Galle, a vibrant city that embraces its ancient and colonial past, is made famous by its 17th century Dutch fort, by far the best surviving European fort in Asia. The Galle Fort is a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a living monument, inhabited by a bustling community, within the great ramparts, massive bastions and pepper pot towers. The once sleepy Galle Fort is now a dynamic area with a distinctively Mediterranean atmosphere. Today, schools, administrative offices, companies, and courts, neighbour ancient buildings, and visitors can spend a full day exploring its narrow streets and lanes. The tropical rainforests at Hiyare and Kanneliya, close to Galle, provide opportunities for nature walks where you can see some of the island’s endemic flora and fauna. The golden sandy beaches along the southern coast, and a number of luxurious retreats makes Sri Lanka’s south coast an ideal escape from frenetic everyday life.
Points of Interest in Galle
Spend a morning exploring the two local fish markets. This is a wonderful way to experience a real slice of local life by joining the locals jostling with crates and buying fish.
Shop for your own ingredients and join a cooking class to learn about Sri Lankan cuisine.
Discover the art of growing and preparing Virgin White Tea at the Handunugoda Tea Factory.
Meander through the lush Kanneliya Rainforest Reserve seeking out iconic wildlife.
Explore the beauty of the Galle Fort and immerse yourself in the charming culture of this historic heritage place.
Take a boat out of Mirissa Harbour and seek out the largest creature ever to inhabit our planet, the mammoth blue whale. Also, keep a look-out for dolphins and other cetaceans in the waters off Sri Lanka’s south coast. Best between November and April.
Step back into the past and delve into Galle’s Maritime Museum. The Mosque, the Lighthouse, the Anglican and Dutch-reformed Churches are some of the other must-see sites within the Fort’s walls.