Ella is a small town in the Sri Lankan hill country, very popular with tourists, ever during low season. There is one main road that runs through the town which is completely tourist orientated, there are bars and restaurants lining each side selling everything from rice and curry to Italian and Mexican.
Things to do in Ella:
Little Adam's Peak – this is the main reason people visit Ella, the hike to the top and back takes about 2 hours, there are some steps but it's a fairly easy hike. The view from the top is better on a clear day. This was my favourite thing to do in Ella.
9 Arch Bridge – a super easy walk along the train tracks,it's completely flat and only takes about 1 hour 30 minutes round trip. Check the train time table to see what time the train will be passing over the bridge (about 5 minutes before it's due to arrive at Ella. We missed it by about 1 minute!!!!) for the best photos.
Ella Gap – stay on the main road and head down hill, there are a few good lookout points for photos etc. You only need about 30 minuted but the walk back can be tough in midday heat.
Ravana Falls (or Rawana Falls, Google maps shows both spellings!) – you will pass this on the bus from Tissa, if your coming from Ella, you could walk there but probably take the bus backup hill. The water is better during rainy season and we saw people swimming in the pool below.
Newburgh's Green Tea Factory – We visited on a Sunday which is a non-production day so we didn't get to see the factory in operation, although it would have usually cost Rs500/pp for a guided tour. We still had plenty of free samples in the gift shop though. :)
After all that walking, there are plenty of places on the Main Street where you can get a foot massage.
I wish we had a few extra days in Ella, there is still so much we didn't get a chance to see.
Where To Eat:
We had about 4 different Roti's from about 4 different places, there were all great. For a proper meal, the chill out cafe was perfect, try the 10 curries in a banana leaf. On a Saturday night the top floor also turns into a nightclub.
We took the 06:30 bus direct from Tissa bus station, we asked as the information stand the day before, and apparently it's the only direct bus to Ella, it runs every day and gets busy. Travel time is about 3 hours and costs Rs160/pp, the scenery provides entertainment throughout the trip.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the Rowana Holiday Resort, the first floor has been renovated and the rooms are really nice, the second floor is still very basic, budget accommodation. The view of Ella Gap from the top floor shared balcony is incredible.