Romantic Ceylon Tea Adventures
Tea lovers, you’ve landed in the Garden of Tea-den! Whether you’re simply in love with this iconic brew or just want to learn more about it during your romantic getaway, Sri Lanka is the perfect place to do so. While the island offers many wonderfully romantic experiences, from beachside retreats to secluded mountain excursions, diving into the world of Ceylon tea is definitely one of the top things to do, especially on your honeymoon.
The island features acres upon acres of lush tea-covered hills, from the heights of Nuwara Eliya to the lowlands of the south. Here’s how you can embark on a Ceylon tea adventure with your other half.
The Dreamy Plantations of Nuwara Eliya
The types of tea produced in Sri Lanka vary according to elevation and climate. In Nuwara Eliya, tea estates are located on lush green mountains at elevations of more than 6,000 feet above sea level, with temperatures that drop below 5 degrees Celsius. This means that tea plants grow slowly and produce much smaller leaves than if they were grown in warmer climates. However, the flavours of Nuwara Eliya teas are much more delicate, and are some of the finest teas in the country. Visit the Bluefield Tea Factory and Pedro Tea Estate and embark on a tour of these factories to learn about the process of plucking, processing and packaging tea leaves.
Nuwara Eliya is great for couples, with a misty mountain atmosphere that makes it perfect for long romantic walks and cuddles in front of a fireplace. If you arrive by train, you’ll pass through some absolutely mesmerising landscapes. Visit nearby waterfalls such as Laxapana Falls, the 8th-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. You could also visit Horton Plains National Park, which is about an hour’s drive outside Nuwara Eliya, but definitely worth the visit for the trek up to the stunning World’s End. Follow our guide to chasing waterfalls in Sri Lanka if you can’t get enough of these stunning cascades.
The Exotic Hills of Kandy
Teas produced in Kandy are known for their rich flavours, with the plants grown at altitudes between 2,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level. This yields tea leaves that are larger than those grown in Nuwara Eliya, and that can be brewed to produce full-bodied flavours. Higher quality tea leaves are produced in the first part of the year, between January and March, when the area experiences cooler and dryer weather. Ceylon Estate Teas and the Kadugannawa Tea Factory are just some of the tea estates that you can visit here.
When you’re not exploring a tea factory, you can explore the city of Kandy, the last Sri Lankan kingdom. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a must-visit during your stay, but keep in mind that you need to cover your shoulders and legs before entering the premises. If you’d like a more romantic outing, you could always visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, a landscaped garden with pathways lined with towering trees and blossoming flowers.
The Balmy Southern Coast
Much of the imagery of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations paint a picture of gorgeous hills and mountains covered in lush green. However, tea is also grown in the island’s Southern Province at an elevation of around 2,000 feet above sea level, enjoying plenty of warm sunny weather. These low-grown teas tend to yield larger leaves that produce a different flavour to the teas of the hill country.
One such tea estate that you could visit during your tour of the south coast is the Handunugoda Tea Estate, which is located close to major beach towns like Mirissa and Unawatuna. It’s a great way to take a break from the waves and experience a major part of Sri Lankan culture. After a day of exploring, surprise your partner with a romantic dinner by the beach – or with one of these unique date ideas.