Ella, one of Sri Lanka’s most picturesque towns, is nestled in the misty hills of the country’s central highlands. This charming hill country town has so much to offer from scenic hikes and tea plantations to cascading waterfalls and stunning viewpoints. If you’re planning a trip to Ella, here are some of the top things to do in the area.
Climb Little Adam’s Peak
Little Adam’s Peak is a popular trekking spot in Ella and a must-visit for anyone who loves hiking and stunning views. The hike is relatively easy and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. As you climb up to the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Make sure you bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes as the trail can be a bit steep in places.
Visit Nine Arch Bridge
The Nine Arch Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Ella, and it’s not hard to see why. This magnificent bridge, which was built during the British colonial era, is a stunning feat of engineering that spans a deep gorge. The best time to visit is early in the morning when you can catch a train crossing the bridge. Don’t forget to take a photo of the train crossing the bridge too. For the best views, hike down to the bottom of the gorge, where you can get a full view of the bridge from underneath.
Explore Ella Rock
Ella Rock is a popular hiking spot in the area and it’s well worth the effort to climb to the top. The hike takes about 2-3 hours and it is quite challenging in places, so make sure you wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys, making it a perfect spot for some stunning photographs.
Visit Ravana Falls
Just a short distance from Ella, you will come across Ravana Falls, a beautiful waterfall named after the legendary King Ravana, who is said to have hidden his captive princess here. The waterfall cascades down from a height of around 25 meters and is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for a refreshing swim.
Visit a Tea Plantation
Sri Lanka is famous for its tea and there are several tea plantations in the Ella area that you can visit. Take a tour of a tea factory to see how tea is processed and learn about the different types of tea that are produced in Sri Lanka. You can also take a stroll through the tea plantations, which offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Relax at Ella Gap
Ella Gap is a scenic viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The viewpoint is located just a short distance from the town centre and is a great place to relax and take in the stunning scenery. You can also watch the sunrise or sunset from here, which is a truly breathtaking experience.
Take a Cooking Class
Sri Lankan cuisine is renowned for its delicious flavours and spices. Taking a cooking class in Ella is a great way to learn how to cook some traditional Sri Lankan dishes. You’ll learn how to use local ingredients and spices to create some mouth-watering dishes, and you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labour afterwards.
Visit Ella Spice Garden
Ella Spice Garden is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about Sri Lankan spices and herbs. The garden offers guided tours, during which you’ll learn about the different spices and herbs that are grown in Sri Lanka, their uses in cooking and traditional medicine and how they are cultivated.
Try some Street Food
Ella is known for its street food, which is delicious and affordable. You can find everything from traditional Sri Lankan snacks like kottu roti and samosas to fresh fruit juices and smoothies. Make sure to try some of the local delicacies, such as string hoppers, hoppers and egg roti, which are all popular in the region.
Go on a Safari
If you’re a wildlife lover, then a safari is a must-do activity in Ella. Udawalawe National Park is just a short drive away from Ella and is home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears and many species of birds. You can take a guided jeep safari through the park to spot some of these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
Visit Dova Temple
Dova Temple is a hidden gem located just a short distance from Ella. The temple is tucked away in a quiet forest and offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The temple is known for its stunning murals and sculptures, which depict scenes from the life of Lord Buddha. You can also take a short hike to the top of the hill to get panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Visit Ravana Cave
If you are interested in exploring caves, Ravana cave is well worth a visit. Just 2 kilometres outside of Ella town you will find the cave where it is believed that King Ravana hid his princess Sita. The climb to the top is a bit tough, but it is totally worth it for the beautiful views from the top.
Fly with Flying Ravana
For the adventurous travellers, Flying Ravana is an activity not to be missed in Ella. It offers a unique zipline experience that allows you to fly over stunning valleys and lush green forests at an exhilarating speed of up to 80 km/h. The zipline is named after the legendary Sri Lankan king Ravana, adding an interesting historical and cultural twist to the experience. It’s an unforgettable way to experience the beauty of the area and get your adrenaline pumping.
Ella is a charming and picturesque town that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. From scenic hikes and waterfalls to tea plantations and wildlife safaris, there’s something for everyone in Ella. So why not plan a trip to Ella and experience the natural beauty and warm hospitality of Sri Lanka’s hill country?