SriLanka Diaries: Visiting Galle Fort, The Historical Fortified City

After spending a beautiful afternoon visiting the Moonstone mine at Meetiyagoda, we started our journey towards Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site & a major city in Sri Lanka. A prominent seaport long before influences of western rule in Sri Lanka, Galle is easily approachable from Colombo via the Southern expressway. This fascinating seaside town, offers beautiful sights and a walk down the memory lane to any traveler.





Though there are a number of things you can do in Galle, Sri Lanka during your visit, we spent a day exploring the historical Dutch (Galle) Fort- a witness to a colorful history. Within the fort's walls is a town that retains an eclectic atmosphere of the past. History says that the Portuguese built the first fortification in Galle and later the Dutch converted the structure into a single bastion with good civic amenities and formidable defense facilities.



One still finds glimpses of the past in the narrow streets inside the fort. The British later captured the fort, but developed Colombo as their main port which reduced the importance of Galle to a certain extent.



Enter from one of the two entry gates and one sees narrow streets lined with colonial style houses, quaint shops, jewelry boutiques, quaint cafes and more. The fort stands tall on a rocky peninsula and various signs and illustrations explain the significant structures inside the fort area. Take a walk around the fort walls and gaze into the vast sea, just like the locals.



There are a few quiet picnic spots near the beach area, where one can enjoy some quiet time. We saw a sign that read "Crazy Jumper" and on inquiring came to know about a dare devil local who jumps off the from fort...right into the sea.

The Lighthouse, one of Sri Lanka's oldest light station, is another major tourist attraction inside the fort.



Just near the lighthouse, one finds amazing local handicrafts that can be bought as a souvenir for friends and family.



Inside the fort one can also visit mosques, old Dutch government house, the great warehouse that was used to store spices in the past and now houses the National Maritime museum, Old Dutch Hospital and the Dutch Reformed church.



Sit by one of the cafes that serve a variety of tea and small eats or enjoy a cool coconut drink from one of the vendors. In the evening, visit one of the many restaurants inside the fort for a stylish laid back dining experience.

How Do I Get Here:
Sri Lankan Airlines operates multiple flights from major Indian cities to Colombo. The Airlines also operates flights from other countries like Singapore, Australia, Japan, France and more. From Colombo, hire a vehicle to get to Galle by road (approximately 2 hours). To know about more attractions around Colombo, see here

Where Do I Stay:
From luxury resorts to home stays, Galle has many options. Another good option is to stay near Hikkaduwa beach as one can easily visit Galle by private vehicle or tuk tuk. We stayed at Lavanga Resort & Spa, located conveniently at Hikkaduwa and offers facilities like mini cinema, kids activity center, beach front library, water sports center and more.



Lounge by the relaxing poolside at the resort as you unwind with a good selection of cocktail, mocktails and international liqueurs and watch the sun setting on the beach.


 


You can approach Spiceland Holidays for booking your stay.

Things To Do Around Galle:
Visit the Peace pagoda (Stupa) on Rumasalla Hill, built with the help of Japanese monks. The location of the shrine is beautiful with amazing views of the Galle harbor and the greenery around.



The hidden gem, Hikkaduwa beach is also a must- visit. Take a glass bottom boat ride and get mesmerized by beautiful corals or laze around watching a brilliant sunset. Many companies offer water sports on the beach. Mama's restaurant, an iconic seafood joint serves a variety of fresh sea food and traditional eats at reasonable prices.



Best Time To Travel:
A visit to Galle can be planned through the year and the high season times are from September/October till May.

Comments

  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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    Keep Posting:)

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