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Perched high in the misty hill country, Nuwara Eliya offers a refreshing respite from the baking heat of Sri Lanka’s coastline. Dubbed ‘Little England’, the city was once a popular bolthole for the British, and much of the old-world charm is still visible today. With its manicured rose gardens and mock-Tudor buildings, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a traditional English town (the cooler climate helps too). At the same time, all the elements of a typical Sri Lankan community are there - think hectic markets, grazing buffaloes, and an ever-present aroma of spicy cuisine.
Nuwara Eliya is also a gateway to the central highlands, a.k.a. Sri Lanka’s tea capital. With a plantation tour, you’ll get to see how the tea leaf is plucked and processed to make the perfect brew and admire the dreamy valley vistas. We don’t know about you, but we can’t think of anything better than enjoying a warm cuppa with a view.
When it comes to exploring the beautiful landscapes surrounding Nuwara Eliya, you’ve got a couple of options. The first is the iconic train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, offering the chance to see some of the most striking mountain landscapes Sri Lanka has to offer. The second is on foot. Hiking in the nearby national parks is the perfect way to spend some one-on-one time with nature - and trust us when we say the scenery will take your breath away.
Back in the city, you can easily while away the time mooching around the bustling streets and seeing the sights. Go for a relaxing stroll around Victoria Park and Gregory Lake, practice your putting skills at the golf club, or challenge the locals to a game of billiards at the legendary gentlemen’s club.
A unique blend of colonial heritage, picturesque topography and historic tea plantations makes Nuwara Eliya stand out from the crowd. After spending just a few hours in the city, you’ll soon understand why the British plantation pioneers fell in love with the place all those years ago. So what are you waiting for? Head up into the highlands and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
If you want to lap up all Nuwara Eliya has to offer, start with the Sri Lanka Classic base itinerary. Then, simply click on the Wildlife or Heritage button or select Nuwara Eliya using the interactive map. You can also add other destinations and experience packs to make sure you make the most of your trip. Check out our itinerary builder to find out more.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat, an action-packed adventure (or perhaps a bit of both?), Nuwara Eliya has it all.
Want to tailor your holiday around your own interests? Simply add an experience pack to your trip. Have a look at our Itinerary Builder to see what else you could be doing!
Imagine standing on the edge of the cliff, looking out across rolling valleys dotted with tiny tea plantations some 4,000 feet below. The aptly-named World’s End viewpoint is the most popular attraction in Horton Plains National Park - and it’s not difficult to see why. Trust us when we say the views really will take your breath away.Discover more
If you’re keen to find out more about what activities and experiences are on offer in Nuwara Eliya, why not take a look at our blogs? You’re bound to find some great insider tips and inspiration on what to do.
Despite its compact size, Sri Lanka has a rich variety of flora and fauna, making it one of the top safari destinations in Asia.
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