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Sri Lanka for couples

Sri Lanka is an incredibly welcoming country that boasts a real blend of cultures. It has more than 2,000 years of history and has managed to balance western influences with its heritage. There are many pristine areas of outstanding natural beauty here too, with nine national parks as well as long stretches of coastline that are positively paradisiacal.

Loved-up couples will find everything they need here for a varied break, from the busy streets of the capital Colombo to the seclusion and peace of one of its many sandy beaches Those who want to add some adventure to their holiday can try activities like white water rafting, jungle hiking, climbing and hot air ballooning.

Relax and unwind in Sri Lanka

There are many ways to make the most of a holiday in Sri Lanka as a couple, one of which is to set aside some time to really unwind and relax. By staying in one of the country's all inclusive hotels, you'll have access to all the amenities you could need while enjoying a picturesque setting, usually on the coast.

To really go for relaxation, consider staying at an Ayurvedic resort, where you can practice yoga, meditate and receive traditional Ayurvedic treatments for two. The therapists will typically use locally-grown spices such as ginger, black pepper, cinnamon bark and sesame oil in their treatments, too.

Couples should make time during their stay to fully explore Colombo, Sri Lanka's fascinating capital. The streets lined by colonial buildings are a real delight to discover, while you'll notice mosques, churches and Hindu and Buddhist temples at regular intervals as you wander around.

There is some fantastic shopping in Colombo, with the department store Odel being a great place to pick up all manner of locally-produced products that range from clothes to tea. Make sure you eat out in Colombo, too, with the city being home to a vast array of restaurants. Sri Lankan cuisine is generally very spicy and seafood often features on the menu - the chilli crab is something of a speciality.

Top activities for couples to try

To truly appreciate all that Sri Lanka has to offer, it's essential to travel around the country and visit its myriad cultural, natural and historical attractions. Head to one of the national parks for a safari or a walking tour if you're both keen to get out and about.

You can guide yourself along the beautiful route to World's End in the Horton Plains National Park, or take a guided excursion in search of leopards and elephants in Yala National Park. There's nothing quite like taking a hot air balloon ride on a romantic break, with the views of Sri Lanka's forests and mountains being truly breathtaking to behold from up high.

Spending some time by one of Sri Lanka's gorgeous beaches is an absolute must on a couple's holiday and in these palm-fringed paradises one of the best things to do is go for a swim. The waters of the Indian Ocean are pleasant for most of the year, particularly on the south coast. If you're visiting the area around Hikkaduwa you may discover you're sharing the waters with olive ridley and leatherback turtles as they approach the shore to breed - a wonderful experience to share with your partner.

Cultural attractions not to miss

With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in this island nation it can be tough to know where to visit during your holiday. Booking a cultural tour is a great way to get an overview of some of the main attractions and you'll learn more about the places you visit from a knowledgeable guide.

The rock fortress at Sirgiriya is certainly an impressive sight, with the views from the top of this enclave truly stunning - especially in the late afternoon. Nearby is the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which has been a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus for 22 centuries. The cave monastery and the shrine featuring various murals and carvings of Buddha are particularly spectacular.

Polonnaruwa is another of the country's heritage sites that you shouldn't miss, as it was once the country's capital and the remains of the walled city are truly breathtaking. One of the most striking things about Polonnaruwa is the various statues and carvings of Buddha that are dotted around the city.

Discovering these and Sri Lanka's other historical sites as a couple is a wonderful shared experience that you'll remember long after your holiday is over.

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