Practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Why you should practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024.

The Swedish concept of friluftsliv (open-air living) is something we aspire to do at GlenMyu Estate.

It’s not just Sweden, this practice is also a common philosophy in Denmark, and Norway. 

Unwinding outdoors is engrained in the culture in Norway.
Some firms make it part of their working week.
Going for a jog or a walk during your lunchtime, despite plunging temperatures is a common sight.

What is Friluftsliv?

Frilufstliv was first popularised in the 1850s by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in his 1859 poem “On the Heights”.

The concept is much older.
Its literal translation is “free-air life”, but Ibsen used it to convey a spiritual connection with nature.

To modern Norwegians, it means participating in outdoor activities, but also has a deeper sense of de-stressing in nature and sharing in a common culture. Could this outdoor life hold the key to Norwegians’ health and happiness?

Friluftsliv is not a specific activity.

Hiking in the forest, kayaking along the fjords and skiing in the mountains could all be part of it, but so could picking cloudberries or simply sitting in the woods.

How do I practice Friluftsliv?

Unwinding in the open air is so ingrained in the culture, some companies build it into the working week.

I make sure that I take some time out every day to spend time on the five acres we have at GlenMyu Estate. As the land is in the Sri Lankan hill country walking up and down the inclines can increase the heart rate. The lowest part of the land is around 90 metres lower than height at the entrance gate.

Walking around the pathways and surveying what grass cutting and weeding needs to be done. I get ideas on what we should plant or whether we should put in another seat to enjoy the surrounding nature.

Swimming in the natural spring fed swimming pool surrounded by the hills and the birds providing a musical backdrop is another way that I practice Frilutftsliv. 

Friluftsliv and GlenMyu Estate

An outdoor culture is a bit easier in the tropics due to the climate.

Unless you really suffer from the heat or sunburn, being outdoors is the natural place to spend your time in Sri Lanka.  

Spending time at the beach or hiking through the rainforests or the tea estate of the Pekoe Trail all reflect friluftsliv.

In our opinion, swimming at the pools at Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is the perfect way yo practice Friluftliv.
After the twenty minute hike to the top of Sri Lanka’s 2nd tallest waterfall you will enjoy the cold water pools.

Being out in an unspoilt natural environment will make this a memorable experience. 

We normally send guests off after breakfast from GlenMyu Estate so that they can enjoy the nature before the larger crowds arrive later in the day.

Horton Plains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of our favourite places in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Walking through the fresh air, at an elevation of 2,200 metres is exhilarating. The beauty of the flora and fauna in this montane cloud forest is amazing. 

It is certainly a place where you can practice friluftsliv.

Even our staff at GlenMyu Estate practice Friluftsliv.

One of our staff members at GlenMyu Estate always takes the long way round to the house rather than a direct approach.
When asked why, he said that it was beautiful walking on the far side of the land.
It’s something we encourage him to do as we know that it is good for him.

Enjoy the outdoors at GlenMyu Estate.

Average annual temperature in Beragala is 21.3 °C / 70.4 °F.

The temperature range in at Beragala is a maximum of 26.4 °C/(79.5) °F in July.
Minimum night time temperature is 16.5 °C
(61.7) °F. 

This means that you can enjoy the temperatures during the day and get a good nights sleep.

Garden tours around GlenMyu Estate

Connect with nature

As you walk around the five acres at GlenMyu Estate you will come across some animals, birds and insects.

There is a large variety of birds that visit the estate. We also have to types of monkey that regularly visit the trees to forage (and annoy our dogs!).

Connecting with nature is an important part of the enjoyment when you stay at GlenMyu Estate.

A Hill Swallow Gathering Twigs

Spend time with our dogs, ducks, chickens and cows.

Guests love the connection that they make with the rescue dogs that we have on the estate. Clove will give you a great welcome. The other dogs will say hello and them leave you alone as they go about their day (or sleep!).

The ducks forage around the estate and swim in the ponds that are scattered around the estate. 

One of my favourite images of 2023 was seeing a French executive lying on the ground, looking upwards to the trees whilst petting one of the dogs.

He really loved the dogs whilst he was here and really connected with them. 

We really enjoy guests that connect with our animals.


A Swiss lady arrived in early 2024 and had a passion for cows. I suppose that Switzerland has an abundance of the animals eating lush grass in the mountains. 

Whilst showing the couple around the garden at the estate we had to wait for a while. It was the time for the cows to be put to bed in the cowshed. We waited for our new bull calf to arrive.
He was petted by his new admirer before heading to his bed.

It was a beautiful sight and a great memory for both the guest and also myself.

A walk around the garden

Ru normally does the garden tour.

I also do to but I miss quite a few plants of interest because Ru designed and planted most of the grounds.
Of course, I am very proud of how my Jackfruit, Mango and Avocado trees are coming on, but there is much more to see.

It’s a delight when guests smell the leaves of the mandarin and lemon trees trying to guess what it is.
The curry leaf gets a variety of reactions.
If someone bites onto one of the pepper pods they are normally seeking some water to cool them down

You walk, you see, you learn.

I love it when guests discover that a pepper is grown as a vine.
The amazement that green coffee on the tree becomes a breakfast drink.

Seeing a Jackfruit on the tree and then eating a Jackfruit Burger later on is an experience.

Harvesting sap from the Kithul Tree becomes the syrup that they pour over their breakfast for sweetness.

Some people are a little embarrassed that they didn’t know where some of the food they eat comes from. I was the same.

I used to enjoy cloves in my mulled wine over the festive period when living in the UK. I didn’t have a clue about where a clove comes from . 

Here, at GlenMyu Estate, we have planted thirty clove trees. In around five years we will be harvesting our own cloves from the trees we have planted.

When I was living in London, I had no idea about where my food come from and how much work went into producing it.
I thought that peanut grew on a tree.
I’m sure that I got this belief from an advert I saw in television as a child. 

They are grown on the ground. I was amazed when we grew them and how delicious they tasted.

Removing the shells however, is another story and I appreciate the work that went into producing the packet of peanuts that I enjoy with a Lion lager! 

Are you ready to practice friluftsliv?

We think that everyone should be able to practice Friluftsliv. 

GlenMyu Estate and the places you can visit on a day trip are ways that you  can get closer to nature on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and practice friluftsliv.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

GlenMyu Estate
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