

    Fishing  -  Fishing and deep sea fishing trips can be arranged
    Diving  -  Dive groups in a variety of languages can be taken
    Sailing  -  Overnight charter can be arranged
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.

    A contemporary property located along Nilaveli's coast. It’s clean, crisp lines are juxtaposed with Sri Lanka’s traditional dark teak woods. Complete with two pools, a spa and countless activities as well as a bar and a selection of restaurants, you will not run out of ways to enjoy yourself here. See More

    Check Availability
  • Jungle Beach Trincomalee from £123

    Diving  -  Dives can be arranged at the nearby school just 10km away
    Great walks  -  Trekking for all abilities in the surrounding jungle
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Mr & Mrs Smith

    The clue is in the name with this property. Light, modern, colourful cabins are dotted between the beautiful Trincomalee coastline and its dense jungle. Both local and international food is served and private beach dining can be arranged. Perfect for the indecisive traveller! See More

    Check Availability