The port town of Galle, about 60 miles (100km) south of Colombo and a short distance west of Matara, is steeped in the heritage of the Dutch presence in Sri Lanka, dominated by the 36-hectare (89-acre) Dutch Fort, built in 1663, with its massive ramparts on a promontory. Inside the walls of the fort is the old town containing Galle houses, Dutch homesteads, museums and churches, as well as the New Oriental Hotel, originally the home of the Dutch governors. The town has a small beach but most sun-lovers find better beaches a little out of town along the coast road.
The Dutch style Old Town is home to the Dutch Museum, which has period rooms depicting life as a colony of the Dutch. The Martin Wickramsinghe Folk Art Museum has a remarkable collection of masks and carriages. Sri Lanka has had a strategic importance for the world’s traders since the 18th century, culminating in the 19th and 20th century obsession with the tea plant so a visit to the Talgaswella Tea Estate is worthwhile .
Things to See & Do
* Galle fort
* National Maritime Museum
* St. Mary’s Cathedral
* Talgaswella Tea Estate
* Dutch style Old Town
Cruise Season – Jan – Dec
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee LKR)
Language – Sinhala, Tamil
Population – 106,000 approx
Land Area – 1,617 km² approx
Electricity – 2 round pins European style or with a round pin below
Time – GMT plus five and a half hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 94
Travel Links – Galle is easily accessible by train or bus from Colombo. Both travel along the beach coast, offering beautiful views.