When I was putting together my itinerary for this trip – I made sure to get a taste of what Sri Lanka is about without being hasty. Six towns later, I barely scratched the surface. For those who are pressed with time, I recommend going to the beaches as well as the mountains. Here is my journey from Mirissa to Ella.
There are a few options to go to Ella. If you are planning to go to Yala National Park, you can do this on a day trip with your stuff and go straight to Ella which is only about an hour away by car. Otherwise, if you are coming from Mirissa or the other beaches within this coastline, you can:
By bus – from Mirissa, take the public bus to Matara and take a connecting bus to Ella. This trip will take you about 6.5 hours due the many stops and traffic within the cities.
By tuk-tuk – yes, it is possible to take a tuk-tuk to Ella, if you are ready to brave the coiled roads for about 4.5 – 5 hours with leisurely stops for photos or food. This will cost you about LKR 7,500
By car – not so much adventure on a road trip here but it’ll take you to Ella faster, and safer. I was quoted LKR 13,000 so I bailed, I didn’t want to pay this much and I wanted to experience the trip as raw as possible.
I had a comfortable ride to Ella and being so lucky to be with a tuk-tuk driver who grew up in one of the small towns along the way, we even made a stop at their house and I met his parents! Unlike the ride from Galle to Mirissa, there are more fields and remote towns you will pass by than beaches – simply because you are heading farther away from the coast to the deeper part of Sri Lanka.
Here are some of the photo stops we did along the way which you should do too:
Just outside of Matara, after school where it got pretty crowded on the streets. I am still at awe as to how they arrived at the decision to use white uniforms when the entire country is so beautifully dusty!
One of the last beaches I saw before heading on to the swamps and valleys
My driver took a cigarette break and what better place to go to than this wonderful beach in Hiriketiya, Dikwella! Had I known this place, I would have stayed here for a night or two. I discovered there is a ‘hipster’ place where you could get a room, surf and yoga lessons nearby. By the way, it is known to be a HIPPIE HANGOUT back in the 60s, how cool is that? The vibe remains to date.
Dots Bay House | http://dotsceylon.com/ | https://www.instagram.com/dotsbayhouse/
Along the way, I got hungry so my driver was nice enough to buy me corn and fresh coconut!
The rest of the ride will be endless rice fields with occasional peacocks (lots of them!) along the way
Finally, the winds got cooler as we climbed the hills of Ella. It was almost night-time when we reached my hotel
Some more information:
http://www.surfsouthsrilanka.com/ – saw this site and if you are into surfing, do check out your options
Where to stay, eat, be merry: