Discover the Lesser-Known Towns in The Sri Lankan Hill Country
The Sri Lankan hill country is truly a stunning gem of the island. As towns like Nuwara Eliya and Ella rise to fame, those looking to explore the quieter towns that are hidden between towering mountains of jungle and tea, here’s a rough guide on discovering the lesser-known towns in the Sri Lankan hill country – ideal if you’re planning a quick getaway to the mountains or a longer stay for a reunion holiday with your closest pals.
Once the favourite holiday destination of the residing British during the colonial era, Hatton has since then become Sri Lanka’s hikers’ paradise. Surrounded by tall forest-covered mountains and waterfalls which are often obstructed by thick clouds of fog, Hatton is a great place for long walks and moments of solitude.
Whether you’re looking for the most popular places in Hatton or the most thrilling activities to partake in; Hatton is sure to offer you and your friends a wholesome adventure in hills. Strapped for time? Discover Hatton in a day instead!
Found on the southern edge of the hill country, Haputale is often overshadowed by its more popular neighbour – Ella. Beautiful vistas and endless acres of tea plantations, this small town is encircled by tall peaks covered with a thick green carpet of tea bushes and jungle. Hatton is considered to be the tea capital of Sri Lanka, pay a visit to the Dambatenna Tea Factory or read up on some other fun things you can do instead.
Knuckles Mountain Range:
Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Knuckles Mountain Range is not well known nor visited by both tourists and locals alike. It is a huge area spanning 34 mountains covered in dense cloud forests which are often concealed by swirling plumes of fog. While there are countless hiking trails that are ideal for friends, Knuckles Mountain Range is quite the challenge for your group! The forest range is home to many wildlife species including langur monkeys, sambar deer and leopards; the latter lurks in the thick, quiet regions of the forest – away from humans.
- Hatton: January to April
- Haputale: May to July
- Knuckles: December to February and March to May.
There are many ways to travel around the country, some options include:
By train: perfect for long journeys and as you wind your way up the mountains, you’ll be treated to crisp, cold air and jaw-dropping views of the mountains, vegetable patches and acres of tea estates.
By bus: buses run regularly through the island and can definitely get you from one place to another in a cost-effective way, however, it may not be the most comfortable for long journeys.
By car: a road trip around Sri Lanka will always be fun. By driving/hiring a car, you’ll be able to go at your own pace and take as many stops as you want.
By seaplane: this is slightly more expensive than the previous options, but it takes the shortest amount of time as it only takes 25 minutes to fly from Colombo to the hill country. You can opt to land on Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya or the Castlereagh Reservoir in Hatton.