Nilaveli is a coastal resort town and the suburb of the Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka located 16 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. The beauty of Nilaweli comprises with its attractive beaches of soft white sand and breath-taking bays. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli. Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of the region is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, its many species of vegetation, coral and reef fish contributing to rich biodiversity in Nilaweli.
Nilaveli beach is the closest that Sri Lanka gets to the Maldives. It is one of the finest beaches in Sri Lanka which is composed of fine, powdery white coral sand where you can wade out to sea at waist height for hundreds of feet in places. The beach is really attractive and that the feeling you experience when you see it, is unique itself. Anyone can really connect with nature at this beach at an intense level and that is why people attraction of Nilaweli is very high. And also this is a most famous destination of many people who eagerly waiting to take a break from the hectic lives in the present.
The East Coast has a feel that is very different from the rest of the island. The population of Nilaweli is predominantly Tamil and the Palmyra palm replaces the Coconut. The landscape is arid and very dry, giving a somewhat ‘Arabic’ character to the countryside. Arriving at the hamlet of “Errakkandy”, a sharp right turn will take you down a gravel road to Nilaweli beach, almost a kilometer of in length, white sandy beach with gentle surf. Across the beach about two kilometers into the ocean you will see the famous pigeon island, named due to rock pigeons roosting on it by the hundreds and crystal clear water around it to snorkel on to the clear depths of a reef. Further up North, you will see a cluster of reddish rocks which are referred to as the red rock beach.
Water Sports in Nilaweli
- Snorkeling in Nilaveli at Pigeon Island on the East Coast is one of Sri Lanka’s best-known snorkeling spots. If you want to avoid the hordes of day trippers who crowd this uninhabited island, head off to Coral Island, a few kilometres away. Coral Island offers the best snorkeling in Sri Lanka. A few kilometers north along the coast from Nilaveli is an outstandingly well-preserved array of live reef including cabbage coral and is home to a dazzlingly colorful collection of tropical fish.
- The sea around Trincomalee is littered with shipwrecks as well as remains of Japanese Zero fighters which bombed the massive fuel silos near the harbor during WW2. Well known dive spots at diving in Nilaweli include the area at the base of the very ancient Swami Rock Temple, Eel Rock which is a good place to see at least 5 kinds of different Moray Eel species and Grouper Rock, an uneven rocky terrain fully covered with beautiful hard and soft coral that appears very colourful at this shallow depth.
- For Windsurfing in Nilaweli, Uppuveli to the north of Trincomalee provides a fantastic East Coast alternative for when the monsoon brings strong winds and rough seas to the South West Coast of Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit Nilaweli
- Summer Season: May – October
During the Summer Season, Nilaveli is fabulous. The sea is calm, the weather is fine and water sports are possible.
- Winter Season: November – April
The sea tends to be slightly rough and the hotels experience low occupancy. A good choice if you want to get away from it all on a deserted beach.
The hot water wells and pigeon islands are the major tourist attractions of Nilaweli, however, an old fort from the colonial era is also present. A boat trip to the uninhabited Pigeon Island is the most popular among them. The island gets over-crowded during weekends and holidays. Even at other times, it is best to go there early in the morning before hoards of other visitors arrive. Nilaveli is not yet a ‘resort’, it is more a collection of hotels on a long stretch of beach that stretches northwards from Uppuveli to Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli.