“One-day outing places in Galle for Galle day tour” formulated to serve travellers, who look for interesting places to visit on their day trip to the south coast of Sri Lanka. Sometimes the article features a tour itinerary, which is the ideal Galle trip for anyone, either from Colombo or any other destination on the west coast. The tour itinerary covers the most important tourist attractions such as Galle Fort, Madu estuary, Hikkaduwa, etc. The places included in this Galle trip are also easily accessible with extra arrangements.
Table of Contents
- ONE-DAY TRIP TO GALLE
- ONE DAY OUTING IN GALLE
- ONE DAY GALLE TOUR
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR A GALLE DAY TOUR FROM COLOMBO?
- GALLE 2 DAYS TOUR
- 3-DAY SOUTHERN SRI LANKA TOUR WITH GALLE
- CAN I BOOK THE GALLE TOUR FROM BEACH HOTEL?
- HOW TO TRAVEL ON GALLE ONE-DAY TRIP?
- GALLE ONE DAY TOUR
- WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE FOR MY GALLE TRIP?
- GALLE ONE DAY ITINERARY FROM COLOMBO
- GALLE ONE DAY ITINERARY FROM BENTOTA
- WHAT ARE THE 10 IMPORTANT PLACES INCLUDED IN THE ONE DAY GALLE TOUR?
- GALLE DAY TOUR, WHAT TO SEE?
- GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES AND GALLE DAY TOURS
- A few popular tour packages to visit Galle and Surrounding attractions
- TRAVELLING ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- INCLUSIONS OF GALLE DAY TOURS
- GALLE DAY TOURS FOR TRAVELLERS WITH A SHORT TIME
- GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES – MADU ESTUARY
- EATING FRESH SEA FOOD-A PART OF GALLE DAY TOURS
- THE BEST ITINERARY FOR GALLE DAY TOURS
- VISITING BENTOTA BEACH ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- VISITING SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- VISITING SPICE GARDEN ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- VISITING GANGATILAKA TEMPLE ON GALLE DAY TOURS
- HIKKADUWA BEACH
- THE GALLE HARBOUR
- GALLE: THE BASTION OF GALLE TRIP
- HISTORY OF GALLE FORT
- WHERE IS GALLE FORT
- WHAT ARE THE 6 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GALLE FORT?
- LACE PRODUCTION CENTER
- VISITING UNAWATUNA ON GALLE DAY TOUR
- HIKKADUWA AND GALLE DAY TRIP
- VISITING MARITIME MUSEUM ON GALLE TOUR
- EXPLORING DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH ON GALLE TRIP
- VISITING MARTIN WICKRAMASINGHE MUSEUM ON THE GALLE DAY TOUR
- DRIVE TO HANDUNGODA TEA FACTORY
- JUNGLE BEACH, A POPULAR DAY OUTING PLACE IN GALLE
- UNDERWATER MUSEUM GALLE
- HIYARE RESERVOIR RAINFOREST
- DEVATA BEACH
- AHANGAMA STILT FISHING
ONE-DAY TRIP TO GALLE
You just need to look around to see why Sri Lanka’s south coast and west coast are so popular among travellers and praised for their natural beauty and historic monuments. Pristine beaches, lagoons, bays, and mangrove lagoons, speckled in myriad colours, torques waters of the Indian Ocean shimmer throughout the years and beach restaurants, bars, and cafes dotted along the shore as it invites you to enjoy beautiful the sunset. With an 8 hours trip to Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Galle and southern Sri Lanka, you’ll experience some of the best beaches on the island with the warmest of hospitality. Discover the art of healing using herbs and spices, known as the Ayurveda hearing system, and learn about the efforts of local people to rescue endangered sea turtles. Your Galle one-day tour culminates with exploring the best preserved, oldest living city in Asia (Galle Fort) on a walking tour with your personal guide. With private sightseeing tours and transfers, local knowledge and stunning scenery let Sri Lanka’s south and west coast enchant you.
ONE DAY OUTING IN GALLE
One-day outing tour of Sri Lanka to Galle is a very popular activity among local as well as foreign travellers. Galle is among the top 10 one-day outing places in Sri Lanka along with Kandy, Bentota, Udwalawe national park, Negombo beach, Sigiriya rock, Dambulla golden temple, Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Sinharaja rain forest and Yala national park. All these one-day outing places are easy to reach from Colombo within only a few hours. So, if you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka and looking for one-day trip places, you should thoroughly consider the above-mentioned place.
Galle is a popular destination among travellers, therefore, it is among the popular one-day trip places in Sri Lanka and is included in most of Sri Lanka’s south coast itineraries. Most Galle day tours (either from Colombo or any other city) include the 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 to be 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…
ONE DAY GALLE TOUR
If you are venturing on a Galle tour with time restrictions, E.g you can afford only 8 hours for the trip. This southern Sri Lanka tour with Galle is the ideal trip for you, either from Colombo or any other destination on the west coast. The tour itinerary covers the most important tourist attractions such as Galle Fort, Madu estuary, Hikkaduwa, and Kande vihara temple.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR A GALLE DAY TOUR FROM COLOMBO?
The Galle one-day tour from Colombo cost US$ 59 per person based on 2 persons. The Galle tour can be booked for a single person, however, there is a single supplement if you book it for a single person. The price includes all entrance fees, entire ground transportation including arrival-departure transfers and a certified tour guide.
GALLE 2 DAYS TOUR
The Galle 2 days tour is also a popular trip among travellers in Sri Lanka. If you can dedicate 2 days to a trip, it is one of the most interesting activities in Sri Lanka and has a very interesting blend of tourist sites and activities. This 2 days tour to the south coast includes places like Galle, Galle fort, Spice garden, moonstone mines, mask museum, Buddhist temple, and activities like a mangrove lagoon tour, whale watching tour and visiting sea turtle conservation project. The tour includes 1 overnight stay in a beach resort on the south coast giving you the opportunity to relax at teh end of teh day 1.
3-DAY SOUTHERN SRI LANKA TOUR WITH GALLE
It is well worth investing your time on the 3-day southern Sri Lanka tour because it is a perfect opportunity to explore the most important cultural, tropical and natural attractions in southern Sri Lanka. The tour includes 2 overnight stays and time to relax on the beach. This 3 days tour includes places like Galle fort, Galle, Spice/Herbal garden, Mask museum, sea turtle conservation project and activities such as Yalla safari, and whale watching tour in Mirissa.
CAN I BOOK THE GALLE TOUR FROM BEACH HOTEL?
The Galle one-day tour, Galle 2 days tour and the southern Sri Lanka tour can be booked from Colombo as well as 400+ beach resorts on the west coast. There can be a slight increase in price if you book the Galle tour from a beach resort such as Negombo, due to the additional transport cost.
HOW TO TRAVEL ON GALLE ONE-DAY TRIP?
Galle is a city that can be easily accessed by road and rail transport. Many trains ply daily from Colombo Galle and vice versa, and there are many express trains among them. Travel by bus is also a viable option with buses leaving from the fort main bus stand at regular intervals. Air transport is also available to Galle from most major cities such as Kandy, and Colombo, at a higher price, compared to all transport modes.
GALLE ONE DAY TOUR
Galle’s one-day trip is one of the most popular activities among local as well as foreign travellers in Sri Lanka. Being a convenient short trip from Colombo and the international airport a large number of foreign starvelings, who are in transit are very interested in this one-day tour. Similarly, it attracts a large number of travellers who arrive on the island on cruise ships. Even though the Galle one-day trip is offered as a day tour it can also be done as a half-day trip from Colombo as the guests have to cover about 100 km from Colombo.
WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE FOR MY GALLE TRIP?
If you opt to travel on road on this one-day tour, there are two major routes to choose from. However, we recommend you choose the A2 main road, thereby you get convenient access to major tourist attractions such as the Herbal garden/spice garden, Mask Museum, Kande vihara temple, Sea turtle watching at the conservation centre etc, along the way. Choose an expressway to make the return journey in order to curtail travel time by half, and thereby spend minimum travel on the return journey.
- Southern expressway
- Galle-Colombo main road, A2
Travelling on the southern highway is quicker and takes you to Galle in about 1 hour. But there will be no stops during the journey, which means you will not be able to visit places located between Galle and Colombo and you can visit only the tourist attractions in Galle city.
If you wish to see the places mentioned in this Galle one-day trip itinerary, you need to take the Galle-Colombo main road, which runs parallel to the west coast beach. The road is in very good condition and you will counter a few busy cities as you proceed on the tour. All major sites mentioned in this itinerary are located within easy reach of the Galle-Colombo main road. Our guide will make frequent stops in interesting places during the trip.
GALLE ONE DAY ITINERARY FROM COLOMBO
The time mentioned below is can be varied depending on conditions such as traffic congestion, and time required for sightseeing, etc. This Sri Lanka one-day tour from Colombo starts early morning at 06.00 hrs.
- 07:00 AM Hotel Pickup from Colombo for the Galle city tour and sightseeing
- 09:00 AM stop at Sea turtle conservation centre Kosgoda
- 09:40 AM Madu River boat tour and exploring the mangrove forest
- 11.45 AM Stop at the Mask Museum Ambalangoda
- 12:10 PM Moonstone mines and workshop
- 01:00 PM Hikkaduwa for lunch and explore the beach
- 02:30 PM Galle Fort, 1-hour self-guided walking tour and leisure while exploring the Fort
- 04:00 PM Leave the fort
- 05.30 PM Back in the hotel in Colombo
The Galle one-day tour (private) starts from Colombo or west coast beach hotels and takes you to important tourist places that sit between Colombo and Galle. Places you visit on this tour are the spice garden, mask museum, Madu river estuary, Hikkaduwa beach, Bentota beach, and Galle fort.
For more info on Galle one-day tour click here: Galle City Tour, Fortress, Madu River Estuary, and Southern Sri Lanka
GALLE ONE DAY ITINERARY FROM BENTOTA
The Galle day trip starts from 140+ beach resorts on the west coast. The below timing is valid for travellers, who start their Galle tour from Kalutara, Bentota, and other beach resorts on the west coast.
- 08:00 AM Hotel Pickup from Bentota for the Galle city tour and sightseeing
- 09:00 AM stop at Sea turtle conservation centre Kosgoda
- 09:40 AM Madu River boat tour and exploring the mangrove forest
- 11.45 AM Stop at the Mask Museum Ambalangoda
- 12:10 PM Moonstone mines and workshop
- 01:00 PM Hikkaduwa for lunch and explore the beach
- 02:30 PM Galle Fort, 1-hour self-guided walking tour and leisure while exploring the Fort
- 04:00 PM Leave the fort
- 05.00 PM Back in the hotel in Colombo
WHAT ARE THE 10 IMPORTANT PLACES INCLUDED IN THE ONE DAY GALLE TOUR?
- Sea turtle conservation project
- Kosgoda beach
- Spice garden
- Madu river estuary (boat tour)
- Cinnamon island
- Hikkaduwa beach
- Moonstone mines and gem lapidary
- Galle Fort
- Galle city (city tour)
- Mask Museum
- The Dutch Reformed Church Galle
- Things to see in Galle
- Galle Lighthouse – the Construction that Saved Millions of Ships
- From Bentota to Galle and Colombo to Galle
- Bentota To Galle Day Tour
- Galle Sri Lanka With Old-world Charm And Palm-Fringed Beaches
- Galle Fort Sri Lanka
- What To See in Galle On A Galle Sightseeing Tour
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
This is a comprehensive list of places to be visited in Galle. If you wish to visit all the mentioned places below, please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Galle trip can be a 1 day Sri Lank tour, a 2 day Sri Lanka trip, or 3 day Sri Lanka trip package depending on the time you like to allocate for leisure and sightseeing.
- 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
- Underwater museum Galle
- Hiyare reservoir rainforest
- Devata Beach
- Anhangama Stilt fishing
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. The Galle sightseeing tour is the best way of exploring southern Sri Lanka with Galle, the colonial city that majestically stands along the southwest borders of Sri Lanka. The Galle tour also includes many other interesting day outing places in Galle such as temples, museums, mangrove forests, beaches, handicraft centres, 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 saves time along the way.
A few popular tour packages to visit Galle and Surrounding attractions
- Sri Lanka 1 day tours
- Sri Lanka 2 days tours
- Sri Lanka 3 days tours
- Sri Lanka 4 days tours
- Sri Lanka 5 days tours
- Sri Lanka 6 days tours
- Sri Lanka 7 days tours
TRAVELLING ON GALLE DAY TOURS
You will be travelling in a private vehicle, reserved exclusively for your group, with no intruders, and enjoy privacy at maximum on your Galle city tour. All our vehicles are air-conditioned modern vehicles driven by well-experienced guides.
INCLUSIONS OF GALLE DAY TOURS
The package includes entire ground transportation, all entrance fees as per the 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 A SHORT TIME
Galle city tour is a short program that intends for travellers, who have very limited time to explore the island. The Galle city tour is a private program and includes all the important tourist attractions in southern Sri Lanka. pristine beaches such as Hikkaduwa beach, and Bentota beach, and important historical sites such as the Galle fortress are also included in the program.
GALLE DAY OUTING PLACES – MADU ESTUARY
If you are looking for a Sri Lanka day trip with a Madu river boat tour, Galle one-day tour from Colombo or other west coast resorts is the best option for you. The Galle trip can be combined with the Madu river safari and local tour operators organize all things the boat tour, therefore, you do not need to think about how do I get a boat to my Madu river safari.
In the global context, the ecological importance of this site 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 of 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), allows the visitors to experience the rich fauna and flora of the Sri Lankan riverine forest. Visiting Cinnamon island and witnessing 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 starts from Colombo included with Hikkaduwa. We drive all the way from Colombo to the capital city of southern Sri Lanka, and Hikkaduwa is a few kilometres before Galle.
There are many interesting places to visit on this 118 km trip, in this blog post we discuss mainly 8 one-day trip places in Galle, there will be stops in frequent intervals in these places. In Hikkaduwa, you have a fabulous opportunity to feast your taste buds on 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 is also included in the price. The tour lasts around 8 hours and largely depends 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 on this narrow strip of land enabling travellers to have a peaceful atmosphere during the holiday. You can reserve a hotel in Bentota through Seerendipity Tours at a very affordable rate online.
- 17 Best places to see in Colombo Bentota tour
- Bentota River Safari
- Top 10 places to visit in Bentota within a day
- Whale Watching Bentota: Sri Lanka’s Blue Whale Highway
- From Bentota to Galle and Colombo to Galle
- Bentota To Galle Day Tour
- Ayurveda Bentota Sri Lanka
- 10 Best places to visit on a Bentota tour
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 to be very useful to revive the turtle population. These conservation centres are located along the western and southern coast of Sri Lanka, where turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Five species of Sea turtles can be spotted on Sri Lankan beaches such as Rekawa, Bentota and Weligama and Negombo. The turtles are occurring from rekawa beach on the south coast to Negombo of northwest Sri Lanka.
The turtle digs a hole on the Beach, Lays her eggs, and covers it with sand where it is supposed to, be incubated by the heat of the sun. But many people who live in the coastal area dig in the sand and discover the eggs hidden by the sea turtle; these eggs are consumed by some of them while others are selling them.
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 Bentota, where spices and herbs are produced. Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are very important for the economy of Sri Lanka, the 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.
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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 into a Portuguese fort. Though no harm is supposed to have been done to the Bodhi (Bo tree) it was not venerated by the people during that period.
The fame of the Kalutara temple went far and wide after the planting of the Bo tree by the Pandyan King named Wickrama Pandya in 1042 A.D, today the Bo tree stands on the lower terrace. A large number of Buddhist devotees gather at the Bo tree daily in order to pay their homage to the sacred tree. Kalutara temple is a sacred Buddhist temple and you need to have attention to temple rules before visiting the temple such as the temple dress code.
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.
Hikkaduwa is one of the most important beach holiday destinations on Sri Lanka’s west coast. Hikkaduwa is considered one of the best places for water sports and it offers many interesting activities like diving, snorkelling, boating and surfing. A large number of leisure holiday seekers are gathering here during the peak holiday season in Sri Lanka from November to April. The travellers, who book a Galle one-day tour from Colombo may stop here for a short time to take a glass bottom boat tour to see coals and exotic fish species in the Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary.
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 Harbor. It was Lorenzo De Almeida and a group of sailors, who were sailing on the ship. Later they set up a small fortification with the permission of the Sri Lankan king. The same Harbor was subsequently used by the Dutch and British administrations for exports and imports.
GALLE: THE BASTION OF GALLE TRIP
The origin of Galle Fort goes back to the 15th century, parallel with the arrival of the Portuguese. Portuguese built a fort near the Galle harbour and took control of the maritime region.
After taking the control of Galle Fort from the Portuguese administration in 1505, the East India Company set up one of its import and export offices in the Fort, dominating spice trade in southern Asia for the next 150 years.
HISTORY OF GALLE FORT
The fort was originally built by the Portuguese in 1505, later ceded to Dutch colonial rulers, and the fort was widened and developed under the administration of the Dutch East Indian Company, The fort is still in very good shape and earned the 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 experiences for most travellers. Which is also a step back in time mists of time and a bygone era.
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 the Portuguese in the early 15s. However, the Dutch East India Company had expanded the fort and converted it into a large city. Subsequently, it was chosen as the administrative capital of southern Sri Lanka.
Galle fort sandwiches between Galle city and the ocean, the fort is located toward the western border of Galle city overlooking the Indian ocean.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GALLE FORT
Galle fort is one of the most important places to visit on this trip, perhaps Galle fort is the most important highlight of this trip. 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 the Portuguese are not to be seen now. Most of the structures built by the Portuguese were replaced by Dutch buildings.
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-style 15th-century mansions, museums, galleries, shops, and many other things.
The Fort is very much a living part of the cultural heritage of Galle city. There are many tourist attractions around Galle Fort, from the fish market, seafood restaurants, village bazaars, museums, galleries, and shops. Many of the shops sell traditional and unique crafts.
The Fort has developed into 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.
GALLE FORT AS A UNESCO SITE
The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by 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 also known as the Dutch fort successfully survived the Tsunami of 2004, in which a large part of the city washed off, killing many thousands of people. Even though the mighty waves have done 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 of 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 crisscross the entire fort and are flanked by Old Dutch-style mansions, most of these mansions and houses have been converted into luxury boutique hotels and occupied by foreign travellers.
WHAT ARE THE 6 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GALLE FORT?
- Dutch reformed church
- Maritime Museum
- Galle Fort Rampart
- Clock tower and Dutch prison
- Galleries & Shops
LACE PRODUCTION CENTER
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 modern with Sri Lankan style, drop into one of the textile shops in the fort, all of them selling trendy fashion designs.
VISITING 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 ranked among the best beaches in the world. A coral reef that blocks the underwater current from 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.
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.
VISITING MARITIME MUSEUM ON GALLE TOUR
Galle city in southern Sri Lanka is the location of the largest maritime museum in Asia. The museum is housed in the Dutch storage premises of the colonial city 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.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE MARITIME MUSEUM
Large numbers of items with archaeological importance are stored in the museum. Some of them are of 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 the 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 the Hambantota district. They are believed to be lived about 7000 years earlier. Another valuable artefact is a tree-lingual stone inscription that is written in Chinese, Tamil, and Persian languages. It is believed to be written 600 years earlier in China and later brought to the island.
It also shows the methods of traditional fishing, fishing gear, and fishing vessels of the country. Some of the articles in 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 the 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 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 other foreign nations.
FUNCTIONALITIES OF MARITIME MUSEUM
One of the important functions of the museum is to educate 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 the precautions that one needs to observe to stop the destruction.
One can visit the laboratory of the archaeological museum and witness the process of conservation of items with historical value. It provides a rare opportunity of acquiring hands-on experience in 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
In the Galle fort sits the Dutch Reformed Church, which is another archaeological masterpiece dating back 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 its 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 the 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 hanging on the wall. The church was built by the 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 on the island.
Dutch Reformed church is housed in a building that was 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 on 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 was 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 antique 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 woodwork are dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. 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 in the Doric style of the period, in the form of the Greek cross with several feet thick walls. The transepts are roofed with brick barrel arches and a central dome.
VISITING MARTIN WICKRAMASINGHE MUSEUM ON THE 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 its suburbs, 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, the 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.
Handungoda tea factory gives you a perfect opportunity to visit a tea factory and plantation on your Galle day trip. Usually, this opportunity (visiting a tea factory) can be obtained on your trip to the upcountry, however, thanks to the Handugoda tea factory now travellers from beach hotels in Galle and the 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 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 the Handungoda tea factory takes around 40 minutes and the drive is extremely interesting because you pass through very beautiful surroundings and countryside that is full of trees and plants.
Visiting the Handungoda 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 a very rare tea variety and only very few tea factories produce it.
JUNGLE BEACH, A POPULAR DAY OUTING PLACE IN GALLE
The southern and west coasts of Sri Lanka harbour many dozens of mesmerizing beaches. Some of the beaches like Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Galle, and 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 the northwest 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 tourists here. It is a perfect spot to avoid the crowd. It is part of Unawatuna beach known as the 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 baths.
Usually, jungle beach is not part of most Galle day tours but it is recommended to visit these 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.
JAPANESE PEACE STUPA/PAGODA
Japanese peace pagoda is a part of the jungle beach and is located on a nearby hill. Most travellers, who visit the jungle beach are heading to this beachside shrine with a stunning sea view. Even though its historical importance is not on par with most Buddhist temples found on the island. It shows a totally different style, which is closely connected to Mahayana Buddhism. The temple is a novel experience not only for foreign travellers but also for local people. Japanese priest, who resides in the temple is highly delighted to see you and show you around the temple.
UNDERWATER MUSEUM GALLE
The Underwater Museum of Galle is the newest addition to the list of places to visit on a trip to Galle, which lies about 15 meters below the water’s surface. However, it is not a museum as the name suggests, it is more like a collection of statues placed under the surface of the Ocean. The exhibits have no historical or cultural importance that is newly finished with contemporary material such as cement. The visitors have to put in a diving kit in order to explore the underwater museum.
The concept of the underwater museum is in practice for a long time around the world, E.g Baiae, which comprises many valuable artefacts with very high historical and artistic importance, in Italy. However, Galle underwater museum is the first of its kind on the island.
The underwater museum was a project carried out completely under the Sri Lankan navy. It is built for 2 purposes, one is to be a tourist attraction and the second reason is to help the underwater living being, in order to induce an environment suitable for coral and fish species.
HIYARE RESERVOIR RAINFOREST
Hiyare rainforest is one of the most beautiful patches of rainforest in Sri Lanka’s southern province. However, Hiyare remains an isolated, least explored off-the-beaten-track tourist attraction in Sri Lanka for many decades. The rain forest is tucked away from the southern provincial capital city Galle, about 18 km (approximately half an hour’s drive) from Galle.
There are many dozens of tourist places to explore in and around Galle, as mentioned in the list above, therefore Galle is a very popular destination for travellers in Sri Lanka. However, only a fraction of travellers, who visit Galle, run the extra few kilometres to visit the Hiyare rain forest, despite its ecological importance. Hiyare rainforest is an extension of the Kottwawa rainforest reserve. The stretch of rainforest scientifically encircles the hiyare reservoir, which is a man-made lake built to supply water to Galle city in the past.
The rain forest and the reservoir are well connected with neighbouring cities, giving easy access to it from most visited places such as Galle fort, south coast beach, west coast beach, and Colombo. Hiyare rain forest harbours a large number of Faun and flora, However, Hiyare rain forest is most popular as one of the best places for bird watching and it is the residence for many dozens of avian fauna species and some of which are endemic to the island.
Galle is a popular charming city near the south coast of Sri Lanka. Galle is most popular for the Galle Fort, which is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world that was built by the Dutch administration. The origin of the Galle fort dates back to 1505, and it was upgraded from time to time by the Dutch and British administrations. Apart from the Galle Fort, Galle is also very popular for some of the best beaches for beach holidays. Galle is surrounded by many palm-fringed pristine beaches such as Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Devata. Most of these beaches provide some of the best places on the island for surfers and divers. Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary is a popular place for snorkelling. However, Devata beach which sits just south of Galle is not very popular for diving or snorkelling. However, it has a stock of coral reefs, a fascinating collection of exotic fish species, and sea turtles, most importantly; travellers encounter just a few meters away from the beach.
AHANGAMA STILT FISHING
Stilt fishing is a unique system of fishing that can be witnessed only in Sri Lanka and it is also known as Ritipanna in the native language. This traditional fishing method is going back many thousands of years and was invented by fishermen on the south coast of Sri Lanka. This type of fishing is can be seen on many beaches such as Ahangama, Weligama, Narigama, Koggala, Welipenna, Kathaluwa and Thalarambe, all places are within easy reach of the gale. In this fishing method, a narrow pole is tied to a stick that is anchored on the sea bed. Fisherfolk climbs onto this stick and settles on the pole for a few hours in an effort to catch some fish. So if you plan a trip to Galle, don’t forget to visit the stilt fisherman and use the lifetime opportunity to see stilt fishermen.
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