Like Colombo, Galle was a thriving port long before colonial times; on the southwest of the country, it attracted Arabs, Persians, Romans and Greeks on their way across the Indian Ocean. In 1505 the Portuguese attacked and settled the town, 135 years later conceding it to the Dutch, who built the famous fort. In 1796 the British took over and used the fort as their headquarters. Today, Galle Fort is the old part of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved colonial sea fortress in Asia. It is a cosy little town in its own right with narrow streets, churches, cloistered courtyards and shuttered mansions standing testament to their colonial past. Galle Fort has recently received a lot of investment from expatriates living in South East Asia and is now bristling with boutique hotels, art galleries, tiny shops, cafes and restaurants. There are several museums as well as the Dutch Reformed Church and the lively Arab Quarter. A sunset walk around the ramparts is a treat. Galle is the gateway to the southern beaches the best of which are Wijaya & Mirissa.
Features in the following itineraries
- Ampersand's Signature Sri Lanka Tour
- Classic Island Tour of Sri Lanka
- Family Holiday to Sri Lanka – A Stylish Tour for a Family of Four
- Grand Colonial Tour of Asia
- If Tarzan went to Sri Lanka...
- Life's a Beach… Sri Lanka’s Best Beach Holiday
- Natural Wildlife Wonders of Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka's Sublime Aman Experience
- Three Little Tastes of Heaven in Sri Lanka