Galle - a colonial gem
Located at the south west corner of the island, Galle is one of Sri Lanka's most important cities, the gateway to the sandy coves of the south. Galle is also home to the magnificent 300 year old fort, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Galle's fort is the largest and best preserved colonial sea fortress in Asia, constructed during the Dutch occupation in the 17th century and later occupied by the British. You can walk around the high ramparts of the fort (below right), or wander through the atmospheric old streets within the walls, a magical 'time-warp' experience.
Galle is conveniently located for whale-watching excursions from Mirissa, a 45-minute road journey along the coast. It's also near to the southern beaches where you can observe Sri Lanka's unique stlit fishermen (below left).