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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 7 Places to Visit in Galle - Seven Major Tourist Highlights to Explore in Galle
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Top 7 Places to Visit in Galle - Seven Major Tourist Highlights to Explore in Galle

As the capital of Sri Lanka's southern shoreline, Galle is not only home to a host of beach hotspots but cultural attractions as well. Here are 7 not-to-miss highlights Down South.

1

Mirissa

Revered as one of Sri Lanka's best whale watching destinations, a trip to the beach hamlet known as Mirissa is well worth your time if one is based in Galle. Accessible via Mirissa Beach's Naval Harbour, local tour operators as well as the Sri Lanka Navy organizes whale watching expeditions during whale watching the season in the area. The best time to head down to Mirissa for a whale watching safari is between the months from November to April as it is when blue whales and schools of dolphins are frequently spotted.

2

Unawatuna

This crescent-shaped beach is not only one of the country's most popular beach resort havens but also a water sports Mecca for the masses. With shallow and clear waters all around, holidaymakers can experience a range of water bound activities in Unawatuna. This includes jet skiing, snorkelling and scuba diving while water skiing and windsurfing are other popular activities in the area.

3

Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Galle

As one of the country's most coveted World Heritage Sites, The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is another point of attraction for tourists exploring Galle's identity beyond stunning beaches. Safari adventures and tours of this sprawling national park are also available and visitors can look forward to witnessing 95% of the country's endemic bird populace and half of Sri Lanka's endemic mammal population on the excursion. Opt for a guided tour of the wildlife sanctuary as the English speaking tour operators can impart a great deal of local know how to safari and trekking enthusiasts.

4

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Towering above the surrounding landscape on Rumassala Hill, the Japanese Peace Pagoda is a one of a kind spiritual epicentre not only in Galle but the country as a whole. Recognizable from its white facade, the temple which was constructed in 2004 look out over the ocean and remains a space that exudes tranquillity and peace just as its name suggests. Renowned as one of the best places to catch the sunset, visitors can take part in the religious customs which takes place at 5.30pm every evening.

5

Galle Fort

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galle, the Dutch Galle Fort holds the distinct honour of being one of the largest and best preserved historical monuments in the southern coastline. An architectural and archaeological marvel in its own right, the Dutch Fort as it is also known as a city within a city that contains galleries, cafes, museums and hotels within the confines of the fortress. Having hosted international events the likes of the Galle Literary Festival the Fort is also home to some of the oldest churches and mosques in the country.

6

Jungle Beach

A recreational hotspot where many a local travel group stops by for a bath, Jungle Beach is one of the most attractive beaches in Galle. Commanding an enviable location on the coastline the tranquil beachfront is not bordered by resort developments and remains a pristine haven for beach lovers. Visitors based in Tamarind Hill or any of the countless other resort hubs or hotel in Galle can enjoy a picnic at Jungle Beach.

7

Dutch Reformed Church

An iconic and historic edifice in Galle, the Dutch Reformed Church is a functioning religious institution centuries after it was first constructed during the Dutch occupation of Sri Lanka. Also known by its Dutch name, Groot Kert, main attractions at the venue include its ancient gravestones and stunning pulpit.

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