Sri Lanka is a country that is famous for its tea, which is also known as Ceylon tea. Tea is one of the main exports and sources of income for the country, as well as a part of its culture and identity. Sri Lanka produces some of the finest and most diverse teas in the world, ranging from black, green, and white, to flavoured and herbal varieties. The tea industry in Sri Lanka dates back to the 19th century, when the British colonizers introduced tea plants from China and India, and established tea plantations in the island’s highlands. Today, Sri Lanka has over 200,000 hectares of tea land, and over 400 tea factories, that employ more than one million people1.
The tea plantations of Sri Lanka are not only a source of economic and social development, but also a tourist attraction and a scenic beauty. The tea plantations are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the island, where the climate and the soil are ideal for tea cultivation. The tea plantations offer a variety of experiences for visitors, such as tea tasting, factory tours, museum visits, tea plantation walks, and tea estate stays. Here are some of the best tea plantations to visit in Sri Lanka, and what they have to offer.
Nuwara Eliya is one of the most popular and picturesque tea regions in Sri Lanka, and is often called the “Little England” of the island, due to its colonial architecture and cool climate. Nuwara Eliya is located at an elevation of over 1800 meters and is surrounded by lush green hills and valleys, dotted with tea bushes and waterfalls. Nuwara Eliya is home to some of the oldest and most famous tea estates in Sri Lanka, such as Pedro, Labookellie, and Mackwoods, which produce high-quality teas with a delicate and floral flavour. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the tea factories, where they can learn about the tea processing and grading, and taste different types of teas. They can also visit the Tea Museum, which displays the history and equipment of the tea industry, and the Hakgala Botanical Garden, which features a variety of plants and flowers.
Ella is another popular and scenic tea region in Sri Lanka and is a favourite destination for backpackers and nature lovers. Ella is located at an elevation of over 1000 meters and offers stunning views of the mountains and the valleys, as well as some of the best hiking trails in the island. Ella is also home to some of the best tea estates in Sri Lanka, such as Halpewatte, Uva Halpewatte, and Amba, which produce high-quality teas with a strong and malty flavour. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the tea factories, where they can learn about the tea processing and packaging, and taste different types of teas. They can also visit the Ravana Falls, which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka, and the Nine Arches Bridge, which is a historic railway bridge that offers a panoramic view of the tea plantations3.
Kandy is the cultural and religious capital of Sri Lanka, and is also one of the main tea regions in the island. Kandy is located at an elevation of over 500 meters and is surrounded by hills and forests, with a tropical and humid climate. Kandy is home to some of the most renowned and diverse tea estates in Sri Lanka, such as Loolecondera, Gampola, and Giragama, which produce a variety of teas, from black, green, and white, to flavoured and organic. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the tea factories, where they can learn about the tea processing and quality, and taste different types of teas. They can also visit the Temple of the Tooth, which is the most sacred Buddhist site in Sri Lanka, and the Royal Botanical Garden, which features a collection of plants and trees4.
These are just some of the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, but there are many more to explore, such as Ruhuna, Sabaragamuwa, and Dimbulla, which offer different flavours and experiences. The tea plantations of Sri Lanka are a must-see for any tea lover and a great way to discover the history, culture, and nature of the island. The tea plantations of Sri Lanka are a green gold that will delight and enchant you.
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