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Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

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Seeking a sensational Sri Lanka walking adventure, time away from the tourist trail, or to discover the island’s very best viewpoints during your vacation? Achieve all of this and more by adding one of these awe-inspiring hikes to your itinerary.

The Pekoe Trail

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

The Pekoe Trail is the new kid on the block, but it’s already achieved international recognition. Named in National Geographic’s revered list of the 20 coolest travel adventures for 2024, this trail is for those who want to explore Sri Lanka’s tea hills corner to corner – or dip into its most scenic stretches.

In its entirety, The Pekoe Trail encompasses 300km of glorious mountain terrain and takes at least 22 days to complete with daily walking. Travel all the way from Kandy to the heights of Nuwara Eliya passing through the tea estates, grassland and tropical forest. Incredible views await!

Sacred Adam’s Peak

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

Join pilgrims as they make the nighttime climb to the summit of Adam’s Peak in time to witness one of the most sensational sunrises in all of Asia. Topped with a natural impression that’s shaped like a foot and variously claimed by four religions as the footprint of Lord Buddha, Shiva, the prophet Adam and St. Thomas, Sri Pada is sacred to all in Sri Lanka.

Ascending the stone-carved steps surrounded by chanting people, traditional music, and lamps under the cover of a starlit sky is a truly awe-inspiring and even life-changing experience.

Amba Estate to Ella Rock

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

Discover Ella away from the tourist trail on this ‘behind the scenes’ hike from Amba Estate to Ella Rock. Amba Estate is an organic farm that does much to support the local community and sells its tea, coffee and preserves on a global scale including at luxury London retailer Fortnum & Mason.

Wend your way through the vast estate passing exotic flowers, fruit trees and tea fields, then follow a secret path through alpine forest to Ella Rock. This is one of the most spectacular viewpoints in Sri Lanka. Why not follow this trek with the signature tea tasting lunch at Amba Estate?

Knuckles multi-day trek

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

Escape to the Knuckles Forest Reserve for a multi-day adventure that reveals the splendor of Sri Lanka’s unspoiled hill country. This area is recognized by UNESCO for its endemic wildlife but also just the sheer breath-taking beauty of its landscapes.

Led by an experienced naturalist who knows Knuckles like the back of his hand (get it?), leave the urban world behind and immerse yourself fully in nature. Your path will take you beside glimmering tea plantations and gushing waterfalls, and through wildflower fields and patches of cloud forest.

Horton Plains – World’s End

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

Enter Horton Plains National Park for a half-day hike that will be imprinted on your mind for years to come. Paths carved out of multicolored rock undulate through the park, taking you along grassy plains with vibrant flowers and wild sambar with majestic antlers.

The loop leads you to two waterfalls and a sensational viewpoint known as World’s End. It earned this name because it’s the point where the cliff face falls a sheer 1,000m to the floor. The panoramic vistas stretch for miles in the morning before the mist rolls in – but don’t stand too close to the edge!

The path to Lipton’s Seat

Top 6 awe-inspiring hikes in Sri Lanka

Seeking a more relaxed walk that is nonetheless spectacular? Follow the path to Lipton’s Seat, a gently-sloping trail through endless plantations where you can soak in the sunshine and fresh air at a leisurely pace.

Your destination is the best viewpoint in the Thomas Lipton estate, a place where the man himself used to sit and survey his plantation. The view extends out across Haputale and beyond – so far beyond that you might spot the glimmer of the southern seas on the horizon if you’re lucky.

How to make this experience a part of your itinerary?

Our vision for our blog is to build an invaluable resource for independent inquisitive travelers wanting to travel to Sri Lanka in a way that goes beyond the conventional and takes people further and deeper both physically and emotionally. It’s about having a fuller, richer, more meaningful trip. We also want to be a practical resource. Every article is ‘actionable’, you are able to make it part of your itinerary in some way. For tips on how to make any of these tips part of your journey send us an enquiry

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