Honeymoons are all about starting a marriage off right, and there’s nowhere better to do that than the two island nations of Sri Lanka and Maldives. Both of these tropical paradises are in the Indian Ocean, so splitting your trip between them is just a matter of planning ahead. After all, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
Moreover, the countries complement each other well, with Sri Lanka home to plenty of diverse nature and amazing cultural highlights, and the Maldives a slice of desert-island heaven (although Sri Lanka also has some astounding shoreline, and Maldives has its own unique heritage and ecological wonders).
If you’re keen to island hop after your special day, then read ahead for our guide to the ultimate honeymoon in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
When to go
Although the climate is phenomenal year-round, the location of both Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean means that in late Spring and Summer months they’re both subject to monsoons. While this isn’t usually as dramatic as it sounds, if you’re unlucky you might end up spending your Sri Lanka and Maldives honeymoon stuck inside or under grey skies. Visiting from November to May is a great bet, with tropical weather near-enough guaranteed throughout these months. However, if you’re willing to push your luck a little, then a Sri Lanka honeymoon during monsoon season can remain fairly dry in the mountainous centre of the country; the islands that make up Maldives, however, are too small to have that protection.
How to travel from Sri Lanka to Maldives
The only way to travel between the two nations for your Sri Lanka and Maldives honeymoon is by plane. It’s around a ninety-minute flight from Sri Lankan capital Colombo to Male, the capital of Maldives. While it might seem like a romantic plan to get a boat, there is no established tourist route on the seas, and frankly the six-hundred-kilometre trip isn’t really that interesting. Plus, when you plan ahead flights can be incredibly cheap.
Where to stay in Sri Lanka
Ideally you’ll be able to traverse through the tear-drop nation on your Sri Lankan honeymoon so you can see everything it has to offer. However, we understand that’s not always possible given time and financial constraints (especially if you are visiting Maldives after), so where you stay in Sri Lanka really depends on what you want to see and do.
If you prefer being pampered under palm trees, the West and South coasts are your best bet as they’re the most developed regions and have plenty of wonderful coves and beaches to explore. Also, the capital is on the West coast, where there are all the amenities and attractions you’d expect from a thriving metropolis. If you’re keen on exploring nature, the country’s mountainous centre is a must-visit.
For those who want to take in the culture and history of the country, then the north-centre of the island is well worth basing yourself in – it’s known as the ‘cultural triangle’, and is home to some astounding historical highlights.
What to do in Sri Lanka
The list of things to do on a Sri Lanka honeymoon is about as long as the island’s history of habitation. However, if you’re looking for the best romantic highlights we’ve got some ideas to keep the passion flowing.
Relaxing on one of the many tropical beaches that line the coastline is a must. Whether this means the more popular stretches of shore on in the west, where you can watch glorious sunsets with cocktails or a world-class plate of food in front of you, or heading south and east where things are more secluded so you can enjoy your partner’s company alongside privacy, you’ll have no trouble finding the right spot. If you’re wanting something extra special you can even whale watch – from November until May it’s almost impossible to miss them if you’re down south.
Visiting the ancient capital of Kandy is also a must. The buzz of the place is electric, and you’ll be able to see and do so much – and only be a day trip away from many of the cultural highlights of the country. The surrounding area is also replete with lush ravines, verdant forests, and mountain scenescapes that will astound even the most hardened traveller; pretty much everywhere is a perfect place for a romantic picnic (just watch out for the monkeys!).
Finally, we’d recommend spending some time in the largest city and capital, Colombo. Here you can stay in opulent surroundings and enjoy the benefits of a huge city, including high-class cuisine, a thriving nightlife, and plenty of cultural exhibits to wander through during the day.
Where to say in Maldives
Figuring out where to stay in Maldives is a little trickier because of how disparate the island chain is. There are over 1,600 landmasses making up the country, but most people fly into the capital of Male, which is also home to numerous great resorts and hotels – perfect for a beach getaway. If you want something even more secluded, there are over a hundred ‘resort islands’ – that is, islands where the only structures are resorts. One of the best of these for Maldives honeymooners is Kandolhu, a slice of sandy heaven and shining emerald. However, no matter where you stay, you’re bound to be enthralled by how perfect the climate and surroundings are.
What to do in the Maldives
Because it’s got so many islands so far apart from each other, some people pigeonhole the Maldives as nothing more than a beach holiday. While we’re not going to argue a major pull of the country is its secluded white shore and gentle, lapping waves, there’s much more to do than lounge on the beach with a good (or terrible but easy-to-read) book.
One thing you need to do is take a ‘dhoni’ trip. These multi-purpose vessels can be hired out to cruise between islands, so you can see much more of what the country has to offer instead of just staying in one place. In fact, we’d heavily recommend getting out of the gilded cage of resorts to experience real Maldives culture.
Make sure to explore mosques, have a taste of the wonderful local cuisine (heavily seafood based for obvious reasons) and enjoy a mocktail or four (the islands are Muslim so generally don’t have alcohol – most resorts are allowed to serve booze though, so don’t worry if you’re a cocktail lover!).
We’d also heavily recommend spending a day or two on the main island of Male. There are wonderful public parks to amble through, ornate mosques to marvel at, and buzzing markets to spend your cash in. Music and dance also play a big role in the island nation, so if you get the chance to see any locals engage in a Boduberu performance, definitely give it a go. The drumming is hypnotic, and the dancing is mesmerising.