Enveloped by mile after mile of tropical sandy beaches, lapped by balmy waves, and covered by pristine, verdant jungles, it is paradise by another name. The pearl of the Indian Ocean is actually a gem for those hearts ruled by romance. The island nation of Sri Lanka has seduced the world since time immemorial, from fragrant exotic spices that allured ancient traders to the sunsets that turn evenings into a multi-coloured spectacle. It is one of the most romantic destinations in the world, and we are telling you why.
Beaches and the coast
Its 1,340-kilometer coastline is varied and mesmerizing. We are afraid it doesn’t make choosing any easy. The southern coast of Sri Lanka is one of the hottest coastal destinations in the world. Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is at the epicenter of this dramatic beach scene.
An hour’s drive from Colombo, this historic maritime city impresses with an imposing Dutch fort, colonial buildings, ancient mosques, churches, grand mansions, and museums. Its rambling lanes, lined with stylish cafes, quirky boutiques, and galleries, are perfect for an evening stroll. However, it’s the beaches we are gushing about today.
Mirissa, Unwatuna, Tangalle, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, and Weligama are scenic beaches with attractions galore. Mirissa is also a whale-watching hotspot in Sri Lanka, best experienced from November to April. Hikkaduwa and Tangalle also offer turtle-watching opportunities.
Did you know that Yala National Park runs down to the southern coast? The southern coast is dotted with luxury resorts and boutique hotels, which often feature in the most sought-after honeymoon packages in Sri Lanka.
The East Coast is a charmer, and if you want a more secluded beach experience surrounded by blue waters and white sand, head to Nilaveli Beach & its twin sister Uppuveli, Trincomalee, Pasikudah, or Arugam Bay. Pasikudah has one of the longest shallow reef coastlines in the world. The water is only a few inches deep for kilometers, and the current is relatively weak, allowing you to walk yards into the sea. Arugam Bay is the crescent for the island’s most famous point break. So, surf’s up here!
Kalpitiya in the northwest is another stunning beach in Sri Lanka, located on a peninsula consisting of 14 islands. It’s scenic beauty and attractions will fill your calendar like a dream. Kite surfing, mangrove-cruising, dolphin-watching, reef-snorkeling, and lagoon trips add adventure to your romantic getaway. Alankuda Beach is perfect to laze away in calm tropical splendor under the palm trees.
The Sri Lankan beach experience also offers sailing and cruising in the Indian Ocean. A mid-ocean stop on a luxury catamaran or sunbathing on the open deck, there’s nothing like the lull and sounds of the sea heightened by the glorious sights that never tire you.
National Parks & nature reserves
Sri Lanka has 26 national parks, some of which are UNESCO heritage sites due to their unique biodiversity. These are home to The Big Four; the Sri Lankan Elephant, the elusive Leopard, the Sloth Bear, and the Blue Whale. Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe, and Minneriya have gained popularity for their wildlife sightings and their substantial forest covers. Overnight stays in luxury camps and wildlife hotels will have you dining and sleeping right in the jungle, immersed in its sights and sounds.
Are you a cool cat with a penchant for admiring wild cats? Yala boasts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. You may spot some snoozing on the trees or prowling across the jungle. Minneriya National Park attracts large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants during the dry season (August and September). National Geographic calls it “Asia’s mightiest elephant migration.” Located in the catchment area of the ancient Minneriya tank, it is a fertile ground for feeding, bathing and frolicking. They migrate from Wasgamuwa National Park. Wilpattu, the largest national park, extends from north central to northwestern province. It is also home to leopards. Most national parks in Sri Lanka contain historical sites of major cultural importance.
If you are not in a safari mood and want to surround yourself with lush, green wilderness, head to the Horton Plains National Park, for sweeping plateau views at 7000 ft and more. Purple-faced langur and slender loris are familiar faces in the montane forest here. The plateau dramatically ends at the World’s End, plunging 880m. This staggering escarpment offers sensational views of the valley below.
The Sinharaja Nature Reserve in the southwest is the island’s largest tropical rainforest. Walking under its giant canopy, crisscrossing crystal clear streams, watching graceful waterfalls, spotting hidden caves, and encountering unique native plant and animal species is a rainforest experience for the journals.
Shrouded in cloud cover, the Knuckles Mountain range in central Sri Lanka is the most spectacular mountain landscape on the island. Its clenched-fist peaks and recumbent folds are covered with dense forests, native village communities, waterfalls, streams, grasslands, and a heavy presence of rich biodiversity. Nature walks here are the real deal.
Still in the cool central hills, hop over to Ella for an intimate escapade. Walk amidst its blanket of tea plantations, and at the summit of the Ella Rock or Little Adam’s Peak, scan the gorgeous scenery. A Sri Lanka honeymoon is never complete without a stop at serene Ella.
Luxury and wellness resorts
Romance needs ambiance, and Sri Lanka’s exquisite selection of resorts in some of the most picturesque locations will set the scene. Private pools, unique dining settings, indulgent baths with views, haute cuisine, luxury suites, and personalized care are awaiting to spoil you. And some soothing TLC from the ancient healing science of Ayurveda will keep you reinvigorated to experience and discover the many delights of your getaway.
In-house Ayurveda physicians will tailor-make personalized wellness programs for you. Luxurious oils, precious herbs, hydrotherapy, and therapeutic aromas will transport you to tranquility in the body and mind. Say goodbye to stress and welcome the bliss.
History and heritage
There’s history in the mountains, valleys, plateaus, plains, hills, lakes, and reservoirs. The Adam’s Peak Mountain hides Buddha’s footprint at its summit, the pagodas of Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa are thousands of years old, Sigiriya Rock Fortress has one of the world’s oldest guest books laid down in poetry, and there’s evidence of the Ramayanaya.
At the center of the citadel of Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth and at the center of Anuradhapura’s kingdom ruins is the Sri Maha Bodhi, the most sacred fig tree, the oldest living human-planted tree in the world. There are more Buddhist relics in Sri Lanka than anywhere else. Stay at a heritage hotel that transports you back to the old-world charm that amplifies romance.
Flying to the moon doesn’t guarantee romance, but trips to Sri Lanka do. Walks in the sunsets or watching the sunset from an ancient rocky outcrop, a night under the stars in the jungle, or a night in luxury listening to ocean waves, you choose how romantic you want your getaway to be. Blue Lanka Tours tailor-makes your holiday with nothing amiss and only memories that happily linger on. What’s the most romantic thing you want to experience in Sri Lanka?