Galle (pronounced 'gaul') is a showcase for the textures and colours Sri Lanka is famed for. Once a vital trading post on the spice route, the port town retains a delightful mix of Asian and European influences, with its old Dutch mansions and 17th century walls that surround the city. On any Galle holidays, make sure to walk along the old stone battlements of the Fort; stroll through the narrow streets of the old town,
filled with small architectural wonders; stop at the fish market and enjoy a town where it can feel as if time has stood still. In addition to Galle, Bentota and Tangalle are the best beach holiday destinations in the island, and also excellent bases for exploring its major wildlife parks and cultural heritage. Galle is also the gateway to the coastal villages and sandy beaches of Unawatuna, Thalpe, Koggala, Habaraduwa and Ahangama. At Unawatuna specifically, the reef shelters more fish than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. If you grow tired of lounging on the beach, local attractions include the Mulgirigalla Rock Temple and the Bundala and Uda Walawe National Parks, where animals including elephants, monkeys and water buffalo can be seen. Buddhist temples, tropical rainforests, and mangrove-lined lakes and waterways home to numerous species of birds and monitor lizards makes this area interesting for nature lovers as well.
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What you can find in Galle that you won't find anywhere else?
The fortified old town of Galle is enjoying an artistic renaissance and its revival has in turn influenced its coastline, whose turquoise seas and palm-fringed beaches are now home to super-luxury and charming boutique hotels where guests can enjoy a fabulous Galle holiday. Historically, Galle has been an important trading port, and various nationalities have all left an indelible stamp on the rich history and character of the town. Although an important cultural site, Galle Fort remains a 'living' monument with a thriving community within. Galle is also the perfect staging posts to explore other places along Sri Lanka's south coast.