Tea Country

Sri Lanka’s tea country is spectacularly beautiful. Misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, acres and acres of tea plantations dotted with colourfully clad ladies who pluck tea meticulously, are certainly unique to the region. The tea country’s charm is extended to its colonial heritage giving travellers a glimpse of a rich colonial past.

Seemingly endless miles of jade tea gardens that glimmer in the morning sun, punctuated by ladies in colourful saris carrying wicker baskets of tea leaves, is what you see first of Sri Lanka’s tea country. Mystical and fascinating and ready to capture every single travellers’ heart ,it is undoubtedly a breathtakingly beautiful area of the little island. Still, the tea country is not just about beauty, these hills produce some of the finest teas in the world. Sri Lanka is the third-largest tea exporter and produces orthodox tea with multi-layered flavour profiles using traditional methods including withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. The vast expanse of Sri Lanka’s tea gardens spreads throughout the foothills of the central highlands to the south of Sri Lanka. Varied climatic conditions including moderate to cooler temperatures produce high grown, mid grown and low grown teas that are distinctively different in flavour and quality.

Some of the best quality teas are grown 4000ft above sea level in the central highland including Nuwara Eliya, Hatton and Bandarawela. The beauty of the tea country is its unblemished nature. Surrounded by sprawling mountains, cascading waterfalls and verdant tea gardens, the tea country appears more like its own country. Powdery Angel Trumpet flowers sway in the fresh mountain air while locals go about their daily activities at a leisurely pace. The main highlight of the tea country is the opportunity to enjoy a stay in the tea gardens. Waking up to catch a glimpse of ladies effortlessly plucking the freshest of the tea leaves and to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Ceylon tea tucked away in a cosy stay is pure luxury. There is a number of upmarket and midrange boutique accommodation where you can enjoy this unique atmosphere.

They are almost always restored plantation bungalows with thick stone walls, traditional colonial styles and designs, warm fireplaces and some of the finest hospitality including butler service to pamper your every need and delicious continental and local cuisine. Splurging in the tea country is money well spent, and options are not limited. Three days in the tea country is perfect for sheer indulgence. A stroll in the tea gardens to take a closer look at how the fresh tea buds are hand-picked and a visit to the tea factory where traditional processes and equipment tirelessly work to make world class tea, are the biggest highlights in the tea country. However, the tea country has its own subtle charms including a large array of beautiful waterfalls, tiered vegetable patches, a range of flowers of all pastel shades blossoming effortlessly and some unique wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

One of the most interesting aspects of the tea country is the scenic train ride that stretch across from the foothills to the rest of the highlands. These railway lines were built by the British to support the tea production. As a result, it covers a large and interesting terrain. It is also the most popular way of commuting for locals and travellers alike while being credited as one of Asia’s most scenic train rides. The average temperature in the tea country is around 15°C – 18°C although it may slightly differ from place-to-place. The nights are cooler while the days are warmer and it rains throughout the year. The most popular areas for a tea country stay include Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Bandarawela and Ella as these areas have the best of accommodation and are easily reached by road or train. Read more about Ella here.


Here are sample itineraries featuring Sri Lanka’s tea country. Click below to read more about things to do and accommodation in the tea country of Sri Lanka or get in touch to receive a detailed, tailor made itinerary for your Sri Lanka holiday.


Booked a holiday stop over in Sri Lanka and was very happy with the trip, the unbound team helped me organise a custom tour around the island with a driver and amazing hotels. They followed up before the flight and helped us with all the guidance we could need. And upon landing our driver Nuwan was fantastic, super knowledgeable and a super experienced guide. We stayed in a tea plantation overlooking Kandy and it was nothing short of magical. They had a local contact follow up with us twice to make sure were ok and had everything planned for. We had a good mix of tourist attractions lined up but also were able to make decisions on the fly and stop for fresh coconut milk on the roadside (which was super authentic)! Would recommend Lincoln, Savanthi and the team to anyone wanting a stress free trip curated for a comfortable guided tour of beautiful Sri Lanka. Sean Rodrigo – Jan 20