PEAKS & TROUGHS
A fitting destination for the wonderful train ride from Kandy, ELLA is one of the most appealing villages in Sri Lanka. It enjoys a suitably fantastic setting on the very edge of the Hill Country, nestled amongst rolling fields of tea and with views that stretch out across the plains and down towards the coast. Ella is firmly on the tourist map, and its single street of guesthouses and funky cafés can get busy at times, so it’s nice to get out of the village for a few hours if you can – the surrounding hills make great hiking country. The most rewarding easy walk is up LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK, a couple of kilometres southeast of Ella. To get there, take the turning opposite the Curd Shop (signed “Namunukula” and “Passara”) in central Ella and follow this road (the Ella–Passara Road) for just over 1km; as the road curves round to the left, you’ll see a sign pointing to the pathway (“Mini Adam’s Peak”) straight ahead, next to the Ella Flower Garden Resort. The walk takes in tea plantations and little villages and lasts around two hours in total, more if you linger at the top to admire the views through the Ella Gap and across to the much higher Ella Rock.
Given your surroundings, Ella is the perfect place to take a tea-factory tour. You can find out what goes into making the perfect brew at the UVA HALPEWATTE TEA FACTORY [open daily from 8am to 4pm | Rs.300, Rs.525 with tasting], 6km northwest of the village, where your guide will talk you through the whole tea-making process, from picking to packing, before leading you round the withering troughs, fermenting tables and other machinery. It’s actually much more interesting for kids than it might sound, especially if you visit in the morning, when the factory is in full operational mode. Afterwards, you can try and distinguish between the estate’s different grades and strengths in a tea-tasting session.
WHERE TO STAY
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From safari camps to beachfront villas – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Sri Lanka
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Thailand’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around
MORE AMAZING TRIPS
Eight days taking in Dubrovnik and the best of the Dalmatian coast
Eight days across Morocco, from spice souks to the Sahara