The island of Sri Lanka is home to scenic beaches and diverse history that retains its old-world charm. Galle, on the south side, is a perfect example of both–evident in its many forts flanking the gorgeous coast. It is a colonial township not to be missed.
Take in the history of Galle by visiting the Galle Fort which is a fortification built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk along its ramparts and bastions where Flag Rock doubles as a stunning spot to watch the sunset.
Check out Meera Jumma Mosque which has a Portuguese baroque design, an unconventional architecture for a mosque. Another holy site worth stopping over is the Dutch Reform Church built on the highest point inside the fort over 200 years ago.
Water babies can head over to Unawatuna Bay, 5km south of Galle for its world-renowned beaches and various water activities. Wreck diving is a big thing in these parts where scuba divers can discover sunken ships of the Dutch and British just 30 minutes from the shore.
How To Get There
The only international airport in Sri Lanka is located in Colombo. Once you land there, you can either take the bus or the train. A more breath-taking coastal route is via train which takes roughly 2 and a half hours on the express train. While the bus takes anywhere from an hour and a half to four hours depending on traffic.
Where To Stay
Transport back into time as you lodge in the historic building that is the Galle Fort Hotel where its colonial architecture will leave you charmed. Their rooms of white walls and archways are accessorised with four poster beds and dark wooden furniture for a comfy colonial living.
A grand villa cannot be any more extravagant than the Thambili House. It was formerly a spice merchant’s abode and one of the rare properties in the Galle Fort. The 3-bedroom villa features a terrace overlooking the sea and an emerald swimming pool for those hot island days.
What To Eat
Idiyappam or string hoppers are served everywhere in Sri Lanka, eaten with ambul thiyal which is sour fish curry. Kottu roti is a favourite street food where bread is chopped up and fried with spices and vegetable. You know, like fried noodles but using bread.
Taste a truly Sri Lankan breakfast of appa and potato curry at Bedspace Kitchen or get your crepe on with a side of shisha on the rooftop terrace of Crepe-ology.
Food, architecture and good music come together at Fortaleza where the view is equally breathtaking.