Table of Contents
- 1 GALLE DAY TOUR ITINERARY FROM COLOMBO
- 2 Few other useful links
- 3 GALLE DAY TOUR, WHAT TO SEE?
- 4 GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES AND GALLE DAY TOURS
- 5 TRAVELLING ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 6 INCLUSIONS OF GALLE DAY TOURS
- 7 GALLE DAY TOURS FOR TRAVELLERS WITH SHORT TIME
- 8 GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES – MADU ESTUARY
- 9 EATING FRESH SEA FOOD-A PART OF GALLE DAY TOURS
- 10 THE BEST ITINERARY FOR GALLE DAY TOURS
- 11 VISITING BENTOTA BEACH ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 12 VISITING SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 13 VISITING SPICE GARDEN ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 14 VISITING GANGATILAKA TEMPLE ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 15 THE GALLE HARBOUR
- 16 GALLE FORT
- 17 EXPLORING GALLE FORT ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- 18 PLACES TO VISIT IN GALLE FORT
- 19 LACE PRODUCTION CENTRE
- 20 VISITNG UNAWATUNA ON GALLE DAY TOUR
- 21 GALLE DAY TOUR OFFER
- 22 HIKKADUWA AND GALLE DAY TRIP
- 23 VISITNG MARITIME MUSUEM ON GALLE TOUR
- 24 EXPLORING DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH ON GALLE TRIP
- 25 VISITING MARTIN WIKRAMASINGHE MUSEUM ON GALLE DAY TOUR
- 26 DRIVE TO HANDUNGODA TEA FACTORY
- 27 JUNGLE BEACH, A POPULAR DAY OUTING PLACE IN GALLE
Most Galle day tours (either from Colombo or any other city) include below mentioned 8 places. These are the most popular one-day outing places in Galle. The Galle day tours are very popular among travellers and are considered being very scenic tours that offer many interesting places to visit. On the Galle city tour, we will take you to one of the most beautiful parts of the island, southern Sri Lanka…
GALLE DAY TOUR ITINERARY FROM COLOMBO
- 07:30 AM Hotel Pickup for the Galle city tour and sightseeing
- 08:30 AM Madu River boat tour and exploring the mangrove forest
- 09.45 AM Stop at the Mask Museum
- 11:00 AM Moonstone mines and workshop
- 12:00 AM Hikkaduwa for lunch and explore the beach
- 02:00 PM Galle Fort, 2 hours leisure while exploring the Fort
- 06:00 PM Back in the hotel in Colombo
GALLE DAY TOUR, WHAT TO SEE?
The Galle one day tour is a very scenic tour that takes place all along the west coast beaches of Sri Lanka. On the Galle city tour, we will take you to one of the most beautiful parts of the island, southern Sri Lanka, where you get plenty of opportunities to enjoy the pristine palm-fringed beaches, picturesque countryside, one of the UNESCO world heritage sites/ the Dutch Fort, wildlife and mangrove forests. The tour includes many important tourist attractions on the west coast as well as many day outing places in Galle, and they will be exposed within a few hours.
GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES AND GALLE DAY TOURS
- Galle Dutch Fort
- Lace weaving centre
- Endangered sea turtle conservation project
- Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary
- Madu River safari
- Galle Maritime museum
- The Dutch Reformed Church of Galle
- Martin Wickramasinghe folk museum
- Handungoda tea factory
- Jungle Beach, Unawatuna
You might be wondering what are the important day outing places in Galle, before venturing on the Galle sightseeing tour, after all, that’s why you landed on this page. Galle sightseeing tour is the best way of exploring southern Sri Lanka with Galle, the colonial city that majestically stands along the south-west borders of Sri Lanka. The Galle tour also includes many other interesting day outing places in Galle such as temple, museums, mangrove forest, beaches, handicraft centre and many more.
Galle is a major city in southern Sri Lanka and can be easily reached by bus or train. For tourists, who are staying on the west coast of Sri Lanka, it is just a matter of 1 hours journey to reach the city of Galle. Despite the well developed public transport facilities it is highly recommended to hire a taxi to get the most out of your Galle sightseeing tour. Hiring a well-experienced driver/guide makes it easy to find the attraction and save time along the way.
TRAVELLING ON GALLE DAY TOURS
You will be travelling in a private vehicle, reserved exclusively for your group, no intruders and enjoy the privacy at maximum on your Galle city tour. All our vehicles are air-conditioned modern vehicles and driven by well-experienced guides.
INCLUSIONS OF GALLE DAY TOURS
The package includes entire ground transportations, all entrance fees as per tour itinerary and all taxes. A stop at Hikkaduwa, which is known as seafood heaven on the island, for the lunch break and the guests are free to make purchases depending on their choice and the payment must be done by the guests.
GALLE DAY TOURS FOR TRAVELLERS WITH SHORT TIME
Galle city tour is a short program intends to travellers, who have very limited time to explore the island. The Galle city tour is a private program and includes all the important tourist attraction in southern Sri Lanka. pristine beaches such as Hikkaduwa beach, Bentota beach and important historical sites such as Galle fortress is also included in the program.
GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES – MADU ESTUARY
In the global context, the ecological importance of this site has garnered it the ‘Ramsar Wetland’ status in 2003, is the second-largest wetland in Sri Lanka and earned the Ramsar wetland status due to its importance as a wetland. The wetland encompasses over 915 hectares; it has 23 islands in varying sizes within its borders and they are inhabited by nearly 300 families. The River Sanctuary is now a Tourist Development Area and a Special Area Managed (SAM) by the Coast Conservation Department. Balapitiya is where the ‘Madu Ganga’ makes its home.
The boat tour on the Madu estuary is very appealing to anyone and very scenic and it is among 8 one day trip places in Galle. The boat tour at the most important Ramsar wetland of the island (Madu river estuary), allow the visitors to experience rich fauna and flora of Sri Lankan riverine forest.
Visiting the Cinnamon island and witness how the cinnamon peelers work with traditional equipment is a truly memorable experience for most travellers. The chances are abundant to spot many animals and birds during the boat tour. Crocodiles, water monitors, monkeys, and many species of birds can be seen during the boat trip.
EATING FRESH SEA FOOD-A PART OF GALLE DAY TOURS
Hikkaduwa is among the 8 one day trip places in Galle and every one day Galle trip start from Colombo included with Hikkaduwa. We drive all the way from Colombo to the capital city of southern Sri Lanka, and Hikkaduwa is few kilometres before Galle.
There are many interesting places to visit on this 118 km trip, in this blog post we discuss mainly on 8 one day trip places in Galle, there will be stops in frequent intervals on these places. In Hikkaduwa, you have a fabulous opportunity to feast your taste buds in fresh seafood and many other delicacies. Exploring corals also can be added to the activities, if time permits.
Galle one day tour enables you to explore southern Sri Lanka in a short period of time (within 8 hours). The tour starts in Colombo at 07.30 am on every day. The departure transfer also included in the price. The tour lasts around 8 hours and largely depend on the time you required at each location. This is a hop-in hop-out tour with many activities such as beach hopping, exploring historical sites, wildlife exploration etc.
THE BEST ITINERARY FOR GALLE DAY TOURS
Meet and greet by seerendipity tours representative start the Galle city tour, and drive to Galle, En-route visit,
VISITING BENTOTA BEACH ON GALLE DAY TOURS
Bentota beach is one of the most important day outing places in Galle. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination on the island. The unique location of Bentota beach resort is one important reason for its popularity as a beach holiday destination. Bentota resort is located on an island and the island is connected with the mainland at its southern border. Bentota is mainly comprised of a narrow strip of land that spreads along the north-south axis.
Unlike most other beaches on the islands, Bentota beach resort has a unique location, and it is surrounded by both the sea and a river. One side of the island is the Bentota River while the western side of Bentota is flanked by the Indian Ocean. Large numbers of hotels are built in this narrow strip of land enabling the travellers to have a peaceful atmosphere during the holiday. You can reserve a hotel in Bentota through Seerendipity Tours at very affordable rate online.
Affordable Sri Lanka beach holiday package
- 2 days of a beach holiday
- Accommodation in a 4-star beach resort
- 1 breakfast and 1 dinner
- Arrival/departure transfer
Special Price US$ 60, save $30, Regular Price US$90
VISITING SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT ON GALLE DAY TOURS
Turtle conservation centres are also important day outing places in Galle. These projects have been launched to conserve the population of turtles that are reaching extinction and such projects are found along the southern coast of Sri Lanka where turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The turtle digs a hole on the Beach, Lays her eggs and covers it with sand where it is supposed to, incubated by the heat of the sun. But many people live in the coastal area dig the sand and discover the eggs hidden by the sea turtle; these eggs are consumed by some of them while some others are selling it.
But now the eggs are bought up by the conservation projects and are hatched the Natural way in enclosed areas where the Birds don’t have a chance of picking them up and the babies are released to the sea at night giving them a better chance of surviving.
VISITING SPICE GARDEN ON GALLE DAY TOURS
Visit a spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown Spices of Sri Lanka attracted the early seafaring merchants who made the long voyages to purchase this precious merchandise.
VISITING GANGATILAKA TEMPLE ON GALLE DAY TOURS
Kalutara a popular Buddhist city 45km south of Colombo is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site due to the Gangatilaka Buddhist temple. The historical background of Kalutara goes back to the 2nd century BC. According to the historical notes, Kalutara is one of the 32 places, mentioned by Rev Mahinda to King Devanampiyatissa, which had to be developed as a place where one of the thirty-two saplings of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree (Bo tree, ficus religiosa) in Anuradhapura is planted, to which the King extended his patronage.
Explore the fortified city of Galleon a 4-hour bike tour, led by a local guide. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site…
Special Price US$ 30, save $10, Regular Price US$40
It is recorded in the Sinhala Maha Bodhi Wansa (chronicle) that until such time when the Maritime Provinces were subjugated by the Portuguese in 1505 A.D, the historic Kalutara Bodhi exited intact. In the 16th century, this sacred site was turned in to a Portuguese fort. Though no harm is supposed to have done to the Bodhi (Bo tree) it was not venerated by the people during that period.
The fame of Kalutara temple went far and wide after the planting of Bo-tree by the Pandyan King named Wickrama Pandya in 1042 A.D, today the Bo-tree stand in the lower terrace. A large number of Buddhist devotees gathering to the Bo-tree daily in order to pay their devotion to the sacred tree.
After the Portuguese, the Dutch too used the present upper terrace or the UDA Maluwa area as a camp, later used by the British as well. During the British period, since the latter half of the 19 century, it was used as an office premise with the residence of the Government Agent.
THE GALLE HARBOUR
Galle harbour is one of the ancient seaports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. A group of Portuguese sailors caught in a storm accidentally landed in Galle harbour. It was Lorenzo De Almeida and a group of sailors, who were siling in the ship. Later they set up a small fortification with the permission of the Sri Lankan king. The same harbour was subsequently used by Duch and British administration for exports and imports.
The origin of Galle Fort goes back to the 15th century, in parallel to the arrival of Portuguese. Portuguese built a fort near the Galle harbour and took control of the maritime region.
The fort was originally built by Portuguese in 1505, later ceded to Dutch colonial rulers, and the fort was widened and developed under the administration of Dutch East Indian Company, The fort is still in very good shape and earned status of UNESCO world heritage site. The Fort was one of the best known urban areas from the Middle Ages in all of southern Asia.
The fort is the main tourist attraction in Galle. Having a stroll through the cobbled, narrow streets and overhanging galleries is one of the lovely experience for most travellers. Which is also a step to the back in time mists of time and a bygone era.
The Galle Fort has been a vibrant and important part of Galle for many centuries. Galle Fort is an important tourist attraction for the entire southern coast. The oldest buildings of Galle fort that were built by Portuguese are not to be seen now. Most of the structures built by Portuguese were replaced by the Dutch buildings.
The Fort had been built on a Dutch plan, which is separated from the rest of the world by a tall granite wall. The Fort was built on a foundation that had been laid out by Portuguese in the early 15’s. However, the Dutch East India company had expanded the fort and converted it to a large city. Subsequently, it was chosen as the administrative capital of southern Sri Lanka.
Galle Fort is now a part of Sri Lankan heritage and has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Fort is consisting of Dutch styled 15th-century mansions, museums, galleries, shops and many other things.
After taking the control of Galle Fort from Portuguese administration in 1505, the East India Company had set up one of its import and export offices in the Fort, dominating spice trade in southern Asia for the next 150 years.
The Fort is very much living part of the cultural heritage of Galle city. There are many tourist attractions around Galle Fort, from the fish market, seafood restaurants, village bazaar, museums, galleries and shops. Many of the shops sell traditional and unique crafts.
Sri Lanka Boat tour at Madu estuary with southern Sri Lanka
- 2-hour boat tour at Madu exploring rich fauna, flora and mangrove forest
- Cinnamon island visit
- Mangrove forest visit
- Galle Fort
- Hikkaduwa beach
- Moonstone mine
- Sea turtle conservation project
- Mask museum
- Galle maritime museum
- Galle Dutch reformed church
Special Price US$ 69 (Rs 12144 ), save US$ 15 (Rs 2640),
Regular Price USD 85
EXPLORING GALLE FORT ON GALLE DAY TOURS
The Fort has developed to a multi-cultured and multi-religious closed city over the last few centuries. The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people, who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world.
The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as cultural heritage (UNESCO World Heritage Site) under criteria iv, for its unique inheritance of “an urban ensemble”, which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
Galle Fort is also known as Dutch fort successfully survived in the Tsunami of 2004, in which large part of the city washed off, killing many thousands of people. Even though the mighty waves have done and extensive damage to the coastal belt, the impact on the Fort was negligible mainly due to its high-rise protective wall. It has been since restored.
Usually, the Travellers get about 1-hour free time to explore the old city. The best way of exploring the city is having a leisurely walk on the labyrinthine cobbled, narrow streets, where there is a large number of shops, cafes, galleries, museums, churches and hotels.
The narrow streets crisscrossing the entire fort and flank by Old Dutch styled mansions, most of these mansions and houses have been converted luxury boutique hotels and occupied by foreign travellers.
PLACES TO VISIT IN GALLE FORT
- Dutch reformed church
- Maritime museum
- Galle Fort Rampart
- Clock tower and Dutch prison
- Galleries & Shops
LACE PRODUCTION CENTRE
Lace is a locally manufactured textile and the technique of weaving lace is a colonial heritage of women in Galle. It can take up to six months to create an intricately designed blouse. This is a region-specific clothing manufacturing technique handed down from generation to generation. There is a huge range of wooden masks, animal figures, wood carvings and other articles to be sold here. To find something with modern with Sri Lankan style, drop into one of the textile shops in the fort, all of them selling trendy fashion designs.
VISITNG UNAWATUNA ON GALLE DAY TOUR
Unawatuna Beach is located just south of Galle, the main city in the south and 125km from Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka). Unawatuna Bay, which is a year-round safe bathing spot in southern Sri Lanka, is rank among the best beaches in the world. A coral reef that blocks the underwater current entering the bay is the main reason for its popularity as a safe bathing spot.
This beach is a paradise for all those, who yearn to enjoy the silence of the sea and dive deep into the blue waters of the ocean. Swimming, snorkelling, diving and surfing are other major activities along the coast here. Within its reach, there is an accessible, reasonably well-preserved coral reef that serves as the base for snorkelling.
GALLE DAY TOUR OFFER
Inclusions: Madu river safari with cinnamon island, Sea turtle farm, Mak museum
Hikkaduwa beach, moonstone mines, Galle Fort, stilt fisherman, All government taxes, Entire ground transportation as per the itinerary
Cost from USD 40
HIKKADUWA AND GALLE DAY TRIP
Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Sri Lanka. It is 98 km south of Colombo and its beautiful beaches a lot of glamour to this town. It is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea.
Hikkaduwa is not only a leading beach holiday spot but also surfing and diving place on the island. Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary, which is only a few meters away from the beach houses a large number of beautiful sea creatures and getting hold of a glass-bottom boat, allows you to see the beautiful corals without jumping into the water.
VISITNG MARITIME MUSUEM ON GALLE TOUR
The Galle city in southern Sri Lanka is the location for the largest maritime museum in Asia. The museum is housed in the Dutch storage premises of the colonial city that built-in 1676 by the Dutch administration. It occupies four spacious chambers in the Dutch storehouse (40,000 square feet) and the present museum was established in 2008.
Large numbers of items with archaeological importance are stored in the museum. Some of them are of the high importance that recovered from the seabed off the sea of Galle. Sri Lanka had been a popular port of call in the region and sea of the island is scattered with a large number of ships wrecks.
One of the most important exhibits of the museum is a diorama of historical inhabitants in Hambantota district. They believed to be lived about 7000 years earlier. Another valuable artefact is a tri-lingual stone inscription that is written in Chinese, Tamil and Persian languages. It believed to be written 600 years earlier in China and later brought to the island.
It also shows the methods of traditional fishing, fishing gears and fishing vessels of the country. Some of the articles among the exhibits are ropes used in vessels, old canons, porcelain items, smoking pipes, maps, and shipwrecks. A valuable artefact of the museum is the model of ship Avondster (evening star) that sank in the port of Galle. The model of the ship and the artefacts recovered from the ship can be witnessed in the museum. The ship has perished in 1659 AD.
Galle maritime museum was established by the Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka under the conservation program of the Galle world heritage site. The museum showcases the cultural and religious aspects of the people of southern Sri Lanka. It gives an idea of the convergence of Sri Lankan culture, trade, language and tradition with the other foreign nations.
One of the important functions of the museum is educating the people on the fragile maritime ecosystem of the sea. It shows a specimen of a large number of sea creatures such as fish, corals, seagrass and algae. One can see the causes of sea pollution and coastal erosion and precautions that one need to observe to stop the destruction.
One can visit the laboratory of the archaeological museum and witnessed the process of conservation of items with historical value. It provides a rare opportunity of acquiring hands-on experience of conserving items in a laboratory. The historical value of the artefacts represents the period from 8000 B.C to the present millennium.
EXPLORING DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH ON GALLE TRIP
None of the Galle day tours is completed if you miss Galle Fortress. This iconic tourist attraction is the most important site included in all Galle day tours. In the Galle fort sits the Dutch Reformed Church, which is another archaeological masterpiece dating back to more than 2 centuries, and one of the major tourist attractions in Galle Sri Lanka. Even though there are many historical attractions in the city, the Dutch Reformed Church is a must visited place among all of them due to the unique architecture and antiquity of the Church.
The fort of Galle Sri Lanka, which is located bordering the Indian Ocean on one side and sitting on a piece of land penetrated into the ocean, is the proud owner of this historical church. The fort is located at the highest point of the city which, looks over the town.
The church is located towards the southern end of the fort near the Galle maritime museum. It commands the awe-inspiring sight over the Indian Ocean and historic port of Galle. Several families, who are still adhering to this religion, come to the church on Sundays for the weekly sermon. They worship before the rare more than 200 years old spiritual objects hangs on the wall. The church was built by Dutch East Indian Company. This is one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in the country.
The beginning of the church goes back to the Dutch colonial period. Another church, which belongs to the same religion, can be found in Colombo and it is known as the Wolvendaal church. These churches are two of the most ancient churches in the island.
Dutch Reformed church is housed in a building that built after the typical Dutch architecture. The church had been drawing a large number of devotees for many years during the Dutch period in Sri Lanka. But since the end of Dutch colonial rule in the island, the number of devotees of the religion was drastically reduced. Today only several dozens of families believe in this religion.
Dutch Reformed church is a leading tourist attraction in the fort of Galle. Galle Fort is one of the most historic parts of the city and declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Today the Church draws very few local people but it is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The Dutch Reformed church is not huge inside and there are certainly bigger churches in the city. One unique feature of the church is the gravestones of late Dutch East India Company servants. Nearly half of the floor is built over many dozens of gravestones.
The church still looks very antiques with its old-style building and antique furniture. Chairs and other furniture are made of valuable hardwoods such as ebony. Most of the furniture and woodworks are dating back to the 17th and 18th century. the collection of furniture is a remarkable and veritable treasure of the church.
The church is an archaeologically protected monument on the island and it is under the purview of the archaeological department. The Dutch Reformed Church of Galle is one of the oldest Protestant churches in the country. The church is built after the Doric style of the period, in the form of the Greek cross with several feet thick wall. The transepts are roofed with brick barrel arches and a central dome.
VISITING MARTIN WIKRAMASINGHE MUSEUM ON GALLE DAY TOUR
Martin Wickramasinghe folk museum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sri Lanka offering the possibility to explore the rich historical past of Galle and suburb, and it is a must-see attraction in Galle. It is a place to see typical ancient farming practices, fishing methods, hunting methods and many other cottage industries. The museum has a large collection of bullock carts known as “Thirikkala”, which functioned as the main transport method of southern Sri Lanka in the past.
DRIVE TO HANDUNGODA TEA FACTORY
If you are a tea lover Handungoda tea estate is one of the perfect day outing places in Galle for you. Usually, Handungoda tea factory does not include in most Galle day tours, therefore, don’t forget to ask your tour operators to make room for it in the tour itinerary.
Handuingoda tea factory gives you a perfect opportunity to visit a tea factory and plantation in your Galle day trip. Usually, this opportunity (visiting tea factory) can be obtained in your trip to upcountry, however, thanks to Handugoda tea factory now the travellers from beach hotels in Galle and southern coast can witness the process of tea manufacturing in Sri Lanka.
Handgugoda tea plantation produces not only tea but also many other important commercial agricultural products such as coconut, Cinnamon and rubber. The visitors also can visit a Tea museum where they find machinery used in on the island at the initial stage of the tea industry of Sri Lanka. Some of these machines are more than 100 years old.
The journey from Galle to Handugida tea factory takes around 40 minutes and the drive is extremely interesting because you pass very beautiful surrounding and countryside that full of trees and plants.
Visiting Handugida tea factory on your Galle day tours allows you to get to know the many tea varieties such as BOPF, BOP, OP etc. Handungoda tea factory produces one exclusive tea variety known as ” Saphire Oolong Tea “, which is very rare tea variety and only very few tea factories producing it.
JUNGLE BEACH, A POPULAR DAY OUTING PLACE IN GALLE
The southern and west coast of Sri Lanka harbour many dozens of mesmerizing beaches. Some of the beaches like Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna are very clean and very suitable for beach holidays. These beaches are pouring with travellers every year, especially from November to April, parallel to north-west monsoon.
However, there is a secluded beach near Unawatuna and it is a very unpopular day outing place in Galle, therefore you do not see hordes of tourist here. It is a perfect spot to avoid the crowd. It is part of the Unawatuna beach known as jungle beach. As the name suggests this palm-fringed beach is surrounded by jungle one of the best-secluded beaches in Galle for sun and sea bath.
Usually, jungle beach is not part of most Galle day tours but it is recommended to visit this day outing places in Galle if you have time on your trip to Galle. The shallow beaches with crystal clear waters are best for swimming and sunbath. The Jungle beach is about 3 kilometres off the main road into the hilly area. You have to climb a very steep mountain before descending to the beaches.