Ella is arguably the most beautiful place in this whole country- it is definitely the most green. Surrounded by green hills and tea plantations you will feel immediately calmed here. If you are like me though and find it hard to relax for too long, here are some ways that you can explore this beautiful place.
Ella’s rock is a beautiful hike that starts out in a unique way- on the railroad track! Do this hike first thing in the morning so that your limbs are fresh and the temperature isn’t too hot. This is a hike where not only is the top beautiful but also the whole way up. Did I mention how green and lush Sri Lanka is!?
Once you reach the top I hope that you aren’t afraid of heights because you can climb out onto Ella’s rock and take in the view below you. If you are afraid of heights the rock is quite large so you can still walk out onto it but stay away from the edges. If you want to spend more time up there, there are people selling coconuts and tea for you to enjoy.
There are some things that you need to be aware of before doing this hike- read here to know what to expect.
Ella has a lot of options for learning how to cook local Sri Lankan cuisine. I took one cooking class that isn’t advertised- they literally don’t even have a sign for it outside of their restaurant. It is completely by word of mouth..well, I guess unless you are reading it on here.
It is run by a lovely couple who both attended culinary school together. The kitchen is tiny so there is not room for more than 3 people to take this class together. We cooked two different curries and coconut rotti. The man then showed us how to make a Sri Lankan omelette and salad. After cooking we got to sit down and enjoy the delicious feast. The course took about 3 hours in total and the price was by donation.
You can find their little restaurant as you come from the train station and turn right. It is the restaurant you see right before you go through the tunnel.
Small Adam’s Peak
After hiking the real Adam’s Peak the day before I think that ‘Mini Adam’s Peak’ would be a more suitable name. This ‘hike’ is more like a walk, but a beautiful walk nonetheless. It doesn’t take much of your time- maybe 45 minutes round trip.
The top is supposed to have beautiful view of Ella. When we went it had just finished raining so the view was completely covered in clouds. We weren’t disappointed though because the clouds actually looked really cool. We felt like we were in a sci-fi movie .
If the day is clear Adam’s Peak would be a beautiful place to sit and watch the sunset from.
The nine arches is a famous railway bridge in Sri Lanka that was built over 150 years ago. To reach the railway from Ella you head right on the train tracks from the train station. The walk is about 3.5 k and is beautiful (as is everything in Sri Lanka).
To be honest, the bridge isn’t that amazing to see. If you time it with when a train comes through then it can really add to the experience and beauty of it. There is also a family who has set up a small area for people to buy coffee and cold drinks to enjoy as they watch the train come through.
This would be worth doing if Ella’s Rock is too much of a climb for you.
Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory
You can take a tuk-tuk to this tea factory if you are interested in learning about the process of making tea. Your guide will walk you through the whole production line from the point where fresh tea leaves come into the factory to where high-quality tea leave for distribution. The tour also includes a taste test the different types of tea made in Sri Lanka.
This is a great activity for a rainy day in Ella. There is also tea for sale at the factory which would make a great gift to bring back home.
Tip: Make sure that you go on a production day so that you can see the team making process in action.