Blanketed in an expanse of dense greenery, sprawling tea plantations, gently cascading waterfalls, and gradually sloping mist-shrouded hills, is Sri Lanka’s gorgeous hill-country village, Ella. Boasting a quaint atmosphere and tropical scenery, the town is perhaps the best of the Sri Lankan cities and presents itself as a hotspot of natural biodiversity as well as fun experiences. The local community of Ella sees quite a bit of tourist footfall, so they are very hospitable and easily engage with visitors, taking them through the town’s many intriguing facets. Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or an extended vacation to Sri Lanka, do keep Ella on your list. We’ve put together some of the best things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka to make yours a super experience. Check out below.
1. Admire scintillating views from Ella Rock
Offering some of the most breathtaking views of the countryside and greenery for as far as the eye can see is the towering Ella Rock. Scaling the rock is among the most famous activities in Ella, making it a top to-do for hikers and trekkers. The hike can be done accompanied by a professional or can be self-guided and can take about 2 to 4 hours, depending on your level of fitness. It is recommended that you make the journey up early morning to enjoy the best views without having to worry about overcrowding. Once at the summit, the views are a real treat to the eyes and the senses. Camping treks are also available, so look into it if you’d want to spend a night in the company of starlit skies and all things nature.
Address: Wellawaya-Ella-Kumbalwela Highway, Ella, Sri Lanka
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Much like Ella Rock is the Little Adam’s Peak, another one of hikers’ and trekkers’ favorite, albeit a lot shorter and much easier. It takes about an hour, tops, to get to the peak and once atop, you can soak in the natural beauty of the area as well as the atmosphere that abounds. The whole journey can get pretty interesting because you get to interact with the local community while passing through the plantations and small villages. Another one of Ella’s most famous spots, the Nine Arch Bridge is also nearby, so once done with the Little Adam’s Peak, you can either choose to hike towards the bridge or return to Ella. Many tourists book themselves onto this excellent day tour to explore the Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak, and the Nine Arch Bridge in a single day.
Ella 3 Icons Private Day Tour
3. Check out the picturesque Nine Arch Bridge
The Nine Arch Bridge happens to be one of the best places to see in Ella. It is a 30-minute hike to reach the bridge, which is hidden amidst sprawling, lush tea plantations, making for one of the most picturesque sights. Perhaps one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in Sri Lanka, the bridge has come to be seen as a popular tourist spot now. A railway line between Kandy to Ella plies through the bridge, so you can hitch yourself the ride and enjoy some spectacular views. Head up there with your cameras ready and click tons of pictures. Once done, you can enjoy yourself some snacks and refreshments at one of the cafes nearby.
Nine Arch Bridge
Address: Gotowala, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
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Head off just 10 minutes from Ella’s city center and you’ll find yourself amidst misty mountains, home to the Ravana Falls. Falling down from a height of 25m (82ft), the falls make for an impressive sight. The falls’ name and their existence have been attributed to the historical Indian epic story, the Ramayana, and together with the Ravana Caves nearby, is a famous tourist location. You can splash around in the falls’ water or just sit by and soak in and relax. Hop on to this tour and let the professional guide take you through the Ravana Falls’ rich history.
Ravana Falls Half Day Tour from Ella
5. Attend a walking tour of Ella Spice Garden
A trip to Ella Spice Garden is among the most unique experiences you’d have in the city. It is essentially a private household, located in the midst of tea plantations, where the owners cultivate spices in their private garden. What they offer to tourists are cooking classes and a walking tour of the garden and the many gems being grown therein – cloves, turmeric, chilli, peppers, and a host of them! They encourage you to take a sample of your choice from the garden and head up to the kitchen to try your hand at cooking. If you want to skip this, you can also opt in to try authentic Sri Lankan fare, deliciously cooked using the spices grown at the garden. Ensure that you make prior reservations before heading to enjoy the best experience!
Ella Spice Garden
Address: A23, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: Ella Spice Garden
6. Admire Dhowa Rock Temple's art
Some of Sri Lanka’s finest paintings and sculptures adorn the walls of the Dhowa Rock Temple, which is believed to be almost 2,000 years old and is a popular tourist destination. Visitors are welcomed into the temple via an ornately built gateway to lead them towards the many impressive features of the complex. Among the many highlights here is an unfinished 11.5m- (38ft-) high sculpture of Lord Buddha, built in a traditional Mahayana style.
Dhowa Rock Temple
Address: Badulla Road, Badulla 90000, Sri Lanka
7. Go on a tour of Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory
Sri Lanka is rife with tea plantations and among the largest tea factories in the country’s Uva region is the Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory, which first opened in the 1940s. You can book yourself on the factory’s tour, which is about two hours long, and learn many interesting details about the art of Ceylon tea production. It is recommended that you go in for the 9 am tour to make the best of the climate conditions. Visitors are taken through the plantations where they can see the tea pluckers doing their job, the factory’s machinery and manufacturing unit, and finally ends with a sampling of their teas. You can pick up some tea leaves from the factory’s sales outlet to take back home as well.
Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory
Address: Badulla Road, Hela Halpe, Ella, Sri Lanka 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 5pm; Sun: 8am - 2pm
8. Get yourself a relaxing massage at Hela Osu Suwapiyasa Ayurvedic Spa
Go in for one of Hela Osu Suwapiyasa Ayurvedic Spa’s amazing massages and other Ayurvedic treatments and rid yourself of all tension. The spa is quite a value for money, so you don’t have to shell out a bomb to have a relaxing therapy session. Plus, don’t hesitate to ask for a discount upfront – if lucky, you might even get one! They offer pedicures, massages, manicures, and a host of other services, which are all equally fantastic!
Hela Osu Suwapiyasa Ayurvedic Spa
Address: Wellawaya Road, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: Hela Osu Suwapiyasa Ayurvedic Spa
Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)
9. Go souvenir shopping at I Love Ceylon Gallery
We have plenty of Classic Ceylon Arts that would make art-lovers happy! Check out them at https://iloveceylon.com/13-original-postersPosted by I Love Ceylon on Friday, 28 December 2018
Making for a superb place for souvenir shopping is I Love Ceylon Gallery, selling everything from vintage posters to mugs that you can easily take back home as keepsakes. The stuff there is pretty reasonably priced and the variety is great. I Love Ceylon Gallery is quite near the Ravana Falls, so you can plan the visit accordingly.
I Love Ceylon Gallery
Address: 60 Ella Wellawaya Road, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: I Love Ceylon Gallery
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)
10. Relish a meal at Downtown Rotti Hut
No, don’t be mistaken by the name. Downtown Rotti Hut is not all about ‘rotis’, but serves a variety of burgers, salads, grilled meats, and Asian fare as well. With live musical performances adding to the place’s ambiance in the evenings, Downtown Rotti Hut is all about laid-back chilling with a plate-full of hearty food. While here, try their stuffed roti and seafood platter or the vegetarian kottu.
Downtown Rotti Hut
Address: Main Street, Ella 90090 Sri Lanka
Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)
11. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere at Ellement Hiking Bar
Head to Ella’s Ellement Hiking Bar for a no-frills yet relaxed time. Designed much like a shack, this place is famous for its delicious meals and for serving the Sri Lankan local Lion Beer. The host is amicable, food is hearty, and the atmosphere is chilled out. Do go along.
Ellement Hiking Bar
Address: Railway Station Road, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Opening hours: 10am - 2am (daily)
12. Lounge in Art Cafe Umbrella
The name speaks for itself here. Head up to Art Cafe Umbrella and you’ll be welcomed by a large, vibrantly colored mural adorning its front wall. Head indoors and you’ll find more of such artworks, giving a quirky look to the cafe’s interiors. Plus, coming out of the cafe’s kitchen is some of the tastiest food you’d have had in Ella. It is quite close to the Little Adam’s Peak, so you can cool off here after the hike.
Art Cafe Umbrella
Address: Passara road 3th mile, Ella, Uva province 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: Art Cafe Umbrella
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
13. Hang out at Cafe Guru
Although the name says ‘cafe’, it is actually a restaurant, making for a great space to hang out and enjoy Ella’s hospitality scene. Cafe Guru’s great service and beautiful ambiance is complementary to the amazing dishes that come out of its kitchen. Seat yourself at one of their tables and order one of the cafe’s most famous offering, their made-to-order, sizzling pizzas – the Hawaiian Delight is among the most loved. Else, try their homemade rice and curry. If you’re into cooking, the cafe also offers cookery classes, which you can enroll in!
Address: Madusha Warnasooriya, 11, Wellawaya Road,, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Website: Cafe Guru
Opening hours: Sun - Mon: 9:30am - 11pm; Tue - Sat: 9:30am - 11:30pm
Sri Lanka: the wonder of Asia
Although a small country, there’s no dearth of activities in Sri Lanka. So much so, that days will fall short, but the experiences won’t. Plan your next getaway to this ‘wonder of Asia’ and return home with a ton of beautiful memories. Here’s a start with the things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka.
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