Top 5 Hilly Getaways In Sri Lanka: Outlook Traveller

Whether you’re searching for breathtaking vistas or a deep dive into cultural experiences, the hill stations of Sri Lanka beckons visitors to enjoy it all

Sri Lanka, widely known for its sun-kissed beaches and vibrant culture, hides within its verdant embrace five enchanting hill stations, each a refuge of peace and natural beauty. From the misty heights of Nuwara Eliya to the cultural richness of Kandy, these elevated sanctuaries offer cool respite from the island’s tropical climate and unfold a stunning tapestry of lush landscapes, tea-scented air, and panoramic vistas. Join us as we explore the top five hill stations in Sri Lanka, where tranquillity meets natural beauty in a harmonious dance that captivates the senses.

1. Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara EliyaUnsplash

Perched at a lofty altitude of 1868 m, Nuwara Eliya is a stunning hill station in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Often dubbed “mini London,” this charming town is celebrated for its exquisite landscapes and delightful climate. Nuwara Eliya translates to “city of lights” or “city on the plain (table land).” This haven boasts a plethora of stunning sights, from lush gardens and tranquil lakes to sprawling tea estates and cascading waterfalls, all contributing to its unparalleled scenic allure. The most notable tourist attractions in Nuwara Eliya include Lake Gregory, Lover’s Leap Falls, Bomburu Falls, Victoria Park, Labukelle Tea Factory and many more, each offering a unique glimpse into the serene beauty of this hill station.

2. Ella


Ella, a quaint yet celebrated hill station in the Badulla district of the Uva Province, sits at an altitude of 1,047 meters above sea level. This town, renowned for its pleasantly cool climate and stunning vistas, promises to leave visitors in awe. The popular nine-arches railway bridge, Rawana’s cave, Rawana Falls, and Dowa Rajamaha are all key attractions in Ella, Badulla. To try their hand at something new and thrilling, visitors can also try exciting activities like zip lines and trekking.

3. Kandy 

Kandy Unsplash

Kandy, situated atop a high plateau amid dense tropical woods and tea plantations, is the second-largest city in Sri Lanka. It is more popularly called the hill capital of Sri Lanka. 

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the most revered temple in Sri Lanka, is located in Kandy. Moreover, Kandy has tons of spectacular museums, breathtaking views, meditation centres surrounded by lush vegetation, and exciting trails.

Even though the city has mild, moderate weather all year round, the best time to visit Kandy is from December through March, as these are the driest months of the year, enabling a better sightseeing experience.

4. Kitulgala


Tucked away among forest-clad hills, Kitulgala is a small town in the west of Sri Lanka. Renowned as the most loved destination for white water rafting in Sri Lanka, Kitulgala offers a terrific blend of adventure and wilderness. It’s also among Sri Lanka’s wettest places. Aside from being the base for white water rafting, Kitulgala offers many exhilarating adventure sports for thrill seekers. These activities include mountain biking, jungle trekking, camping, and waterfall abseiling. Additionally, birdwatching enthusiasts find a paradise in Kitulgala, especially around the Makandawa Forest Reserve, where a rich diversity of bird species thrives, adding to the town’s allure for nature lovers.

5. Diyatalawa


Situated at an impressive altitude of 1,281 meters in the Province. Merely seven kilometres from Bandarawela in the Baluda District, this military base offers visitors captivating panoramic views from its elevated position. Diyatalawa is only seven killometers away from Bandarawela in the Balluda District. Tourists can enjoy the breathtaking scenic vistas of the peak.

While in this region, you can also visit Dowa Rock Temple, Adisham Monastery, Lipton’s Set, Demodara railway station, St. Catherine’s Seat, and Pilkinton Point. These excursions promise a blend of historical and cultural experiences. The train journey to the peak of Diyatalawa is a highlight for many tourists, offering a picturesque and memorable ride through some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful scenery.

6. Getting There

Flying is the fastest and most efficient mode of transportation to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a bustling airport called Bandaranaike Internal Airport. Located in Colombo, this airport serves as the arrival point for Sri Lankan flights from major locations worldwide. Assuming you’re travelling from Delhi to Colombo, the total travel time would be 3 hours and 35 minutes (for a non-stop flight).