Call us today on 020 7644 1755

City of Galle Tour

Duration: Full Day

city of galle tour

For those interested in the architecture, culture and history of Sri Lanka’s beautiful southern coast, this fascinating tour of the ancient port town of Galle and surrounding areas is a must. Unfortunately, many of the town and villages on this coast were destroyed during the devastating 2004 tsunami, but Sri Lanka has slowly rebuilt itself, relying heavily on tourism. This tour is a wonderful way to show your support and appreciation for this beautiful country and its people.

After breakfast in your beachside hotel, your day will begin with a leisurely drive along the coast to the historic Dutch fortress city of Galle. On the way we will visit a number of attractions such as the Turtle hatchery at Kosgoda, which was virtually destroyed and then rebuilt after the 2004 tsunami. Turtle eggs are kept safe here from predators until they are ready to hatch and the babies are then released into the sea when they are only a few days old. We will also visit the village of Ambalangoda, famous for its devil dancing and traditional mask-making, which is an important part of Sri Lanka’s culture. The last stop before reaching Galle is the Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary, one of the most respected and popular coral reef destinations on the island.

We finally arrive at Galle, situated on the south-western tip of Sri Lanka. This picturesque coastal town is steeped in history and is a fascinating place to explore. Galle was actually known as Gimhathiththa before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. It was once the main port on the island and is still a significant port for hundreds of modern vessels today. At the heart of Galle’s history is the imposing 17th century Dutch fort, the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European invaders.  This magnificent structure was originally erected by the Portuguese to defend themselves from attacks by Sri Lankan kingdoms, but it was later captured and improved by the Dutch in the middle of the 17th century, and a city was built inside the fortified walls. The fort is an important archaeological reserve and was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

The relaxed Dutch atmosphere is still prominent in Galle today. Many of the colonial buildings and historic structures dating back to the Dutch and British periods of rule are still standing, giving the town a unique charm like no other city in Sri Lanka. Galle is the finest example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia which successfully blends European architectural styles with South Asian traditions. Aside from the fort, other places of interest include the Dutch Reformed Church, the Dutch Museum, St Mary's Cathedral and the Museum of Folk Art and Culture. Four years after the tsunami, the town shows no sign of the devastation caused, although a statue was erected at the entrance of the city’s bus station in memory of the victims.

 

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £729 per person
avani bentota + sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort

Avani Bentota + Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £749 per person
mermaid hotel and club + rove downtown dubai

Mermaid Hotel and Club + Rove Downtown Dubai

This resort is spread across two acres of lush coconut groves and tropical gardens by the golden sands of Kalutura...

From £799 per person
jetwing beach + hyatt regency dubai

Jetwing Beach + Hyatt Regency Dubai

Jetwing Beach Resort sits beside a beautiful sun kissed stretch of beach, just outside the coastal town of Negombo. The...

From £809 per person
avani bentota + the ritz-carlton, difc

Avani Bentota + the Ritz-carlton, Difc

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £819 per person
tangerine beach + sheraton jumeirah beach

Tangerine Beach + Sheraton Jumeirah Beach

The place where "space meets light", the Tangerine Beach Hotel is a heavenly fusion of modern and ancient elegant...

From £839 per person
royal palms beach hotel + rixos the palm dubai

Royal Palms Beach Hotel + Rixos the Palm Dubai

This five star luxury hotel is a fantasy come true. With the luxury seeking traveller in mind The Royal Palms Beach...

Talk to a specialist

alexandra

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT

Related articles for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Movenpick Hotel Colombo marks Movenpick's entry in Sri Lanka

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has marked its entry into Sri Lanka with the launch of a new hotel in the city of Colombo. The five-star Mövenpick Hotel Colombo hotel has 219 guest rooms and suites, as well as upscale facilities including seven dining outlets, a rooftop bar, a rooftop swimming pool, a spa, a fitness centre, and five meeting rooms and a boardroom.

Sri Lanka records more than two millions international visitors in 2016

Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka exceeded the two million target in 2016, according to John Amaratunga, the country’s Tourism Development Minister. The island received more 2.2 million visitors in the last 12 months, and the Minister is expecting more than $3.5 billion in revenues generated by tourism. Arrivals in November, 2015 increased by 16 per cent compared to the same month in 2015.

Shangri-La Hambantota Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka launches local nature tours

The new luxury Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa on Sri Lanka’s southern coast has announced a series of adventure tours and experiences for its guests to explore the island’s rich wildlife and natural wonders.