Nilaveli beach is located on the east coast of Sri Lanka at the small beach town next to Trincomalee. This beach is more intimate than its busier brother Uppuveli beach which is the main beach of Trincomalee. The beautiful stretched white sand of Nilaveli beach brings locals from all over the country to this place during the weekends. There are some restaurants and sunbeds, but mostly this beach is very local with chill vibes. The sea water is calm and very clear. Ideal to relax for a day! From this beach, you can also easily get a boat to Pigeon Island to snorkel. Read everything you need to know about Nilaveli beach in this blog post!

Best tours to do in and around Trincomalee

If you want to explore the best of what Trincomalee has to offer, then these are the best guided tours. All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

How to get to Nilaveli beach

If you have a rental scooter the most convenient way to get to the beach is with the scooter, so you can visit other places in Trincomalee as well. But if you don’t drive a scooter, just ask a TukTuk to drop you at the beach for around 400 Rupee from Trincomalee town. It is a 10 minute drive from the main town of Trincomalee.


What to expect at Nilaveli beach

With golden soft sand, crystal clear calm water and a local restaurant with sun beds, Nilaveli beach invites to relax, cool down and get in contact with the locals. A few hundreds meters offshore from Nilaveli beach is Pigeon Island, well known for its perfect snorkel possibilities.

Nilaveli is considered as one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka because of its untouched scenery and laid back vibe. You won’t find much development here giving it a very local and relaxed atmosphere. So if you are looking for a relaxing beach day with the locals, and a bit off the beaten path, then Nilaveli Beach is for you! 


Things to do at Nilaveli beach

Except for sunbathing at the beach and swimming in the crystal clear water, you can also choose to do a trip to Pigeon Island which is just a few meters offshore from Nilaveli Beach. There are many boats leaving from Nilaveli beach to Pigeon island where you can do snorkeling and diving to admire the abundant marine life and to enjoy the powdery white sands.

But there are a few downsides about visiting Pigeon island. First of all, it’s not that cheap to get to the island. Since Pigeon Island is a National Park, be prepared to pay about 3000 – 4000 LKR per person as entrance fee to the island. The boat costs around 2000 LKR, but the more people you share the boat with, the cheaper it gets for each. And if you have to rent snorkel gear, it will set you back another 500-600 LKR.

To be honest it isn’t really worth the money to go to Pigeon Island. Due to over tourism the island has suffered which resulted in killing almost all the coral near the island. So there is no bright coral at Pigeon Island and you have to have some luck to see beautiful marine life. Below a picture of Pigeon Island seen from Nilaveli beach.


Things to do around Nilaveli beach

In and around Trincomalee are many more things to do. You can visit the other beach in Trincomalee, which is Uppuveli, and if you’re in the right season, you can even go on a whale watching tour! The season starts around May and ends in September / October. Make sure to ask other travellers who have been on whale watching to check if they’ve seen whales. Otherwise it might be a waste of time and money.

Other things to do in Trincomalee are visiting Fort Frederick and a few Hindu temples. You can also go on safari or travel further to Sigirya from Trincomalee!

Read in this blog post which other places you have to visit in Trincomalee


Best time to go to Trincomalee

The best time to explore Trincomalee is between February and August as the weather is most pleasant during this period. The east coast monsoon season runs from October to early January which is why most shops and restaurants are closed during this period. But when you want to come to Trincomalee for whale watching, make sure to plan your way up here between May and September / October. 

More Sri Lanka travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed our complete guide about Nilaveli beach Trincomalee.

For more Sri Lanka travel inspiration, head over to our other Sri Lanka travel guides:

20 best things to do in Sri Lanka – The Ultimate Guide

11 best Sri Lanka beaches – The Ultimate Guide

14 best waterfalls in Sri Lanka – The Ultimate Guide

Best things to do in Nuwara Eliya – The Ultimate Guide

Sigiriya best things to do

11 best things to do in Trincomalee

Best things to do in Galle – The Complete Guide

15 best things to do in Ella – The Ultimate Guide

Best thing to do in Kandy – The Complete Guide

Lion Rock hike – The Complete Guide

Sri Lanka Safari – The Ultimate Guide

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  1. Wow Nilaveli Beach is Super in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

  2. Marjoleine and Ronald says:

    Hi Ilse,
    it is so nice to follow your blogs and all your great information about Sri Lanka. We enjoyed reading about Nilaveli Beach Trincomalee at the east coast of Sri Lanka. It just looks as you describe it, with a laid back vibe. Perfect to spent your holidays !

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