Having booked your family vacation is just part of your vacation! Have you given thought about the journey you and your family are going to make?
• By Road
• By Train
From Colombo to Ella:
Get ready for a minimum of 7 hours if you are using a car (this includes a break). Make your journey a memorable one that will be remembered and cherished.
Eg 1 (Leaving Colombo after school closes)
2.00pm: Collect children from school (remember to have a change and snack for them)
2.30pm: Depart Colombo on the high level road (via Nugegoda) or low level road (via Malabe)
3.45pm: Reach Avissawella
4.30pm: Reach Kuruwita, look out for Palm Garden 5 minutes out of Kuruwita town on your right side, on a little hillock. This is a good toilet break and time for some refreshment! They serve excellent factory fresh Tea. You can also have a good ‘Hopper diet’. Kids have a play area to unwind too!
5.30pm: Depart Kuruwita
6.00pm: Reach Ratnapura
7.00pm: Reach Balangoda
7.45pm: Reach Belihuloya
8.45pm: Reach Haputale (take the upper road to Bandarawela and do not turn into Diyatalawa)
9.15pm: Reach Bandarawela (Take the Badulla road and look out for Kumbalwela junction which is aproximately 9km from Bandarawela.
9.30pm: Reach Kumbalwela junction, turn right onto the Wellawaya road and proceed 3km until you reach the ‘Ella’ signboard
9.45pm: You have reached Sunnyside, turn left by the ‘Ella’ signboard.
Eg 2 (Leaving Colombo in the morning)
6.30am: Depart Colombo on the high level road (via Nugegoda) or low level road (via Malabe)
7.30am: Reach Avissawella
8.00am: Reach Kuruwita, look out for Palm Garden 5 minutes out of Kuruwita town on your right side, on a little hillock. This is a good toilet break and time for some refreshment! They serve excellent factory fresh Tea. You can also have a good ‘Hopper diet’. Kids have a play area to unwind too!
9.00am: Depart Kuruwita
9.30am: Reach Ratnapura. Visit a Gem museum
11.00am: Leave Ratnapura & reach Balangoda
12.00pm: Reach Belihuloya and stop at the scenic Belihuloya rest-house located by the banks of the Belihuloya river for lunch
1.15pm: Depart Belihuloya
2.00pm Reach Haputale. Visit Adisham Bungalow- country seat of Sir Thomas Villiers
How to get there:
Proceed along the Colombo Road (main street) up to the end of the Bazzar and take upper road to the Police station, proceed 2miles passing the Buddhist Temple then take left for and half mile till you Reach Adisham, an old English Maner first owned By Sir Thomas Villers, now run by Catholic priests.
4.00pm Leave Haputale (take the upper road to Bandarawela and do not turn into Diyatalawa)
4.15pm: Reach Bandarawela (Take the Badulla road and look out for Kumbalwela junction which is aproximately 9km from Bandarawela.
4.30pm: Reach Kumbalwela junction, turn right onto the Wellawaya road and proceed 3km until you reach the ‘Ella’ signboard
4.45pm: You have reached Sunnyside, turn left by the ‘Ella’ signboard.
Your Return from Ella to Colombo:
We suggest you plan your return through Nuwara Eliya, a very scenic route that gives you another opportunity to see more of the beautiful country!
8.00am: Depart Ella towards Bandarawela
8.20am: Reach Bandarawela, take the right fork at the round-a-bout and proceed to Nuwara Eliya on the Welimada Road
9.00am: Reach Welimada
10.00am: Reach Hakgala - Visit the Hakgala Botanical Gardens (Have a snack packed before leaving so you can have a pick-nick at Hakgala.
Visit their website:
12.00pm: Leave Hakgala, reach Nuwara Eliya by 12.30pm, spend time looking around!
1.00pm: Leave Nuwara Eliya. You have 2 route options:
Option 1 - Via Peradeniya to Colombo
Option 2 - Via Hatton to Colombo
Via Peradeniya to Colombo
1.00pm: Leave Nuwara Eliya on the Kandy Road
1.30pm: Reach Labookelle Tea Center, refresh with a fresh ‘cuppa’ and visit the Tea Factory, a great experience and a must see!
Visit their website:
2.30pm: Depart for Peradeniya on the Ramboda Pass, remember to start counting the hairpin bends just before entering Labookelle!
4.30pm; Reach Peradeniya and proceed on the Colombo Road (unless you want to stop in Kandy)
Once you hit the Colombo Road, there are many places to stop for a break and you should be able to reach Colombo by 8.00pm, just in time to get the kids ready for a early night if they have school the next day!
Via Hatton to Colombo
1.00pm: Leave Nuwara Eliya on the Hatton Rd
1.30pm: Reach Nanu Oya
2.00pm: Reach Talawakelle
2.30pm: Reach St Clair Tea Center (Or proceed towards Hatton and 10KM on the Hatton/Colombo Road you can stop at the Tea Cup Tea Center by around 3.30pm)
3.30/4.30pm: Depart and head towards the Ginigathena Junction and turn towards Avissawella, you should reach in 1.5hrs from this point.
Once you are in Avissawella turn to the Colombo Road and plan for another 1.5hrs to reach Colombo
Another very good option is to drive via Badulla and the Mahaweli project (see option 3 for the journey from Kandy below). This trip would take you 4 hrs to reach Kandy and then once you head out on the Kandy-Colombo road, another 3 hrs to Colombo.
From Kandy to Ella
The journey from Kandy can take between 3-4 hrs. You have 3 routes to take and we suggest that your return from Ella should not be the same route taken!
Route 1: - Kandy/Gampola/Nawalapitiya/Nuwara Eliya/Welimada/Bandarawela/Ella (extra 1hr)
Route 2: - Kandy/Gampola/Ramboda/Nuwara Eliya/Bandarawela/Ella
Route 3: - Kandy/Randenigala/Badulla/Kumbalwela/Ella
Route 2 & 3 are very scenic routes, Route 2 takes you through the beautiful tea gardens whilst Route 3 takes you through the Mahaweli Project, where you get a glimpse of the Victoria Dam at a distance, drive by the Randenigala Dam and the Minipe anicat.
The Sri Lankan Railway have a nice website that gives you much information needed for your travel to Ella, be it from Colombo or Kandy.
From Colombo to Ella
The two train options are the Podi Menike and the Udarata Menike.
Podi Menike - Leaves Colombo - 5.55am, Arrives Ella 3.00pm*
Udarata Menike - Leave Colombo - 9.45am, arrives Ella 6.45pm*
From Kandy to Ella
Podi Menike - Connect at Peradeniya - 9.30am, Arrives Ella 3.00pm*
Udarata Menike - Connect at Peradeniya - 1.15pm, Arrive Ella 6.45pm*
*Please note these times above are only for information, it is recommended that you please check with the railway station.
More information about your travel by train can also be obtained from www.railway.gov.lk