Ella is the epitome of the highland experience you can get in Sri Lanka, which is perhaps the most famous hill country destination for foreighn and local tourists alike. This is good enough reason for me to make you more prepared for the journey to come and if Ella isn’t in your bucket list of things to do, it’s time to update your list and follow these instructions.
This is perhaps the most important question because Ella itself is beautiful on its own however what makes it so so special is the fact that journey is also equally enjoyable, this is maybe the reason why the train ride from Kandy to Ella is known as the most scenic train ride in the world, the hill country tea estates that seemingly goes on forever and the misty mountains is a sight worth seeing and the best way to enjoy this place (maybe I spoiled a bit) is by train. There are around 3 trains travel in this route daily including one from Colombo to which however doesn’t let you experience the same view that Kandy - Ella route provides. The prices for Kandy - Ella train route provides. The ticket prices starts from Rs.125 and Colombo - Ella it is Rs.270 for more info check out https://eservices.railway.gov.lk/schedule/homeAction.action?lang=en.
The next option is the Bus which is honestly a less enjoyable way compared to the train, and is also a bit more expensive and uncomfortable. There are buses going from Kandy and Nuwara Eliya directly to Ella however for pretty much every other city you need to make a change, for more information you should probably check out https://www.visitella.com/how-to-get-here.
Once you’ve reached Ella you could pretty much visit most of the attractions there by foot as it is a small area or you could simply use a tuk-tuk, but be mindful that drivers might quote exorbitant prices be prepared in advance what prices should be for the ride. In and around you can readily use apps like PickMe or Uber but they might not be available much but giving a try doesn’t hurt. If not look for a rent a car place around and rent a car, in which case google is your best friend.
If you are visiting Ella there is only one weather you need to be prepared for and that is rainy, even during the most driest periods from January to March you can expect a downpour or two. That is however is a far cry from July to November, during which it is a constant downpour due to it being the monsoon season. Rest of the year is also alright as long as you are prepared for the rain.
Places to visit
Nine Arch Bridge
As the name suggests it is a bridge made of nine arches, what makes it special is the view. The surroundings which consists of tea estates and mountains along with the unique architecture of the bridge brings images straight out of a Harry Potter book, and when a train passes by it gives the perfect chance to take the perfect snap. Please make sure you ask a local or the security guards roaming around for when a train will come however don’t be surprised if the train does get late.To reach Ella you could simply walk along the tracks from the Ella railway station or take a route close to the Little Adams Peak. Another option is taking a tuk-tuk which might cost upto Rs.500 one way.
One of the famous waterfalls in Sri Lanka and what makes it stand out is it’s impressive width of 25m, it is a bit further away from the town around 5 km. Before dipping in the waterfall what you should keep in mind that it has taken 30 some lives who wanted to do so however it is not particularly disallowed just be mindful of that.
This is perhaps the most famous destination of them all, often a site that is used as a camping site and once you reach the top you might see why as it rewards you with few of the most spectacular views you’d ever see in your life. You might want to take the help from locals to make sure not to get lost. A future blog may come out further explaining how to do so as it is a topic worth exploring and would be rather helpful but for now bear with us and get some help from the locals.
There are several routes to take and shorter the route the steeper it gets in the end and it gets very steep in some cases, therefore choose either longer route or the shorter ones depending on your preference. Once you’ve reached the top make sure to see the second viewpoint as it is less crowded and the view is a sight to behold, it is around 500m right to the Ella rock itself.
Little Adams Peak
Relatively much shorter alternative to the Ella Rock, it would take around 30minutes to 1 hour to reach the peak. As the Adam’s Peak itself this spot is also famous for observing the sun rise so if that’s your thing, go for it. It does get a bit tough in the end but is steady sailing for the most part to reach the top. The trail to reach there is well marked and easy to find and it starts around Ella flower garden resort.
Places to Eat
A selection of relatively cheap places are included but if you look around there are definitely a plenty of places to eat, and the locals would be happy to help around if necessary but these are our picks.
This is a very small place meaning you have to come early and reserve a table. The food is authentic Sri Lankan food which starts around Rs.300 and goes upward. If you are a kottu then you are in luck as this place offers you great kottu. On an additional note they also offers cooking classes but the seats are limited so better book early to not be disappointed.
Ice Cube Restaurant and Bar
The staff here is as friendly as it gets so that’s a plus point, they would help you out with anything you ask them. The favorite dish we found here is the hot butter cuttlefish which for the price it costs of Rs.700 absolutely worth it. The cocktails are also pretty cheap in fact it is probably the best in the country.
If you are about to leave for Little Adam’s Peak then head here and have a taste of best Rice and Curry you are going to get, maybe ever. It is near the beginning of Little Adam’s Peak hike as mentioned earlier so it’s just perfect.
One of the most famous places in Ella it’s reputation is the reason why it is here. Most of the food you find might be overpriced but it is liked by most so might be worth it. But remember
These are a few things to follow you might want to follow if Ella is in your bucket list of things to do, more content might come in the future until then visit Ella and happy travelling.
By Hashitha Kushayne