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A world away from the dusty plains and sunny beaches lies Sri Lanka’s breathtaking tea country. Stretching through the midsection of the island, the region is famed for its rolling hills cloaked glimmering emerald tea fields and misty mountain ranges.
You’ll enjoy the cooler climate while exploring the contoured rows of tea fields, dotted with women deftly plucking leaves, baskets hung across their backs. This is one of the few places left in the world where tea harvesting is still done by hand.
Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is also the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. The first tea plantations were established in Kandy by colonial Britain in the 1860s, and you’ll begin your exploration of tea country in this hillside city.
You’ll then travel through winding lush scenery, strewn with banana palms, trumpet flowers and chattering monkeys swinging through trees. The tropical rainforest gives way to an expanse of glistening tea fields, veiled in an ethereal mist.
Arriving in Hatton, the epicentre of Sri Lanka’s tea production, you’ll visit a tea factory and meet with a resident planter. Learn how the 1865 coffee blight impacted the classic British cuppa, when Ceylon’s plantations were devastated, and the pioneering planters decided to switch to tea.
During your visit to the factory, you’ll be able to truly appreciate how much work goes into creating the finest cup of tea, from the initial processing to how different types of teas are produced.
Watch how the green leaf is dried and dehumidified, provoking the chemical reaction that turns it into tea, the segmenting of different particles which produce different grades and the packing and distribution. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for your favourite morning brew.
Explore the magical forests and waterfalls around Hatton, and hike to the top of Adam’s Peak, a revered pilgrimage site for over a thousand years.
You’ll ascend a staircase of 5,500 steps built into mountain, finding benches and refreshment stalls along the way. It’s a steep, but attainable climb and the views from the peak are truly enchanting.
Sri Lanka’s tea country is brimming with rich history and stunning natural scenery, and becomes a memorable highlight for anyone who visits the region.
Sri Lanka’s tea country, nicknamed ‘Little England’ by colonial planters, is cool and wet all year round so you’ll need to bring warm layers. The dry seasons are the best times to visit, with lower rainfall and temperatures averaging 28 degrees celsius. The best months are between December and March and July to August.
The wettest conditions occur in April and from October to November. January to April is a busy period, as it is pilgrimage season and the Sri Lankan New Year happens in April. During pilgrimage season, the stairs of Adam’s Peak are lit and you can climb up at night to watch the sunrise at the peak. It’s a breathtaking experience.
In Hatton, you’ll stay at Camellia Hills, a hilltop estate set above the stunning Castlereigh Valley. The luxury boutique hotel has only five bedrooms which all offer panoramic views. The hotel is surrounded by lush tea fields and the property’s infinity pool is the perfect place to take in the panoramic splendor of the valley. With a cosy fireplace, terrace dining, and exceptional service, you’ll feel right at home.