Galle in Sri Lanka is loved by the tourists for its old-world charm that manifests into the city’s many Dutch-colonial buildings, mosques and temples as well as tea plantations and stylish cafes. Best explored at leisure, Galle is the place to have a brief tryst with the history of the country and the life as it was lived here by generations before our time. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle has so many gems hidden under its blanket for tourists that it is difficult to pick the best experiences.
Doing the task for you, we bring you a list of top five things that you can do in Galle to understand the essence of the city:
Explore the Galle Fort
The prime attraction in the city, the Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588. It was later fortified by the Dutch and given the most of its present form. The fort remains a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical, archaeological and architectural heritage. The walking tours of the fort are particularly known for offering insightful details on every section of the fort. The mesmerising views of the ocean from here are also quite popular. The city of Galle is equally popular amongst the tourists who come exploring its beautiful Dutch-styled homes, churches and warehouses.
Visit the National Maritime Archaeology Museum
Step back into the history of the port town with the National Maritime Archaeology Museum that preserves artefacts and artworks that are 800 years old. Displaying exhibits from the yesteryears that bear reference to sea-faring, maritime trade, fishing as well as the sea life in the town, the visit to the museum is rewarding for history-enthusiasts. Expect to find nautical objects like maps, earthenware and artillery guns as you begin discovery of this naval port.
Take a Boat Trip around the Galle Region
The Galle Region comes on the path of the whales while they are migrating through the Indian Ocean, which is why it is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to take a boat tour at. From sperm whales to blue whales, and from humpback whales to dolphins, a boat ride around the Mirissa and Dondra areas is your best chance to spot them all. Alternatively, you can book yourself on a sunset cruise on the Koggala Lake and spend a day fishing and enjoying breathtaking vistas of the ocean from the lake.
Discover the Shipwrecks While Scuba Diving
Being a port city, Galle has seen many ships and boats lining on its shores, some of them sinking off the coastline. The bottom of the Indian Ocean near the Unawatuna region is one of the best places to discover sunken ships surrounded by diverse coral life. One of the most popular dive sites here is where an old English ship called Rangoon rests in the ocean. The Napoleon and Galapiteala reefs are also known for a wide variety of fish life that lives here. Galle also becomes an excellent surfing spot for beginners from May to November.
Sample Delicious Tea at Handunugoda Tea Museum
Run by a family, the Handunugoda Tea Museum found fame for a special variety of tea called the white tea which has excellent medicinal properties. The visitors come here to know about the process of harvesting and cutting of the white tea along with its brief history at the museum. The tea is believed to have been originated in China and consumed by the Chinese royalty, with only emperors allowed to drink it. Sample a cup and discover why!