2016 Nov 13
by Ridmi Upeksha
Located approximately 200 kilometres east from Colombo is an endearing small village surrounded by mountains in the middle of Sri Lanka. Ella is truly a spectacular and remarkable destination to vacation at. May it be a holiday to take a break from your busy everyday routines, or an adventure taken to feel the adrenaline rush in your body, Ella is without a doubt the ideal location. There are a number of activities you can do, varying from riding on mountain bikes to hiking and to visiting breathtaking and scenic areas.
For the Adventurer in you
Little Adam’s Peak
Shaped similar to the well known Adam’s Peak in the districts of Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya, Little Adam’s Peak is must-visit for those of you who are looking to hike and start off your vacation. On your way to the top you will be surrounded by the breath taking views of the other mountains around, the vast valley below & Ravana Falls. Little Adam’s Peak is a shorter & an easier climb compared to Ella Rock, so if wish to climb something easier you should definitely add Little Adam’s Peak to your list. If you are lucky, you will be able to see the south coast of Sri Lanka on a good sunny day and later, a mesmerising colour change of the sky at dusk. It won’t take you too long to climb to the top, and going with a few friends is advisable because fun & adventure feels much more significant when it’s a shared effort!
If you are into some serious hiking and trekking, here’s your chance to give yourself a thrill. It might be a piece of cake for advanced hikers, but for beginners, Ella Rock will be an unforgettable climb. There are a few tracks to walk through to reach the top, so if you think you are up for excitement and adventure – you can get some alone time and find your way up to the top without a problem. Pen down your hiking plans for early mornings to enjoy an astounding panoramic view stretching out hundreds of kilometres without having to worry about the heat, bugs or darkness!
Off road MTB rides
Ella is also very popular for off road mountain bike rides, so if you are into cycling, ask a few locals how to get to where you need to go. But you might have to buy your gear from Colombo. Here are a few places you could buy MTB items from :
- Gekko Trekko (PVT) LTD : 255, D.N.M. Perera Mawatha, Cotta Road, Colombo – 08
- Open Road Equipe : 3, Fife Road, Colombo – 05
Ella Spice Garden
If you are enthused by exposure to different cultures and their ways, here is a fun way to do that while learning a few tricks while cooking. Here is where you can find all your favourite spice trees in one place. You can explore and even join the local chef at the Ella Spice Garden, who’ll share the secret ways of authentic Sri Lankan cooking styles with you. Don’t miss out on the Ella Spice Garden if you are planning to spend your holiday in Ella.
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge
Locally known as ‘Aarukku Paalama‘, Demodara Nine Arch Bridge is undoubtedly a magnificent miracle entirely built by humans. A bridge made out of brick, rock and cement without the use of a single piece of steel shows the courage and hard work of the locals who stepped up in 1921 to built it.
Vacationers, this is for you!
According to TripAdvisor, the top three places to vacation at Ella are;
98 Acres Resort & Spa
If all you desire is to lie down and to let yourself go, you should make a reservation at 98 Acres Resort & Spa, because they’ve got the best view and the right amount of comfort that you need to do that. The restaurant located on higher ground will give you a view you can’t comprehend while dining. This is another reason why you must drop in at 98 acres hotel & spa because eating with such views isn’t on your usual day to day lifestyle.
The Secret Ella
This beauty of a place boasts of an enchanting 10 acre tea estate that provides a perfect home away from home. Unique amongst hotels in Ella for being the locales first ever planter’s bungalow resort, The Secret Ella overlooks the famed Nine Arch Bridge and mixes tradition with luxury comforts that evoke an old world charm.
The Mountain Heavens, Ella
This is the only hotel with a view focused on the legendary Ella Gap, situated between Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock. Major attractions of Ella are not only visible from this hotel, but are also within walking distance. The Mountain Heavens, Ella is also a place ideal for a good ol’ family vacation. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished for your comfort. The restaurant and bar is a welcoming and warm atmosphere for fine dining and easy relaxation, with enchanting of the Ella Gap. There are also perfect locations for you to have an old fashioned and homely picnic, coupled with the breathtaking sights that Ella has to offer.