1. Grab a Train from Kandy to Ella: The journey between Kandy and Ella by train is not only recommended, but possibly one of the most beautiful ways to spend time in the city. The joy train travels through lush coffee plantations and mountain caverns, offering sweeping views of the valleys that make up Ella.
The train crosses the iconic Nine Arches Bridge, whose dreamy beauty merely adds to the experience of the journey. There is generally always a rush for train tickets, so make sure you book yours early. More adventurous travellers or those travelling on budget can opt for the third-class tickets, which lets one take a seat by the train doors.
Location: Between Kandy and Ella
Price: Around 120 LKR per ticket
2. Walk Along the Rail Tracks on the Nine Arches Bridge: One of the most prominent landmarks in Kandy, visiting the Nine Arches Bridge should be a part of every Ella tour package. Cutting across low-lying clouds, the iconic bridge sprawls across a whopping 91 meters, and can be explored on a long hike.
A walk through dense bamboo plantations takes one to the Nine Arches, who’s stunning Gothic beauty rises against the backdrop of the bright green cliffs of Ella. However, a rail track passes through the centre of the bridge, and hiking alongside would require one to exercise a fair bit of caution.
Location: Nine Arches Bridge, Demodara, Ella
3. Witness the second largest waterfall in Sri Lanka: Located just outside Ella, the Diyaluma Falls is the second largest falls in the country. The thundering rush of the cascade can be heard from quite a distance, and once at the base, you get the option of hiking or driving all the way to the top. Three enormous pools line the waterfall head, where you can either choose to take a quick dip, or simply enjoy the panoramic views of the lush green hills that spread around you.
Location: Colombo -wellawaya, Colombo - Batticaloa Hwy, Koslanda, Sri Lanka
4. Take a cooking class in the Ella Spice Gardens: These cooking classes offer the best of both- an explosion of flavors as well as marvelous views of the Ella Gardens. The class takes you on a tour of the Gardens, imparting priceless knowledge on the cultivation and picking of local spices. It concludes with a lesson on local curries and traditional dishes. Students not only get to feast on the resulting dishes, but also carry the recipe home.
Location: Lizzie Villa Rd, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Price: About 2,500LKR
5. Soar through the skies on the Flying Ravana Zip Line: A must-include for every adventurer’s Ella tour package, the Flying Ravana ZipLine is a one-of-a-kind adventure in Sri Lanka. Setting off from Adam's Peak, the zipline crosses an impressive 82 kilometers in a speed rising up to about 80 kilometers per hour. The Adventure Zone offers a bunch of other extreme sports as well, all enjoyed in the charming environment of the mountains in Ella.
Location: 98 Adventures (Pvt) Ltd, Little Adams Peak Uva Greenland Estate, Ella - Passara Rd, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Foreign Adults: 3600 LKR
Foreign Children: 2700 LKR
Local Adults and Children: 2500 LKR
Timings: 09.00AM- 05.00PM on all days of the week
6. Hike to the top of the Ella Rock: Wherever you go in Ella, the towering presence of the Ella Rock will follow you around. One of the top hiking destinations in the city, a trek to the top of the Ella Rock should be a part of every adventurer’s Ella tour package. The trail leads one through lush green forests and rail tracks, and the resulting views from the top are simply spellbinding. For the best views, try to catch a sunrise or a sunset from the peak.
7. Explore the beauty of the Ravana Falls: According to local legends, King Ravana of Lanka is said to have captured Sita and stowed her away in this hidden fall. Today, with its mighty rush, the Ravana Falls are far more conspicuous. A precarious hike leads one up the three tiers that comprise the waterfall, and is only recommended during dry season.
The views from the top, however, are majestic, and well worth the effort of the climb. Tourists can even avail the aid of a local guide here, who not only lead groups to the top but also share interesting anecdotes on the history of the waterfall.
Location: Wellawaya-Ella-Kumbalwela Highway, Ella, Sri Lanka
8. Enjoy the views from Lipton’s Seat: Tea of course, is Sri Lanka’s biggest asset, and tea in Sri Lanka is near-synonymous with Lipton. One of the must-visit destinations in every Ella trip package, the Lipton’s Seat is the peak atop which the tea-mogul, Sir Thomas Lipton, seated himself everyday to survey his acres-wide tea farms. The area is known to command the best views in Sri Lanka; however, mist and fog can often hamper views here, and it would be advisable to plan one’s visit accordingly.
Location: Dambethenna Estate, Lipton Seat Rd, Haputale, Sri Lanka
9. Take a hike up Little Adam’s Peak: Little Adam’s Peak might be smaller than it’s brother, Adam Peak, in size, but it is no less spectacular. The trail across the peak will take you through three little slopes, all brimming with bright green and full of flowering trees. The hike is definitely well known for its’ view, but is best regarded for its 360 degree view of the Ella Gap, a little ridge amidst the mountains.
Location: Ella, Sri Lanka
10. Explore Ella Town: It takes no more than a day to explore all of Ella town, and is a must include in every Ella trip package for any traveller desiring to explore the local culture of the place. There are several little cafes and eateries around Ella, where one can not only snack on little delights but also interact with the very friendly locals there. There are some new all night bars and restaurants cropping up around the town as well, some of which stay open all night.