Luxury Train Journey in Sri Lanka

Jun 19 2020

On almost every travelers list, when visiting this island paradise is the luxurious Sri Lankan train tours. Sri Lanka the home to Baila, spicy curry and the word ‘Aiyo’ is also known for some of the world’s most breathtaking and epic train journeys. A luxury train ride in Sri Lanka isn’t only about the phenomenal views but is also a smorgasbord of exciting experiences. Some of them include an opportunity to mix and mingle with the locals, get involved in some of the ‘live performances’ by the passengers who love to sing or maybe even try out some of the local snacks and tea.

There are 4 types of travel experiences any traveler can choose from. The luxury A/C carriages (privately run) which is of course the most comfortable but by far the most expensive. The next three are the first, Second and Third class. The first class is the best in terms of comfort however it doesn’t give the traveler the most out of the train journey.


Sri Lankan Luxury Train Tour To The Hills

The Railroads built to transport the tea from the plantations down to the coast is now one of the biggest tourist attractions. The Kandy to Ella railroad has the broadest train track gauge (1676mm) since it was initially used to transport tea and coffee. This luxury train journey is not only the most scenic train ride in Sri Lanka, but also one of the most beautiful train rides in Asia. The Journey begins in Colombo and takes you to Kandy passing golden paddy fields and rows of coconut trees. This journey will take you about 3 hours and end in one of Sri Lanka’s historical and religious cities, where you can find accommodation at one of the Luxurious properties such as The Kings Pavilion. However, the journey doesn’t end here, the Kandy to Ella train ride passes through Hatton & Nanu Oya (closest station to Nuwera-Eliya) before reaching Ella, this is where the journey takes an extraordinary twist. Rolling hills, gushing waterfalls tucked in between oceans of emerald tea plantations and tea pluckers in sarees with all the colors of the rainbow is only part of this amazing journey. The train ride to Ella is one of the most cinematic experiences any traveler would have. The train ride would take passengers over the iconic nine arches bridge, where some of the most phenomenal photographs and videos have been captured. The bridge was initially known as ‘Ahas Namaye Palama’ meaning bridge of the nine skies, due to the visual effect it gives when looking from below. Each stop has unique experiences and some chic hideaways. When in Hatton, visit a tea plantation and watch how some of Sri Lanka’s finest tea is produced whilst staying at the exclusive Ceylon Tea Trails. In Ella, stay at the stunning 98 Acres Resort and adventure to a nearby waterfall or zip line through the mountainside.


Sri Lankan Luxury Train Tour To The Coast

Step aboard the Ruhunu Kumari (Princess of the ‘Southern Province’) and get whisked away to hideaway on one of the golden beaches, the South has to offer. There are 2 ways to enjoy this epic train ride, one is to take the Lankan first class train ride where you get to enjoy luxury service, comfortable seating and some traditional Sri Lankan tea. But many a traveler would prefer not to, as they believe it losses the charm and simplicity of these locomotives. The Journey is very diverse from the previously mentioned journey. Unlike an ocean of emerald, Travelers actually see the endless blue sea and as the train moves along you get to witness the change in the shades of blue. Look outside your window and catch a glimpse of a little fishing village and observe as the residents go about their daily business. Looking at the open ocean can be so inviting, so what’s stopping you from making a quick stop to go snorkeling or catch a quick wave or two? The journey will take you through some of sri Lanka’s biggest coastal towns such as: Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Ahungalla, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna,   Ahangama  Midigama, Weligama  Mirissa and finally Matara. Each location has some elegant villas and some exclusive hotels, Bentota is home to one of Geoffrey Bawa’s most renowned homes, the Lunuganga Estate. Cape Weligama is another luxurious Hideaway along this southern coast.


Sri Lankan Luxury Train Tour To The North

The Yal Devi, The iconic train of the North.  This journey is definitely a lengthy one and can take about 9 hours to reach its final destination. However it passes through some of Sri Lanka’s most historic locations (Kurunegala and Anuradhapura) and gives you a glimpse into the past where you can make a quick stop and learn of the rich history and culture of this island paradise, before you enter a part of the island that makes you feel as though you are in another country. The scene changes quite frequently from a coastal surrounding to a greener and lusher environment lined with paddy fields and finally to a dry and arid zone where there are palm trees as far as the eye can see. This line was re-opened in 2014 after the 25-year civil unrest came to an end, bringing tourism back to one of the most colorful and extraordinary cities in Sri Lanka. The culture, the food, the sights and even the locals will show you a side to this Island that can’t be found anywhere else.


There are many train journeys a tourist can take when visiting Sri Lanka, what is listed above are three of the most famous journeys. However, here are some notable mentions. The first of course is the Udaya Devi which runs right through to Batticaloa, so if you are looking to visit the exciting East Coast of Sri Lanka, then is the ride for you. The Raja Rata Rejini is the next train ride that runs the whole South Coast and starts from the North in Vavuniya, If you are looking for a journey that shows you most of the Island, then this is it.

As a tourist booking a luxury train tour in Sri Lanka can be a bit tough due to varying train schedules, foreign locations and Issues with transport from the hotel to the station. So why not book through Artravele and allow us to make it an experience you will never forget, minus the hassle and the effort.  Our well trained and well-versed staff will organize a tour that will make your dreams come true.

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