Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka – Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful mountain village located between Kandy and Ella, in the center of the island of Sri Lanka. Located a little less than 2000 meters above sea level, it enjoys a fairly cool climate compared to the south of the country. I visited Nuwara Eliya after spending 10 days south of the country, so this was really refreshing for a change. 🙂
Nuwara Eliya has only a few thousand inhabitants so you will be able to enjoy a calm and relaxing atmosphere there. What is even more interesting in this city is undoubtedly its surrounding tea plantations, covering the entire region. If you happen to be taking the train from Ella to Kandy, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the landscapes along the way and it would be a great idea to stop at Nuwara Eliya to enjoy this beautiful city.
I’m going to tell you about all the places I liked in Nuwara Eliya below but here are some transportation and accommodation tips first.
How To Get There
If you’re coming from Kandy or Ella, the easiest way to get to Nuwara Eliya is to take the train. There are no train stations in Nuwara Eliya so you will have to stop at the Nanu Oya station which is about 8 kilometers away. To check out train schedules and costs, have a look at this website. You will then have to take a tuk-tuk to go from Nanu Oya to Nuwara Eliya for about 500 rupees (~ $3).
You can also go for a day trip to Nuwara Eliya. You can book online one of these two tours depending on where you are:
Backpackers can book at the Backpacker’s Nest Nuwara Eliya. It’s a nice guesthouse that’s not too expensive; I’ve met many nice people there! It is located at the entrance of the city, not far from Lake Gregory which we will mention later. You can also rent bicycles or scooters to visit the area.
If you are looking for better accommodation, there is the Ferncliff which is absolutely great!
The British-style architecture is reminiscent of many other houses in Nuwara Eliya by the way. The English actually liked the city quite a bit during the colonization period, in particular for its climate and its great natural setting. The Ferncliff is in the center of the city, which is a great location to visit the city’s various attractions.
As you can see, it has spacious rooms with colonial style decorations. There is even a fireplace for the cool winter nights. 🙂
The two accommodations I mentioned are quite popular so try to book your spot as soon as possible before they sell out.
Where are the Tea Plantations in Nuwara Eliya?
As you can see, visiting the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya is the main attraction of the region. You get two options: you can either visit the tea factories and plantations nearby or explore the area a bit randomly, stopping by here and there.
The second option was more appealing to me. One of my favorite spots to admire the tea plantations and the famous tea pickers is actually on the road leading to Kandy. I like exploring places on my own, it’s like there are always surprising things to discover and amazing memories to make.
If this is what you’re looking for, you can rent a scooter for a day (about 1500 rupees per day or ~ $9) and head north. The beautiful lush greenery will blow you away!
If you need more directions or if you’d like to understand how the famous Ceylon tea (Ceylon is the former name of Sri Lanka) is produced, here are the most popular tea factories in the region:
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka – The Sita Temple
Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/omPaDF5TwAq
If you’d like to know more about the country’s culture, don’t hesitate to take a look at the Sita temple which is located a few kilometers south of the city. Also called Seetha Amman, it is a Hindu temple where one of the Ramayana episodes took place. The story goes that Sita, companion of Rama (former king of India), was imprisoned by King Ravana (who gave his name to the Ravana Ella waterfalls), in this temple.
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka – Lake Gregory
Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/bPWRL8FoAPs
If you are looking for a quiet place to have a picnic or just to go for a walk, Lake Gregory is where it’s at! It is right in the heart of Nuwara Eliya. It bears the name of the British Governor Sir William Gregory who built the reservoir in 1873.
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka – Single Tree Hill
Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/xF8pFFRQprw
Last but not least, we’re climbing to the top of Single Tree Hill. It takes a little over an hour to reach the top but you can also go there by scooter. There’s a nice Buddhist temple there but the view it gives of the whole region is what’s so special about Single Tree Hill!
Our visit to Nuwara Eliya ends here! Did you like this area and do you plan to visit this city on your next trip to Sri Lanka? Let me know in the comments. 😉
See you around,