Trincomalee situated in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, takes pride of place as one of great scenic beauty with picturesque bays, lagoons, wide sandy beaches and rocky terrain tumbling down to the beach.
The cultural and scenic resources of Trincomalee’s coastal zone make it a focus of recreational activities and tourist attractions. Its most famous landmark is Fort Federick, initially built by the Portuguese and named later by the Dutch. The cliff on top of Fort Federick called a Swami Rock is a cleave rock protruding high up to several meters above the sea level which carries a romantic tale of a Dutch maiden. Looking around the cliff, one can enjoy uninterrupted vistas of seascape and landscape. Thirukoneswaram Kovil dedicated to Lord Shiva, within the Fort, is a shrine highly venerated by the Hindus. Other sites in Trincomalee that possess their own intrinsic qualities and values are Gokkana Viharaya and Fort Ostenberg.
The 30km stretch of beach running uninterrupted from north of Trincomalee, is traditionally used both by Sri Lankans and foreign visitors for swimming, diving, surfing, boating, whale watching, sport fishing, leisure walks, bird watching and relaxation. There are over 100 Beach Service Crafts providing transport services to local and foreign tourists, to various locations along the coastline.
At the center of this stretch is the most famous and beautiful beach, Nilaveli, coming as a surprise with golden sands and clear water. Pigeon Island on the horizon is a short boat ride off the Nilaveli beach and makes an interesting trip. Nilaveli and Uppuveli 16 km and 6 km north of the city, respectively, are among the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
About 11 km from west of Trincomalee are the Kanniyai Hot Springs, sacred to Hindus. The Dagoba at Thiriyaya enshrining the hair relics of the Lord Buddha dates back to the 8th Century B.C.