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Things To Do In Galle
Galle has an inborn natural beauty which attracts tourists from all over the world to Sri Lanka. From visiting some of the choicest heritage properties to witnessing amazing natural wonders, Galle has it all. The streets are filled with hawkers selling fresh papaya and other fruits with chili powder to spice the eats up, and people diving into the water from rocks during the day!
There’s something to do for all kind of travelers in Galle. Outdoor activities like bike tours, boating, kayaking, Dolphin and Whale watching, nature and wildlife tours, surfing, kitesurfing or windsurfing, scuba diving & snorkeling , river rafting, safaris, sightseeing tours, Spa and Wellness - there is everything to take joy from! Day trips are also great and you can pick and choose your kind of activities to make the most of your time in Galle. Here are some of the best things to do in Galle.
A popular water sport, Scuba Diving gives an amazing underwater experience at Unawatuna Beach, a 10-minute drive from Galle. There are different certification courses ranging from open water to refresh dive, fresher’s dive to master’s dive, reef dive and night dives. One of the star attractions is a dive to the Rangoon shipwreck, which is 30 ft under the sea. The courses are priced at about $300, while a per dive experience costs $25, and the best time to enjoy Scuba Diving is between November and May months.
A water sport in which participants swim on the surface or deep dive into the ocean donning a plastic mask with a snorkel, fins, and wetsuits, Snorkelling is a popular water activity which will help you explore the depth of the ocean through the deep blue waters in the Indian Ocean, enjoying the best of marine life, colorful fish, and tropical flora. For beginners, once they’ve been given a theoretical introduction, there’s a basic skill training in the shallow reef house to experience diving at an accessible 2 m and then going deep up to 12 m. A typical dive experience entails a 2-12m or 2-30m dive, inclusive of diving equipment. It is mostly initiated at a location 30 mins walk from Unawatuna. You can expect the experience to be priced between LKR 15-800.
Soak in the Serenity at The Flag Rock
After a long day, unwind in the midst of Galle Flag Rock Bastion, watching the glorious setting sun with the seagulls heading back home and the sea waves crashing against the rocks. It sets you up for a harmonized musical rapture. Located at the south end of the Galle Fort, the Flag Rock is an ex-Portuguese locale, popular for witnessing sunset on the horizon. The rock is known for being a natural protector during the Dutch era, where the ships were warned of unseeing dangers by firing musket shots. You’d also be able to view the lighthouse and the gunpowder museum on the west side.
Detoxing with Spa Sessions
Quite popular for their therapies, massages and spa sessions, Unawatuna Island is known to be one of the best spots in Galle city for natural rejuvenation. From Ayurveda massages to yoga and meditation packages or spa & wellness therapies that include complete body care, nourishing skin care, deep tissue massages, physiotherapy, detox treatments and/or reflexology, you can look forward to enjoying these soul cleansing and body refreshing sessions in a tranquil setting.
A lovely experience is one of Galle’s most heavenly islands where a majority of adventure sports take place. You can enjoy Canoeing at Unawatuna, which is full of lagoons, beaches, canals, rivers, and reservoirs. The canoeing tour takes you through the amazing landscapes and alluring mangroves amid the island's flora and fauna. Inclusive of a guided tour, light refreshments, water and a life jacket, the adventure begins every morning at 8.30am and involves 2 hours of canoeing, priced at $30 per canoe, which can accommodate 2-3 people at a time.
Enjoy roughing it out with Galle’s rocky trails, pebbled routes and unused tracks with Mountain Bike Tours. You can choose a bike to your liking from the choicest selection available, along with a helmet, some refreshments and a local guide to help you along the ride.
Witness the original Sri Lankan rural areas, tropical forests, farms and mangroves, and animals through your tour along with experiencing the local delicacies in any of the village eateries. Biking tours commence at Mirissa and Unawatuna, typically at 8.30am in the morning or 2.30pm in the afternoon, priced at $16-$50.
Dolphin & Whale Watching
An interesting activity that allows you to see the largest mammals, the Whales and sometimes Dolphin too, in their natural habitat. A 4-6 hour morning cruise from Galle will take you into the Indian Ocean aboard a 15 m boat with experts. You can enjoy the cruise with a continental breakfast on deck while sailing areas frequented by these beautiful creatures. You can expect to see humpbacks, blue whale, sperm, killer and pilot whales as well as dolphins and sea turtles. The cruise is equipped with all safety items and life vests. These guided tours begin at the Mirissa Beach, Dondra Point and Naval Harbour, best to explore in the months of November-April, at prices ranging between LKR 3500-6000.
Nightlife in Galle
Sri Lanka usually has a peaceful ambiance, however, there’s no dearth of party places either. Nightlife in Galle is comparatively easy-going and chilled. Besides the top cafés or the restaurants, Galle has a lot of vibrant and remarkable nightlife options to boast of. At the Galle Fort Hotel, you can enjoy a mix of cocktails, local and global brews and fine wines, not to forget some delectable and flavored cooking as well. The hotel’s poolside is known to be the district’s most photogenic bars with a lovely blend of elegance, sophistication, and comfort.
Then there’s The Lady Hill, with an all-encompassing view of lush green valleys, joining the mesmerizing blue waters of the Indian Ocean, with a selective serving of cocktails, delicious appetizers, and the perfect lounge experience. Given its proximity to Galle city and the best shoreline on the island for a company, it has to offer a perfect combination of tranquility and peace after a long day of sightseeing and exploring.
The Koha Surf Lounge livens up the quiet shores of Unawatuna with live music and beat thumping tunes, making it one of the most popular nightclubs in Galle. A private establishment, the lounge is open throughout with a beautifully lit yard with oil lights and candles, seconds away from the shoreline.
There are other happening joints like the Tamarind Hill Bar, Taphouse, Barefoot Garden Café and Yula Beach Bar that fascinate the travellers with their local setups and exotic mixed drinks, making them the best, if not really well-known nightlife spots to explore.