Galle Fort, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently fortified by the Dutch in the mid-1600s, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its cobbled streets and quaint little cottage-like dwellings and boutique hotels, the Galle Fort is the picture of romance, to say nothing of its mighty ramparts overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The world renowned Galle Literary Festival takes place here, attracting internationally known authors every year. The Galle Fort boasts a number of high-end and mid-range restaurants, and budget and luxury hotels litter the landscape. The old lighthouse in one of the rampart corners makes for a gorgeous backdrop for photography. History buffs can stop by the National Maritime History Museum located inside the Fort premises.

Apart from the Fort, Galle is also famous for its natural harbour, and the spectacular beaches in its vicinity, such as Jungle Beach and Unawatuna. Rumassala Hill, which towers above Jungle Beach, is home to an ancient temple and the hill’s mythological origins can be traced back to the Indian epic the Ramayanaya. Galle is located 119km from Colombo.

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