Ella is known amongst travelers as being Sri Lanka’s best hill station. Nearly every guesthouse or hotel comes with a picture perfect view making it a great place to relax for a few days. 1041 metres above sea level this beautifully green part of Sri Lanka is filled with tea plantations, forests, mountains and waterfalls. If you can drag yourself away from the view out of your window, there’s plenty of things to do in Ella to keep you occupied. Here’s fives things to get your started…
Little Adams Peak
If you’re not much of a trekker but want to see some incredible scenery, Little Adams Peak is the trek for you (and me). There is a gentle incline (with the odd steep section) but, it’s not a difficult hike, you can do it in your trainers. A guide is not needed for as it’s fairly well signposted. The trip up and down took us around two hours including picture taking and talking to fellow travellers. I’d recommended going in the early morning to catch the tea pickers and before the mist descends over the hills.
Nine Arch Bridge
Check the train timetable before your visit to try and ensure you get your iconic photo of a train passing over this gigantic viaduct bridge. We walked to the bridge from Little Adam but, it was difficult to find due to signposts pointing in the wrong direction. The easiest was to get here is to walk along the track from Ella Train station which is around 3.5km (we walked this way back).
Visit a tea factory
We visited the Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory but, there are a few tea factories you can visit around Ella. If you want to see the full the production process you will need to get there early as tea leaves are usually picked first thing in the morning. It’s a great opportunity to drink some great tea and you’ll come away appreciating your morning brew much more.
If Little Adam was a breeze and you feel like more of a challenge then give Ella Rock a try. This one isn’t quite so easy to follow so, if you’re not using a guide make sure you get clear directions from your guesthouse.
Just a short drive from Ella is Ravana Falls. It’s a popular place with both locals and tourists. It wasn’t possible to walk across the rocks during our visit (we got told off by the police) but, I’ve since read it’s now possible for people to take a dip in the water. You can get here by taking any bus towards Wallawaya.
How to get to Ella
The best way to get to Ella is to take the train. The most popular points to get on the train is either at Kandy (where we got it from) or Nuwara Eliya. There’s a reason people say this is one of the best train journeys in the world, the views are breath-taking! If you can secure a seat in one of the open doorways, you’ll have the best view in the house.
Where to sleep
After a terrible nights sleep in a homestay we spent the rest of our time in Ella at Raveena Guest House which was super cheap, comfortable and had amazing views.
If you’re looking for some luxury try the 98 Acres Resort.
Where to eat
Café Chill – a great place to meet fellow travels and get your Western food fix.
Down Town Roti Hut – probably the best roti I had throughout Sri Lanka
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