Galle, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, is about a 2-hour drive from Colombo airport. While the main attraction is the old Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is so much more to see and do in this tropical paradise. With its Dutch architectural influence from the 18th century, it has very similar vibes to Kochi in India, but with its Portuguese influence from the 16th century, it’s got that susegad feel! There are so many things to do in Galle that you’ll ideally want to spend 7-10 days here. The best time to visit Galle is not fixed as there is no actual dry season in Sri Lanka. January and February tend to be the best months, but also show higher prices in accommodation.
There are many companies that offer hiking tours, but you can just as easily go on your own. Galle is a safe place for even solo travellers, so go ahead and explore on your own!
Galle truly has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. While here, I couldn’t help thinking that how much it looked like Hawaii. It’s worth ‘roughing it’ a bit to stay outdoors, and really enjoy being in such a stunning and serene place. You can camp near the beach and listen to the waves while looking at the stars.
Bike tours are offered throughout the city as sightseeing tours, but you can also choose to do off-road type biking with a tour guide who understands the safety aspects and can offer the right type of bicycle for this. Bike riding on dirt paths and downhill can be dangerous so this is for the most adventurous!
Visibility is perfect here and most snorkel tours will take you off to a more secretive beach called Jungle Beach where you can stay in the water until you desire. With the water being so clear, it’s fun to take an underwater camera like goPro and take photos of aquatic species. The water is quite shallow and you’ll be given fins and mask by the company. Many tours include a visit to the Jungle Beach just to see the beach and catch some rays, so it’s best to take a snorkelling tour as you’ll get a two for one deal.
For two reasons, this is one the best places in the world to do your PADI certification—the visibility is great and it’s very affordable. There are too many dive shops to count up and down the beaches so you’ll want to shop around for a good price and make sure they have their qualifications. There are shipwrecks that you can dive to as well! Most likely you’ll learn in shallow water first, until you get used to the regulator and can understand how to rise and fall in the water in a safe manner, before you go out to the big sites. If you buy bundles of dives, you can save more money than buying one at a time.
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