Nestled in the middle of Sri Lanka’s highlands is Ella, a quaint village of remarkable beauty and mild climate. Known to be one of the most beautiful destinations on the island, it is situated among lush green hills tea plantations and forests. On both sides, the village is bordered by huge mountains and at the front is the famous Ella Rock. You can hike up to the rock and it will take approximately four hours for the climb and decent. However, it is worth your while. When you get to a point called the Ella Gap, a space between the two sides of the rock, you can see plains that are nearly 1000 meters below. The view from here on a clear day is so stunning, you can see right across to the south coast of Sri Lanka. If you want an easier hike, you can opt for the view from Little Adam’s Peak, which is only 1.5 hours of climb with fewer steps.
Ella is where you find Ravana Ella – Sri Lanka’s widest waterfall and the Ravana Ella Cave. Legend has it that Ravana from the Indian epic Ramayana hid Sita here, after kidnapping her. 13km from Ella is Bandarawela, another destination similar to Nuwara Eliya with a cool and mild climate. It was another colonial base and is located among green forests, thus creating many opportunities for eco tourism. Attractions nearby include the Lipton’s Seat which has views that can compete with the ones at World’s End, Adisham Bungalow Catholic monastery, Nine Arches Bridge that connects Ella and Demodara railway stations, and Koslanda. Koslanda is another colonial town situated towards the south of Bandarawela. It has a similar climate to Bandarawela and more splendid scenery. Here you can find Sri Lanka’s second highest waterfall, Diyaluma.