Sun and Sand
There are many beaches in and around the Galle town which are safe for kids. The Unawatuna beach is one of the most famous in the country, and is generally rather crowded with tourists and locals. As it is protected by a reef, the ocean here is safe to swim in. The beach has many restaurants that serve international as well as local cuisine, so you don’t have to worry about packing snacks for the kids.
The Dalawella beach too is a great place to visit with the family. Located in the Unawatuna area, it is not as crowded as the main Unawatuna beach. The beach in front of the Wijeya Beach restaurant is best if you want to go in for a dip. However, take note that the place can get a little busy, because of the popular restaurant which serves some great pizza. If you just want to let the kids play on the beach, you could walk a little further away.
You can pre-book a boat ride with the help of your tour operator or hotel manager, or you can opt to go with one of the many boat operators that are bound to approach you on the Unawatuna beach. Some of these boats are glass bottomed, so you can see the corals and little fish that are closer to the surface of the ocean. It is definitely a fun experience!
Sea Turtle Hatchery
A visit to the Sea Turtle Hatchery in Habaraduwa, which is about 14km from Galle town, is a wonderful experience for the family. The hatchery is run by a team of volunteers who are committed towards the effort of saving sea turtles. They have released almost 1 million turtles into the ocean since beginning operations in 1986. The hatchery is open daily from 7.30am to 6.00pm.
The Galle Fort is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Galle. The original mud and palisade fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the 16 th century, however, the Dutch reconstructed the fort in stone during the 17 th century. The Galle Fort is a historical, archaeological and architectural monument that has stood the test of time. Constructed as a fort city, the Galle Fort is a treasure trove of historic buildings, interesting architecture and museums. This is in addition to being home to many wonderful boutique hotels and villas, as well as the Dutch Hospital shopping and dining precinct. It is a definite ‘must-visit’.
If you or your kids are cricket fans, you can visit the picturesque Galle International Cricket Stadium, which is right next to the Galle Fort. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world and is thought to be one of the luckiest venues for the Sri Lankan cricket team!
The Rumassala Hill is great for a hike and also to view diverse and unique plant and animal life. Steeped in legend and myth, the hill offers beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. A path from the hill leads to a wonderful stretch of beach referred to as Jungle Beach. The Kanneliya rainforest is another great place to visit if you are enthusiastic about nature. The forest is home to many endemic species of lowland Sri Lanka.
Martin Wickramasinghe Museum
Martin Wickramasinghe was a famous Sri Lankan author who based much of his work on local village life. His former home is now a folk museum operated by the Martin Wickramasinghe Trust. The museum is a repository of artefacts which depict the history of Sri Lankan folk culture. A visit here could be a great educational and cultural experience for the whole family.