Sri Lanka is truly a little piece of heaven on earth, a unique place where nature, history, religion and art live in perfect harmony. Formerly known as the island of Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a part of the Indian subcontinent and its proximity to India owed it its name the ‘teardrop of India’.
The many charms of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka itself is nearly entirely flat, except in the southern central area, site of Pidurutalagala mountain, the highest point of the country. This is where the tropical forest of the island can be found, the main source of its famous climate, and home to its beautiful wildlife. This equatorial climate, characterised by monsoon season, is precisely why choosing the right time of year to go is essential.
The people of Sri Lanka are known for their kindness, their hospitality and the general peace that they seem to radiate. The country is mainly Buddhist, but there are also minorities of Muslims, Hindus and Christians all peacefully coexisting. This religious melting pot explains the religious nature of most of the art on the island, and why the temples and other places of worship are some of the highlights of the country.
The Unmissable Cities
The largest, most modern and populated city is Colombo, the old capital. The modern architecture of towers and skyscrapers contrasts greatly with the beauty of the historical buildings such as the Grand Mosque or the Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque (also known as the Red Mosque). Far away from the economic capital, lies Kandy, a truly picturesque city and one of the main Buddhist areas of the country. Another unmissable city when visiting Sri Lanka on a honeymoon is the romantic city of Nuwara Eliya, known as the city of light or Little England, the city is home to the island’s main tea plantations, the pride of the country.
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In order to visit Kandy we recommend Amaya resorts – all-inclusive, luxury hotels that will set you on the right track to discover the beauty, the culture and sights of this beautiful island. For those who love to be by the sea, The Fortress is situated in the grasslands of the country. With 53 rooms, each one with a garden or a balcony you’ll be able to enjoy incredible views of the Indian Ocean.
A wildlife paradise
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s richest areas for biodiversity, the island is home to over 90 different mammals, a huge variety of birds and over 80 species of snake. The most famous creature of the island (despite the extensive diversity of animals present) remains the elephant, these beautiful animals live in huge natural parks such as Udawale and Handapanagala, this due to the desire to preserve their species that remains on the verge of extinction. Last but not least, a species that is also seeing its numbers decrease every day is the magnificent leopard, it too highly preserved in natural wildlife parks such as the famous Wilpattu National Park.
If what you’re looking for is to soak up as much of the beautiful wildlife as you can, Uga Escapes Ulagalla Hotel is the perfect place for you. Relying entirely on renewable energy, the hotel is a renovated nineteenth century mansion which gives it a truly remarkable and unique feel.
For those looking for a honeymoon in direct contact with nature The Tree of Life hotel may be the place you have been searching for. Every detail of the hotel is designed to blend into the scenery, and enables you to wake up to the sounds of the songbirds from the surrounding jungle.
Beaches and blue blue waters
Sri Lanka is not all about the jungles and the wildlife though, the country itself has 1300 km of coastline with the most incredible beaches shaded by coconut trees and surrounded by countless green plains. The most popular area is the south part of the island, in which those who love diving (or those who are keen to try it out) can swim deep into the clear blue waters from Tangalle beach to discover two perfectly preserved ship vestiges at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or watch sea turtles carefully lay their eggs. At the other end of the island, in the north, the beaches remain somewhat untouched, and are known for their dreamy white sandy beaches. The most spectacular one is called Mannar, it has a direct connection to mainland India by means of a natural stone bridge widely known as Adam’s Bridge.
The Mahaweli Reach hotel is a luxury hotel complex perfect for exploring the island; situated in the middle of nature between the jungle and the bank of river Mahaweli, the hotel has belonged to the same family for years, and is recognised for the relaxing and enjoyable ambience provided for the guests.
Two other luxury hotels that we believe to be perfect for a honeymoon include the Taj Samudra, a resort facing the sea and complete with everything you could ever need, and the Cinnamon Hotel that has made the sea part of its essence in offering its guests the opportunity to dive into the Indian ocean to explore the wonders of the coral reefs.
UNESCO world heritage
Even though very few people know this, Sri Lanka is home to a grand total of eight world heritage sites including magnificent temples, ancient archaeological sites, and stunning elements of the wildlife. Among these, the sacred city of Polonnaruwa but also Sigiriya, Galle, Kandy, Anuradhapura and the majestic golden temple of Dambulla, a place that seems to almost seems to have been frozen in time. The mountains of central Sri Lanka and its jungles are also on UNESCO’s list, recognised for their timeless character.
The Sri Lanka Collection is a luxury boutique hotel, surrounded by nature, in which British and Sri Lankan traditions come together creating a place of refuge and comfort.
The Anilana hotels seem to us like another perfect place to celebrate your honeymoon, with staggering spaces where the the quality of the customer service and attention to detail will constantly astound you.
Finally, for those who are looking for an immersive experience on the island picking between one of the Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts is, without a shadow of a doubt, your best shout. Every single one of the resorts is in contact with nature, be it next to the sea or in the middle of the jungle.
Now that you have a general idea of the incredible beauty that Sri Lanka offers all you have to do is pack up your bags and enjoy a luxurious honeymoon in one of the most exquisite paradises that planet earth has to offer. If you have any other questions, or need more information about the island, its history it whatever it may be, the Sri Lankan tourist office is always there to help. All that’s left to do is enjoy your trip! For more Honeymoon inspiration, click here!
Flight time: 11.5 hrs (from London Heathrow)
Tourist information: http://srilanka.travel/ or 0845 880 6333
Embassy/Consulate in UK: 020 7262 1841
Medical Vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Typhoid (recommended), Yellow Fever (certificate required dependent on risk)
Time Zone: GMT + 5.5 hrs