Sri Lanka is blessed with one of the most diverse arrays of romantic destinations – from beaches, national parks, picturesque train rides to historical landmarks, and serene mountains. So if you’re planning a honeymoon, or even a short getaway to this island nation, we promise this list will have you covered. Let’s get started then?

 

1. Galle Dutch Fort, Galle

This fortified town tucked in the southern province of Sri Lanka, is the perfect little romantic destination to visit with your loved one.

Built in 1663, this fort has a rich ancient history that is still betrayed in its quaint lanes and colonial buildings. Take a walk around the fort, which sits pretty perched overlooking the Indian Ocean. Explore attractions like the Dutch Church and Galle Lighthouse nearby.

The Maritime Archaeology Museum inside the fort is another attraction you shouldn’t miss. The building that houses the museum was once a Dutch Warehouse.

The pretty lanes outside are lined with cozy cafes, heritage hotels, and modern boutique hotels. The entire scene looks like it’s straight out of a bygone era and offers a beautiful day trail for couples.

The colonial buildings are still used for administrative purposes and the town is inhabited by a peaceful community, complete with schools, colleges, offices, and homes.

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How to get there: Take one of the many buses going to Galle from Colombo.

 

2. Mirissa Beach

Being an island nation ensures Sri Lanka has no shortage of beautiful beaches. So read on to know why we’ve picked this one for you in particular.

The crescent shaped beach, which was once referred to as the finest island in the world by Marco Polo, truly lives up to being just that. An offbeat destination Mirrisa can surprise travellers with its picturesque view – think mildly tanned sand complemented by turquoise hued water. Mirissa is also famous for spoiling its visitors with the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets. Watch the painted skies come alive in varied hues of pink, orange and purple as the sun sets behind the mountain and palm fringed horizon. All this, with your toes tucked in the sand and a chilled beverage in hand.

P.S. Mirissa is also famous for snorkelling and surfing and dolphin and whale watching (season led).

Ithaka’s Pro Tip: Hop across to the Secret Beach, which is a short walk away from Mirissa. It is perfect for snorkeling with rich marine life.

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How to get there: Board any south bound bus from Colombo and get off at Mirissa.

 

3. Ella

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If you’re in the mood to spend some time in mother nature’s lap, amidst verdant rolling hills, dotted by pristine waterfalls, then Ella is the perfect pick for you. A beautiful mountain village, it sits in the central province of Sri Lanka. The temperature in Ella is always cooler than that in the rest of the country, making it comfortable to visit almost all year round (barring the monsoons).

A fascinating thing about Ella is that the journey to this destination is as exciting as the destination itself. A train ride from Kandy to Ella is one of the most scenic sights and one that has many travellers wooing. It’s definitely a must do.

When in Ella, stroll through the tea plantations, hike up Little Adam’s Peak or the Ella Rock for some spectacular views, take a dip in one of the many waterfalls, or get a flavour of their local cuisine.

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How to get there: Ella is a beautiful 4 hour train journey from Kandy. From Colombo, a taxi is the fastest and the most convenient option, but you can choose a train journey as well. This journey is roughly 8 hours.

 

4. Trincomalee

Located in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is a relatively recent addition to the list of tourist destinations in the country; mainly because the city became accessible to tourists only in 2009.
Trincomalee a historically and culturally rich town, offers some of the best beaches. The Nilaveli and Marble Beaches in particular, are alluring to look at, with their soft golden hued sand and turquoise blue water. These beaches are generally more secluded than the ones in the south and are ideal for couples looking to spend some quality time together, away from the crowd. The Pigeon Island nearby is also a great option to visit for snorkelling and diving, with clear waters and rich marine. This island is accessible only by boats.

This is another destination famous for its whale watching boat tours, so if you happen to visit during this season, make sure to go for it. Trincomalee also has a lot to offer culturally, with its beautiful temples. We recommend visiting the Koneswaram and China Bay.

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How to get there: There are regular buses, trains and flights running from Colombo.

 

5. Sigiriya

Sigiriya is another culturally rich city situated in the central province of Sri Lanka. It is also famous as the Lion’s Rock or Sigiriya Rock.

Legend has it that King Kashyapa built his royal palace on top of the Sigiriya Rock, along with a whole fortress complex with water fountains, canals, and gardens; the ruins of which can still be found here.

 

Right opposite the Sigiriya Rock stands the Pidurangala Rock. Climb here to get a stunning view of Sigiriya. The view from here of the sunrise and sunset is equally enchanting, so try getting there in time for it.

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How to get there: A bus from Colombo to Dambulla, and then another bus to Sigiriya or a train to Habarana, followed by a cab to Sigiriya.

 

6. Kandalama

This small village is a short distance away from Sigiriya in the central province of Sri Lanka and the reason it makes it to our list of top romantic destinations is because of the hot air balloon site by the lake.

Well, what spells romance better than a hot air balloon ride with your loved one, watching the sunset with champagne and spectacular views?

 

Kandalama also has a unique luxury hotel – Kandalama Hotel, a part of the Geoffrey Bawa Project. This one’s still one of Geoffrey’s best creations, owing to its minimal but contemporary construction on a rocky terrain. What makes this hotel eye-catching is how Geoffrey has blended the rock formations seamlessly with the interiors of the hotel, instead of breaking it down.

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How to get there: Kandalama is 12 kms from Sigiriya and a tuk- tuk or taxi can take you there.

 

7. Kandy

Situated in central Sri Lanka, Kandy is another popular destination for couples who are looking to explore the rich culture of the country.

The biggest attraction here is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, said to contain a sacred tooth of Buddha. Other attractions include the Kandy Lake, Botanical Gardens, the Royal Palace, and the National Museum. Kandy also enjoys great weather through the year, ridding all weather related travel woes.

Ithaka’s Pro tip: The train ride from Kandy to Ella is one of the most picturesque ones, so we recommend taking this train route to, or from Ella.

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How to get there: A bus ride from Colombo takes approximately 4hours to reach. If traveling from Ella, then take the train.

 

8. Beira Lake, Colombo

This lake, situated at the center of the capital city, is a famous bird watching spot and a favorite among locals. If you and your partner are looking to spend some quality time together, this lake is a must visit.
The middle of the lake houses a splendid Buddhist temple called, Seema Malakaya, which is built on three linked platforms raised above the water. This temple, with its calming ambience and astonishing structure, is a sight for sore eyes in the middle of the city chaos.

 

On the banks, you can rent swan-shaped boats and leisurely paddle across the lake. We recommend indulging in this activity towards the late evenings. With the backdrop of the setting sun playing cupid, this experience is sure to leave you and your loved one with a memory for the ages.

The Lover’s Island on the other side of Beira Lake is another great attraction for couples. Walk through a beautiful suspended bridge to get to this island, which is surrounded by lush greens, quaint walkways, and wooden benches. The bridge is even prettier once the sun sets, and the lights wrapped around it come to life.

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How to get there: Tuk-tuks and taxis are abundant in Colombo, and can be taken from any part of the city.

 

9. Hikkaduwa

This beach resort town is located in the south west coast of Sri Lanka, and is perfect for couples looking for a luxurious beach getaway.

Apart from candle-lit dinners by the beautiful beach, you can also visit the Sea Turtle Hatchery and Rescue Centre in the city to see how to care for the endangered species. If you’re lucky, you might even get to release the young ones into the ocean (depending on the season). Trust us; this sea turtle hatchery is well worth a visit.

There is also a railway track close by that can be visited for taking pictures (only when the track is clear).

Besides these, Hikkaduwa is also famous for surfing and snorkeling.

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How to get there: A taxi is the best way to get there, and will take only 2 hours. Alternatively, you can board a southbound bus (Galle, Tangalle), and get off at Hikkaduwa.

 

10. Diyaluma Waterfalls, Badulla

Diyaluma Waterfalls roughly translates to, Liquid Light, and easily lives up to its magical name. The second largest waterfall in the country, Diyaluma falls over several rock and stone platforms, creating natural infinity pools. The higher you hike, the clearer and more picturesque the pools get. The hiking trail is lined by tall grass, and being relatively offbeat, it provides the right amount of thrill, scenic beauty, and romance. Spend a day with your partner hiking to this waterfall, and in the midst of living this magical experience, you’re bound to fall in love again.

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How to get there: Tuk-tuk here from Ella.

 

11. Nuwara Eliya

Nestled snugly in the hills of Sri Lanka, and christened, “Mini England” by the locals, Nuwara Eliya enjoys a year-long chill and spellbinding views of roaring waterfalls, lush-green mountains, and misty tea-estates – making it an ideal destination for couples or honeymooners looking to spend some quality time in the peaceful silence of nature. Buildings from the colonial era such as the post office, and the old governor’s house (now revamped into a fancy hotel) have escaped the ravages of time and stand new as ever, lending the city a rustic and romantic old-school charm. Love birds looking to take a break from all the Sri Lankan beaches and wanting a quiet getaway into the mountains – look no further!

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