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Image by Filipp Nekhaev via Unsplash

Sri Lanka is finally being uncovered as one of the most beautiful places to honeymoon. Picked as one of the top destinations of the year, it’s a place not to be missed!

Sri Lanka is home to approximately 21,203,000 people who enjoy a tropical and warm climate all year round, making it the perfect escape for your honeymoon. From rainforests, to beaches to highlands, this country has a place to suit everyone. Let’s explore what Sri Lanka has to offer…

Where to stay:

Wallawwa Hotel

Image via Mr and Mrs Smith

You wouldn’t believe this hidden gem is only a fifteen minute drive away from an international airport. Wallawwa Hotel is not short on luxury having originally been a two hundred-year-old manor house that has thoughtfully been restored.

A spa, two acres of gardens, restaurant and bar, a library, shop and Wi-Fi are only a few of the hotel’s facilities.

Image via Mr and Mrs Smith

Bougainvillea Retreat

Image via Bougainvillea Retreat

Located only an hours drive away from Kandy, is this luxurious retreat where you can escape the city to relax and unwind in peace. Bougainvillea Retreat was built in 2002 originally as a private home but later expanded into the luxurious escape you can expect today.

This boutique retreat offers only eight rooms so make sure to book in advance.

Image via Bougainvillea Retreat

By day take in the views of the Sri Lankan country side, sip cocktails by the pool or try a yoga lesson. By night visit the cinema and feast on local produce masterfully prepared by the Retreat’s chef.

Image via Bougainvillea Retreat

What to do:

Udawalawe National Park

Image by Cristy Zinn via Unsplash 

Udawalawe National Park is the place to go to see elephants. They are known for raising elephant calf’s that have been left orphaned due to poaching. Here, they raise the elephants until they are around five years old, then they are released into a monitored and safe environment. It has one of the highest concentration of elephants in Sri Lanka!

With over 30,000 hectares to wander, you’ll have the chance to spot not only elephants but a number of bird species, foxes, wild boar, mongooses, water buffalos and deer.

Book a tour and feel the excitement as you and your loved one witness some of the most beautiful creatures in the world.

Hikkaduwa Beach

Image by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Fancy going for a surf? Hikkaduwa Beach is a 2 and a half hour drive from Sri Lanka’s capital and boasts waves of up to 3 metres high from November to March. It has been rated the second best surfing beach in all of Sri Lanka!

Don’t worry if you’re not much of a surfer, you can try snorkelling instead. The beach is known for regular turtle sightings due to its close proximity to Hikkaduwa Turtle Hatchery.

Adam’s Peak

Image via Backpack and Bike

For all you hiking enthusiasts and lovers of nature this is not to be missed. You’ll find Adam’s Peak in central Sri Lanka where it is surrounded by forests and wildlife including leopards and elephants! The peak itself is 2,243m tall and you’ll have 6 tracks to pick from to start your hike. Take the trek during the off season to avoid the crowds and bask in the grandeur of the sights around you.  If you choose to go during the off season expect some rain but it’ll be well worth it, you might even catch a glimpse of all seven waterfalls at the same time!

We hope you can enjoy these hidden gems and the adventure that comes with exploring new places with that special someone. Make some lasting memories in a place so full of beauty you wont forget it.

Ms Zigzag says: With a warm climate year-round and such an interesting variety of activities to do and diverse culture to engage in, Sri Lanka should be a destination that you and your hunny definitely consider for your most romantic getaway yet! 

 

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image via Cap Estel Hotel

September Honeymoon Travel Ideas

September is an excellent time to travel: The weather is still warm in the Northern hemisphere, which means that beach destinations are a great option. Furthermore, tourists on summer vacation are waning, giving you a quieter and more intimate experience wherever you decide to go.

1. Montreal, Canada
Experience the onset of fall in Montreal. The Canadian city has a plethora of back alleyways full of gardens, flowers and secluded spots. Best of all, temperatures in September are cool-to-crisp, meaning cute dresses and shorts during the day, light jackets and pants at night.

Where to Stay
Stay at Auberge du Vieux-Port and soak in the old world charm of this mid-1800s warehouse building loaded with period details such as exposed beams, wrought iron beds and original casement windows that you can fling open to survey the cobblestoned streets below. Request a river-facing room that is high-ceilinged and flooded with light.

Image via Auberge du Vieux-Port

What to Do
If you visit Montreal between 8 September to 31 October, do not miss the Lantern Festival at the Montreal Botanic Gardens. Watch the garden come alive at night as thousands of lights brighten up the darkness. Enjoy the crisp autumn air at the Lachine Canal, a navigable waterway located in southwest section of Montreal. Walk along its banks, a green urban park lined with vestiges of the industry from when the canal once boomed.

Image by Dominik Gehl via Unsplash

2. Nice, France
The French Riviera is undoubtedly a solid choice for a romantic honeymoon. But Nice is perfect for the fashionable couple who love the beach but prefer pebbles to sand. It is the perfect embodiment of rustic glamour, equally endowed with the glitz of Monaco and a craggy, pine-clad coastline. If you love history, the Roman ruins and Baroque churches will be a sure delight.

Where to Stay
The gated mansion of Cap Estel Hotel, located on a secluded peninsula is just a snapshot of the French Riviera’s glamour amid the azure. Surrounded by palms and terraced gardens, this exclusive retreat is at the top of its class. The Le Cap suite is a palatial dwelling with cream and oatmeal decor, high ceilings, a vast terrace with two bedrooms and bathrooms. Lounge in one of the two fabulous saltwater infinity pool that overlook the sea or enjoy the sea view on Cap Estel’s secluded stony beach, kitted out with sunloungers.

Image via Hotel Cap Estel

What to Do
Get lost among the winding alleyways of Nice’s old town. The layout has barely changed since the 1700s and it’s now packed with delis, restaurants, boutiques and bars. Architecture aficionados will adore architecture gems such as the Cathedrale Ste-Reparte, built in honour of the city’s patron saint. The 17th century Palais Lascaris is a frescoed riot of Flemish tapestries, faience (tin-glazed earthenware), gloomy religious paintings and an 18th-century pharmacy.

3. Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia has phenomenal beaches that everyone knows about, but come September when the summer holidays have ended in the Northern hemisphere, the beaches are wide open for those who choose to holiday. The climate is still warm with little rainfall and lots of sunshine making it the perfect time for a romantic getaway.

Where to Stay
In a hillside hamlet proudly stands Petra Segreta Resort and Spa with its white granite boulders and Holm oaks. The resort’s traditional farmhouse buildings offer charm and calm on the idyllic Sardinian coast. It’s a romantic retreat close to beautiful beaches and the best of Sardinian cuisine is housed within the hotel. Request Deluxe Room 201 which has a shaded seating area outside and a muslin-draped four-poster bed taking centre stage inside amidst sturdy farmhouse-style furniture.

Image via Petra Segreta Resort and Spa

What to Do
Besides spending your days in the sun and sea, Olbia offers some archaeological gems and pisan-style basilica. The Museo Archelogico is a must-see in town for history buffs and a good way to spend an idyllic afternoon exploring the early Greek foundation of Olbia. For animal lovers, there’s a turtle sanctuary and aquarium that you can visit.

4. Madagascar
Madagascar isn’t a destination typical of a honeymoon, which works well for those wishing for a unique experience unlike any other. A visit in September means you can catch the tail end of the humpback whale season and catch the land-based wildlife out and about after hibernating. Temperatures are a bit mild though so do pack a jacket!

Where to Stay
Situated on the pristine southern beaches of Madagascar is the Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge, close to rich areas of mangrove. The property only has five cottages and one family cottage. All bedrooms are ensuite and have large windows that open up to a spacious terrace complete with sunloungers, outdoor showers and a hammock. Enjoy a night walk in the forest searching out nocturnal lemurs or take a swim in the secluded bay before drying off on the massive granite rocks surrounding the bay.

Image via Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

What to Do
Every year more than 7000 humpback whales migrate from the Antartica to Madagasar, providing the perfect opportunity for whale-watching. Take a boat tour for a chance to see these magnificent creatures as they move and jump out of the sea for a spectacular day out. To get a feel of how it might be like walking along dinosaurs, visit the Avenue of Baobab, the place where a prominent group of baobab trees line the dirt road between Morondova and Belon’i Tsiribihina. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to capture that epic Madagascan shot.

Image by Thomas Kelley via Unsplash 

5. North Devon, England
North Devon in Southwest England is another spot that might get overlooked as a potential honeymoon spot. However, the picturesque region has many sandy beaches, craggy coves, charming villages and most importantly, little to no tourists.

Where to Stay
Stepping into Hotel Endsleigh is like walking into a fairy-tale picture book. The house, a grade 1-listed shooting and fishing lodge is simply magical. Set in a remote and beautiful valley between Devon’s Dartmoor and Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor, the house exudes old-world English charm and rooms that offer different views.

Image via Hotel Endsleigh

What to Do
Enjoying an afternoon tea of fresh scones and cream is a must-do in Devon where it all started. Nobody bakes a fresher scone, clots a richer cream (at least 55 per cent butter fat) and stirs a sweeter jam than Devon. There is scarcely a cafe in the county where it isn’t offered. Visit the Arlington Court, a Regency mansion to discover delightful oddities owned by the National Trust. The Arlington Mansion is a gem in grey granite just as the eccentric traveller, Rosalie Chichester, left it in 1948; richly furnished and scattered with delightful mementoes like an amber elephant from China, umpteen model boats and ship paintings. Wander the grounds that have a restored walled garden and find a splendid collection of old carriages.

Image via The National Trust

Ms Zigzag says: A girl can dream! All of these honeymoons destinations sound spot on for September! If I could take my pick, it’d be Madagascar for me – I’m fascinated by whales, so I’d be booking the whale watching tour that Samantha recommends. 

Skye is a journalist and the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Fit Traveller. The Fit Traveller is an online destination that showcases wellness, luxury, adventure and culinary travel from around the globe.

Skye spends a lot of her time travelling and road testing everything from 5 star hotels, new restaurants, tours, activities to new fitness trends, helping her readers plan their next weekend or holiday away. Skye joined us to share her favourites in travel.

What is your favourite region?

Europe will always have my heart. I lived in Spain many years ago while at university and I have always felt that Europe is my second home. Anywhere in the region, I feel like I can kick off my shoes and really relax and take everything in while I am there, whether it be wandering the streets of Paris or road tripping the Italian countryside. I haven’t been back now for a couple of years and can’t wait to return next year for a month-long trip.

Top resort recommendation?

There are two that have stood out for me personally in the last few years; Santa Marina Mykonos and Hotel Rosa Alpina in Italy. Both are completely different in terms of location, but similar in that they are both ultra luxury, family owned boutique hotels.

Santa Marina Mykonos sits on the headland overlooking Ornos Bay in Mykonos. It has a private beach, stunning facilities and suites and the service is second to none.

Hotel Rosa Alpina is a luxury home away from home in the Dolomites in Italy. From the moment we stepped into the foyer, we knew we wanted to extend our stay. We felt like part of the family. We spent the days hiking and biking in the mountains and came home to the most beautiful suite and incredible local, organic food. I still dream about that hotel.

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities?

We like to stay active as a couple so I think if you are that way inclined it’s important to pick a location and a hotel that allows you to get out and stay active and explore. We spent 7 weeks in Europe for our own honeymoon and in each spot we tried out new running routes to nearby towns each morning, spent the days at the beach or on a boat, booked fun day trips and ate and drank delicious local food and wine. It really was the perfectly balanced honeymoon which is what a honeymoon should be all about.

The ideal location for a proposal

I think that definitely depends on the couple. It needs to be special to them and their relationship in particular. My husband proposed to me in Barcelona because he knew the city means so much to me and he had also fallen in love with it after I took him there on our first trip to Europe together. We returned to the same spot where he proposed on our honeymoon to remember the moment so it makes the city even more special for us both now.

Best kept secret honeymoon location

For couples looking for the quintessential beach, book, cocktail scenario…

Parts of Indonesia (Komodo, Lombok), Malaysia (Langkawi and Sabah), Thailand (Phi Phi and Phuket) and the Philippines offer a similar experience for those lusting over the typical Maldives honeymoon. The Maldives are incredible, but it you don’t have the budget you don’t have the miss out on similar experience; over water bungalows, delicious food, beach and poolside relaxing.

 

For couples seeking adventure…

Staying in the desert in Australia’s Northern Territory, hiking and biking in Slovenia or beach hopping in Montenegro would all be amazing honeymoon trips for those who are well travelled or looking for something a little different.

All images via Skye from The Fit Traveller

Ms Polka Dot says: Every time I read about the adventures in our Travel Lounge, I am reminded that no matter what you are looking for, there is no end of inspiration to tap into, to plan just the holiday you need.