Tripin 2017 - 2018 - page 108

Distance from airport
: 168.4 km
Modes of transport
: Highway bus,
train, car
Best time of year to visit
: November
- March
: Beach & cultural
Pro Tip
: Venture to jungle beach (close
by to Galle) early in the morning before
the crowds descend.
: Check out the cliff
divers at Flag Rock at the southernmost
end of the Fort.
Made famous for its fortifications, Galle is a
vibrant southern coastal city and an integral
part of the island’s history. Its strategic position
along the ancient Silk Route meant Galle was an
important harbor for ships travelling between
Asia and Europe; the center of a spider web
connecting cultures, continents and centuries
gone by. The Portuguese captured Galle from
the Sinhala Kings in 1587, only to succumb to
Dutch invasion in 1640. A hundred years later
the Dutch imported slaves from Mozambique
to build an enormous fortress to accommodate
the regional headquarters of the Dutch East
India Company. The Dutch expanded and
strengthened the fort and it is their influence
and architecture that is most prominent today.
By the mid 1800’s under subsequent British rule,
the sprawling Fort of Galle was one of the most
cosmopolitan towns in South Asia.
Two hundred years later it is in the midst
of a cultural and architectural renaissance.
The fort itself is remarkably intact. Its
charming collection of private homes line
the cobblestone streets with grand center
courtyards, designed as an oasis from
the tropical heat. There are many quaint
boutiques with unique treasures and many
eateries with a variety of cuisine on offer.
Mosques, churches and warehouses are being
scrubbed, buffed and reinvented as jewels as
Sri Lanka’s hottest tourist destinations.
Galle is also knows for its proximity to iconic
south coast beaches such as Unawatuna
Bay and Thalpe Beach, both fantastic places
to get your fix of sun and sea. Dip, dive or
simply relax with cocktail in hand. For a bit
of adventure, head to Kanneliya Rainforest
45 km away from Galle. Known as the “lungs
of the south” it offers some treks through
the jungle which include viewpoints and
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