Introduction

Nuwara Eliya is an extremely picturesque city in Sri Lanka. The region in and around this city is mountainous and most of these mountains are used to grow Ceylon tea. It’s also resort town, and is a popular destination for foreigners and Sri Lankans alike.

Nuwara Eliyah still retains a good bit of pre-independence feel. There are buildings, such as the post office and the Queen’s Cottage, that have Dutch and English roots. Nuwara Eliyah is also known for horse riding, which you can see during a drive or walk through the city. If you have half a day or a day to spend in Nuwara Eliya, you can visit Victoria Park and the town square. Because we were short on time due to our driver getting incredibly lost for hours, we were unable to see more of the area.

Because Nuwara Eliya is a popular destination, there are a lot of options for accommodations, ranging from lower budget hotels to very pricey resorts. I stayed at the Queenswood Cottage (you can read my review of it), which is especially well-suited for families or traveling parties of 3-5 people and reasonably priced.
There’s not anything different to say about transportation into and around Nuwara Eliya that differs from the Transportation section in the Sri Lanka page.
Since Nuwara Eliya is a popular destination for foreigners visiting Sri Lanka, there’s a little more options for people with various diets and dietary restrictions. Prices are a little more expensive than Kandy or Colombo. Dinner entrées cost approximately USD 8-10.
Credit card acceptance is poor, though some hotels, especially ones that cater to foreigners accept credit cards.
Nuwara Eliya can get cold (or pleasant, depending on your preference), to 16C-25C in the winter.
Be mindful of the higher altitudes, and the colder climate.
I mentioned in the Sri Lanka page that Sri Lanka sunsets are pretty stunning. The road between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya has great vista points for viewing sunsets (see the pictures below), but anywhere in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and the surrounding areas should be great for watching the sunsets.
Teas: The mountains near and surrounding Nuwara Eliya is where Ceylon tea is grown. It’s very picturesque, and if you’re a fan of tea, you’re in for a treat. Ceylon tea is arguably the best in the world, and Sri Lanka is one of the leading tea leaf manufacturers in the world behind, India and China.

Teas growing higher up in the mountains are make for higher quality teas, and because of that, any real estate in that region that’s higher in elevation, is worth more than land situated lower in elevation.

Sites

Cost: The tours are free. Bluefield has complimentary samples on certain teas.

Hours: 9AM – 6PM, with last tour at least 15 minutes before closing.

Time for tours: Tours last around 15 to 20 minutes. Visitors have to meet at a designated point where the tea factory’s tour guide starts the tour.

Description:

Bluefield has tours around their facilities. Even if you’re not a fan of tea, seeing the entire process from the tea leaf picking (not part of the tour usually) to the leaf drying is pretty interesting, such as learning why typical black Ceylon tea turns orange. They talk about the other types of teas that they create, ranging from the inexpensive black teas to the silver teas that are at least USD 100 per gram.

There are actually many tea factories around Nuwara Eliya, but I recommend Bluefield because they have better tours, professional and friendly people, and complimentary tea sample (I know this because I had gone to a different tea factory - Mackwoods - before coming here). The tours include the machines running the processes that they describe and they are more knowledgeable and patient. They also have complimentary tea tasting (and a cafeteria, in case you want to have lunch or dinner).

Verdict: Worth it, if you go to the right factory (see reviews for more information), which is why I recommend Bluefield. Whichever tea factory you do go to, make sure that you can see the machines that are used in the tea leaves processing running, even on holidays.

Other Sites

You can visit Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak if you have time and if you like hiking. Adam’s Peak is a mountain that takes a few hours to hike. It has religious significance to Buddhists and Hindus, and local Christians and Muslims, and as such visits to the sacred mountain are considered pilgrimages.

Little Adam’s Peak doesn’t really take quite that long. It does offer stunning views, along with a small Buddha statue and local tea tasting opportunities.

 

Gallery

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