Tag Archive for: Ella

During our trip in Sri Lanka we visited many beautiful places, but Ella was one of our top highlights. We spent only 4 nights there, which we thought was enough to explore the surroundings, but if time had allowed us, we would have stayed for sure much longer.


Ella (or Elle as the locals call it), has approximately 45.000 residents and is located at 1000m altitude, being surrounded by beautiful and infinite fields of tea plantations. We loved it from the moment we arrived there. Although Ella can be reached in different ways, by private or public transportation, most tourists arrive by train from Kandy, mostly after the trip with the train has been so much advertised due to the beautiful landscapes that can be seen on the way. We were curious to find out what all the fuss is about, so we bought train tickets for what we hoped would be a beautiful experience. And it was!


During the 6 hours long ride we could admire wide green tea plantations, villages and waterfalls. Unfortunately, getting tickets for this trip can be a very challenging experience and being trapped in a crowded carriage with no possibility to look outside is for sure nobody‘s desire. Many travelers mentioned that people go off and on the train often, mainly locals that travel short distances, so it is very possible to get a seat even if you were unlucky to find only 2nd or 3rd class tickets.


Where to stay

At the arrival in Ella, there is no need to worry about transportation. As in most places in Sri Lanka, tuk-tuks will be waiting outside the station to bring you to the accommodation. But, as most of the accommodations are located in the immediate vicinity, walking to your hostel or hotel is as easy as taking a tuk-tuk, but obviously cheaper.



The main part of Ella offers countless accommodation options, but we thought that it might be a good idea to spend the first night closer to the tee fields, at the Backpackers Paradise camp, where, for more than a reasonable price, we got to wake up in a comfy tent overlooking a small tea plantation. The host was very friendly and made our stay truly special.


Where to eat?

There are many restaurants and bars in Ella. The food is relatively expensive in comparison to Kandy or Colombo. We went always to small local restaurants and ate mainly vegetarian food, but we could definitely feel that we were in a touristic place. For those that don’t always feel the need to be in a fancy place and care also about their budget, you should know that there is a supermarket in the touristic area, which has a small restaurant inside where they serve fresh rice and curry at a reasonable price.

Anywhere in Ella, you will find fruits and vegetables and every Wednesday, there is a small market along the Ella Passara road where locals sell fresh food. Western food is also largely available.

Street food was our favorite. Rotis, samosas, fried Daal made it on our menu quite often, especially when we went for hikes and wanted to have a snack with us. A big tasty Roti with potatoes and a spicy filling can be purchased for as little as 50 – 100 lkr (less than 50 cents).

What to do in Ella?

Ella has many nice spots to explore. It is a hiker‘s paradise, be it either an experienced hiker or a regular tourist eager to conquer the Little Adam’s Peak or the Ella Rock.



We climbed both of them. The hikes were easy and pleasant and we were rewarded with spectacular views.

Little Adam’s Peak is more accessible, but it felt less crowded. What we enjoyed observing was the interest of the locals in maintaining the mountain clean and make it pleasant for everyone to climb it.


Ella Rock felt a bit more challenging due to the many routes leading to the top, but there are always villagers around willing to guide you (in return for a small fee, of course). For many locals, it became a sort of business guiding tourists to the top of the giant rock. Some tourists reported that they have been sent in wrong directions in order to find themselves lost after and later to be „saved“ by friendly locals that helped them find the way back. We found all the routes marked on our mobile app Maps.Me, so we declined any help and found the way easily.


Other highlights of our stay were visiting the Nine Arch Bridge and one of the Tea Factories in the area, where we learned about the process of producing quality tea and tasted from different types of tea.


Interested in visiting Ella? Find more inspiration in our gallery.