Attention tea-enthusiasts! 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of commercial tea plants being introduced to Sri Lanka by James Taylor. Having planted Ceylon tea throughout the island's hill country, Sri Lanka is now one of the largest exporters in the world - quite the transformation considering prior to 1867 coffee was in fact the primary plant here. To celebrate this mammoth milestone we have put together a list of our top five tea-based activities to enjoy whilst holidaying on the teardrop isle. And we thought that we were a nation of tea- lovers…
1. Take a tea-scented bath
Bathe in tea-scented water at the Ceylon Tea Trails in Sri Lanka's Hill Country whilst looking out over the stunning surrounding tea plantations. Built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj, these four classic colonial properties have been tastefully restored creating a quintessentially luxurious and colonial setting.
2. Journey through the landscape on a colonial tea-transportation train
Travel to Haputale on the original colonial railway line built to transport coffee and then tea in 1864, but is now renowned as one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world with views of the rolling green hills and tea plantations.
3. Going once… going twice
Attend a modern-day Colombo tea auction, the world's single largest tea auction where approximately 6.5 million kilograms are sold weekly, and explore the bustling metropolis of Colombo.
4. Enjoy a birds-eye view of the Tea Fields
What better way to fully take in the views of Sri Lanka's hill country than from above? Fly via sea plane over the Hill Country's dramatic landscape experiencing its full majesty on your way to Galle, the capital of the Southern Province.
5. Sample the local produce at High Tea (and Champagne)
Enjoy High Tea at the rather stately Amangalla, with the finest Ceylon varieties of tea and infusions, and even champagne. Amangalla is a tranquil and elegant base from which to explore the culture and tumultuous history of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort and Galle.