How to get to Little Adam’s Peak and the Nine Arch bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka


The Nine Arch Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka

The Nine Arch bridge is one of Ella's most popular tourist spots



Little Adam's Peak and the Nine Arch bridge are two of the most popular tourist spots in Ella, Sri Lanka and are on my list of the best things to see and do when visiting this little hill country town.


Overview

1. How to hike to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella
2. How to get to the Nine Arch bridge, Ella from Little Adam's Peak
Top tips for hiking to Little Adam's Peak and the Nine Arch bridge


How to get to Little Adam’s Peak and the Nine Arch bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka


Ella is a small town in Sri Lanka's hill country, popular with backpackers and hikers. Ella is most well known not only for its hiking trails, including to the famous Ella Rock, but also for the laid back vibe of the main town. For more great things to see and do in Ella, see my post here.


If you have more time in Ella, you can visit Little Adam's Peak and the Nine Arch bridge separately, however we only had three nights in Ella before heading to our next stop - the Udawalawe National Park, so we visited both spots in one day and combined them into one longer hike. Read on to follow the route we took to hike to Little Adam's Peak and the Nine Arch bridge in one day...



1. How to hike to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella

Named after the larger holy mountain, Adam’s Peak, which is close to the hill country town of Nuwara Eliya, Little Adam’s Peak bares a similar shape, however it is much smaller. Little Adam's Peak is also a much easier hike than its big brother and the path is marked with easy to follow signs, combine this with stunning views and you can see why this hike is one of the best things to do in Ella!


From the main street in Ella, take the road next to 360 restaurant, past the bus stop and supermarket. Keep following the road until you reach the Ella Flower Garden Resort, from here you can follow signs for the path to Little Adam’s Peak. The path will take you through lush tea plantations until you reach the stairs up to the peak. The stairs are quite narrow and there are people coming down as well as going up, so you will need patience as it does get busy.

The views on the way up Little Adam's Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka

The views on the way up Little Adam's Peak in Ella



Once you reach the top of Little Adam's Peak, the views are breathtaking. There is a gold Buddha statue at the top of the stairs and most people will stop here. There are two further peaks which you can carry on to, but you have to walk down a steep hill before climbing back up again. The views from these two peaks are the same as the first peak, so you don’t really need to carry on, however we did it anyway for the extra walk and out of sheer curiosity!


The view from Little Adam's Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka

The View from Little Adam's Peak across to Ella Rock


Make sure that you take your time taking in the views at the top of Little Adam's Peak. There's quite a bit of space at the top so despite the number of people we were surrounded with on the way up to the peak, we were able to space out and find a good photo spot all to ourselves. From Little Adam's Peak you can see down to the valley and across to Ella Rock, another great hike in Ella.


Once you've taken in the view at the top of Little Adam's Peak, you simply take the steps back down to rejoin the same path through the tea plantations. From this path, you have two options, depending on if you are heading back into Ella town, or if you want to extend the walk and carry onto the Nine Arch bridge.


The Path to Little Adam's Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka

The path leading to / from Little Adam's Peak in Ella



To head back to Ella's main street, you will need to follow the signs back towards the Ella Flower Garden resort. If you are extending the walk and carrying on to the Nine Arch bridge, then you will need to follow the path which leads in the opposite direction, away from the Ella flower resort and town, and towards the 98 Acres resort. The 98 Acres resort is an upmarket boutique resort hotel, which is stunning! If you're not on a tight budget, then you might want to stop here for lunch with amazing views.


2. How to get to the Nine Arch bridge, Ella from Little Adam's Peak

Continuing on from the instructions above, you will need to walk past the 98 Acres resort until you reach a main road (if you have google offline maps this, which I would highly recommend, this road is the B113). Turn right onto the B113 road until you reach the Newburgh tea factory on your right and a small road on your left. Take this smaller road on your left, then at the fork, take the left road again. This windy road will eventually take you to a small blue cafe, take the small path behind the cafe down the steps to the footpath. It may feel like you are not going the right way, but soon enough you will see the bridge through the trees!


We were really lucky that there was a train coming over the bridge as we were making our way down and some friendly locals ushered us quickly to take photos from a viewpoint in their garden!

A train passes over the Nine Arch bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

The View of the Nine Arch bridge from the garden of a Sri Lankan family



The path through the trees will eventually lead you to the train tracks, turn left and walk along the tracks until you reach the bridge. (You are allowed to walk on the train tracks in Sri Lanka – the trains are very loud and much slower so you will have plenty of time to move off the tracks when you hear one coming!).


Walking along the train track towards the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

Walking along the train track towards the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella



Following the train tracks through the trees, you will soon arrive at the bridge. You can continue to walk on the train tracks over the bridge to have your photo taken on the top of the bridge, but just be careful to listen out for approaching trains. Also, please don't stand on the edge of the bridge! We saw lots of people doing this and the drop is 30m if you fall.


On one side of the bridge there was a small cafe and on the other side, a little hut where someone was selling fresh coconuts. Spend some time here taking in the view and if you can, buy a little something from one of the vendors to support them. We had fresh coconuts and they were delicious!


Enjoying fresh coconuts at the side of the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella

Enjoying fresh coconuts at the side of the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella



To get back to Ella main street from the Nine Arch bridge, I would recommend taking a tuk tuk. There are lots of tuk tuks hanging around at the bridge, waiting to take people back to town and the prices are pretty reasonable - just make sure you negotiate and agree a fare before you get it.



These two hikes are relatively easy and possible for most fitness levels and if you don’t want to walk to the Nine Arch Bridge, you can easily get a tuk tuk from Ella main street to take you there. I would really recommend doing both of these walks, the views are stunning and it is easy to see why these are two of the best things to do in Ella.



Top tips for hiking to Little Adam's Peak and the Nine Arch bridge

1. Make sure that you research the routes beforehand from a couple of different sources and download a couple of route maps and instructions. I always use the offline version of google maps as well and screen shot instructions before setting off


2. The All Trails app is also a great resource to have for hiking/walking anywhere in the world. I use it regularly and if you have the Pro version you can download an offline version of the map


3. Pack plenty of water as there's nowhere on route to top up your water bottle. I would also recommend taking snacks, particularly if you are doing both walks in one day


4. Wear trainers or hiking shoes - even though the path to Little Adam's Peak is well trodden, trainers are definitely needed




Before you go, make sure to check out my full two week Sri Lanka itinerary for details of how to spend 14 days in Sri Lanka.



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