Sri Lanka’s Hill Village of Ella

Photo by Gavin Thomas

Hike through hills and tea plantations

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While Sri Lank’s hill village of Ella can get overrun with tourists and coaches, the beautiful surrounding countryside remains blissfully idyllic and peaceful. The following half-day walk offers a good introduction. If you’re going to include the add-on section up Little Adam’s Peak start early to maximize your chances of a good view before the mid-morning clouds roll in.

Start by walking east out of Ella village along Passara Road (which shoots of the main road opposite the bus stand and Curd and Honey Shop). Around 1km down the road (just past Adam’s Breeze restaurant – which is also a good breakfast or refuelling stop) a clearly signed path branches off to Little Adam’s Peak. If you want to include this as part of the walk (and it’s well worth it) the path to the top is a not-too-strenuous 1km hike with gorgeous views from the summit over Ella Gap and the top of the huge Rawana Ella Falls.

Return to Passara Road and continue along it past the lovely 98 Acres eco-resort (whose airy Café 98 is another good spot for a drink or a bite to eat). Just past here sits the modern Newburgh Tea Factory, where guides offer interesting tours (daily except Sunday) explaining the entire tea-making process from bush to bag.

Continue around 100m past the factory and you’ll see two small road heading off on your left. Take the lower road (the upper track leads to The Secret Ella hotel) and follow it as it winds downhill for around twenty minutes to reach the majestic Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, which carried the railway line out of Ella up into the hills towards Badulla. From here you can walk back along (or beside) the railway tracks all the way back to the centre of the village – around another thirty minutes’ walk.

More Sri Lanka Itineraries

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