Nilaveli Travel Guide
Nilaveli is a well-known beach resort and the coastal town located north-west of the Island. Travelers from all over the world visit Nilaveli beach because of its stunning length of white sand. In this Nilaveli travel guide we have listed all the most awesome things you can do while in Nilaveli. For those seeking a tranquil coastal vacation in Sri Lanka, this small village is ideal. Pigeon Island, which provides excellent snorkeling chances, is only a short boat trip away, and a few modest resorts are located above the shore line. A large number of coral reefs enhance the beauty of the scene. The south-west monsoon season, which runs from May to October, is the ideal time to visit there. Nilaveli experiences highly sunny, dry weather throughout this time, and the sea is also appropriate for sports involving saltwater.
Snorkeling on Pigeon Island
Two marine national parks, including Pigeon Island and Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary, are located in Sri Lanka. In the early 1960s, the Pigeon Island National park was recognized as a sanctuary, but in 2003 it was upgraded to a national park, making it Sri Lanka’s 17th national park. Over 470 hectares of land make up the park’s total area. The national park takes its name from the critically endangered rock pigeons that live there. The massive Pigeon Island and the little Pigeon Island comprise the Pigeon Island National Park. They are just one kilometer away from the beach town of Nilaveli. One can buy entry tickets to the island and rent snorkeling gear at the beach from the Pigeon Island National Park Ticket Office, which is on Nilaveli Beach in front of the Anilana hotel. If you want to find a great place to snorkel, Pigeon Island is the place to go. From 1 feet of water to 6-7 feet of water, snorkeling is simple and safe because to the clear water. The Large Pigeon Island has an unrivaled live coral reef with a high ecology and considerable reef habitat, measuring 200m long and 100m wide and home to approximately 100 kinds of magnificent corals. Over 300 species of coral reef fish use it as a breeding and feeding ground, creating a vibrant underwater symphony. Along with several endangered and protected fish species like the Bi-color cleaner wrasse, Raggedfin parrotfish, Humphead Wrasse, Mellon Butterflyfish, Black wedged Butterflyfish, Moorish idon, Blue ringed angelfish, and Emperor angelfish.
Explore Fort Fredrik
For those travelling to Nilaveli who enjoy history and culture, Fort Frederick is an important monument. Here, a fortress was first built in 1622 by Constantino de Sa, a former captain-general of Ceylon. On Swami Rock-Konamamalai, it was constructed using the debris of the well-known ancient Hindu Koneswaram temple. The Portuguese called the fort “Fort of Triquillimale.” A Dutch fleet led by Admiral Westerwold captured this fort in 1639. Then, in order to stave against British advances, they reconstructed it in 1665. Dutch gave the fort a new name: “Fort Fredrick.” Trincomalee was taken over by the British in 1795 after being taken over by the French in 1672. A British force was present there until 1948. The majority of the fort can be explored, however it is still in use by the Sri Lankan military. Three bastions make up the fort. The southern side, where the sea touches it, is where the Santa Cruz bastion is located. Six pieces of cannon were installed on this bastion, which was larger than the other two. With five pieces of artillery, the bastion of Santo Antonio is on the northern side. Three pieces of cannon are stationed on the third bastion, which is smaller than the other two and located on the hillside. They were taken from a Danish ship that sank off the coast of Kottiyarama
Relax at Marble Beach
One of Sri Lanka’s most stunning beaches is Marble Beach, sometimes referred to as Marble Bay. The crystal-clear waves that lap at the shore are how it gained its name. The Sri Lankan Air Force controls this stunning, unspoiled beach, which features beachfront lodging, a top-notch restaurant, and a separate bar. There are many activities to do at Marble Beach, and snorkelling is frequently at the top of the list. Unlike other Sri Lankan beaches, this one allows for snorkelling quite a distance out because the sea is quiet and tranquil for virtually the whole day. The water is strangely not as salty either. Perhaps as a result of the nearby Mahaweli River’s connection to the sea. There is a large variety of animal species nearby. There’s a chance you’ll get to see monkeys and peacocks. For the active guest, there is also a beach volleyball court.
Go Whale Watching
One of the top whale-watching destinations in Sri Lanka is Trincomalee, being one of the best natural deep-water harbours in the world. Nilaveli is located approximately 15 kilometres from Trincomalee. May through October is the ideal time to go whale and dolphin watching in Trincomalee. The regular sightings of humpback whales and blue whales as well as the discovery of many super pods of sperm whales with a population of 50 or more individuals. Dolphins, primarily Spinner dolphins, are also observed having fun, dancing, and displaying their acrobatic talent. Bottlenose Dolphins and Fraser’s Dolphins are two additional dolphin species that can be sighted. In comparison to Sri Lanka’s other whale watching locations, Trincomalee offers whale sightings that are made reasonably near to the coast. Why not swim with whales if simply viewing them isn’t enough for you? One of the few sites on earth where you may swim with whales in the wild is Trincomalee.
Cruise at Sunset
The climate in Sri Lanka is ideal for sailing all year round. The southern coast is the place to be from November to April. The eastern coast cruise is available from May through October. After boarding, you can travel to Pigeon Island National Park, a marine park with beautiful undersea scenery, sunny skies, and favourable winds. You can surf, go paddle boarding, snorkelling, or just have a sunbath. Onboard the cruise, guided tours offer delightful multi-course dinners. It’s a lovely way to end the day.
Tour through the Maritime Museum
Undoubtedly one of the most distinctive museums in Sri Lanka is the Maritime and Naval History Museum. You can learn more about the nation’s naval force and its role in helping to end World War II at the museum, which also offers a glimpse at some aquatic life that can be found in the country’s tropical waters. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president of Sri Lanka, opened the museum in 2013 during the nation’s 65th Independence Day celebrations. The lovely colonial structure that houses the museum was formerly the Dutch Naval Commissioner’s House from 1602 to 1795 and the Urban Commissioner’s palace from 1795 to 1948. The museum structure consists of two storeys, each of which houses a different specialty. Displays detailing Sri Lankan maritime history going back to Marco Polo’s time can be found on the ground floor. Artifacts on the first floor provide information about the maritime ecology, with a focus on the east coast’s flora and wildlife. Additionally, there is a whole section devoted to equipment and weapons that the LTTE surrendered, including boats, rafts, a variety of uniforms, weapons, ammo, and even tiny submarines.
Beautiful Dutch Bay Beach
The entrance gates to the Fort Frederick are just around the corner from Dutch Bay. It is a pristine beach with golden sand that stretches for a few kilometres. The swimming is safe and the seas are glistening clear. The seas can occasionally become dangerous due to strong undertows, therefore it’s best to avoid them. The best time to go is in the evening because the sun is too scorching during the day. However, the numerous ice cream vendors make it more of a spot for wandering.
Colorful Koneshwaram Temple
Inside the famous Fort Frederick stands the Koneshwaram Temple Complex, a traditional mediaeval Hindu temple complex. One of Sri Lanka’s most significant Pancha Ishwara Hindu kovils is this one. Naguleswaram Temple in Jaffna, Tondeswaram Temple in Matara, Munneswaram Temple in Chilaw, and Ketheeswaram Temple in Mannar are additional Iswara temples. According to a 17th-century stone inscription at the temple, the building’s history began around 1580 BC. Between 1622 and 1624, Portuguese Christians destroyed it. The antique pieces were reinstalled in 1963 after the restoration work was finished. The property is being rebuilt right now, and there is also some rather contemporary construction. The Thirukoneswaram Ther Thiruvilah Festival, a chariot festival that took place in April and lasted for 22 days, is the biggest celebration of Koneswaram Temple. The festival’s primary goal is to get the community and gods ready for the Tamil New Year. Hope you find this Nilaveli travel guide useful in planning your own time in Nilaveli.