1. From Dambulla: Trincomalee Sightseeing Tour
Take a full day trip from Dambulla to visit the area of Trincomalee, a port city on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Immerse yourself in the nature and ancient religious architecture of the area with an English-speaking guide. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Dambulla at around 7:00 AM for the 1.5-hour drive to reach Trincomalee. Your first destination will be the beautiful islet off the coast, Pigeon Island. This has been the nesting ground for local rock pigeons for centuries. Continue on to the hot wells of Kinniya. Learn about the legends behind these protected archaeological monuments and feel their different temperatures. Then, admire the ruins of the old Shiva Temple nearby that was destroyed during the recent civil wars. After the hot wells, you’ll visit Thirukoneswaram Temple, which may be as old as 5,000 years. View its fascinating architecture, both ancient and more modern, due to it being rebuilt in part during the Portuguese era. Follow the rock path to a secret cave where you can see the primitive and ancient shrine where the temple was born. After lunch at your own expense in a local eatery and a relaxing break, restart the tour at 2:00 PM. Visit Fort Frederick, constructed by the Portuguese using stones from the original Koneswaram Temple that they destroyed. To this day, parts of the fort bear markings from the original temple walls. Your final destination is Marble Beach, known for its smooth white sands and clear waters. Sunbathe and relax until 5:30 PM, at which point you’ll head back to Dambulla for approximately 7:00 PM.