5 Best Hill Country Destinations in Sri Lanka

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5 Best Hill Country Destinations in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is truly an extraordinary attraction of color, culture and exquisite tropical beauty. The island has much in the way of stunning landscapes, sumptuous sea food and ancient tradition that can be rivaled by few of the world’s famous holiday spots. Aside from great monuments, intimate beaches and romantic vistas, the island is also loved for its dreamy mountain escapes. Quiet and reclusive, or action-packed and feisty, you can find it all here at the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka. So come over; explore and enjoy the mountain magic of Asia’s sweetest trending holiday spot for yourself.

There’s nothing that says romance and adventure like a vacation in stunning misty mountain tops. To help you on your quest for that perfectly ethereal hillside bliss, take a look at our pick of the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka below

1. Ella

Ella is the ultimate sky-high recluse that will fulfill your soul’s desire for peace and intimacy. With abundant wildlife and lovely vistas to see, you’ll find every passing day in this tiny village to be a new adventure. Dawdle among the wild, bathe in hidden silver waterfalls and take your time to admire the perfect pristine beauty of a quiet hilltop paradise that seems to be lost in time. The village has a number of classy resorts where you can expect great hospitality and the finest of Sri Lankan culinary. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the infamous camera-ready views through the Ella Gap. There are also hikes to take, historical temples to admire and lots of nature to fall in love with here. An inspiring treat for the travel-weary wanderer, Ella is truly one of the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka. The more high-end guesthouses also offer great Ayurvedic treatments where you can simply take a break from it all.

2. Kandy

Yet another of the island’s fabulous hilltop sensations, Kandy is probably the largest draw in central Sri Lanka. The place is a hotbed of culture and religion, meaning you’ll see a lot of the famous traditional dances and other cultural sights that make Sri Lanka so unique. A beautiful city tinged with endless colors and tropical magic, Kandy is home to several of the island’s most fascinating attractions. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth here, housing a tooth of the revered Buddha is a must-visit destination with its gold-gilded roofs and pure white exteriors. This temple sees lesser visitors in the morning hours and you can easily find guides willing to show you around the place for a small fee. The Kandy Lake, just close by the temple is another fine spot for a relaxing walk. A treat to delight your senses, Kandy is definitely among the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka.  The city also has a number of interesting Hindu kovils, museums and religious centers that are worth a visit. The Ceylon Tea Museum and the National Museum here are both great spots to fill up on the city’s heritage while the monasteries and temples in the area provide a glance into the past of this grand capital.

3. Nuwara Eliya

Perhaps the sportiest and coolest of all the Sri Lanka’s hilltop temptations, Nuwara Eliya is always where the mountain action is at. The place is all the lovelier around March to April when the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is thrillingly perfect. This town is pretty much located right in the embrace of the island’s tea country hills, allowing for stunning views of the rolling emerald green plantations. The place enjoys a surge in tourism during the spring months when the horse racing action peaks along with the sports car racing that pumps up the local excitement. All in all, Nuwara Eliya is just one of the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka that you’ve just got to visit. The town sees fewer people during the months of November to February, when rain and cold mist are the norm. There’s still golf to play, great food to enjoy and quite a bit to explore in town. Finding a place to stay isn’t really that hard since Nuwara Eliya has any number of hotels available in town, from opulent colonial-styled accommodations to budget-friendly local guesthouses.

4. Horton Plains

Far off from the distraction of cities and towns, the quiet plateau of the Horton Plains is both dramatic and beautiful. An attraction rich in plant life and diverse animal species, the national park here ranks easily among the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka. The larger part of these plains comprise of mist-covered dense forests, large stretches of grassland and slow-lapping lakes. You can also see a smattering of sparkling silver waterfalls and even the occasional wild animal if you venture in far enough. Aside from all the exotic wildlife, the Horton Plains is more desired for the fantastic views that can be seen from where the plateau ends. Also known as the World’s End, this remarkable viewpoint allows you a stunning birds-eye view of the villages and tea plantations far below. Plan to be there in the early hours of the morning if you want the clearest possible visibility of the day.

5. Haputale

Too often overlooked by both local and foreign travelers, Haputale is a beautiful village found on the southern outskirts of the island’s hill country. The place is mostly occupied by Tamil locals, just the way it was during the British colonial era. Shimmering mists, picture-perfect views and pretty tea plantations are all part of the reason why Haputale is one of the best hill country destinations in Sri Lanka for you. There isn’t a lot to see in the slowly buzzing town center, but keep exploring along and you’ll be able to capture some truly phenomenal panoramas. A lot of the influence of the British rulers can still be felt in the area; the Anglican Church and the planter’s bungalows here are just a taste of what life looked like during the colonial ages. If you’re planning to visit, you’ll find a number of decent guesthouses that aren’t too pricey while being happy to arrange transport for tours close to town.


  1. […] spirituality, this is a destination that will leave with you a taste of tropical perfection. One of Sri Lanka’s lesser known attractions, the place is still a thriving center of culture, awing history and artistic vibes. Stunning […]

  2. […] Pada is a popular hit among both locals and tourists. You’ll find this hill in the island’s central highland regions. The climb is not too difficult; don’t rule out the possibility of sore limbs though! Up and down […]

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