How to Spend One Day in Ella
If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, you won’t want to miss a visit to the idyllic mountain town of Ella. Surrounded by lush tea plantations and hills that undulate under an enchantingly misty sky, Ella is a paradise located within the confines of earth – a pearl in Sri Lanka’s crown. Ella – and all that it has to offer – will take more than a single day to explore, but you can cover its major attractions in that time. The best time of year to visit is between January and March, when the weather is lovely and there are fewer chances of encountering rain. Here are some of the places you should visit during your stay in Ella.
The Nine Arch Bridge
The Nine Arch Bridge – also known as the Bridge in the Sky – is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic attractions, featuring a stunning viaduct bridge that towers over a gentle valley of tea plants. Located between the Ella and Demodara railway stations, it’s easy enough to make your way to the bridge – you can either follow the signs that point the way, or hop into one of Sri Lanka’s tuk-tuks to get you there. If you can visit the bridge before sunrise, you’ll get some amazing photos of the area without the crowds of tourists that flock through later.
Bear in mind that it is a working bridge, and that trains periodically pass through its tracks. The sound of the train will reach you well before it arrives, so keep an ear out and be ready to move out of the way when it goes by!
Ravana Falls is another one of Ella’s famous attractions. Known as one of the widest waterfalls on the island, legend has it that King Ravana of Lanka kidnapped the wife of a Hindu god and hid her away in the caves behind these waters. It’s generally safe to swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall, so don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!
Ravana Falls looks its best during periods of rain, this is also when the water is at its most powerful however, so take care while walking across the rocks as they can get pretty slippery!
Climbing up Adam’s Peak can take a significant chunk of time out of your day, so if you would like to see more of Ella during your stay, attempt to start your hike in the very early hours of the morning. The trek can take up to 3.5 hours to reach the top, and it’s considered a pretty tough climb – if you’re not very fit, you might want to sit this one out. However, those who make the climb in time to watch the sunrise will agree that it’s one of the most stunning sights you could have hoped for, and well-worth the trek.
The mountain of Adam’s Peak is thought to be sacred because of the footprint-shaped mark at its summit, claimed by different religions to have been made by significant figures from their own faith: by one account, it was created by the left foot of Lord Buddha; another ascribes it to the Hindu Lord Shiva; while some Christians and Muslims believe that it was made when Adam first set foot on earth after his exile from Heaven.
Ella is located in Sri Lanka’s hill country, famous for its tea factories and tea plantations. Your visit to a tea factory will take you through the entire interesting process of tea-making, from the plucking of the leaves all the way to how they’re separated and packaged for sale. There are several plantations to choose from, so take your pick! You’ll get to taste some of Sri Lanka’s best brew at the end of your tour, as well as purchase some to take back home with you.