Ella, a charming town nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s hill country, offers a myriad of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a tea connoisseur, or simply someone who appreciates breathtaking natural beauty, Ella has something special in store for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Ella, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this enchanting destination.
Why Ella is popular among tourists?
Surrounded by mountain ranges, the area offers breathtaking views of cloudscapes, and after a small morning hike you see the mountain view stretch to infinity, waterfalls cascading from above creating beautiful views, as well as the most iconic creations built by the British will definitely make you love the city.
Also, because of the regions and places in novels like Ravana. Ella is undoubtedly an area with many essences to experience and it will leave you satisfied every time.
When you’re looking for a place to get away from your busy lifestyle while visiting Sri Lanka, Ella offers a relaxing and comfortable experience and the things to do are sure to leave behind fond memories of your trip.
16 Top Things To Do In Ella
Hiking And Adventures
Nine arch bridge
The Nine Arch Bridge is one of the top things to do in Ella. The bridge stands proudly as a landmark of 20th-century design and structural brilliance. The ideally constructed bridge between Ella and Demodara railway station can be seen as one of the finest creations of English engineering concepts.
The nine-arched bridge, also known as the ‘Sky Bridge’, joined two huge mountains during the construction of the Badulla-Colombo railway line.
The bridge is similar in shape to the Glenfinnan Viaduct Bridge in Scotland, with a length of 300 feet, a diameter of 25 feet, and a height of 80-100 feet. The surrounding area is a tourist attraction due to the architectural imagination of the bridge and the abundant greenery in the nearby hills.
The best time to visit the nine-arched bridge in Ella Sri Lanka is when a train is passing through the bridge, so visiting here will be a great experience after checking the train schedule in advance.
Little Adam’s Peak
Another one is Little Adam’s Peak and the easily accessible natural hike in Ella Sri Lanka is this small mountain. Some people introduce it as Little Adam’s Peak or Little Siri Pada, the reason being that Adam’s Peak mountain is similar in shape to the top of the mountain and a view can be seen here as if Sri Pada climbed to the top of the mountain.
The height of the mountain is 1141 meters and it takes 30-45 minutes to reach the top from the road. However, the views from the top are incredible.
The Ella Rock mountain range that rises hugely in front of the mountain, and the views of the surrounding hotels, and the views stretching to infinity have greatly contributed to the popularity of Mini Adams Peak in Ella Sri Lanka.
One of the best places for tourists who like to climb the mountains coming to Ella Sri Lanka is Kurullangala. The specialty here is that there are 5000-year-old prehistoric paintings on a rock. The path to these paintings is through the jungle and is difficult. But the environmental beauty is amazing.
The paintings are believed to have been drawn by humans who lived in the Old Middle Stone Age, and visual comparison with the primitive Australian aborigine paintings in terms of shape, color, and position can be considered to be the work of pre-humans.
The paintings here depict the bird. More than ten blood-colored left-hand marks can be identified among the early paintings of Kurunlangala. The murals that were spread over a large area of the stone surface have gradually been destroyed. It is reported that these paintings are being destroyed by natural factors such as strong sunlight, rain, and strong wind. From the location of the paintings, the environment up to the East Sea can be seen very well on clear days.
Ravana Cave is located in the beautiful Ella area and is keeping hidden more mysteries about Ravana and Seetha. It is believed that Ravana once hid Princess Sita in the caves here and there are 2 tunnels connecting these caves.
Archaeologists are of the opinion that one of the tunnels connects Seeta Eliya in Nuwara Eliya and another one connects to Bandarawela Dova Temple. No matter what purpose these tunnels were created for, some tunnels have collapsed due to lack of use.
The Ella Rock mountain range that can be seen in front of Ella Little Adam’s Peak has attracted the attention of everyone who goes to Little Little Adam’s Peak. Ella Rock Mountain Climbing is another one of the popular things to do in Ella and it is a good destination for mountaineers visiting the area surrounding the falls.
The climb is approximately 8-10 km and is actually a walk through the jungle to the mountain face. This takes approximately 4 hours and morning and evening are best. The morning sunrise gives a good view of this spot and the surrounding mountains and surroundings look beautiful.
Flying Rawana Zipline
The flying Ravana zipline that you will encounter while going to Little Adam’s Peak is the most exciting activity for tourists. With two splines extending 500 meters, this makes it easy for two people to travel at the same time. You can travel here with your loved one at the same time while you can see the area including the tea garden around you coming down at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. It will make you feel like you are flying fast.
For this, a time must be booked by buying a ticket from the office that reservation the activity. For that, an adult has to pay $20 and a child has to pay $15.
Make a Reservations | Flying Ravana Zip Line
Demodara Railway Loop
Demodara Railway Loop is a unique creation in Sri Lanka’s railway history. Here is a railway that is created in a spiral shape. At first, the train that comes to the station from Badulla goes around a hill and passes through a tunnel under the station.
The reason for this construction is that the railway line to Badulla has a steep slope at Demodara, and the road has been created as a loop around a mountain to avoid the difficulties that occur during the construction of the railway line.
Ravana Falls is one of the waterfalls near Ella Sri Lanka. The Ravana waterfall is considered to be one of the places where King Ravana was swimming. The 25-meter-high waterfall can be seen near the Ella -Wellawaya main road.
The beautiful-looking waterfall is beautiful from the road but not so lovely when going for a swim. Many lives have been lost in this place due to the waterholes and the sudden increase in water.
Nildiya Pokuna Underground Pond
Nildiya Pond in Ella Sri Lanka is a water pond located in an underground cave and It is one of the best adventure things to do in Ella. The water here looks very pure blue and the size of the pond is about 50 feet. To reach the pond, one must first descend 200 feet into the ground through an opening with a diameter of 2 to 3 feet and enter a tunnel. After passing through the tunnel for about 400 meters, you can reach the pond. It is impossible to walk through the cave without a bright flashlight. And for this trip, it is necessary to get the help of a guide who knows the way.
It is surprising that there is no way to see water entering or leaving this pond and the cave is located inside the ground with very good air received in the cave.
A rumor about the cave is that King Ravana lived in the vicinity of Ella Wellawaya for a while and he kept Princess Sita who he had brought from India and may have been keeping hidden for a while in this cave.
Upper Diyaluma Waterfall
Diyaluma Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. After going to the top of it, you can see two more small waterfalls which are introduced as the upper waterfall. There are two naturally formed water pools between the two waterfalls here and the tourists who come here do not forget to bathe in these pools.
In order to reach Upper Diyaluma, you have to go to Wellawaya and then about 13 kilometers along the Koslanda Wellawaya road and enter Upper Diyaluma road. then should go to the top car park and then have to walk about another kilometer into the jungle.
Ella Wala Waterfall
Ella Wala Falls is located near the Wellawaya area and although not very high, this is a great place to take a dip. The large pool at the foot of the waterfall which is fed by the Kiridi Oya River can bathe a large number of people at the same time. Due to this, many local and foreign tourist groups come here.
Tea Plantations And Tea Factories
Halpewatta Tea Factory
Among the tea factories located in the vicinity of Ella Sri Lanka, the Uva Halpewatta Tea Factory is a tea factory that offers a guided tour of tea production to tourists. And here you are also given the facility to buy their tea products.
Among the things to do in Nuwara Eliya, we recommended a visit to a tea factory because they offer a free guided tour and tea tasting service. But at Halpewatta Tea Factory you have to pay a price for this.
When everyone hears the name, Lipton, they think of the taste of tea. Yes, Lipton is a famous Ceylon tea brand all over the world and the tea estate and tea factory from which tea is obtained to spread the taste of tea to the world is owned by Lipton Estate.
Lipton Seat in this estate has become the most popular among tourists as one of the best viewpoints in Sri Lanka where you can see 5 provinces at the same time. It started when Thomas Lipton bought this estate and sold Lipton tea all over Europe and it is said that he spent his leisure time in this place with young ladies.
Nearby there is another viewpoint called Catherine Seat, which had a seat reserved for Thomas Lipton’s wife Catherine Lipton. It is said that when Thomas Lipton spent his time frolicking with young women, Catherine spent her time sadly in there.
Try Local Cuisine
Don’t miss the opportunity to savor authentic Sri Lankan dishes. From hoppers to kottu roti, the local food scene in Ella is a delight for foodies.
Cooking Classes in Matey Hut
Take a cooking class in Matey Hut and learn to recreate your favorite Sri Lankan dishes. It’s a hands-on experience that you can cherish forever.
Restaurants, Bars, and Live Music
Chill In Café Chill
Cafe Chill is one of the best restaurants that every tourist who comes to Ella Sri Lanka should visit at least once. This is the best place to get local and foreign food with high quality and taste at very affordable prices. Cafe Chill is the best place to while away some of your time while drinking a cool beer, enjoying a warm meal, and listening to the restaurant’s music, overlooking the busy Ella city streets. Cafe Chill is a great place to taste different types of food, different types of beer, and liquor.
Bambaragala Camping Site
Babaragala is a beautiful mountain peak in Namunukula village and from here one can see a range of views stretching to infinity. Namunukula mountain range on one side and a beautiful valley below on the other side and the village is a beautiful view. To reach this place, you have to go to Namunukula on the Passara road from Ella, and after about another kilometer from Namunukula, you have to take the road to Babaragala.
Local tourists who like to camp often come here and if you are also a person who likes to camp, this is the best place.
Mahamevnawa Asapuwa in Ella is a Buddhist monastery built in the Kubalwela area. The temple grounds are charming as the temple is built on top of a beautiful hill. All the features and constructions of a Buddhist temple can be seen here.
Ella boasts charming boutique hotels that offer a cozy and intimate stay experience. Enjoy personalized service and stunning views.
Homestays and Guesthouses
For a more authentic experience, consider staying with a local family in a homestay or guesthouse. You’ll get a glimpse of everyday life in Ella.
Indulge in luxury at Ella’s upscale resorts. Pamper yourself with spa treatments and relish gourmet dining while surrounded by lush landscapes.
In conclusion, Ella is a hidden gem in Sri Lanka that offers a wide range of activities for travelers with diverse interests. From hiking to tea tasting and cultural exploration, this town has it all. Make sure to include these top things to do in Ella in your itinerary to ensure an unforgettable journey through this picturesque destination.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Ella a safe destination for solo travelers?
- Yes, Ella is generally considered safe for solo travelers. However, it’s advisable to exercise standard precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
What’s the best way to reach Ella from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital?
- You can take a scenic train ride from Colombo to Ella, which is highly recommended. Alternatively, you can hire a private vehicle or take a bus.
Are there any entry fees for the hiking trails and attractions in Ella?
- Most hiking trails and natural attractions in Ella are open to the public and do not charge entry fees. However, some may have nominal fees for maintenance.
Can I find vegetarian and vegan food options in Ella?
- Absolutely! Ella offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, and most restaurants are accommodating to dietary preferences.
Is it necessary to book accommodation in advance in Ella?
- During peak tourist seasons, it’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially if you have specific preferences. However, you can find options upon arrival during quieter times.