Welcome to Galle!
This the first sight you get to see and feel that you are in Galle if you are coming down from the southern expressway. The initial feeling of you trapped on a fishing island and the sea breeze which brushes all your exhaustion away is the ideal welcome that any city could ever give. At first, it might seem a bit busy if you take a right from this junction since you are traveling towards the city. But if you have no choice, you might as well enjoy the busy city movements. First, you will be passing a series of retail shops and restaurants which offer one of the unique foods of Sri Lanka which is known as “Kottu”. This comes in few flavors and its ideal for a dinner.
A one would consider Galle as an evening city since it unveils its glorious exposure in several colors painted in the sky along with the slow yet beautiful music added by the sea and the elements. However, it also offers the adrenaline generating, energetic version of its package for the ones who prefer the vacations that way. So here are 06 things you can do while you are at Galle, Sri Lanka.
1. A Walk in Old Dutch Fort
This is the most visited place in Galle (Even when including the locals) and the most expensive lands in Sri Lanka. Old Dutch Fort makes a remarkable contribution to the Sri Lanka’s history books while it presents the pride of southern to all of its visitors who passes the Galle town. The aesthetic melody it sings during the evening sunsets is something one should witness at least once in his lifetime. When you do not feel like visiting the Old Fort for one reason, it gloriously dares you by giving hundred more. This would be presented in detail in a separate article later.
2. A Bath in the Hidden Beach
First of all, have you ever been to a beach after a hike through the woods? Yes! Galle has that kind of a beach too. Namely, “Jungle Beach, Rumassala”. This would be the little mountain you’d see to your left in the cover picture. A Tuk-ride would cost you about 600LKR (about $4) from Galle town to the top of this. You would also be able to find a “Peace-Pagoda” on top this mountain which also has a little historical backstory to it.
During the seasonal times, the little wooden built restaurant will be opened for the visitors which offers delicious cocktails for reasonable prices with food. They also have some beach parties organized here and there. I’d consider you lucky if you were able to catch a one though.
3. Waterfall Hunting
This is a hidden beauty which Galle loves to offer to the nature admirers. When you go about 60km towards the central part of the country you can find these beauties hidden beneath the Sri Lanka’s biggest and most dynamic rainforest “Sinharaja”. You are going to need a monstrous 4×4 to travel the latter part since the road conditions are a bit hard to travel by a luxurious car. But you going to love it since it will be a safari kind of trip. In fact, they do also have few safari vehicles arranged by the eco lodges in case of any requirement. Fare they charge will be around 3500LKR (about $25) and it’s a reasonable price for the adventurous one hour ride to the trail start.
Once you reach the destination, it’s a hike of about 1 hour to the top which runs through the beautiful footpaths of this rainforest leading to several waterfalls created by the mother nature at ‘Sinharaja’. You will also be able to find some rare species of animals including butterflies, reptiles and so on if you are interested in the photography of biological diversity.
However, once you enjoy the nature undisturbed without phone signals and all (Note – No mobile reception) you would also be able to find this beautiful yet eco-friendly Hotel Called “Seyana Eco Lodge” hidden beneath the wild without disturbing the processes of nature. This would be really cheaper yet an amazing place to spend your holidays at. (You can find it on TripAdvisor)
4. Snorkeling at Hikka
‘Hikka’! Hikkaduwa lies 20km away from the city of Galle towards the side of Colombo. Best hours to visit ‘Hikka’ would be either in the early morning or late in the evenings to catch the sunset. If you could be there at the beach by around 7-8AM, you should be able to catch this amazing view of all those beautiful fish appearing on the waves on the beach.
Snorkeling equipment is also available along the beach in those hundreds of different shops you’d find for little above the reasonable price for rent or buy. You should also be able to find wine cellars, clothing shops, fancy-cheap-luxury hotels, ornaments, bangles and all those items you’d find at Caribbean islands along the busy roads of ‘Hikka’.
5. Sunset at Marine Walk
This is something which is hardly written or noticed anywhere online among the things you could do in Galle. But as a local, I always enjoy these beautifully painted sights which the southern sky offers with the infinity beyond the shore. A walk through these concrete tiles at around 4 PM should lead you to the fishermen. If you enjoy giving a hand for this sweat-breaking event of dragging the fishing nets, the kind hearted southern fishermen would even give you something in return too.
However, this would be an amazing place if you are a writer who appreciates the nature. Even to have a seat in the little wall you see in the picture and listening to the symphony of nature would be a peaceful activity to attend.
6. Surfing at Dewata
‘Dewata’ is where you see on the cover picture of this article. Waves may not seem that big here, not as big as the ones you’d find at Arugambay, Sri Lanka. But a beginner may find this lovely since the sea is not that hard on surfers here. You should be able to find surfing boards for rent among one of these shops you find along the beach for about 300LKR per hour (That is about $2).
However, that does not mean that sea is always that lovely. Therefore, safety concern comes first as always.
So, that is just 6 things one could find worthy of his time at this busy capital of southern, Sri Lanka. Even as a local based at Galle, Sri Lanka there is no place I’d rather be settled at. It is not that rural neither is it too busy. You can find everything you need to survive and to enjoy your time on this earth.