A Travellerspoint blog

Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka

overcast 24 °C
View Asia to Europe on TheNomadWay.com's travel map.

The train trip between Kandy and Ella is often referred to as the world's most beautiful train trip and we'd have to agree (or it's at least in the top 5). It's a 7 hour journey and as we were awestruck by the scenery, the time flew by.

It winds through a stunning variety of green and lush landscapes with tea plantations, steep mountains, through small towns, over bridges, by waterfalls and more.


It's naturally popular which means you should book tickets in advance or you may miss out. This can be done in Sri Lanka or online. We arrived at Kandy station for an 8:30am departure, took with us some lunch, snacks and water and away we went. We booked a reserved seat which mean't we didn't have to battle with others to find a seat (well worth doing!). It stops at a number of places along the way, including Nuwara Eliya, which is a great place to check out. Otherwise it's a case of sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

We arrived into Ella in the afternoon and immediately noticed the cooler climate thanks to the higher altitude. A short Tuk-tuk ride and we arrived at our accommodation, Lavendra Paradise. Wow, what a view. The accommodation throughout the trip has been great and this was no exception. Very welcoming, great room and another huge breakfast!


Ella is set in the hills with dramatic valleys, mountains, tea plantations and some great eateries which means it lends itself to just kicking back and relaxing. It's a place that you could quite comfortably stay at for weeks. It's has noticeably more tourists and backpackers than the other places we visited, partly due to the fact that we were travelling off-season, but also because of it's beauty and laid-back lifestyle. Cafe Chill was a popular hangout and served up some great food.

We found plenty to do including:

  • Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory - The largest tea factory in Sri Lanka's Uva region, it's set right on top of a mountain with tours that give you great insights into the tea making process.
  • Nine Arches Bridge - An almost 100 year old bridge built with blocks of stone and cement without any strengthening iron or concrete. It's one of the engineering marvels in the early 20th century.
  • Ravana's Cave - A small cave, that was once used by King Rawana to hide the Princess Sita. It lies right on the foundation of a cliff.
  • Little Adam's Peak - Although it was raining, this relatively easy walk goes through tea plantations to a peak with a spectacular view.
  • Ravana Falls. - Just a small Tuk-Tuk ride away, right by the road is the impressive Ravana Falls.
  • Mate Hut - We also did a great cooking course at Matey Hut and learn't all about 6 curry dishes. Delicious and a great way to feast on some Sri Lankan food.

We reluctantly left Ella, and decided to incorporate a visit to some other great areas in Sri Lanka as we made our way to Udawalawe. This trip just seemed to be getting better and better as we drove via Bandarawela to Dambethenna Tea Factory and on to Lipton's Seat.

Dambethenna Tea Factory was built by the Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton in 1890, which is now known at as Lipton tea. Although the tour was disappointing, the drive to the factory and then beyond the factory to Lipton's Seat was fantastic. We wound through small villages and endless tea plantations, full of pickers.

The Lipton’s Seat lookout is one of the most impressive viewpoints in Sri Lanka, which unfortunately we could not see because of cloud! Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey the countryside and his tea plantations from here.

From there, we stopped off at Haputale and enjoyed some delicious lunch at the 'Golden Hill Tea Centre', a former tea factory and then checked out Diyaluma Falls - the second highest waterfall in the country (at 220 m high). We rolled into Udawalawe quite late reflecting on such a great day.


Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Sri Lanka

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.