So you’ve got one day to spend in Galle and are wondering what to do? Let’s start by saying, one day isn’t nearly enough to take in everything that this city has to offer, but it’s time enough to absorb enough to thrill you and convince you to come back.
The journey to Galle can be made via the Southern Highway or you could opt for the more scenic route via Galle Road, a coastal road stretching from Colombo to Galle, flanked by the Indian ocean on one side. You could take public transport in the form of a bus or train or choose to rent a vehicle, which is recommended if you are on limited time. Shared here are some activities that you could cover in a day in Galle.
Explore the Galle Fort
Naturally, this should be the first thing on your list, walking or cycling around are both good options. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galle Fort was built by the Portugese in the 16th century and later strengthened during the Dutch invasion of Sri Lanka. The Fort has since been linked to many historic events including the Siege of Galle in 1640. Currently, it preserves the historical beauty, but has also evolved into being the epi-center of culture in Galle. Inside this maze of quaint cobblestone paths are a countless number of cafes, restaurants, galleries and jewellery shops. You could easily spend an entire day here hopping from gallery to museum to cafe and also witness a stunning sunset from the edge of the ramparts.
Visit Rumassala Hill / Jungle Beach
Roughly 8 kilometers south of the center of Galle is the bay of Unawatuna with the Rumassala hill rising above the beach, covered in lush foliage. At the bottom of this hill you will find Jungle Beach, named after the thick groves of greenery nearby and at the peak of this hill is a beautiful white Peace Pagoda built by a travelling Japanese monk. Dip into the cool waters of the Indian Ocean for a refreshing swim or enjoy the view of multi-colored fishing boats from the golden beach. All types of restaurants and bars dot the entire length of the beach around here. Try some incomparably fresh seafood and sip a cold one as you enjoy the balmy unawatuna breeze.
Sea Turtle Hatchery, Mahamodara
The vibrant blue-green waters surrounding the island of Sri Lanka is home to all kinds of marine life including all five species of sea turtles. These turtles visit the sandy shores to lay their eggs, of which unfortunately most don’t survive unless actively protected. Hatcheries such as the one found in Mahamodara function with the objective of conserving the eggs laid by collecting and incubating and finally releasing the hatchlings to the ocean. For locals and tourists who wish to experience the process, the hatchery provides an opportunity to get closer to these rare species. However, as you will be briefed by the officials, extreme care should be taken when engaging with baby turtles while you are there.
Any combination of the above activities and many many more await you in the city of beautiful Galle. With a little bit of planning, you will no doubt make some of your best memories here.