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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Less known things to do in Trincomalee – Add these to your must-see list
Joanna James Joanna James
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Less known things to do in Trincomalee – Add these to your must-see list

Located on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is one the biggest natural harbours in the world. Here are some things you can do while you're here.


Fort Frederick

Built back in 1623, when the Portuguese occupied Ceylon, this fort was fortified and rebuilt after the Dutch invaded the island. In 1728, it fell to the hands of the British, who have left their mark, i.e. royal insignias on the towering fort walls. Fort Frederick is currently under the occupation by the Sri Lankan military forces. It's a great place to visit if you're a fan of old colonial buildings and historic relics, sacred ancient temples and wildlife.


World War 2 Cemetery

Although a cemetery is not one of the most iconic Trincomalee attractions to visit, this historic one should be. Located in the northern part of the town, this is known to be the largest British cemetery on the island, specifically from the World War 2 period. Much of the cemetery still remains intact, despite being bombed by the Japanese army in 1942. It's an interesting place to visit where you'll find some historical artefacts and documents from the 2nd World War.


Whale and Dolphin Watching

The harbour is one of the major attractions in the city, as tourists from around the world come here to embark on an exciting adventure to spot the majestic creatures of the sea, i.e. whales and dolphins. The best months for this between February to April each year, and if you're patient and lucky, you'll be able to see schools of playful dolphins swimming along your boat, along with sperm whales and blue whales. Whale and dolphin watchers are requested to be at the harbour by 6 am, in order to catch a glimpse of these fine Gods of the sea.



The bays of Trincomalee, which consist of Dutch Bay, Inner Harbour and Back Bay, are some of the greatest spots for sailing and fishing. Back Bay has some pristine beaches and is located at the northern end of Fort Frederick, while sunset chasers will find heaven in Dutch Bay.


Sacred Tree

The scared tree located at the edge of a dramatic, bold cliff is a great place to watch out for marine mammals surfacing the waters. The sacred tree is a significant tree which attracts worshippers from around the island.


Koneswaram Kovil

The Koneswaram Kovil is a temple built on the summit of a cliff known as Swami Rock, overlooking the mesmerizing waters of the Indian Ocean. Dedicated to the Hindu God, Siva, the temple is located over Fort Frederick. This religious temple is complete with lovely, intricate designs and colours featuring carved figures of celestial beings that make it a popular place for tourists.


Pigeon Island Marine National Park

Due to the rich, abundant variety of marine life that swim in its waters, Pigeon Island, located off the coast of Trincomalee and less than an hour away from hotels and resorts such as Jungle Bay by Uga Escapes, has been designated as a Marine National Park. Spend the day exploring the azure waters as you come face to face with over 300 types of fish such as rays, reef sharks, sea turtles and many more.