I know I know this is meant to be a food blog. But I thought I would combine my travel and food blogs together as it can get overwhelming maintaining two blogs. So, from time to time, you will get a few travel related posts from me🙂 I recently visited Sri Lanka and being announced the top country by Lonely Planet to visit in 2019, I thought I would share with you one of my favourite places in Sri Lanka, ELLA.
Ella is simply breathtaking with tea-carpeted hills throughout this region. It is located several thousands of meters above sea level and has beautiful vegetation and tea plantations everywhere we look 😍 As such, every tourist that visits Sri Lanka should visit Ella. There is so much you can do in and around Ella. But here are my top 5 picks if you have limited time in Ella 😊
Climb Ella Rock
If you have limited time in Ella but have half a day to spare, I highly recommend climbing Ella Rock over little Adam’s Peak. Ella Rock is higher than little Adam’s Peak and hence, the climb is not for the faint hearted. The climb is about 3.5km from Ella town centre. For the first third to half of the walk, you will have to walk on the train tracks. Then you will come across a little shop (Ella View cafe) which is located down a flight of steps. When you get to the bottom of the steps, you will see a bridge. You will have to cross this bridge to continue your journey to the top of Ella Rock. About three quarters of the way on the climb, you will be able to see little Adam’s peak. You may want to take some pictures here as it can be foggy at the top of the rock and you will not get good views – this happened to us 😂 The last 300m of the climb is only upwards going, so it can get a little tiring. It is also very rocky during this home stretch, so be careful of lose rocks. This climb is quite difficult as some paths are not clearly marked or have multiple paths. So, I would recommend getting a local guide to climb up Ella Rock.
Visit the Nine Arch Bridge
If you continue walking a further 1-2km from the train track path you took for the Ella Rock climb, you will come across the Nice Arch Bridge. As its name suggests, this bridge has nice arches and it is used by the trains travelling from Ella to Nuwara Eliya and vice versa. This bridge is located amongst tea plantations and local villages. You can take some pretty pictures by sitting on the wall of the bridge. Some tourists also use their drones to take close-up pictures of the bridge.
Visit Lipton’s Seat
The drive to the top of Lipton’s Seat takes approximately 2 hours from Ella town centre. You will have to drive through Bandarawela town and up through one lane roads in Haputale via tea plantations. So, if there are vehicles coming from the opposite direction, you may need to reverse your vehicle so that vehicles from the other direction can pass through. We parked the car approximately 1.5km from Lipton’s Seat and walked up through the tea plantations. At the famous Lipton’s Seat, you will 360 degree views of the hills and tea plantations of the region. But we only got 180 degree views of the region as it was foggy on one side. You can also enjoy some local delicacies at the cafe at the top of Lipton’s Seat. We enjoyed some delicious uluntu vadai (lentil donuts) and milk tea with jaggery for morning tea ☕️ The uluntu vadai at this cafe was extra delicious as it was made with rice flour rather than wheat flour.
Enjoy a meal at Cafe Chill
Cafe Chill offers a wide range of Sri Lankan and western meals. The meals are on the pricier side (for Sri Lankan standard but still at least half the price of meals you will pay in Australia 😅) but the service is great and the cafe has a great atmosphere and ambiance 😊 This cafe is only open to foreigners, so the only locals you will see here are the cafe staff. We had the lumprais 🍲 which is a parcel of rice with ten different Sri Lankan curries oven baked in a banana leaf and served with some coconut sambol and papadums. The Arrack Attack (cocktail 🍸) is also pretty impressive – it is a blend of the local coconut arrack (rum) with ginger beer and fresh lime juice 🍹
Enjoy the views of a waterfall
As Ella is 1893m above sea level, it is quite hilly and naturally, it has waterfalls. It has some pretty impressive waterfalls especially after rain. We were fortunate enough to take in the views of a breath taking waterfall on our climb up to Ella Rock. But we also saw multiple waterfalls on our drives in and around Ella.
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