Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. It is the administrative capital of Southern Province, Lanka and is the district capital of Galle District. Both routes are picturesque, following the coastline closely for much of the way. You can also take the Southern Expressway if you need to reach the city by half the time but there is not much scenery to admire.
Galle features a tropical rainforest climate. The city has no true dry season, though it is noticeably drier in the months of January and February. As is commonplace with many cities with this type of climate, temperatures show little variation throughout the course of the year, with average temperatures hovering at around 26 degrees Celsius throughout.
Galle is a sizeable city, by Sri Lankan standards, and has a population of 91 000, the majority of whom are of Sinhalese ethnicity. There is also a large Sri Lankan Moor minority, particularly in the fort area, who descend from Arab merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle. Galle is also notable for its foreign population, both residents, and owners of holiday homes.
- There are a wide variety of places to visit in Galle. However, your tour of Sri Lanka is almost incomplete without visiting the Galle Fort. The fort has quite generously preserved the old culture and the colonial heritage which makes the place a popular pick for all the tourists. Dutch Fort is one of the most extraordinary historical and archaeological sites of the world. The fort was first constructed by Portuguese and fortified expansively by the Dutch. It is a stunning blend of archaeology, architecture, and history in the backdrop of the tropical atmosphere. Its appeal lies in that it is not just a historical monument. Even today the life is buzzing inside it, with a museum, gorgeous villas, administrative offices, antique shops, cafes, bookstores and lifestyle stores.
- Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city’s natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum.
- National Maritime Museum is a set up within an age-old warehouse of the colonial times with some of the deepest secrets of the aquatic world. It is located in close proximity to the Old Gate of the Galle Fort.
- Galle Harbour is a natural harbor, located in Galle, on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka. Currently Galle port serves as one of the most active regional ports in the country. It is also the only Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for pleasure yachts. International yacht societies have recognized Galle Harbour as one of the world’s best attractions for yachting.
- The coastal side of the Galle district is comprised of beautiful sandy beaches with scenic beauty. Hikkaduwa beach, Unawatuna beach, Jungle beach in Roomassala, Weligama beach, Koggala beach are some of them.
- Roomassala is the hill located in Unawatuna, close proximity to the Galle- Matara main road. You can enjoy the stunning beauty of lapping ocean waves, golden sand, huge rocks and spicy tropical atmosphere in the somewhat secluded beach of Sri Lanka, the Jungle Beach. A little road lying on the west of Unawatuna Beach will take you to the Jungle Beach, passing through the serene Peace Pagoda. Local tradition associates this hill with some events of Ramayana, one of the great Hindu epics.
- Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. Canoeing is a beautiful experience in Galle. Unawatuna is an astounding island where most of the adventure sports happen in Galle. It is brimmed with canals, lagoons, beaches, rivers, and reservoirs. You will also find coral gardens which are considered to be one of the much-appreciated beauties of the Hikkaduwa beach. Surfing too is very famous in this area.
- Madol Duwa is a yet another island whereas became very famous through the ‘Madol Duwa’ book. It situates in Koggala. Places like Koggala attract tourists to Sri Lanka from various countries. Koggala is located on the southern face of Sri Lanka. Koggala museum is the home of former famous writer Martin Wickramasinghe. Koggala town has a valuable culture, custom, and folks. Koggala is an ideal place for travelers’ aptitude for Sinhala culture and tradition.
- The major river in the area is the Gin River (Gin Ganga), which begins from Gongala Kanda, passes villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada, and Wakwella, and reaches the sea at Ginthota. The river is bridged at Wakwella by the Wakwella Bridge. 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.
- Sinharaja and Kanneliya are world famous rainforests situated in Galle, Sri Lanka. Sinharaja declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Forest Reserve 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. Kanneliya is a forest complex designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It is the last large remaining rainforest in Sri Lanka other than Sinharaja. This forest area has been identified as one of the floristically richest areas in South Asia the rainforest is a major catchment area for two of the most important rivers in southern Lanka, the Gin and Nilwala Rivers. This biosphere reserve harbors many plants and animal species endemic to Sri Lanka. Watching Lanka and its beautiful places are almost incomplete if you forget to travel to the most interesting places in Galle town.