How to Make the Most of Your Stay in Nuwara Eliya
Tipped to be one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic quarters, Nuwara Eliya is not merely the tea plantation capital of the island nation. Home to some of the country’s finest natural wonders and botanical spaces, the area surrounded by misty mountains is a popular getaway for locals as well as tourists hoping to escape the heat of Colombo. Regardless of the duration of your stay in Nuwara Eliya, here are some tips on how to make your visit to the area an engaging experience.
1. Secure a Strategic Hotel
Travellers who wish to make the most of their time in Nuwara Eliya must first look into securing accommodation in Nuwara Eliya which provides easy access to key sights around the city. Regardless of the number of days available on the vacation, a well-situated rest can help visitors explore more of the mountainous region and take part in more activities due to the short transfer times and other conveniences. Whether you select a five-star resort, a Yoho Bed or other budget accommodation options, make sure the venue is centrally located so you can capitalize on the time available for sightseeing activities.
2. Tour a Tea Factory
Often regarded as a must-experience activity for all travellers heading to the hillside in Sri Lanka, no visit to Nuwara Eliya would be complete without a tour of its famous tea factories. With tea estates covering literally every inch of the region, the area’s heritage as one of the country’s leading tea growing regions is unmistakable. Whether it’s the Pedro Tea Estate, the Labookellie Tea Factory or any other, touring the confines of a functioning tea factory is a fascinating experience. Not only can one learn of the complex processes of creating Ceylon Tea but also purchase some fine Sri Lankan tea from the factory tea shops.
3. Explore the Hakgala Botanical Gardens
As the second largest botanical space in all of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya’s Hakgala Botanical Gardens is somewhat of an icon when it comes to horticultural attractions in the hills. Set at an altitude exceeding 5000 feet, the Hakgala Botanical Gardens also holds the global record for the highest placed botanical garden. Home to centuries-old Monetary Cypress trees as well as Himalayan Pines and Japanese Cedars the breathtaking blooms of a thousand hues occupying the verdant confines of this sprawling patch of green makes it a must-visit highlight for nature lovers.
4. Discover the Moon Plains
Dubbed as ‘Sandathenna’ in the local tongue, this lush plain is surrounded by a forest enclosures, farmlands and tea plantations. Known as The Moon Plain, it is not only a breathtaking locale but also the ideal place for a relaxing evening as the extensive greenland is more akin to the Scottish moorlands than a location in a tropical paradise the likes of Sri Lanka.
5. Explore Waterfalls
Nuwara Eliya is also renowned as a destination with a high concentration of exquisite waterfalls. The cascades form an integral part of the landscapes of Nuwara Eliya and add to the natural beauty of this verdant corner of the island. Some of the must-visit highlights in terms of waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya include St. Clare’s Waterfall or the Laxapana Falls. A whopping 129m in height the waterfall is a breathtaking sight to behold while the Devon Falls is no less attractive. The Lover’s Leap Waterfall, on the other hand, is the subject of many a local legend as a fateful couple is known to have leaped to their deaths at the venue.
6. Enjoy Lake Gregory
Often regarded as the Nuwara Eliya town’s chief recreational hotspot, Lake Gregory provides a wide variety of activities for tourists. From enjoying paddle boating activities to engaging in pony rides and evening strolls along the walkways bordering the lake, the venue also provides engaging boar rides for families and group travellers.
7. Shop at Bale Bazaar
What’s a Nuwara Eliya vacation without a local shopping experience? Visit the Bale Bazaar or Winter Market as it is widely known for the best deals in winter clothing. The high-quality jackets, coats, gloves, mittens and head covers are so coveted that locals living in other regions around the country make the drive to the Bale Bazaar just to purchase winter wear.