A Quick Guide to Ella, Sri Lanka

Pack your sneakers, an all-weather jacket and your favourite tea cup, because this pint sized mountain town has a lot to offer.

From hiking misty peaks in the morning, to enjoying a breath taking view of the nine arches bridge by lunch, and sipping some of the worlds finest tea during the afternoon, Ella is a mountainside escape that will make you feel like you've teleported from the hustle of Sri Lanka, even just for a moment.

Although tiny, with a population of just a few hundred, Ella is well equipped to cater to tourists with a bustling little main town strip complete with tea houses, restaurants and the famed Ella train station, gateway to the nine arches bridge and Kandy, the most beautiful stretch of rail road in Asia.

In just a few short days you can see and do plenty in Ella, whether your an adventure traveller, or prefer a more relaxed agenda, Ella is a must do spot on any itinerary in Sri Lanka.

Here's a list of must do experiences in Ella Sri Lanka:

1. The Nine Arches Bridge

If you haven't heard its name, then you've surely seen photos of this stunning hidden bridge in the jungle with a sheer drop of over 50 metres into the mountain side.

Becoming increasingly popular for tourists, thanks to idyllic shots on the likes of Instagram, this bridge is cut breathtakingly into the jungle and can be easily accessed by a short hike from Ella town centre.

With a bit of a mountainous decline, although not overly difficult, be sure to wear sturdy shoes as this does get steep and slippery with rain around.

Trains are expected over the bridge daily at 10:50am and 12:00pm (noon), be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find the bridge as it's about 1.5kms from the town centre without an overly obvious path. Your best bet is so ask the friendly locals on your way.

Make sure you pack a good camera!

2. Little Adams Peak

Overlooking Ella Rock and the Gap, Little Adams Peak is a small hike perfect for every fitness level.

The view is amazing, cutting into the mountainside and allowing you to see right back into Ella township and over the winding roads climbing their way up the mountain.

Best viewed before lunch as think fog is common in Ella during the afternoon.

Little Adams Peak can be accessed via tuk tuk from town with about a 30 minute one way climb from the foot, or give yourself two hours an enjoy it at a leisurely pace walking all the way from town.

3. visit Tea Plantation & sample the local tea

Thanks to the British in the 1930's and 1940's, Sri Lanka is a mecca for delicious tea and Ella is the perfect spot to check out the local tea pickers at work.

There are plenty of tours available for this offering round trips from town, although walking to Little Adams Peak and the Nine Arches Bridge you are able to see multiple tea plantations on your way, saving yourself the fee for a tour.

If you really want to see how the tea goes from the fields to your cup there are some major tea factories in the area including the Halpewatte Tea Factory which give informative daily tours and you can purchase all the local teas until your heart is content.

This particular factory is a little out of the way so you will need a tuk tuk to get there.

4. Ella Rock

For the more serious hikers and explorers out there, Ella Rock is a bigger commitment than Little Adams Peak but is still certainly a climb doable for most people. The climb will take you approximately four hours including the walk to and from town and is about 8km in total length. 

Local guides are reasonably priced and can assist you in the trek, or if you're up to it yourself just keep asking locals if you're heading in the right direction and you will eventually find your way.

Ella Rock itself is a major feature in the towns surroundings, it can be viewed by a lot of the accommodation options perched on the mountain behind the town centre and also viewed from climbing Little Adams Peak.

To climb Ella Rock, head out to mid morning for your best chance at avoiding the mist, however sometimes this doesn't guarantee a better view as Ella weather is very unpredictable.

 

 

Alexis ZahnerComment