Sitting beautifully in the central hills of Sri Lanka, the experiences you can have in Nuwara Eliya (නුවර එළිය) are simply amazing. You’ll be rewarded with many things related to pristine nature that you’ll cherish for a lifetime!
Rich plantations, green mountains, and rolling hills surround gorgeous Nuwara Eliya. But those are not the only things that will keep you entertained during your stay here. You can visit beautiful waterfalls, visit tea factories and enjoy fresh Ceylon tea, go pony riding, play golf, enjoy boat rides, and many more exciting things in this mystical place.
So, let’s learn more about this misty area and what you can do without getting bored!
Is Nuwara Eliya Really Worth Visiting?
This gorgeous region is plentiful, with significant landmarks that mark a special place in the country’s legacy. Most waterfalls on the island are located in Nuwara Eliya, and it is also the country’s major tea producer and capital of strawberry farming.
The climate in Nuwara Eliya is very different compared to other places in the country. It is soothing and refreshing, with an environment similar to England. The town gives a different vibe with old yet reformed colonial-style buildings. There are many exhilarating activities to do here, and you will have many places to explore for a unique experience!
Amazing Experiences In Nuwara Eliya
Indulge in some of the best experiences you have during your stay in Sri Lanka once you visit Nuwara Eliya. It is a place more than it seems to be. Here’s a list of things you can do to take home some wonderful memories throughout your stay here!
Wander The Town
Nuwara Eliya town is quite different from other towns in the country. Check out the fruit market and central market to buy fresh fruits and upcountry vegetables straight from the fields. The Bale Bazar sells quality clothing such as knitted jackets, jerseys, blankets, t-shirts, etc.
Stop by the eateries in the town and check out the sweet shops and Dosa shops that will give you a unique Indian vibe. Hot Dosa straight from the Tava, along with drooling Sambar and Sambal, accompanied by a milk coffee or tea, will be a next-level taste of your life.
There are also other restaurants where you can try out authentic Sri Lankan menus and international food like pizza and burgers. Visit the post office to witness its colonial beauty, and you can even get some great captures to be added to your travel journal!
Head Out To The Gregory Lake
Gregory Lake is located a few minutes away from the Nuwara Eliya town. You can go on a boat ride in normal and speed boats. In addition, you can also go horse and pony riding or rent a mountain bike and ride along the lake trail to enjoy the beauty of charming Nuwara Eliya.
Sit on the grass border and unwind while your kids have plenty of space to play around. Do not forget to check out the little food stalls to enjoy all kinds of exciting snacks, ice cream, beverages, etc. You can spend some quality time here, and the fun could be doubled if you visit during April since Lake Park often hosts seasonal activities.
Go Sightseeing For An Unforgettable Experience!
Nuwara Eliya has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Therefore, you will have endless places for sightseeing and capture some great shots in your travel gallery.
You can start from the waterfalls around the area. Here’s a list of waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya that you should be seeing:
- Devon Falls
- St.Clair’s Falls
- Lovers Leap Falls
- Rawana Ella Falls
- Bakers Falls
- Glen Falls
- Bomburu Ella Falls
- Kolapathana Waterfall
- Galaboda Falls
- Nanu-Oya Falls
- Laxapana Falls
- Dunsinane Falls
- Ramboda Falls
Some of them are located a few miles away from Nuwara Eliya town, but they are worth your time! However, we suggest you take the help of a tour guide to see these waterfalls as they will take you to every fall you should see. Some places like Lovers Leap take a little hike to reach, so a tour guide’s assistance will greatly help you.
Moon Plains (Sandathenna, Nuwara Eliya)
Moon Plains in Nuwara Eliya is the latest tourist attraction, especially for those who love sightseeing. Here, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree panoramic view of the surroundings. This is a magical place where you will be taken on a jeep safari to the top of the moon plains.
This richly diverse area is recorded to have over a hundred different species of flora and fauna, along with some mammals roaming in their natural habitat. You’ll find wonderful upcountry veggie cultivation here, where you can buy fresh vegetables straight from the field. You’ll find the viewing platform built on a high valley where you will spot nine mountains on a clear day.
Pidurutalagala, also known as Mount Pedro, is the tallest mountain in the country. This mountain peak also serves as the base for the radar system of the Sri Lankan armed forces.
You can still visit this extremely sensitive area but should be obliged to the high-security rules. You are not allowed to click photos or videography in this area, and you must prove your identification to enter this zone.
You’ll enjoy the breathtaking views of the surroundings from the top of the hill while you can also refresh at the small cafe run by the Sri Lankan military. There are a few significant monuments that you should see, making it an inspirational tour of this area.
Indulge In High-tea At Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya
There is a reason we specifically mention that you should have a high-tea experience in this particular hotel. Heritage Grand, or Grand Hotel, is one of the most unique places in Nuwara Eliya since it has a proud history of over 200 years in Sri Lankan history.
It is the only colonial hotel in this area where you can have an extravagant evening with your loved ones. They always host a grandeur high-tea for its visitors even if you are not staying there. You can take a visit to this beautiful establishment, enjoy its colonial charm, and even click photos to add up to your Sri Lankan trip gallery.
Visit Strawberry Gardens and Ambewela Farm
Two of the major strawberry gardens are located about 30 minutes away from Nuwara Eliya town. These gardens are very interesting places to visit, especially during the strawberry season. Visitors are allowed to pluck their strawberries, and even a tractor tour around the farms can be arranged.
The surrounding provides a perfect backdrop for photographers who are enthusiastic about the rare charm of Nuwara Eliya. Some of these gardens also have small attached shops where they sell fresh strawberries, juice, jam, and other strawberry-based products.
The next stop should be at the Ambewela farm, which is also known as “Little New Zealand.” The lush grasslands with grazing cows will run to infinity, creating such a serene, breathtaking view.
You will have to take a pretty long walk up to the farm and even get to see the process of milking cows. You can buy their dairy products at their shop located inside the farm while enjoying yogurt or a refreshing milk tea made out of fresh milk.
Enjoy The Beauty Of Hakgala Garden
Being the second largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, Hakgala Garden is an enchanting place to explore in Nuwara Eliya. This beautiful garden is enriched with unique biodiversity where rare plant and animal species coexist.
It is divided into several parts, sectioning into different plant species. You’ll find endemic orchids, roses, ferns, cacti, etc., along with pretty butterflies and birds.
You’ll take around two hours to explore the garden, and the facility of moving around in a golf cart can be arranged. This place is also one of the many places in Sri Lanka that are closely linked with the Ramayana, which is known as the “Ashok Vatika” in the epic itself.
Seek Blessing At A Magnificent Hindu Temple
Seetha Amman Hindu Temple
Nuwara Eliya has two significant Hindu Temples associated with the ancient Hindu legend, Ramayana. One of them is located a few miles away from the central city of Nuwara Eliya, which is known as the Seetha Amman Hindu Temple.
This is truly an exquisite place with magnificent art and sculpture. Behind the temple, you find the cascading stream where you can reach down and touch the unimaginable coldness of its water.
Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple
The next site is located about 18 miles north of Nuwara Eliya City. Lying elegantly on top of a hill in Ramboda, this Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple is one of the most important Hindu shrines in the country.
Inside the temple is a giant statue of Lord Hanuman, where hundreds of Hindu devotees gather to seek blessings. From the top of this picturesque hill, you will catch mesmerizing views of Kotmale Reservoir and the surrounding areas.
Visit Tea Gardens and Tea Factories
It doesn’t mean that you should visit all the tea gardens and tea factories to get this unique experience. You can choose one or two leading tea factories to have this incredible tea adventure. When visiting the tea estates, you can even join the tea pluckers and engage in the fun activity of tea plucking.
Exploring major tea factories around this area will allow you to witness how premium Ceylon tea is processed. Some factories even offer their visitors freshly brewed tea for refreshment. That visit to a tea factory is a must-have experience during your stay in Nuwara Eliya.
Here are some of the tea factories that you can check out:
- Pedro Tea Estate
- Blue Field Tea factory
- Damro Labookellie Tea Estate
- Dambatenne Tea Factory
- Oak Ray Tea Factory and Museum
- Mlesna Tea Castle
Nearby Experiences For More Excitement…
Once you’re done doing and seeing everything around Nuwara Eliya, you can move out to nearby places for more interesting activities.
Horton Plains is another special place in Sri Lanka renowned for its amazing location. This highly reserved park is rich in biodiversity with diverse species of flora and fauna. You can reach here within an hour and experience the wonder of nature in the country.
Popularly known as Sri Pada among the locals, this is one of the famous pilgrimage sites in the country. You can take an adventurous hike to the top of this hill and witness the religious sites and the breathtaking view. It will take around two hours to reach Adam’s Peak from Nuwara Eliya, and you might take a few hours to complete the hike.
It’ll take only a one-hour drive from Nuwara Eliya to reach Ella. This area is known for its breathtaking views, hikes, beautiful water bodies, and many other adventure sports.
Concluding With The Beauty Of Nuwara Eliya…
With various attractions, from waterfalls to tea gardens, and gorgeous landscapes, you have plenty of things to do in Nuwara Eliya, which go beyond your expectations. An unforgettable high-tea evening at an elegant colonial hotel, sightseeing at Moon Plains, and visiting strawberries are only some of the wonderful experiences you can have here.