Explore the Galle Fort Cycling tours
Built by the Portuguese, expanded by the Dutch, reinforced by the British and restored by the Sri Lankans, the 36 hectares large Galle Fort has retained its cosmopolitan vibes even after 400 years. Washed on three sides by the Indian Ocean, Galle Fort is a combination of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture and a melting point of global nomads.
Ringed by a series of bastions, walls intercepted by green turf, Galle Fort can be easily explored on foot and on a bike. Among these walls are some of the oldest houses in Galle, colonial churches, warehouses, offices, hospitals and courts that were once the cogwheels of large colonial government machinery.
Today most of these ancient buildings have been rescued, revamped and refurbished to house museums, private villas, hotels, restaurants, shops, spas and shopping malls; yet the still retain their ancient charm and colonial architecture, which makes exploring the Galle Dutch Fort a pure joy.
Whether you are on foot or on a bike covering the whole length of the Fort including its grass tufted ramparts, characteristic red-tiled roofs of the Dutch era and an endless view of the Indian Ocean, would not take more than three hours, even at a relaxed pace.
Remember to explore numerous shops and boutiques, that line the streets of Galle Fort, even if you do not plan to make a purchase. Each of them specializes in something Sri Lankan from gems, tea, handloom and batik fabrics to local delicacies and can be an experience unto themselves.
If you are going to start your journey from Galley 52, walk down the Church Street and turn left on the Rampart Street to discover the Galle Lighthouse, Sri Lanka’s oldest lighthouse surrounded by a white beach.
From the lighthouse, take the Hospital Street and a 3-minute walk will take you to the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, a place for retail therapy and relaxation. Continue the trail of exploration on Hospital Street and Queens Street passing the Maritime Archeology Museum and turn right to the Church Street towards the National Museum passing the Dutch Reformed Church, and lovely Amangalla Hotel.
Continue on the Church Street to reach the Flag Rock Bastion where young locals Kamikaze Dive into the Indian Ocean and head North to reach the Galle Fort Clock Tower and wrap the tour up while absorbing the view of the Indian Ocean from the Star Bastion by the Clock Tower.