The hill country season will start from April and here is an insight into this beautiful area so that you can plan your holiday ahead of time. Escape from the sultry days of the tropics to the cool climes of the hilly stations and enjoy best of both worlds. In places like Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Bandarawela and Hatton you can explore the velvety landscapes, abundance of tea clad mountains, and the many offerings of the season without sparing a drop of sweat.
Nuwara Eliya, with its hackneyed reference ‘Little England’, is the island’s coolest region at altitudes of over 6,000ft. Its landscape bears the highest mountain, Piduruthalagala and this time of the year is the beginning of the Nuwara Eliya season, with the flowers starting to bloom reaching its peak in April and the climate is pleasantly chilly instead of the high winds and biting cold. Aside from the upcoming horse racing tournament that is the main event of the season, you can visit the popular Victoria Park to enjoy the park atmosphere amidst the flowers in bloom. Another popular attraction within the town is Lake Gregory where you can take out a boat to explore the scenery. Outside of town you can get acquainted with the migrant and endemic birds at the Galway Sanctuary, go trekking through the stunning landscapes of Horton Plains, or discover the beautiful waterfalls such as St Clair’s and Devon. You can also journey to the border of the district to the Pattipola station, set in a mystic mist laden setting it is believed to be the railway station at the highest summit in the country.
Hatton is a simple town within the Nuwara Eliya District with its landscape dominated by the hilly tea plantations affording enjoyable views as you travel. You can take this a step further and indulge in a tea trail offered by the holiday bungalows and enjoy breathtaking excursion through lush plantations. The hauntingly beautiful Castlereigh reservoir with its large collected water span is another breathtaking site in this small town. Hatton also offers a route to the famous pilgrimage site, Adam’s peak for a more adventurous trek.
About 250km away from Colombo is the picturesque hamlet of Ella in the Badulla district in all its hill country charm. It draws attention for sites associated with the legendary tale of the Ramayanaya, including the Ravana Ella, and Ravana cave. One of the highlights of visiting Ella is the Ella Gap that affords one of the most breathtaking views of the terrain after a hike up the Ella Rock. The other attractions of Ella include the Ravana Cave and temple (3km from the town) and Mini Adam's Peak (2km from the town). Today, this little town has become very popular among tourists and catering to this demand, many hotels and guesthouses have been established to provide accommodation. If you haapen to visit, trekking is a great way to explore but you can also plan easy going excursions such as walks through tea plantations and encounter waterfalls along the way.
A large town in the Badulla District, Bandarawela is often on the itinerary of excursions to the hill country. There are many quaint little bungalows and rest houses to stop over for a meal while enjoying the garden settings they are usually established in. There are many ancient temples to explore in and around the region in particular the Dowa temple that is believed to be over 2,000 years old,with complete stone sculptures and vibrant murals. For some colonial history you can visit St Anthony’s church and its beautiful gardens or journey further to Haputale to visit the Adisham bungalow, a beautiful colonial style country house.