Galle has a timeless charm that makes it a truly special place for a luxury city break. Uncover colonial villas and tucked-away churches in the Dutch old town, Port, a district that still buzzes with everyday life. Bask in the sun on sweeping golden beaches. Or escape the city and explore miles of unspoilt rainforests.
The gateway to beaches and rainforests, and a Dutch colonial masterpiece.
Things to do
Galle has been a paradise for traders since its supposed origins as the rich biblical city of Tarshish. The Dutch arrived in the 17th century, building the Port district that you can explore today. Take a guided tour to discover more about the history of the old town. Or walk around the historic Port walls for views across the red-tiled rooftops and out to sea.
Galle is known as the gateway to the Sri Lankan rainforests. Walk beneath the trees at nearby Kottawa Rainforest to see a lush tangle of native plants. Or travel to Hiyare Biodiversity Park for the chance to spot native birds and animals like the Sir Lankan spurfowl or the rare purple-faced leaf monkey.
After you’ve spent days exploring the city and countryside, take time out to relax on Galle’s gorgeous beaches. Around the city you’ll find long stretches of palm-fringed shore. There are plenty of popular scuba diving sites dotting the coast, or you could just sit back, drink in hand, and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
Visit the city during the Galle Music Festival to see spellbinding performances from international folk musicians and dancers.
Top Tip from SLH