Tea plantations, blue trains, mountains or in a word Ella. This city resembles a resort that is located in the heart of the mountains. It is a real center for a lot of activities. Here you can visit the tea plantations, climb the mountains, admire beautiful landscapes. It is the starting point for the world’s most beautiful train ride. Curious to find out more? 😀
The tea is at home in Ella, the resort being surrounded by tea plantations stretching as far as your eyes can see. This is where the highest quality tea is made. And it is reaching all over the world because the Lipton company is choosing its tea from here.
Most plantations have as a central point plant where the tea is dried and processed. These factories often can give you a tour of your plant, and show you the process from green tea leaves to your mug, and a small (or big) tasting.
After researching, when we were in Ella, the season had passed so that most factories were open only to tourists and were not functional. We wanted to see the manufacturing process, but we couldn’t. So we decided it was better to go to a restaurant and try a lot of top quality local teas.
Hiking in the mountains in Ella
Besides the tea tasting, this city is ideal for hiking and we are talking about two mountain trails in particular. These are:
- Little Adams Peak, for which the trail starts just a 5-minute drive from the city center. The route is easy, crossing a tea plantation, the last part being arranged and you have well-defined steps. Ideally is to get here at sunset to catch the perfect light.
- Ella Rock is another important climb. The route for it starts a little outside the city, it is easy to get to it if you have a scooter. And if Little Adams Peak is beautiful at sunset, you will want to do Ella Rock at sunrise.
9 Arch Bridge
9 Arch Bridge is the most popular bridge in Sri Lanka. It is a perfect example of colonial railway construction. It is also known as “The Bridge in the Sky”. The bridge is located about half an hour from the city center and is easily reachable. Near the bridge, you can enjoy a fresh coconut while waiting for the train to pass on the bridge to get an unforgettable photo. And the pictures do not seem to make it justice, the bridge is very tall in reality and managed to attract all eyes.
The most beautiful train ride
One of the ways you can get to/leave Ella is by train. If you choose this option you will enjoy one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. We have chosen to come by train from Kandy and we can not say we regret it, but you can read more details here.
Although the way to the sights, Little Adams Peak and especially the 9 Arch Bridge is easy and simple, there is a great chance that the route will be changed by the locals. And I do not mean that they offer to help you, but it is a way to make tourists get lost.
It happened to us at 9 Arch Bridge when we followed the signs that ended in the home of a local. This cheerful man offered to show us a “shortcut”. We were already accustomed to such approaches and politely refused him. And after 10 minutes of wandering, we found the right way. On our way back we followed the real road and we saw how we were fooled. The locals set stones as if that road is not accessible (or does not go anywhere), so the tourists get lost. From what I understand, it’s a common practice in the area, so be careful.