Bandarawela, the second largest town in the Uva Province, is tucked away amidst the undulating, verdant fields of Sri Lanka’s tea country. Its high altitude means that it enjoys cooler weather which is a more comfortable for walking, trekking and cycling than other areas of the island. Whilst Bandarawela does not have many attractions in its own right, it offers beautiful scenery for walking and offers travelers the chance to get some respite and recuperation from the stress of everyday life.
However in proximity are Ravana Falls, where legend has it princess Sita was hidden (and rescued from), a mountainside cave; see the 16th century Bogoda bridge; explore the Dowa Temple, and go for uplifting hikes up Little Adam’s Peak or Ella Rock. The 16th century Bogoda Bridge close to Bandarawela is thought to be the oldest surviving wooden bridge in the world.
Tea tourism has been long-established in Sri Lanka and almost every tea factory offers a tea tour of some sort. The tours don’t take too long and can be done en route whilst you are travelling through the tea country. Your guide can help you pick out a suitable tea factory based on your route or preferences. Once in the tea factory, you would generally start out in the plantation itself to learn about how tea is cultivated, then visit the factory where ancient machines pre-dating the industrial revolution wither, roll and dry the tea. There is normally a little time at the end of the tour for a tea tasting, either of one specific type of tea or occasionally of the various specialties of that particular factory. Much like a wine tasting, a traditional tea tasting would involve drinking tea (without milk), swilling it
around the mouth to get the taste, and then spitting it out into a spittoon. A few tea factories stick to these traditional methods, although the spittoon
method is not so popular these days! Some of the larger tea factories can get extremely crowded with tourists, so do be prepared for the fact that this is a
very touristic experience, but entrance costs are usually nominal or free, and it’s definitely worth your time to pay a visit, even if only to get a chance to
see the antique machines at work. If you would prefer a slightly more private tailored experience, this can be arranged by your travel consultant.
Note : Tea factories are usually open from 10am to 5pm. Duration of the visit is approximately 30-40 minutes.
This experience will give you a real insight into the beauty and history of the picturesque Bandarawela and its surrounding area.
The day will begin early and you will travel to the nearby town of Ella where you will walk through tea plantations to Little Adam’s Peak. From here you get the most spectacular views. After a refreshment stop in one of the town’s cafes, we will take the one hour train ride to Badulla. You will experience the world- famous rail phenomenon, where the line does a complete loop around a hillside. We will have a picnic lunch on board and once in Badulla travel to the famous Dowa temple, which has a spectacular ancient standing Buddha carved into the rock face, as well as impressive decorated caves.
We will end the day with high tea at an atmospheric colonial hotel.
This is done as a full day activity.