From the fresh crisp sea breeze to flaming sunrises and hotspot steeped in history, the east coast of this blissful tropical isle is bustling with places to see, things to do and delightful food to taste. With it sunspoilt beaches, picturesque landscapes and unique wildlife, whatmore can you ask for?

Northbound, Nilaveli is a beachside haven with warm shores and inviting waters. Only a few kilometres off the Nilaveli coast is the east’s snorkelling hotspot of Pigeon Island. A harmonious gathering of sea turtles, blacktip sharks and a prismatic collection of fish roam around freely in the shallow reef encrusted waters of the island.

This quaint fishing town with softly whispering coconut groves is the place to be if your itinerary is about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Wake up to a beautiful sunrise, indulge in a hearty Sri Lankan breakfast and begin a new day of your vacation. Walk through the cool palm groves and let the rustling leaves and gentle crashing of waves relax your mind.

Get yourself a deck chair, and lounge the day away with a book and cold drink. A relaxing dip in the ocean will cool the noonday heat and whet your appetite for some spicy Sri Lanka curry.

As evening looms and nightlife begins, music from nearby restaurants creates a harmonious symphony with the rolling waves at high tide.

the boats. So plan your vacation to coincide with their peak seasons between March and April, and August and September, for dolphins; and March through May for whales – though there are random sightings until September.

Visit Trinco town and tempt your tastebuds with the fragrances that waft from the delicious local dishes. Hop into a tuk-tuk and tour colonial Fort Fredrick and the massive Koneswaram Temple (Thirukonamalai Konesar Kovil) on top of Swami Rock for a marvel lousview of the coastline and mighty Indian Ocean beyond.

This ancient town is immersed in history and home to two lesser known sites – Seruwawila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara and the Ullackalie Lagoon. The temple was built in the 2nd century BC in the reign of King Kavantissa and is said to enshrine a sacred relic of Lord Buddha, making it one of the 16 holy Buddhist shrines in the country.

holy site is the beautiful Ullackalie Lagoon.Fed by a number of small rivers from the north and south, this brackish water body is covered by dense evergreen forests and scrubland.With a well developed and biodiverse mangrove,the lagoon attracts a range of water birds such as ducks, storks and other shorebirds while the local fishermen eke their daily livelihoods out of these waters. In 1970, the western section of the lagoon was designated a wildlife sanctuary.

Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera

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