The trip inland to the Handunugoda Tea Plantation is one of our all-time favourites from the south coast. It’s unusual for a tea estate to be so close to the sea, but that’s not the only unique feature of this beautifully situated estate.
The first clue lies in the peculiar attire worn by the pluckers. Instead of the traditional Tamil or Sinhalese garb, the workers here wear white, medical-style coats, gloves and hair nets. They’re also under strict instructions not to touch or breathe on the tips of the tea leaves, which they snip using gold-plated scissors, and which are later sun dried. This preserves the purity and potency of the tea, which has exceptionally high levels of cancer-busting anti-oxidants – a fact ensuring it fetches sky-high prices on the international market.
Visits include a tasting and an opportunity to purchase the various types of tea grown at Handunugoda, from Ceylond Suchong to Saphire Oolong and Flowerly Cammellia. They even do a delicious ‘vodka tea’!
If you’re not planning to visit the Nuwara Eliya region and are staying on the coast around Galle and Weligama, then we recommend this half-day excursion, which is usually done in the morning, and combines well with our ‘Cinnamon Experience’ at nearby Villa Mayurna