Sri Lanka’s Most Scenic Train Ride
In the heart of Sri Lanka, you’ll find one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train from Kandy to Ella is a beautiful 7-hour ride through lush tea plantations, rolling rice fields, and endless mountain views. Incredibly, it’s also one of the world’s best travel bargains.
Originally built in 1864 by the colonial British to transport tea from the hills to the capital city, the railway has since become a super affordable way to see the picturesque countryside. Today, the 94-mile train ride is the highlight of any visit to Sri Lanka.
One of many unforgettable things about the scenery is the intensity and variety of the color green. Everything here is green and lush, and much of the region is carpeted with the glowing green of the tea plantations. Tea needs a warm climate, altitude and sloping terrain to grow—a perfect description of the Hill Country—and today the region is virtually one big tea plantation.
Kandy itself is already worth the trip to the mountain region, luring you with an incomparable backdrop and true cultural treasures of Buddhism. Of particular importance is the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the “Temple of the Tooth Relic“. The relic has always been considered a sign of power, which in the past gave the owner control over the political life of Sri Lanka.
See our Kandy Guide plus the 12 Very Best Things To Do In Kandy
Nuwara Eliya or City of Light is the tea capital of Sri Lanka at an altitude of 1889 m and is the most visited hill station on the island.
Nuwara Eliya was found by a group of British officers during the earlier part of the 19th century, who as the story goes, had gotten lost while elephant hunting. The British governor at the time, Sir Edward Barnes, was told about this little town and subsequently decided to take residence there, soon creating a health resort, which soon became internationally renowned.
Nuwara Eliya is surrounded by a seemingly endless array of tea plantations populated by tea pickers who are almost exclusively Indian Tamils. The town center is a modern, busy city with markets, department stores, and fast food outlets but the outskirts are like a journey into the past.
Colonial villas, rose gardens, an 18-hole golf course, and country-club-styled hotels are the perfect backgrounds for an unforgettable stay.
Ella is a small village located among the peaks of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. This sleepy village is nestled in a valley peering straight through the Ella Gap to the plain nearly 1000m below and across to the coastline.
Apart from the mesmerizing natural views, ELLA is surrounded by hilly countryside perfect for walks; through tea plantations, waterfalls, ancient temples and artifacts. This hidden sanctuary with the perfect climate is probably one of the best-kept secrets of the country and is easily accessible from the comfort of your Ella resort.
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Sri Lanka Train Tour Itinerary
Airport – Colombo
Your driver will meet you at the airport or your hotel and continue to Colombo City. Depending on your time of arrival/pick-up you will enjoy a Colombo sightseeing tour (optional) or proceed directly to your hotel.
Overnight at a 3* Hotel in Colombo
Colombo – Train Ride – Kandy
After breakfast, you will be picked you up from your hotel and proceed to the Colombo Fort train station from where your journey by train to Kandy begins (please ask us for availability).
This train ride will take you by the famous Muthurajawela marshland, through villages and vast paddy fields.
Once in Kandy, our driver who will await you at the railway station takes you to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon.
Overnight at a 3* Hotel in Kandy
Kandy – Elephant Orphanage – Temple of the Tooth
In the morning you will visit Elephant Orphanage in Pinawella to watch around 80 elephants in their natural environments. Here you can feed the baby elephants from the milk bottle or even walk with them to their bath in the nearby river.
After lunch is time to explore the beauty of this Buddhist capital city with its famous and most important Temple of The Tooth, Peradeniya botanical garden, bazaars, batik factories, and gem museums.
Overnight at a 3* Hotel in Kandy
Kandy – Sigiriya – Dambulla – Kandy
After breakfast, you will proceed to Sigiriya by car to visit the Sigiriya, the ruins of an ancient palace in a 200m high rock fortress, overlooking the beautiful plains of North-Central Sri Lanka.
After the climb and perhaps a short elephant ride through the jungle around the rock you will visit another gem of Sri Lanka`s heritage, The Golden Temple in Dambulla which is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka spread over 5 caves with a total of 153 statues of Buddha.
Overnight at a 3* Hotel in Kandy
Kandy – Train Ride – Ella
The train journey from Kandy to Ella is the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka, if not in the world! Board the train and experience breathtaking views of lush green tea plantations, mountains, viaducts, valleys, and dense jungle. What’s more, it’s the perfect way to experience Sri Lankan life. Meet smiling locals on the train, wave to the running children along the tracks, and eat the spicy snacks sold by vendors who board at each stop. The route takes you through tea plantations, jungles, and mountains. As the journey goes on, you move into the lush green highlands, dotted with tea plantations, beautiful hilltop villages, and waterfalls.
Overnight at a 3* Hotel in Ella
Ella – end of train tour
Ella is a small village located among the peaks of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. This sleepy village is nestled in a valley peering straight through the Ella Gap to the plain nearly 1000m below and across to the coastline. Apart from the mesmerizing natural views, ELLA is surrounded by hilly countryside perfect for walks; through tea plantations, waterfalls, ancient temples, and artifacts. Depending on your travel plans, you can extend your stay with a tailor-made Beach Extension, continue with one of our other Sri Lanka Tour Packages.
2 pax usd 499 pp
4 pax usd 449 pp
6 pax usd 399 pp
- 6 Days Private Tour
- Hand-Picked Hotels
- Chauffeur Guide
- Train Tickets
- Safe & Secure Certified
- Fully Customizable
starting from US$ 399.-
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