High up in the rugged mountains of Sri Lanka, where cool, mint-scented air sweeps across a spectacular landscape, the verdant tea plantations of the Nuwara Eliya region produce some of the world’s finest teas. The unique climate of the area, with its misty mornings, widely varying rainfall and sometimes frosty nights, makes this the perfect locale for growing teas having exquisite flavor and aroma.
At almost 2000 meters above sea level, the city of Nuwara Eliya is home to colorful shops and English-style resorts where guests may enjoy activities such as golf and boating or venture out to explore the gardens, hiking trails and waterfalls that abound in the area. Nearby is the highest mountain on the island, Pidurutalagala, prominently visible and adding to the scenic beauty. At lower elevations, the region includes fertile plains where wildlife such as elk and water buffalo may be seen.
Of special interest to visitors are tours of the many tea estates within the region. On these lush plantations one can learn the fascinating history of tea growing in the area, which began in the mid-nineteenth century and gradually replaced the production of coffee. Tour guides explain how tea leaves are picked at just the right time and then dried and sorted. Many plantations have factories that are open to visitors and shops where they may sample and buy their favorite tea varieties, all of them made possible only by the cool air and rich, dark soil of the Nuwara Eliya region.