10 Best Tea Gardens in the World

By Reshma Dewda on Jul 26, 2015
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Theres nothing more glorious in the morning as a hot cup of tea. The incentive for numerous people around the world to wake up, the humble cup of tea has been refreshing us for hundreds of years. Tea plantations have caused wars, it has controlled emperors and has provided livelihood to millions of people across the globe as it has commanded a place of pride in the most picturesque locations around the world! So the next time you pick up that piping cuppa , start planning a unique holiday to one of these spectacular tea plantations to see for yourself how your favorite beverage is being produced all over the world.

Hidden in the most inspiringly beautiful locations are tea plantations that produce myriad varieties of tea. Some are tucked in on the foothills of mighty mountains, others are perched along gorgeous coastlines and some overlook the most heartwarming sunsets you have ever experienced, tea holidays are sure to leave you speechless. When it is produced at such breathtaking locations, tea is bound to taste as heavenly as it does!

Here are our picks for the most beautiful tea plantations in the world :

1. Darjeeling, India

The Darjeeling variety of tea is counted among the best types of tea across the world. Mild and refreshing, Darjeeling tea is like light golden drops of nectar. Set against the backdrop of the noble Himalayas, the town of Darjeeling is where this celebrated tea is produced. The chugging sounds of Darjeeling's famous toy train are the only sounds that will distract you from the mesmerizing beauty of the tea plantations.

Attractions to watch out for: Toy Train, Bhutia Busty Gompa

How to create a trip plan in few minutes? Try our travel planner.

Image source: commons.wikimedia

2. Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya is a blessed town that has been bestowed with the best of nature. Its still stuck in English times and gives the feeling of being in the English countryside. This region produces several varieties of tea and a tour of a tea factory is quite an interesting activity to do here. Besides Nuwara Eliya visit some other tea plantations in Sri Lanka at Kandy or Dimbula.

Attractions to watch out: Hortons Plains National Park, Sita Temple and Queen Victoria Park

Check out: Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

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3. Rize, Turkey

Although more of a coffee producing nation, Turkey's Rize region hosts some exceptional tea plantations along the coast of Black Sea. Rize, Turkey is a modern city trapped in the heart of a picturesque small town. It hosts the annual Rize International Tea Festival that sees tea connoisseurs from all over the world congregate to this magnificent city.

Attractions to watch out for: Rize Castle, Rize Museum

Image source: commons.wikimedia

4. Uji, Japan

Legend has it that Japan was introduced to tea by a Buddhist monk. That was about 1300 years ago and since then the Japanese love for tea has only increased. The Japanese take their tea very seriously and this is evident in the spectacular tasting gyokuro, matcha and sencha varieties of tea. Although Uji near Kyoto is a relatively small estate, it is one of the oldest tea plantations in Japan.

Attractions to watch out for: Byodoin Temple, Ujigami Shrine.

Check out: Day trips from Kyoto

Image source: commons.wikimedia/Stephane

5. Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian, China

The Chinese rarely drink black tea. They prefer the aromatic Oolong variety of tea and are perhaps the best placed in the world to produce this type of tea. The regions of Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian produce the finest Oolong and are postcard perfect pretty too. Discover these exotic locations in China that are not crowded with tourists and learn about the 5000- year legacy of tea farming in China.

Attractions to watch out for: Yellow Mountain, West Lake, Gulangyu Island

Image source: commons.wikimedia

6. Kericho, Kenya

Kenya's climate is highly favorable for tea cultivation and that is why this country has been growing tea for years now. It virtually rains everyday in Kenya and the tea plantations have been grown on virgin rainforests, part of which, still survives. Most of the tea produced in these estates is exported to Britain.

Attractions to watch out for: African safaris

Image source: commons.wikimedia/Ed Roberts

7. Cameron Islands, Malaysia

Surrounded by citrus smells from the orchards and enveloped in cool breezes, you will fit right in at the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Mountain slopes are wrapped in the lush green of tea leaves and gushing waterfalls are dancing gaily as if to put up a show. Such is the magic of this paradise that you will forget that you are really here for its rich tea. Head to Boh tea plantations that seem like an exotic island getaway rather than a verdant tea-growing area.

Attractions to watch out for: Sam Poh Temple, Cactus Valley

Check out: Honeymoon Places in Malaysia

Image source: commons.wikimedia/Arne

8. Northern Vietnam

Vietnam is fairly new in tea cultivation. However, it produces close to 6000 tons of tea today and can boast of having a rich variety of black tea, oolong and other scented teas too. The northern region of this enchanting country is famous for its tea production and there are vast areas under cultivation. Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien areas are famous for oolong tea and other highland regions like Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum are popular for their aromatic teas.

Attractions to watch out for: Ha Long Bay, Thang Long Citadel, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Check out: Best Beaches in Vietnam

9. Zhushan and Fushoushan, Taiwan

Only a handful of companies grow the most exciting tea varieties in Taiwan which was formerly known as Formosa or beautiful island. Living up to its name, Taiwans north and north east region is full of exotic tea plantations that offer visitors an interesting peek into its blossoming tea industry. The Zhushan and Fushoushan region have some petite but very beautiful tea estates.

Attractions to watch out for: Hsinchu & Miaoli , North Cross-Island Highway

Image source: commons.wikimedia

10. Kolukkumalai, Kerala

It seems befitting that a list of the best tea plantations in the world starts and ends with India. Indian tea is known as the best in the world. Whether its your beloved chai tea latte or a spicy-sweet masala tea, Indians have fallen in love with this beverage and this love is evident in their tea production too. Kolukkumalai is the highest tea estate in the world, in terms of altitude. It grows organic tea and the area is full of winding slopes that offer heartwarming views.

Attractions to watch out for: Backwaters, Thekkady, Munnar.

Image source: wikimapia

Tea estates across the world are evolving into unique holiday destinations. From homestays to luxury mansions, there are all kinds of experiences awaiting a curious traveler. Breathe in the purity of nature and taste some of the finest teas in the world; a holiday at a tea estate is just what the doctor ordered!

Also read:

Tea Stalls in India

Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the World

Culturally Driven and Obsessed With Coffee - Vienna

The most travelling countries around the world