Iconic Sites


Galle or ‘Gaar-Le’ in Sinhalese, is a town situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km (74 mi) from Colombo and is the capital of the Southern Province. Here yet again, a UNESCO declared world heritage site can be found, namely the sprawling Dutch Fort. In the city’s cobblestoned roads and little alleyways great little shops can be unearthed. The 300 year old Dutch influence is very much apparent in the city’s architecture and atmosphere. Galle was identified 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 pinnacle of its development in the 18th century, prior to the arrival of the British, who developed the harbor at Colombo.