A Sri Lanka honeymoon is the ultimate way to pack some adventure and culture, with a side of total relaxation into your trip-of-a-lifetime.
To get the lowdown on everything you need to know about planning a Sri Lanka honeymoon, we chatted to Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh, who knows all there is to know after her most recent trips to the island.
Why do people love Sri Lanka as a honeymoon destination?
Last year, Sri Lanka was hailed as the number one country to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet, and with a mix of religion and cultures, world-class temples, rich and varied wildlife and an emerging surf scene with beautiful beaches it is the perfect choice for a honeymoon.
This is an amazing destination, one which I certainly feel is hard not to leave a piece of your heart behind!
Tell us the top five things to see/do there!
- Uda Walawe National Park
Sri Lanka is packed with national parks, and one of the best to visit is Udawalawe, which is home to the Elephant Transfer Home, an orphanage and rehabilitation centre for orphaned and injured elephants. Go on a trek through the park and you will come across the beautiful creatures in their herds, as well as a number of different bird species. There’s also Kaudulla National Park, which is home to 250 wild elephants, meaning chances of seeing five or more are really high. Located near the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya, the two can be combined on a one- or two-day tour.
- Train ride from Peradeniya to Ella
Riding the trains is a quintessential Sri Lankan experience that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Chugging slowly along the hills and valleys, you will be able to enjoy incredible views of the countryside while hanging out the side of the carriage, and the trip from Peradeniya to Ella is known as one of the most scenic in the world.
Sigiriya is the country’s most famous attraction. This impressive archaeological site is a rising rock formation surrounded by beautiful jungle, villages and farmland. On its flat-topped summit lies the ruins of an ancient civilisation, thought to have once been the epicentre of the kingdom of Kassapa. Climb to the top for jaw-dropping views and to learn about its fascinating history.
- The historic Portuguese and Dutch Galle Fort
Recognised by UNESCO for its cultural and historical value, Galle is an old trading port with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches and grand mansions and museums. Don’t forget to stop by the 16th-century Galle Fort which features a blend of European architecture and South Asian tradition.
- The tea-covered hills & plantations of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s most important tea producers, and you can see their huge tea plantations which cover miles of hillside in the south. The lush green vegetation on the rolling hills is spectacular, and on your visit you can stay in plantation homes, visit the factories where it is processed and partake in Ceylon tea tasting.
Is there a perfect time to go?
If you're heading to the West and South coasts, December to March is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. If you plan on seeing the East Coast, you'll get the best weather from April through to September.
What sort of budget would you need for a Sri Lanka honeymoon?
Based on July 2019 with return flights from Dublin, 14 nights with a mix of 3 Star plus, 4 and 5 Star hotels on a B&B basis with private guide and transfers throughout from €3199 per person.
How do I get there?
Various routes including Emirates via Dubai and Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
What's the most romantic part of a Sri Lanka honeymoon?
From candle light dinners on the beautiful beaches and luxurious hotels like the 5 Star “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” Ulagalla Wallawwa Resort, featuring a 150-year-old mansion with 20 private ecologically-built chalets across 58 acres of land. Our stilted villa was simply stunning, furnished to the highest of standards, complete with four poster bed and private plunge pool on the decking. It was so romantic and ideal for that honeymoon or once in a lifetime trip. You can choose to dine in private in your villa, catch a golf buggy back to the main building or like us hop on your mountain bike to enjoy the serenity of this resort before the world awakes.
What sort of couple would a honeymoon in Sri Lanka suit?
Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, killer surf, fun trains, famous tea and delicious food describe Sri Lanka so defintely perfect for a couple with a sense of adventure.