The town of Ella in Sri Lanka welcomes visitors with breathtaking natural scenery, plenty of tranquility, exhilarating adventures, and a rich cultural history.

It is the perfect destination if you enjoy hiking, or are looking for an idyllic getaway in the chilly mountains. With tea plantations and a beautiful Ella train ride, it adds to the blend of everything in Sri Lanka.

In this comprehensive Ella travel guide, we’ll look at the best things to do in Ella Sri Lanka. We will also look into places to stay/eat, and give some Ella travel tips to make things easier for you.

What to do in Ella Sri Lanka?

Here are the most popular attractions in Ella Sri Lanka:

Little Adam’s Peak

The Little Adam’s Peak, named after its bigger brother Adam’s Peak, is really stunning! Even if this is your first time hiking, I recommend going for it because it is a fairly simple climb. The path leads through lush tea plantations; along the way, you will come across the kind smiles of the tea-picking women. You will also get to enjoy the expansive views of the surroundings. Trust me, you won’t get lost! You can do this hike without a guide because the trail is clearly marked. Usually, it takes about 1-2 hours to get to the summit of the Little Adam’s Peak. Anyway, this is one of the must-visit Ella attractions.  You will be rewarded with incredible views of Ella Rock, and the green valleys below, especially closer to the sunset at the summit.

Ella Rock

Another one of the well-known Ella activities is hiking the Ella Rock! Ella Rock offers a more challenging trek for those looking for a new experience. But depending on how fit you are, you can complete it within 2-3 hours. The hike begins at the Ella Railway Station. Get onto the tracks and continue to walk till you reach Kithalella Railway Station. Ask a local for directions to the Ella Rock if you are not sure. They would expect a little tip for taking you all the way to the summit. This won’t be a problem if you are traveling with a guide though; you are in good hands! Some sections of the hike will be difficult so take breaks in between. Bring plenty of snacks, water, and good hiking shoes with you! After all of this effort, you will reach the summit of Ella Rock, which offers panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding landscapes.

The Nine Arches Bridge Demodara

Nine Arches Bridge Ella
Nine Arches Bridge Ella

The Nine Arches Bridge Demodara is a true architectural masterpiece in Sri Lanka! You don’t need a guide to get there; just follow the tracks from Ella town until you cross the tunnel, and there it is—the Ella bridge! However, if you want to watch the famous blue train passing by, make sure to check the train timetables before going. The mountains and lush green tea plantations in Ella Sri Lanka Nine Arches Bridge give it a mystical look. Also, if you are a photographer looking to shoot an Instagram-worthy photo, try to go before sunrise when there are fewer people.

Ella Spice Garden

Are you trying to find lesser-known things to do in Ella Sri Lanka? If yes, you can visit the Ella Spice Garden to get an authentic spices experience! You will be able to learn about the world of Sri Lankan spices here. After all, we are famous for using spices in practically every dish we cook! Guided excursions will introduce you to the many herbs and spices growing in the region, such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon, chili, and turmeric. You can also take a cooking lesson to learn how to cook a traditional Sri Lankan dish. You will also get the chance to discover the culinary applications of these spices. Don’t forget to buy fresh spices to take back home from its shop.

Ravana Falls

Ravana water falls Ella

Ravana Falls, another one of the lesser-known Ella Sri Lanka attractions is full of myths and legends! According to folklore, King Ravana of Lanka hid Rama’s wife (Sita) in the cave behind this waterfall. The Ramayana, an Indian epic, tells this story beautifully. Ravana Falls Ella Sri Lanka is one of the widest waterfalls in the country. It is located around 6 kilometers from the Ella Railway Station. After your walk, you can have a leisurely swim in its refreshing waters to escape the heat! Travelers looking for adventure also enjoy climbing the neighboring rocks to take in the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Whatever you are looking for, make sure to visit the Ravana Falls during Sri Lanka’s wet season. This is because when it rains heavily, the cascading waters appear as an Areca flower with fading petals.

How to get to Ella Sri Lanka?

Train travel is one of the most convenient ways to get to Ella. The journey from Kandy to Ella is regarded as one of the most picturesque train rides in the entire world!

The Colombo to Ella train ticket price starts at around LKR 500, and the train ride takes about 11-12 hours (There are no direct routes so take the Colombo-Badulla train).

You can also take a bus from Colombo Bastian Mawatha Terminal to Kandy, and then the Kandy to Ella train from there (or a taxi if you don’t want to ride the train)!

Where to stay in Ella Sri Lanka?

There are three factors you should think about when searching for accommodation in Ella, Sri Lanka. You must decide on the budget limit, preferred diet, and proximity to attractions. (And if it has a good view if you want to enjoy nature!).

This is because Ella has an extensive range of accommodations, from affordable hostels and guest houses to luxury boutique hotels.

One of the best Ella Sri Lanka hotels is the 98 Acres Resort & Spa. The opulent eco-friendly Ella Sri Lanka 98-acre resort & spa is situated amidst the charming tea plantations of Ella. It combines the contemporary flair of its modern amenities with the appealing sensations of the mountains. So, it is one of the best places to stay in Ella Sri Lanka for couples as well!

You can also check out the EKHO Hotel Ella Sri Lanka. It is the most charming hotel Ella Sri Lanka has, with incredible views of the Ella Gap (also, with an outdoor jacuzzi!). You can even easily access Ella Sri Lanka activities like hiking, and trekking from here because it is located near the town.

Where to eat in Ella Sri Lanka?

Here is a list of the best places to eat in Ella:

CAFE CHILL restaurant in Ella
Cafe Chill Ella
  • Cafe Chill
  • Café UFO
  • Rainbow Café
  • Matey Hut
  • 360 Ella
  • Ice Cube Bar & Restaurant
  • Ak Ristoro
  • Jade Green

What are some travel tips for Ella Sri Lanka?

  • The best time to visit Ella is generally from December to March. This is because the weather is perfect for outdoor activities, with pleasant temperatures, little rain, and clear skies.
  • If you prefer smaller crowds and cheaper prices, think about visiting during the shoulder seasons of April-May or September-October. However, with the rainfall, hiking in Ella is not considered safe in the shoulder seasons.
  • Are you wondering how many days in Ella Sri Lanka you should stay? Well, that strictly depends on what you are planning to do in Ella. For example, if you are visiting all of the attractions mentioned in this blog post, then you should stay for 3-4 days. However, if you are not in for the hikes, you can just stay for 2 days in Ella.
  • The temperature in Ella ranges from 25°C to 16°C depending on the season you visit, so pack accordingly.
  • Pack lightweight items for the daytime, such as t-shirts and shorts. Cardigans and jackets will be useful in the evenings.
  • Don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes, socks, hats, sunscreen and insect repellents when you are traveling to Ella.
  • Try local Sri Lankan cuisine in Ella’s restaurants and homestays, including rice and curry, egg hoppers, string hoppers, milk rice, kottu, and roti.
  • Although Ella is generally safe for visitors, you should always take reasonable safety precautions. For instance, you should constantly take care of your belongings and never leave valuables like phones and laptops unattended, particularly at hotels.
  • After you are done with Ella, (assuming that you already visited Kandy), you can arrange for a wildlife safari in Udawalawe or Yala National Park.

Concluding thoughts…

Ella offers a piece of paradise in the very heart of Sri Lanka with its breathtaking scenery, tranquil tea estates, and a variety of outdoor adventures.

You can make the most of your trip to this picturesque location in Sri Lanka by considering the weather, duration of stay, packing needs, and best times to visit. There is also much more to Ella than what is included in this post, especially the local experiences!

So, prepare to embark on a chilly adventure and make lifelong memories in Ella on your next trip to Sri Lanka.