We travelled from Nuwara Eliya to Ella by the beautiful scenic railway. Ella is much quieter than Nuwara Eliya and thankfully much warmer despite only being around 50 km away.
Ella has a number of small hotels and restaurants and people mostly visit to enjoy the green and lush countryside and climbing Ella Rock is the main attraction!
From the centre of Ella, officially it takes around 2 hours each way to hike to the top of Ella Rock although we found it slightly longer on the way up and shorter on the way back! Some tourists hire a guide however the route is fairly straightforward and we did this ourselves (with the assistance of a helpful blog post from Nomadic Boys!).
We began by taking the footpath just before the bridge to the left of the main Ella railway station. We had to walk for around 1.5 km’s along the railway track and move out of the way when a train came along! The trains travel slowly so you have plenty of warning and depending on where you are, sometimes have to squeeze onto the side of the track when they pass.
Fortunately we were next to a big grassy verge when this train passed! There are only about 10 trains a day so we didn’t see another one on our outward trek.
Walk across the ‘black’ bridge (as above)
As we approached Kitha Ella station, as mentioned by the Nomadic Boys, locals suggested we take the path to the left past the waterfalls. However we decided to continue past Kitha Ella station for perhaps 250-300 meters and take the second left turning. Just past the turning you will see the river and a small bridge.
Once you have crossed the river take the left path which rises steeply into the tea plantation fields. (Not the path which goes off to the right).
Keep walking upwards! Most of the walk is fairly easy as you walk through the tea fields and there will most likely be other people doing it as well. The trek gets very steep for the last 45 minutes or so through the forest before you reach the top.
We saw plenty of wildlife on our trek to the top of Ella Rock and back.
We really enjoyed this trek and had warm sun for the entire day with temperatures around 27 degrees. As mentioned the track gets quite steep as you near the summit of Ella Rock. It’s best to wear walking boots or sturdy trainers too.
There are some small refreshment outlets along the railway track and we stopped at the above one for a refreshing mango juice on the way back which was delicious. (But don’t ask for coconut juice as it was just… um… ‘unusual’…)