Hill Country

Head to the central highlands, take a deep breath and enjoy the cool fresh air while hiking hills and exploring emerald tea plantations. There are some heady mountain roads to climb to get there from Colombo or Kandy, but plenty of distractions en route.

Tea plantations
The Hill Country is filled with rows of tea plants and dotted with workers picking the leaves. For a sip of Sri Lanka, Rothschild’s living and working museum is an enlightening experience – and the tea tasting at the end refreshing in so many ways.

Nuwara Eliya
The highest town in Sri Lanka is known for its typically colonial hotels, strawberries and golf course. Nuwara Eliya really comes alive during Buddhist New Year with horse racing and parties. Boating, hiking, golfing, horse riding and visits to tea plantations are a must do when visiting this scenic hill station. It even has very frequent – and very British – showers of rain!

Adam’s Peak
It’s a tough trek to Adam’s Peak, and an early start of 3am to enjoy the breathtaking sunrise. But, the views are worth every knee-buckling step to the top. A good place to stay, or simply enjoy afternoon tea, is the Agar Tea Estate at the foot of the mountain.

Horton Plains
The best way to explore Sri Lanka’s highest plateau is by walking the 10km loop that takes in misty lakes, waterfalls and thick forests. The showstopper of the Plains is World’s End (a 3,700ft sheer drop that offers fabulous views of the tea estates below). Get there early morning or the view is often obscured by mist. Mountain bikes are readily available for hire, and there are plenty of tea plantation bungalows to rest weary feet.

One of the best ways to spend a morning in Ella is to tackle the short walk up to Little Adam’s Peak, which is a very gentle hike. Count on around two hours return, then head back into this backpacker town and dine like a king at Chill Cafe, home to hearty curries and delicious fish baked in banana leaves. Take the train to Ella from Nanu Oya near Nuwara Eliya, a stunning journey that winds past waterfalls and through neatly-clipped tea estates.

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