Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the administrative capital of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Galle District. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. The major river in the area is the Gin River (Gin Ganga), which starts from Gongala Kanda and, passing villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada, and Wakwella, reaches the sea at Ginthota. The river is bridged at Wakwella by the Wakwella Bridge.
Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city’s natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and Amangalla the historic luxury hotel.
Meet your guide at your Colombo or Negombo hotel at 7 am for a 12-hour day tour of Galle, Sri Lanka. Begin at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, home to seven species of marine turtles and other wild sea life.
The boat ride at Maadu River is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem. Protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands being one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest.
On the way to Galle, Mask Factory in Ambalangoda, Batik Factory and for Hand Made Lace (Beeralu).
After you will take to Galle Fort, a Portuguese-built and Dutch-fortified 16th-century fort with a complex history. Learn how the city’s strategic location made it a hub for sea trade and a landing point for the island’s colonial rulers. Continue to Weligama and gaze at the stilt fisherman hauling their catch in the middle of the clear blue water. At the conclusion of the tour, you will return to Colombo.
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