AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Sri Lanka's Hill Country Overview

Enjoy a tour through misty mountain peaks, picturesque waterfalls, and sprawling tea estates in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. Visit National Parks and Nature Reserves and go on scenic train journeys through spectacular scenery.

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Kandy

Arrive and transfer by car to Kandy.

Kandy - the World Heritage Site is the last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy centred around The Temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha.

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of this small lakeside town, cradled among the misty hills. In the evening, step to the beat of the traditional music and drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture. Overnight in Kandy.

Distance and journey time: 101 km, 3 hrs

Day 2: Visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary

First developed as a pleasure garden under royalty and later harmonized by the British, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya is a 147-acre bliss of an experience, passing well- tended lawns, pavilions, and an octagon conservatory. Do not miss the orchid house & giant Java fig tree.

On completion of the visit, proceed to Pinnawala to visit the Elephant Sanctuary.

Overnight in Kandy

Day 3: Travel from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

In the morning transfer to Kandy train station for a train ride to Nanu Oya

On arrival at Nanu Oya, meet your driver and transfer to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light - once governed by English & Scottish planters - is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breath-taking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Drive through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright coloured saris. Or rent a bike for a gentle ride along the banks splashed by the waters of Lake Gregory.

Overnight in Nuwara Eliya.

Distance and journey times:

Kandy to Nanu Oya by train: 4.30 hrs

Nanu Oya to Nuwara Eliya: 15 mins by car

Day 4: Day trip to Horton Plains

Horton Plains, UNESCO World Heritage Site, trekking paradise & Eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle, painted with unending stretches of green pastures marks one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7000ft, the plateau sweeps to a robust 3169 hectares sheltering flora and fauna varieties that may be found nowhere else on earth. As the tributary of Belihul Oya - Bakers Falls – thunders down rocks head along the 9km trekking path - across the frost-covered grass - to feel the icy-cold wind against your face. You may even gaze down World's End, a head-spinning 3700ft drop towards the Southern end or drive carefully through herds of sambar deer, shy to human touch & birdlife chirping across the plains. If you're cautious enough you may be greeted by the sights of a grunting wild boar, a pouncing fishing cat, otters or even the 'Spotted-Ghost that haunts the plains', the Sri Lankan Leopard!

Distance and journey time: 29 km, 1 hr each way

Day 5: Travel to Ella

In the afternoon proceed to Nanu Oya Railway station to board a train bound for Ella This will be 2-hour scenic train journey.

Upon arriving at Ella railway station, you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight.

A quaint hillside village offering the most amazing view in all of Sri Lanka, Ella is ideal for leisurely treks. Trudge through tea plantations, temple sites and waterfalls through the day. Welcome the night with clear skies, twinkling stars and the distant glow of lighthouses in the Southern Coast. Though there are just a handful of guesthouses and hotels here, Sri Lankans warm and friendly signature hospitality is more than available at every place.

Distance and journey times:

Nanu Oya to Ella by train: 62 km, 2 hrs

Ella Railway Station to town: around 5 minutes

Day 6: Travel to Colombo / Airport

Depart for Colombo for some shopping time or transfer straight to the airport for your departure. Why not extend your tour to relax in some of the fabulous beach resorts that Sri Lanka offers?

Distance and journey time: 206 km, 6 hrs

Find out more about the A tour of Sri Lanka's Hill count