Have you been thinking about taking your honeymoon in Sri Lanka? This island nation has largely been kept under wraps due to its civil war, which lasted for more than 15 years. Nowadays, the country has achieved peace, and travellers who are looking for a unique brand of island vacation are discovering its innumerable joys.
If you're interested in a couples getaway that is beachy and relaxing but also interesting and full of opportunities to explore cultural attractions, Sri Lanka fits the bill as the perfect destination. This gem is situated off the coast of southern India, and boasts a variety of benefits that make it an ideal honeymoon destination.
For beach bums: Sri Lanka's coastline
The beaches of Sri Lanka are as romantic as they are beautiful. With golden sand and the gorgeous blue waters of the Indian Ocean, there's something to be said for simply soaking up the sun with your new spouse all day long.
Unawatuna Beach is one one of the most quintessential Sri Lanka beaches. Its turquoise waters are met by pure white sands, and its gentle waves make it ideal for sunning and swimming. The beach is also relatively quiet, making is a great choice for honeymooning couples.
Mirissa Beach is located about 4km southeast of Weligama. This laid-back spot has recently become popular among travellers seeking the serenity of solitude - you'll have to go into Matara for most of your amenities - and is easily one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
Tangalla is a gorgeous sun-drenched beach situated in its namesake town, which has a distinctive Dutch vibe. The beach's sands are a gorgeous shade of white, and is waters are peaceful. However, this wasn't always the case - Tangella lost many of its homes and buildings in the 2004 tsunami. It is yet another example of Sri Lanka's past struggles, and an indication of the country's bright and resilient future.
For foodies: The country's fabulous eats
Sri Lanka's cuisine has made it a rising star in the culinary world. For romantic dinners, head to one of the country's top-rated dining establishments.
Nihonbashi: Nihonbashi was rated the 38th best restaurant in Asia by San Pellegrino, and for good reason. Focusing on sushi, the restaurant boasts flavours that would make any lover of seafood drool. Try the chawan mushi, okonomiyaki, ongiri, sushi matsu, maki or sashimi.
Curry Leaf: Curry Leaf is a delicious place to enjoy the warm flavours of Indian cuisine. Start your meal with the pakora or vegetable samosa before moving on to signature dishes like the Delhi lamb shanks, murg malai tikka, karahi chicken, chicken tikka masala or chicken vindaloo.
Ministry of Crab: Seafood lovers won't want to miss Ministry of Crab. This restaurant is serious about its crabmeat. You can order your crustacean with in a variety of flavours and preparation methods, including baked, peppered, or topped with chilies. You can also opt for non-crab dishes such as prawns or the olive oil & soy grilled chicken.
Chesa Swiss: Chesa Swiss provides an elegant, upscale atmosphere and intricately crafted dishes, making for a dinner experience that's sure to leave a lasting impression. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list for all the oenophiles out there. Seafood options include herb-crusted tiger prawns and grouper with green mussels, while meatier entrees include Australian veal tenderloin, rack of lamb, grilled chicken breast and beef chateaubriand.
Beach Wadiya: This ocean-front restaurant offers beautiful views and tasty seafood. You and your sweetie can savour the flavours of grilled lobster, devilled crab, baked sear fish, jumbo prawns and more. If soup is what you're after, you have plenty of options: The establishment offers cream of carrot, tomato and vegetable, as well as crab and egg soup.
For history lovers: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That's a lot, considering the island is only about 65,000 square kilometers. This makes Sri Lanka a boom for history and anthropology lovers.
Two of the country's World Heritage Sites are ancient cities. Visit Polonnaruwa, the second capital of Sri Lanka. When the first capital, Anuradhapura (see below), was destroyed in 993, Polonnaruwa took the top spot. The city holds cultural relevance for a variety of peoples, including the Cholas and Sinhalese. The site is also a shrine of Buddhism. The Ancient City of Sigiriya is another stunning must-see, featuring historic ruins and a history that spans the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries AD.
There are also two sacred cities on the list. Anuradhapura was built upon a piece of the Tree of Enlightenment - the tree under which the Buddha sat as he came to enlightenment. Established in the 3rd century BC, the city was inhabited for about 1,300 years. The sacred city of Kandy is another important site for Buddhism, and home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a pilgrimage sight that holds the sacred tooth of Buddha.
The Golden temple of Dambulla is a cave monastery. It is situated within a giant gave, making for an awe-inspiring sight. Buddhist murals cover the location, which has served as a pilgrimage site for 22 centuries.
The Old Town of Galle was founded in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers. Its architecture is an example of the European influence in Sri Lanka.
No matter what you want to do while honeymooning in Sri Lanka, you're sure to find the island nation to be the perfect getaway to celebrate your married bliss.
Wildlife Safari are one of Australia's leading tour companies when it comes to Sri Lanka and were visiting this stunning land long before it became one of the hottest destinations to see. Contact Wildlife Safari to plan the ultimate Sri Lankan honeymoon, holiday or romantic getaway for you.