Galle

A fortified city in South Asia.

Are sandy beaches and tropical weather calling your name? Head to Galle, on the Southern tip of Sri Lanka, for an exotic holiday to remember.

Located 119 km from Colombo, Galle is easily accessible by road or direct trains from the capital city.

The temperature in Galle is relatively constant, with averages around 26°C (79°F) throughout the year.

The city was badly hit by the 2004 tsunami but the residents have slowly rebuilt the city back to its former glory.

Galle is one of the best examples of a fortified city in South Asia, built by Dutch colonialists during the 17th century. The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is currently being marketed by the Sri Lankan government as a modern wonder of the world.

 

The origins of the fort began with Portuguese occupiers who built a Franciscan chapel within the walls made of mud and palm trees. In the 1640’s the Dutch arrived and took over Galle, investing heavily in the fort by building offices, homes, and a complex sewage system.

The Dutch lost Galle to the British in the latter part of the 1700’s, but their distinctive architecture and design remains one of the most impressive characteristics of The Galle Fort today.

After you have had your fill of history, head over to Unawatuna, a suburb of Galle that is famous for its gorgeous white sand beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs.

With scenery that looks like it belongs on a postcard, Unawatuna is a great destination for a weekend of relaxation and sunbathing. Off the coast there are coral reefs, ancient shipwrecks, and an abundance of marine-life, making the area a terrific location for a day of scuba diving or snorkeling.

The name “Unawatuna” originates from a story in The Ramayana in which Hanuman, the Monkey warrior, drops a piece of the mountain he is carrying in an attempt to save Lakshman, the brother of Rama. This piece of mountain that fell is said to be the present-day Unawatuna, and monks in the area are currently building a monument to honor Hanuman and the service he did for the people of the area.

There is no shortage of things to see and do in Sri Lanka’s Southern province. With an amazing World Heritage Site and some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, you could easily spend your entire vacation in Galle.

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