galle city tour
By Anja Leidel (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re visiting Sri Lanka for a vacation, you’re in for quite a treat. This tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean has got a lot packed in for all types of travellers be it the adventurous or the ones who just wants to chill. There are so many things to see and destinations to travel from and they range from the cool highlands of Nuwara Eliya to the wild jungles of Wilpattu and the golden beaches of Galle. The latter is a wonderful place to visit as it contains not just a collection of beautiful beaches also other attractions that interest history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Why History? Galle, currently the administrative capital of Sri Lanka’s southern province; was once a city that was a stronghold for both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonists. The Dutch Fort you will see here is a magnificent structure that has earned the proud title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taking a leisurely stroll along the pretty cobbled streets of the Galle Fort will be a delightful excursion. Within the Galle Fort, hotels, shops, and houses are almost all built according to the Dutch colonial style, creating an old world charm about it. Some of the attractions to see within the Fort would be the Dutch Reformed Church, the National Maritime Museum, the National Museum of Galle, the lighthouse, the old gate and the flag rock, to name a few. The latter is very popular for those who wish to take Instagram photos.

Why Nature? The beaches are always the top reason why. Golden beaches and crystal clear waters make them the ideal playground for both adults and kids. Many tourists prefer to book a hotel that’s outside of the fort and set by the beach, like the Jetwing Lighthouse Club so that they can enjoy all the delights these beaches have to offer in comfort and peace. One of the best beaches to visit in Galle would be the Jungle Beach, Unawatuna, Mihiripenna and Dalawella.

You can also experience the natural beauty of Galle by taking a boat safari along the Madu River, which flows into the sea in Balapitiya. The river features a lush mangrove forest which is a thriving ecosystem in itself. The river and its surroundings are home to wildlife such as many species of birds some of whom are endemic, giant water monitors and ferocious crocodiles. Whilst taking a boat safari you get the chance to visit many of the little island scattered across the river like Madoldoowa. Also, don’t forget to try out a ticklish yet relaxing massage from a fish spa, available along the river.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.