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Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Holidays

Alive with history, the port of Galle is Sri Lanka?s fourth largest city perched on the southernmost point of the island. Classic architecture blends with the exotic setting in this Indian Ocean paradise to create a boho-chic city packed with culture and gorgeous beaches.

UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Galle was founded in 1505 by accident when a Portuguese boat bound for the Maldives was blown off course and took shelter in Galle.

The Portuguese began building a fort in 1589, but in 1640 the Dutch took over Galle and destroyed most traces of Portuguese presence. Galle acted as Ceylon?s main port until Galle passed into the hands of the British after defeating the Dutch during the Napoleonic wars in 1796. Eventually commercial interest was turning to neighbouring Colombo leaving Galle?s fort in decline but luckily intact.

Today the historic 36-hectare fort is packed with cafes, hotels and boutique shops owned by local and foreign artists, writers and photographers.

Dutch-period villas line the low-rise streets magically time-warped in the venerable port of Galle where pleasure is taken from just ambling around the old streets and walls, savouring the relaxing pace and refreshing absence of traffic.

Many Sri Lankan?s and tourists are unaware of Galle?s rich rainforests just over half an hour away from the town centre, enriched with endemic birds, Toque Macaques and other exotic animals and insects.

Relaxing holidays in Galle.

With its wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings and long stretch of beautiful sandy beaches, Galle is perfect for stylish relaxation with a side of culture and tranquility. This piece of paradise located in the Indian Ocean is home to a wide array of luxury hotels and villas, a city of art and history with a different story to tell around every corner.

Weather and Climate

Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate, temperature and humidity (approx 70%) remain high all year round, although on the coast a light coastal breeze makes this heat comfortable. Inland, the heat is significantly reduced due to the higher altitude. Rainfall is highest in May, and in Oct/Nov. The south-western coast has higher rainfall than the rest of the country, although many people find this a refreshing break, generally this occurs in the afternoon and is accompanied by thunder. The highest rainfall occurs in May (371mm) and the lowest is Feb (69mm). There is an average of 6-8 hours of sunshine per day, all year round.

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Sri Lanka Temperatures

Galle Highlights

  • Situated on Sri Lanka's Southwestern coastline
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its Lighthouse and Fort.

Fact File

  • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
  • Average Flying time: 10½ - 14½ hours
  • Minimum temperature: 29°C
  • Maximum temperature: 31°C
  • Spoken Language(s): Sinhala, English
  • Visa (UK Passport Holders): Sri Lanka has introduced a compulsory visa for all visitors which can be issued before travel or on arrival. We would strongly recommend that these are purchased prior to travel either by calling "The Travel Visa Company" on 01270 250590 and quoting Mercury Holidays, who will be happy to arrange this for you at the cost of a visa plus a small admin fee or by going onto www.eta.gov.lk directly. (Children under the age of 12 will also require a visa and this can be done at the time of parents/guardians visa application)

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