Introduction to Galle, Sri Lanka
The fortified old town of Galle is a thriving city/town located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka with a mix of European colonial and Sinhalese influences. It has easy highway road and railway links to Colombo and has always been a significant centre.
Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Galle became the principal port on the island with its natural harbour. It reached the height of its development under the Dutch in the 18th century. Today Galle’s main attraction is the impressive 18th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site; South East Asia’s finest example of a European fortified city.
Today Galle is home to the National Maritime Museum, one of the main Shiva temples of Sri Lanka, an International Cricket ground and Amangalla, the historic luxury hotel. Within the old city’s fortifications are a quaint vibrant centre with local antique and craft shops, museums, art galleries, boutique heritage hotels and cafes. A pleasant stroll exploring the narrow cobbled streets would sooner or later bring a visitor to the ramparts where the sea and city can be viewed and enjoyed from a walk along the walls.
Nearby, within a short drive or tuk-tuk ride, are sandy coves and coastal villages including Koggala and Unawatuna. Galle has long attracted intellectual and artistic visitors and residents and is a mesmerising city.
Guests normally visit Galle as part of a tailor-made itinerary. This area can be explored from one of the regions that we feature such as the west coast or south coast. Please call to discuss tailor-making your own itinerary.
0203 384 0029