The sublime green heights of the hill country are a world away from the sweltering coastal lowlands – indeed nothing encapsulates the scenic diversity of Sri Lanka as much as the journey by road or rail to the cool altitudes of Haputale or Nuwara Eliya.
 
 

The  hill country is largely a product of the British colonial era, when tea was introduced to the island, an industry which continues to shape the economy and scenery of the region today.  At the heart of the tea-growing uplands lies the town of Nuwara Eliya, which preserves a few quaint traces of its British colonial heritage and provides the best base for visiting the misty grasslands of Horton Plains and World’s End.

To the south, a string of small towns and villages – Ella, Bandarawela and Haputale – offer marvellous views and walks through the hills and tea plantations. At the southwestern corner of the hill country lies the town of Ratnapura, the island’s gem-mining centre, Uda Walawe National Park, home to one of the island’s largest elephant populations, and Adam’s Peak, whose rugged summit, imprinted with what is claimed to be the Buddha’s footprint, remains an object of pilgrimage for devotees of all four of the island’s principal religions.

DON't miss

 
 

sights in the hill country

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HAPUTALE

One of the most spectacularly situated of all Sri Lankan towns, Haputale is perched dramatically on the crest of a ridge at the southern edge of the hill country with bird’s-eye views in both directions... READ MORE >

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Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka's highest town, Nuwara Eliya lies at the heart of the southern hill country, and is considered to be the most important location for tea production, with its picturesque landscape and temperate climate... READ MORE >

Hortain Plains & world's EnD

Perched on the edge of the hill country, Horton Plains National Park covers a wild stretch of misty and rainswept grassland. The park offers some excellent hikes, including the famous World’s End... Read more >

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ELLA

Ella is a small idyllic backpacker-hub on the southern edge of Sri Lanka's Hill Country. The village’s biggest attraction is the breathtaking view through the narrow cleft in the hills, the so-called Ella Gap... READ MORE >

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Knuckles mountain range

The terrain of grasslands, rugged mountain peaks interspersed with streams and cascading waterfalls make Knuckles Mountain Range that covers an area of 18512 hectares, a trekker’s paradise... READ MORE >

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ADAMS PEAK

Located in a beautiful area of the southern Hill Country, the soaring summit of Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1,000 years, thanks to a strange impression on the bare rock at its summit... READ MORE >