There's something as restorative about the sight of tea plantations in Sri Lanka as the drink itself. Perhaps it's the serenity of the scene - lush stretches of gentle green, broken only by the vivid colours of the saris worn by the pickers, a glimpse of gold here, amethyst there. The first tea sapling was introduced to Sri Lanka by Scottish planter James Taylor in 1867 and the tea industry has flourished ever since. Vast plantations cover the Central Highlands, hugging the hills, lining every contour, seemingly until they reach the very edge of the mountains.
Luxury cottages and resorts have sprung up alongside the tea, providing great bases from which to explore this glorious landscape. There are scenic walking trails, cycling routes wind their way through the rolling hills, and nearby is the lofty Adam's Peak, just waiting to be climbed. The scenic town of Kandy is close enough to explore too, a World Heritage Site and one of the most revered Buddhist places in Sri Lanka. Even closer is the historic hill station town of Nuwara Eliya, the highest town in Sri Lanka.
Many tea factories are open for guided tours, and for tastings of Ceylon tea. Adding a trip to the plantations lends a different perspective to a holiday in Sri Lanka, and provides a cool alternative to the heat of the lowlands.