Galle is a city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It’s known for Galle Fort, the fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, encircle car-free streets with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. Notable buildings include the 18th-century Dutch Reformed Church. Galle Lighthouse stands on the fort’s southeast tip
Colombo to Galle distance 145.2km
Hikkaduwa is a popular beach resort in the south western coastal belt of Sri Lanka replete with lovely palm fringed bay beaches. Hikkaduwa beach affords ample opportunities for water sports, diving & snorkeling. While Hikkaduwa has earned a reputation as a safe surfing beach, diving enthusiasts that get excited by four shipwrecks at Hikkaduwa are supported by dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment.
The Madu Ganga is a minor watercourse which originates near Uragasmanhandiya in the Galle District of Sri Lanka, before widening into the Madu Ganga Lake at Balapitiya. The river then flows for a further a 4.4 km before draining into the Indian Ocean.
A beach with golden sand that complements the clear ocean waves is surely one of the places to visit in Galle during your trip. Lying in the southern region of Sri Lanka, Unawatuna Beach is one of the most famous spots amongst tourists for swimming, walking and relaxing.
One can also rent some sunbeds to take the day off from the world and just lay still as you oversee the vast sea. This beach is surrounded by a lot of eateries that surely put a fine cap on a well-spent day. Canoeing is a great pastime on this beach.
Koggala is a rustic village in the Galle district; the place is popular for the lake and Madol Duwa an island made famous by the literary works of famed Sri Lankan author Martin Wickremasinghe. Go there for wildlife, culture and gorgeous surroundings, as explained below.
Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sinharaja Forest Reserve (kingdom of the lion), is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. It is home to a vast number of endemic species of birds and mammals of Sri Lanka. About 95 per cent of Sri Lankan endemic birds and more than 50 per cent of endemic mammals are known to have their habitats in this Forest Reserve.
Amongst the many beaches in Sri Lanka, Koggala Beach has become a secret favourite for the tourists owing to this coastline’s spectacular view. Not only is it a great place to unwind and rejuvenate as you listen to the waves hug the sand every few seconds, but it is also a fun place to get some surfing lessons, and walk to the Koggala Lake.
The beach is so beautiful, that many prefer staying at one of the beach hotels or resorts. You should try your hands on some local delicacies when you take a break from relaxing!
The Jungle Beach is an out-of-the-way and serene beach that is a storehouse of all the quiet time you need on your holiday. Located a little ahead of the Japanese Peace Pagoda, this Beach is one of the most relaxed one and is much less swarming than all the other tourist places in Galle.
You can sit back on the sandy beach and get a perfect tan, or swim in the clear waters that seem like a mirror image of the ground below. If you are a fan of the aquatic life, then you could spend some time Snorkeling to see for yourself the life of the rich marine life in Galle.
Some people of Sri Lanka have dedicated their lives to animals around the Seas, and the Sea Turtle Hatchery is run by one such family. Every member is steadfast towards helping out the sea turtles who need medical help, or those who are pregnant.
In fact, they even help the sea turtles breed, and provide them with a safe environment to lay their eggs and care for them. The reason why it is one of the best places to visit in Galle is that, you will get to witness all of that at once during a short detour to this turtle abode.
Nestled in the premise of the Galle Dutch Fort, the Galle Lighthouse is an imperial beauty. The captivating architecture, tall building and the breeze it echoes are all unforgettable scenes that even a camera cannot capture at its best. One can see the far-off oceans that face the lighthouse, which is factually the oldest one in the country. It was a sigh of relief for ancient mariners and is a scintillating sight for tourists today.
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is for all those people who are looking for inner peace and some time for introspection. This tranquil structure built not so long ago is perched on top of the Rumassala Hill from where you can see the expansive ocean and the thick jungles. Take a deeper dip into this composure and attend the daily ritual that they perform every evening at 05.30 p.m.
The construction is tall enough to be visible for people standing on the Unawatuna Beach and Galle Beach. The aura at dusk is fascinating and rides one into another world of beauty.
If your life’s passion is driven by the history of the world, then the National Museum of Galle is ‘the’ place for you. It is amongst those tourist places in Galle that allows you to study the times gone by of Sri Lanka from the 4th Century.
Starting from architectural designs, relics and masks, shells, wooden carvings and Beeralu Collection to other archaeological objects that take you into the deepness of this country is all preserved in this educative building. The influence of the Dutch in Sri Lanka can be witnessed through various items on display like the weapons and vessels.
Built several years ago on a massive piece of land in Galle, the Galle Dutch Fort was used by the Portuguese until the Dutch took over it. The British finally sealed the fort as theirs with a lot of re-building and renovation. The unique blends that led to the standing of this monumental structure are now listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites thus deserving a substantial place on the list of places to visit in Galle.