11 Nov 2016 – 22 Nov 2016
Galle is magical. The most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka and a piece of living history. Over the past view years, Galle has become one of the island’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities, as a sizable influx of European expats have moved into the old Dutch fort. Foreigners have bought up and renovated the neglected properties , streets and sidewalks have been newly paved and lots of boutique hotels and smart shops have opened up , giving some international flair to the formerly sleepy town. Galle’s main attraction is the 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site.
The principal entrance to the Fort is through the Main Gate, one of the newest parts, added by the British is 1873. The Dutch had substantially enlarged the original Portuguese fortifications and the entire fort easily withstood the 2005 Tsunami and protected some of the new town. The best way to explore the Fort is on foot, walking down Leyn Baan Street towards the lighthouse and from there along the ramparts back through Pedlar Street to the point of origin. Little restaurants, cafes and shops offer meals and refreshments. Avoid the midday heat.
What to do/see in & around GALLE
Galle is a destination that one shouldn’t miss in Sri Lanka
- Galle National & Maritime Museum.
- Annual Galle Literary festival, in January, founded in 2007
Afternoon tea at Amangalla Hotel, the former residence of the Dutch governor, dating from 1684, earlier known as New Oriental Hotel ( 1863)
- Meeran Jumma Mosque and All Saint’s & Dutch reformed churches
Historical Mansion Museum, Leyn Baan Street, interesting collection of antiques, coins & junk
Sri Lanka is renowned for water sports and Galle is one of the main hubs for the same. A thirty minute drive from Galle takes you to Hikkaduwa beach which houses marine flora and fauna that one should definitely witness in the natural habitat
- Galle International Cricket Stadium, new town, just outside the fort
- Train ride to Hikkaduwa or Colombo from Galle main train station
- Excursion to Bundala and YALA National Parks
- Kataragama -holy site held sacred by Buddhits, Muslims and Hindus alike, colorful poojas
- Mulkirigala Cave temple
- Boat tour on the Koggala lake
- Dondra Head lighthouse, the southernmost point of the island,
- Sinharaja Rainforest
- Whale-watching in Mirissa, during the season