Rory Allen (39) and Sharyn Mae (34) are long-time sweethearts from Auckland, New Zealand. They met while backpacking through Europe in their early 20s, and love exploring new tastes and exotic cultures. Here, they share with us their coastal Sri Lankan travel highlights.
When it comes to a romantic getaway with your significant other, Sri Lanka is a not-to-be-missed destination. With beautiful untouched coasts, remote destinations and picturesque landscapes, you’ll fall in love with all the captivating island has got to offer.
With so much to do and see in the little island, get ready for the most unforgettable time with your soulmate along the coast of Sri Lanka.
Fish Market, Negombo
Fishermen bring in their catch from the waters daily and prepare them for sale. Photo from Shutterstock.
Originally a fishing village, some of Negombo’s local communities still rely heavily on their fishing hauls for a living. Visit the Negombo fishing village with your partner and have the freshest seafood meal at the market.
A unique experience in itself, watch as the fishermen bring in their daily catch and unload hundreds of fish for distribution across the country and even worldwide.
Be prepared to haggle! Watch the locals and see how it’s done.
Tip for Honeymooners: Hop onto one of their daily fishing boat tours, and enjoy a relaxing few hours cruising through the smooth waters with your beloved.
Boat Safari, Madu River
Enjoy a memorable day out on the serene waters of Madu River. Photo from @ashoksanjaya via Instagram.
For a unique way to admire the complex wetland ecosystem of the Madu River, hop on a boat safari and explore the 900-hectare magical wetland. With the refreshing blue water surrounding you, and the peaceful atmosphere onboard, it will add a perfect touch to your romantic getaway.
Spot the massive mangrove forests and the forest tunnels formed through the years while you make your way through the watercourse.
Lush mangroves surround the sides of the watercourse along the Madu River. Photo from Shutterstock.
Learn about the unique biodiversity of the area and the history of the 200-year temple when you sail through the third largest river in Sri Lanka.
Whale Watching, Mirissa
Join a tour and spot friendly whales and dolphins up close in their natural environment. Photo from @huzeys via Instagram.
Mirissa is one of the must-visit romantic destinations for couples when visiting Sri Lanka, and for good reason. The beaches along Mirissa are stunning and famously crescent-shaped, featuring eye-catching tan-coloured sand against the turquoise sea.
Mirissa’s beaches are a breathtaking crescent-shape and boast beautifully turquoise waters. Photo from Shutterstock.
With an abundance of marine life, Mirissa is famed for its whale and dolphin-watching tours. Bring your loved one along with you and admire the fascinating marine life in their natural habitat. As eco-tourists, we made sure the tours we were on in Mirissa follow international whale watching rules and ensure the whales are protected and not disturbed.
Sea Turtle Farm, Habaraduwa
The Habaraduwa Beach measures around 2 miles long along the Sri Lankan coast. Photo from Shutterstock.
Nestled away on the southern coast, Habaraduwa is a quiet town known for its mesmerising beaches. Most special and unique of all is the Habaraduwa Beach, which stretches 2 miles long along the water.
Habaraduwa Beach is home to many sea turtles and where the non-profit organisation, the Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery, is located to ensure that the sea turtles are protected.
Join the hatchery in releasing sea turtles to the sea and get a chance to see the creatures up close. Photo from @houseofvaleri via Instagram.
Experience the joy of joining the hatchery in releasing turtles to the sea with your partner and create an unforgettable memory of helping continue the survival of the sea turtle species.
Snorkelling, Pigeon Island (Trincomalee)
The waters of Pigeon Island are a clear turquoise blue, luring snorkelling enthusiasts from all over the world. Photo from @heykumaran via Instagram.
For a quiet getaway, Trincomalee offers beaches less frequented by tourists and is a perfect choice for a laid-back time on your vacation. What’s more, your time at the beach will be accompanied by wild deer roaming the streets.
This underwater haven is a favourite destination for those interested in marine life. Photo from Shutterstock.
Pigeon Island is a little snorkelling haven with clear turquoise waters and mesmerising marine life under the surface. Named after the pigeons hiding under the rocky surface, the waters around the island house beautifully multi-coloured corals, luminescent fish and turtles.
A romantic getaway is made perfect with a memorable experience of being up close to nature. We recommend a day-trip snorkelling through the crystalline waters with your partner and making your visit to Pigeon Island unforgettable.
Waterfall Hiking, Diyaluma
Diyaluma Falls is 220m-high and the second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Photo from @zachfryer via Instagram.
Slightly off the coast of Sri Lanka, head inland towards the Diyaluma Falls.
Not for the faint-hearted, the Diyaluma Falls is the 2nd highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The hike to the waterfall takes about 30 minutes where you will be rewarded with the stunning sight of many pools cascading down the cliff all the way down, making it one of the highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka.
Don’t forget to pose for a romantic shot with your partner under the majestic waterfall!
*Tip: Find the track to the upper falls, where there is a pool for couples and more to spend time lazing in.
Hot Air Balloon, Kandalama
Drift gently above the tropical paradise that is Sri Lanka. Photo from @champ.perera via Instagram.
The small village of Kandalama might seem slightly inaccessible. However, the hot air balloon site by the lake makes this village one of the most romantic places that hold surprises once you take flight to the skies.
Flying over the jungle, you may see elephants roaming freely, variety of birds, wildlife, water buffaloes standing in the paddy fields and monkeys swinging from trees.
Soar above the stunning village of Kandalama and marvel at the breathtaking view in front of you. Photo from Shutterstock.
Enjoy the bird’s eye view of Sri Lanka’s picturesque landscapes with champagne in hand together with your loved one. We guarantee it will be an unforgettable experience.
Stroll through Tea Plantations, Ella
Ella is quickly becoming a must-visit destination in every traveller itinerary for its simple beauty and stunning landscapes. Photo from Shutterstock.
Coined as a piece of paradise in Sri Lanka’s jungles, Ella is a small town on the eastern edge of Hill Country. Boasting quaint small mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tranquil tea plantations, Ella is popular among tourists for its picturesque sights.
Join the locals in the tea plantations and experience hands-on tea picking. Photo from Shutterstock.
Sri Lanka is famous internationally for its quality tea and a visit to a tea plantation cannot be missed. Join the daily tours hosted and enjoy a hands-on tea picking experience with the locals.
Although this may not be a coastal experience, the enchanting mountain town is perfect for couples looking to spend quality time together, hiking through the trails and sipping hot tea in the cooling weather.
Learn about Local Culture, Kandy
Once the royal capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is home to the Buddha’s Tooth Relic. Photo from Shutterstock.
For culture lovers and history buffs, Kandy is a place steeped in tradition and famed for its sacred Buddhist sites. Once the royal capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy houses the Tooth Relic of the Buddha. Enclosed in several golden boxes encrusted in jewels, the Tooth Relic is held in high reverence by locals.
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most revered site in Sri Lanka. Photo from Shutterstock.
*Tip: Plan an early morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth to avoid crowds throughout the day.
Alternatively, you can also choose to embark on a day trip through the city and spot the colonial architecture of the buildings.
Enjoy beautiful birds-eye views of the country’s incredible landscapes. Photo from Shutterstock.
Last but not least, soar through the skies on a private helicopter and admire Sri Lanka from above. Look down and enjoy the scenic ride through the island’s beautiful landscapes, cultural sites and see exotic animals in their natural habitat.
From your vantage point, sit back, relax and let the skilled professionals fly you across the island to experience Sri Lanka’s true beauty.
Where to Stay
When travelling in Sri Lanka, you definitely want to get the most out of your vacation – and that means visiting the best places. This will require you to plan ahead when choosing your base on the island and selecting a stay where it’s comfortable enough for you to rest after a long day and located strategically enough so you can move around freely.
We personally recommend selecting a resort or hotel where you can rest your weary bodies after a long day of exploring the island, and also features attractions you can get to without having to spend half a day travelling.
Here are some of our suggestions.
Arie Lagoon #DC74 – Negombo, Sri Lanka
Located in the charming fishing village of Thalahena, the Arie Lagoon (#DC74) is within easy reach of the Bandaranaike International Airport and offers visitors from all around the world easy access. Its convenient location makes it suitable to choose this property as your home base when exploring Sri Lanka.
Tisara Villas #DK26 – Harabaduwa, Sri Lanka
Tisara Villas (#DK26) is an eco-friendly villa with rustic mud-coloured exteriors, terracotta flooring, timber ceilings and more. Creating an atmosphere of a getaway in nature, the villa offers you an opportunity to unplug and unwind in its unhurried peaceful atmosphere.