Tucked away in the misty Sri Lankan high country, amongst idyllic green hills and gushing waterfalls, lies Ella: one of this tear-shaped island’s most appealing destinations.
From scaling the heady heights of Ella Rock, to laying eyes on the mystical Nine Arch Bridge for the very first time; standing on the edge of the roaring Diyaluma Falls (the second tallest in the country), and winding through the tea plantations and mountains passes on the famous Kandy to Ella train; many of our favourite Sri Lankan adventures can be found right here.
At its heart, Ella is a charming and laid back village perfect for relaxing, hiking and escaping the searing temperatures of the southern coast.
It’s a place where Sri Lanka’s colonial heritage coexists with its rich Sinhalese and Tamil culture, and where abundant natural experiences can be found alongside plentiful cultural ones. And it’s a place where learning to cook the delicious Sri Lankan cuisine is an absolute must (NOM!).
We do have to warn you, that this once simple hamlet in the hills has transformed into a major tourist stop since our first visit in 2016.
Growing in popularity and in size has lead to a number of concrete eyesores now dotting every corner of the village, which has taken away some of the peaceful, rural charm that made the area so incredible.
But there’s still so much to see and do in Ella – if you’re willing to go deeper than just the touristy pretty sights and epic landscapes.
After two visits to this lush hill-country village, we’ve put together our list of the best things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka; a town we feel should be firmly embedded on your Sri Lankan itinerary.