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Exploring Galle and the historical Galle Fort

As the Capital of the South, Galle is one of the main destinations when hopping along many of the beautiful tropical beaches along the south coast. As a town rich in beauty and history giving so much to offer and see, it can all get a little exciting. Galle Fort which has been stood there since the early sixteenth century is the centre of attention to this ever increasing city and is classified as a living UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic fortified city which is perched out into the Indian Ocean has a beautiful collection of architectural masterpieces which date back through the Portuguese, Dutch and British Colonial Periods.

In conjunction with its history and beauty, the many boutique shops, Cafes, Restaurants and Hotels attract both many locals and tourists which create a very enjoyable, vibrant atmosphere. As a relatively small site, the entire fort can be seen on foot and a walk along the tops of the Fort walls, mainly overlooking the ocean, is thoroughly enjoyable in the morning sun which is complemented by the fresh sea breeze. Raised well above the waters, these vantage points gave us some great opportunities to view Galle Harbour but also gave us some impressive sightings of a couple of large turtles which surfed the shallow waves along the shore.

As a seaside city stretching along the waterfront, fishing is understandably a major source of income for many of the locals and therefore a very common cuisine. Unlike the slightly more sophisticated markets in Europe, the fish markets here were a little less conventional from what we are used with many small makeshift stands set up along the side of the road, however are quite fascinating and most certainly worth a little look even if not interested in actually buying anything.

Amazingly, some of the fishing techniques used in the area meant we were able to watch the locals haul in their nets which were originally trawled out into harbour by typical Sri Lankan rowing boats. The fish dragged up onto the many beaches around Galle are sold at their local stalls which are no further than a few metres away. Fresh Fish really cannot get any fresher!

As Beach Lovers we are always in search of that beach which is slightly different and has that extra beauty which is not usually ventured to by your average holiday-goer. In search of these beautiful remote stretches of sand, we find there is always a little extra effort or a few extra miles required in order to get there.

Jungle Beach is again no different; away from the main built up and commercial areas of Galle, it is a small secluded beach found right on the opposite side of the Bay with its only access via a steep, narrow dirt-track. This pocket of paradise wedged at the base of the surrounding forest is the type of gem we are always in search of; with clean dark sands, clear still waters, a stunning vivid backdrop and impressive vistas of the city, we were completely surrounded by the natural beauty away from mainstream beaches. A personal gauge we use on our travels which seems to be fairly accurate are the locals. Finding ourselves solely surrounded by locals and only very few visitors if any, we generally have found ourselves somewhere a little unique.

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