Capturing the world’s attention in 2018, Sri Lanka has it all. Whether you’re after adventure, ancient sites, sumptuous stays, wildlife-spotting experiences, surfing or romantic dining experiences, this sensational island off the coast of India has something for you. Planning a post-wedding getaway or a loved-up escape? We’ve found some amazing reasons for you to fall in love with Sri Lanka.
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For the adventure-seeking couple…
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to thrills in Sri Lanka. In this incredible destination, you’ll find everything from jungles and pristine beaches to tranquil hinterland and minuscule islands.
Easily one of Sri Lanka’s most-loved attractions, its wildlife is truly spectacular – think leopards, sloth bears, elephants and inquisitive monkeys. One of the best places to see them all, Yala National Park in Southwestern Sri Lanka offers plenty for thrill-seekers. A huge expanse of forest, grassland and lagoons, the park offers safari trips and even camping. Want to mix luxury and adventure? Spend your honeymoon (or at least a fraction of it) at Ralais Chateaux’s super-luxe Wild Coast Tented Lodge Yala that sits adjacent to the park.
If you consider yourselves accomplished hikers, take on the challenge that is Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) in Sri Lanka’s central highland region. Join a certified guide to start ascending the mountain in the middle of the night – come morning you’ll be rewarded with a pinch-me-now sunrise over the landscapes below. At the top you’ll also find a large footprint-like hollow that Buddhists say is left by Buddha’s left food.
Prefer to hit the water? Sri Lanka is also blessed with wonderful dive sites filled with captivating creatures and colourful coral. Top spots include the Taprobane East Wreck in Colombo, the coastal town of Hikkaduwa on the southeast coast and Bull Dog Reef in Kalpitiya.
For the luxury-loving couple…
Offering up some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful outlooks on a silver platter, there are many dreamy places to stay on the island that are perfect for a post-wedding escape.
One of the destination’s most famous offerings, Ceylon Tea Trails in the tea-growing region of Hatton is honeymoon perfection. The world’s first tea bungalow resort, the Insta-ready hideaway overlooks mountains and lush tea fields, and is boarded by the World Heritage-listed Central Highlands. There are five secluded bungalows to choose from here, all decked out in period furnishings inspired by the resort’s colonial era past. Another reason to escape to this romantic spot? Known for offering ‘all-inclusive’ Tea Trails experiences, Ceylon Tea Trails offers everything from butler service and gourmet cuisine to guided tea field walks with the resident Tea Planter.
Looking for something a little less extravagant? Top off your Sri Lankan honeymoon with a once-in-a-lifetime hot-air balloon ride over forest and jungle. Or, discover more of the destination’s colonial past aboard the iconic Viceroy carriage. Running between December and August when it’s attached to public trains, the carriage features wooden panelling, butler service, a glamorous bar and gourmet Sri Lankan dining experiences. Sit back and relax in style as you travel through the tea field-dotted highlands – this stretch of railway is believed to be one of the world’s most scenic train rides.
For the beach-loving couple…
Cherished for their almost-deserted stretches of sand and bright blue waters, Sri Lanka’s beaches and offshore islands are serious screensaver material. Keen surfers, hit Arugam Bay on the southeast coast for some of the best waves in Sri Lanka. This laid-back spot is also ideal for chilling out with a freshly husked coconut on powder-soft sands. A winner for its coral reefs, turquoise waters and beachside restaurants, Unawatuna on the southern coast is popular with couples for a reason, while the palm-dotted Mirissa in the Southern Province provides a lovely setting for relaxing in a hammock by the water.
If you’re dreaming of discovering Sri Lanka’s offshore islands, hire out a boat and explore Pigeon Island National Park. With rock pools, white sands and vibrant coral gardens teeming with life, it’s a must-visit.
For the culture-seeking couple…
You really can’t come to Sri Lanka without visiting the ancient city of Sigiriya. Sitting on a rocky outcrop that seems to rise out of the emerald ground below, the World Heritage-listed site holds the remains of King Kassapa’s palace from the 5th century AD. Ascend the stairs on the side of the mountain to reach the palace and an ancient fortress. The 360-degree jungle views are also enough to entice a mountain trek.
Another unique site you won’t find anywhere else, the Dambulla Buddha Cave Temple in central Sri Lanka is incredibly impressive. Sitting atop a 160-metre high rock, the monastery and its five sanctuaries are covered in colourful Buddhist mural paintings that have been cared for by Buddhists for more than 2,000 years. Also filled with awe-inspiring statues from the 12th century, the site is a treasure trove of Buddhist cultural significance.
For the foodie couple…
If you love seafood, fragrant curries and exotic flavours, you’re in the right place. Influenced by its Indian neighbours and tropical climate, much of Sri Lanka’s cuisine is packed full of flavour and fresh produce – definitely do not leave without trying coconut pancakes or Jaffna seafood curry made with the ground, dried stalk of the palm fruit.
Start your Sri Lankan culinary journey in the capital of Colombo. Here, you’ll be treated to delicious street-food, fine dining and everything in-between. Celebrate the start of your honeymoon with dinner at Ministry of Crab. Set in a preserved 400-year-old Dutch hospital and known for its, well, delectable crab dishes, this renowned spot was named as one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants for 2018.
Sri Lanka’s other major city of Galle is also great for straight-from-the-ocean seafood, while in the north you’ll be treated to more Indian-influenced dishes. Wherever you spend your honeymoon, expect bold, mouthwatering dishes served with no-fuss, home-style flair.
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Images courtesy of Sri Lanka Tourism and sourced via www.resplendentceylon.com/