I always knew that I’d wanted to honeymoon in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives or Bora Bora but when Dan and I got engaged I knew that he wouldn’t be content to spend more than a week relaxing in paradise as he is the kinda person who needs to constantly be doing something! Sri Lanka was a country which had been on both our bucket lists for a long time and as soon as we started looking into booking our Maldives honeymoon, we realised just how close it was to Sri Lanka and decided that visiting both these countries would be the perfect honeymoon for us! This diverse, tropical island, located between the more trodden India and Southeast Asia suffered major setbacks in its tourism industry from its 20 year civil war which ended in 2009, in addition to the devastation from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. The country is getting back on its feet and and is now firmly on the tourist map. More and more people are discovering its beauty and charm and it is the perfect destination for honeymooners and travellers alike. For such a small country, Sri Lanka is jam packed with diverse landscapes, luxurious accommodation and plenty to do! This island paradise is home to endless pristine, palm-fringed beaches, UNESCO world heritage sites everywhere you look, scenic train rides through tea plantations, mouthwateringly good cuisine and an amazing variety of wildlife! Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a Sri Lankan honeymoon (or your next holiday too)!
1. LUXURY ON A BUDGET
Travelling in Sri Lanka is cheap and your dollar will go a long way! You’ll be able to eat like a king, sleep in the most luxurious hotels and hire a private car and driver for much cheaper than you can in any western country. You will get way more bang for your buck which means you can honeymoon luxuriously and not break the bank or come home to a maxed out credit card.
Read more: Sri Lanka: Luxury on a Budget
2. THE BEACHES ARE WORLD CLASS
As an island, Sri Lanka is blessed with an incredible coastline and there are beautiful beaches everywhere you look! The beaches in the south and west are the ones you see in travel guides, with golden sand, swaying palm trees and beautiful waters. At different times of the year you will find great surf to the east, west and south of the island and there are endless options of places to stay whilst you hit the waves. We stopped in at Midigama on the south coast on our way from Udawalawe to Galle so Dan could surf and he was stoked to catch some waves in Sri Lanka. On a future trip to Sri Lanka we’d love to stay somewhere for a week where Dan can surf and I can indulge in daily yoga, and coconut/cocktail drinking on the beach!
3. ELEPHANTS, ELEPHANTS, ELEPHANTS… (AND OTHER WILDLIFE)
Sri Lanka is without a doubt one of the best places in Asia for seeing wildlife with an abundance of wild elephants, leopards, peacocks and other birdlife! The coastal regions also offer you the chance to spot turtles or go whale watching which is an experience you will never forget! Over an eighth of Sri Lanka is designated national parks and thanks to the diverse landscapes, Sri Lanka boasts a varied ecosystem that is rarely matched in any other country! The safari we did in Udawalawe National Park was the highlight of our Sri Lankan leg of our honeymoon. The safari experience was serene, romantic and allowed us to spot such a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat and it was the perfect honeymoon experience.
4. THE PEOPLE ARE WARM AND WELCOMING
Sri Lanka is a very multicultural country that is home to various ethnic and religious groups. The country has had an unstable and tumultuous past but now, thankfully the country is at peace and Sri Lankans warmly welcome visitors to their island nation with open arms! Sri Lankans are some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met and are so kind, helpful and always smiling! The one thing we also really liked about Sri Lankan people was that we were never harassed like you are so often in other Asian countries and they are incredibly hard working! We loved watching the stilt fishermen along the coastline and brought home with us the most gorgeous painting of these fishermen at sunset.
5. THE HOTELS ARE DROOL WORTHY (AND AT AN AMAZING PRICE)
Sri Lanka has hotels for every travel style and the country boasts some incredible, luxurious hotels that are perfect for honeymooners (and at a great price)! Private villas, infinity pools, ecolodges and stunning mountain and beachside hotels abound in Sri Lanka and your biggest decision will be deciding which of the magnificent hotels to book!
6. THE CUISINE IS MOUTHWATERINGLY GOOD
We can guarantee you’ll leave Sri Lanka raving about the food. From the Sri Lankan ‘rice and curry’ which is actually seven dishes in one, to the fresh fruit and vegetables, King coconuts, the freshest of seafood, to breakfast hoppers and of course curd, the dessert delicacy. Sri Lankan cuisine is a delight to the tastebuds!
7. YOU CAN VISIT THE FAMOUS CEYLON TEA TRAILS
Sri Lanka is famous for its tea, with the Hill Country covered in vast tea plantations, which you can hike and catch scenic trains through! We visited the tea plantations around Ella and it was fascinating to be able to walk through these iconic tea plantations and learn more about how tea is made (we also brought a lot back home with us)!
8. IT IS ALWAYS SUNNY SOMEWHERE
Sri Lanka is blessed with a tropical climate and because of its location the country is affected by two different monsoon seasons. This means you need to plan your trip carefully to avoid one of the two distinct monsoon seasons but it also means there is always a section of the island that is in the perfect season and has endless sunshine and warm weather! The weather is also varied in that you will experience cool breezes in the Hill Country and dry heat on the southern beaches, all during the same holiday.
9. THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
As we mentioned, Sri Lanka is brimming with incredibly beautiful, diverse places to visit! We loved Sri Lanka’s diversity so much because it meant that we did not have to compromise at all. Our honeymoon included luxury hotels, glamping, safaris, hiking, colonial towns, amazing food, surfing and plenty of animal spotting! Sri Lanka really does have it all, there is something for everyone and it offers the perfect compromise with luxurious, relaxing travel options and plenty of action packed, adventures to be had.
10. TRAVEL IS SO EASY
Other than a long flight to get to your honeymoon destination, once you arrive you don’t want to spend your whole honeymoon in cars or on public transport! We especially loved the fact that because of its size, the distances we had to travel between locations were quite short, with the longest trip being only a few hours long. Within a few hours you can travel between ancient UNESCO world heritage sites, the stunning coastline, the mountain region which is perfect for trekking, to endless tea plantations, colonial towns and national parks where there is more elephants than room on your memory card to capture them all! Sri Lanka has some incredible train journeys which we would love to do on a return trip, but as we only had a week in the country we opted for private drivers as we wanted to maximise our time exploring everything we could!
+ It is super easy to get a e-visa and you can apply online meaning you don’t need to send your passport away or visit an embassy in person in order to get your visa.
AND it is only an hour flight to the Maldives, so you could always do what we did and spend a week in each island destination which for us was the perfect way to honeymoon! We loved our week in Sri Lanka and just wish it had been longer!
More Honeymoon Inspiration: 10 Reasons to go on Honeymoon to French Polynesia