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Nuwara Eliya, tea plantations and an air of little England

Updated on 10.06.2018

When the English settlers arrived at Nuwara Eliya, they discovered a cool and humid climate that reminded them of their native England: they settled there and developed the culture of tea. Today the region of Nuwara Eliya is one of the world's leading exporters and the old colonial buildings give a certain charm to this town nestled in the heart of the mountains and nicknamed Little England.

Mackwoods tea plantation near Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

How to go to Nuwara Eliya

If you arrive in Nuwara Eliya by road from Kandy, you can quickly immerse yourself in the sublime scenery of perfectly manicured tea plantations covering every square meter of mountain. On the road, take a break for a few minutes at the Ramboda waterfalls.

From Kandy it is also possible to reach Nuwara Eliya by train.

Arriving from the South (or more likely leaving Nuwara Eliya) you will see beautiful mountain scenery with many vegetable crops. A large lake lined with beautiful homes announces the entry into the city. A tip: have a little wool and a raincoat on hand.

Tea plantations

The countryside around Nuwara Eliya offers many tea plantations to visit. We advise you to choose one according to your itinerary.

The Mackwoods tea plantation is convenient to visit because on the road connecting Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Admission is free but there is a mandatory guide for the visit (15 minutes) that should be thanked.

Colonial buildings

The short visit allows you to understand the drying process of the tea and the various preparations. Once picked by hand, the tea leaves will undergo 4 stages of processing: withering, roasting, rolling and drying. Then they will be classified, tasted, packed and shipped around the world.

The city center of Nuwara Eliya has retained its charm of yesteryear with many colonial buildings. Some of them have been converted into a guest house. Almost everywhere you will be offered for a small fee to light a chimney fire.

The tour ends with a free tea tasting, accompanied by a slice of chocolate cake sold at a ridiculous price. This is the opportunity to taste all the variety of teas produced and be sure of its choice when buying souvenirs in the adjoining shop.

The iconic buildings are the main post office and the Grand Hotel.

The city center can be visited very quickly. We advise you to spend the evening at Grand Hotel: its Thai restaurant (Grand Thai restaurant) is excellent in a very refined setting, with very sweet prices and a good wine list. Then direction the bar (it is said everywhere that a formal dress is mandatory but it seems little respected, but it does not seem to be stict in reality).

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