Our Honeymoon | Sri Lanka & The Maldives
When it came to our honeymoon, we were keen on somewhere that we thought we weren’t likely to get the chance to go back to again. Somewhere to explore that just the pair of us would enjoy and taking in a world of culture. That said, we also wanted somewhere with rest & relaxation. After looking through various internet posts, YouTube videos and brochures, we chose to go to Sri Lanka followed by a week in the Maldives, the best of both worlds!
It’s a fairly lengthy flight at 11 hours, at least for us anyway. We flew with Sri Lankan airlines, who serve some of the best food we’ve had on a plane. When we arrived we were met by our guide Tilaka, who drove us to our first hotel Jetwing Vil Ulyana near Sigiriya. This place absolutely blew us away. Nestled in the middle of what can only be described as the most picturesque fields, surrounded by wildlife and possibly some of the best food we’ve ever had. We were even able to go on a walk in search of Slow Loris’, however unfortunately didn’t get to find any! The following day saw us scale the impressive ancient city of Sigirya. With views reaching for miles around, it was well worth the effort.
We visited various Buddhist temples, markets and other workshops which gave us a real insight into the culture of Sri Lanka, it truly is a stunning country to visit. One highlight for Annie, was being able to visit a tea plantation (and sample the real stuff!) up in the mountains of Sri Lanka. Honestly, the smell is unreal and we brought a fair amount of it back with us. Something we’d REALLY been looking forward to, was a train ride through the hills arriving in Ella. Seriously, this is the best way to see Sri Lanka. You’ll often find men walking down the train carriages with all manner of tasty things to try, don’t pass on anything, it’s all really nice stuff and the real deal. We even felt brave enough to hang out the side of the train for some photo opportunities, you’d never get away with that in the UK so why not!?
Upon arriving in Ella, Tilaka met us and drove us to our next hotel, 98 Acres Resort. If you’re into your wildlife, this is the place to go! Within minutes of being there we saw hundreds of brightly coloured birds flying from left to right from our balcony. A mongoose even appeared just below shortly followed by a deer. The resort is conveniently located close to the town of Ella, which we’d probably describe as a tourist hotspot, but also meant that you could eat quite cheaply, grab some beers and chill! We ate for the equivalent of around £4/5 each including drink, and it was good food! Within view from our room, you could see Adam’s Peak, and Mini Adam’s Peak, 2 scalable mountains with the latter being the easier. We opted for the easier. The view was incredible, you were able to see all the way into the distant lowlands which we’d find ourselves driving through the next day.
This was going to the best part of our honeymoon. We drove for several hours, with a air conditioning unit that was on it’s way out, finally arriving at Udawalawe National Park. This wildlife reserve is home to all manner of birds, reptiles, monkeys, buffalo & the one thing we’d come to see, elephants! Within a few minutes of driving in, we’d already come across a few! They’re utterly beautiful and it was so nice to see them in their natural habitat. You could get quite close to them in the jeep, and our safari guide pointed out other animals that we’d have had no chance of spotting, well worth it!
This drew half of our honeymoon to a close, but we were far from disappointed. Next stop, the Maldives! You know it’s going to be good even from the view from the plane, with pristine blue waters and glorious white sand. A short speedboat ride took us to our resort, and we were greeted with drinks, food and taken to our room. We’d always been keen to get the postcard picture room so opted for a Water Villa at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort. It didn’t take us long to get in the water, with snorkel & flippers included from Sun Diving School on the island. Within seconds of being in the water, multicoloured fish circled around you and took you into another world. We even saw turtles, moray eels and sharks! One thing that we’d looked at before going at, and hoped to do was swim with whale sharks. These majestic creatures are completely harmless to people and grow up to 12m long. With the time of year that we were there, the best place to find them was in the South Ari Atol, a 2 hour boat ride away. Upon arriving in the area, we slowed down to a walking pace trying to spot them from the boat. There were several boats in the area all in the search of them, and it’s well worth keeping an eye on them too as you’ll soon see people jumping in if they find one. We ended up seeing 2 during the day, and it was an absolutely incredible experience.
The rest of the week saw us relax, eat wonderful food, drink and generally chill! Both Sri Lanka & the Maldives really are the most amazing of places, and we’d thoroughly recommend them to anyone!