Galle, 119km from Colombo, is a major city situated at the tip of the South Western coast of Sri Lanka.
Being a coastal area, it is quite hot and humid but has an abundance of beautiful beaches in every town that you pass while traveling from Colombo to Galle. The Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese, fortified later by the Dutch, and is well preserved till today.
In addition to the Portuguese and Dutch remains, you will also find many British mansions left behind. As for beaches, the Unawatuna Bay probably tops it all and is safe for snorkeling and swimming because a reef protects it.
There you have it, a day tour of the city of Galle in a nutshell. In case there is a delay in your departure, try using the Southern Expressway, a recently built highway that can take you to Galle in half the time.
Galle Fort in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards.
It is a historical, archaeological, and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. The fort has a colorful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.
The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world.
The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site under criteria iv, for its unique exposition of "an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
One of those 'secret' spots that everyone seems to know about, Jungle Beach is a pretty bay just west of Unawatuna. There are a couple of slim-line sandy coves here, some snorkeling offshore (though the reef is degraded), and a cafe (the venue for excellent DJ-driven parties on Wednesdays in high season). It's a pleasant, hilly 2km walk from Unawatuna; access by road is only via a side lane from the highway. Tuk-tuks charge Rs 400 from Unawatuna.
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