Stef Lanka Tours


All about travelling in Sri Lanka


Southern Province

Galle is one of Sri Lanka’s most enchanting destinations, home to the famous 17th century UNESCO World Heritage Site Dutch Fort which houses many beautiful pieces of colonial architecture behind its walls, as well as an absorbing collection of quirky shops and restaurants. Wander the quaint streets and stroll along the ramparts. Galle is an expansive area, encompassing not only the famed fort but also a variety of beach towns, including lively Unawatuna and tranquil Thalpe, as well as stunning rural inland villages surrounded by rice paddies and cinnamon plantations.

Things to do in Colombo

Visit the Galle Dutch Fort

he South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive Portuguese and Dutch Fort which is a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” in which the central city is contained.
Today, the 90-acre Galle Fort shows no evidence of the Portuguese founders. The Dutch incorporated the Portuguese northern wall in a great rampart in 1663. A second, taller wall was built inside of it. Between the two walls, a covered passage connected the central bastion with the Fort’s two half bastions overlooking the sea.
The Dutch also installed a sophisticated drainage system, complete with brick-lined underground sewers that were flushed twice a day by the high and low tides. The original gate to the fort was by the harbour. It is still there, marked by the British Coat-of-arms on the front and the Dutch V.O.C. (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) with the Coat-of-arms with a rooster crest, on the inner side of the Fort.

Discovering marine history at the Maritime Archeological Museum

he Marine Archaeological Museum in Galle Fort was first established on 4th March 2010 in the Old Dutch Warehouse Building, originally used by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It was the then Dutch Governor Issac Ogustine Rump (1716-1723) who was chiefly responsible for initiating the project to construct this warehouse building. Its main purpose was to store cinnamon which was to be shipped. This building is 143 meters long and measured from the inside 13.60 meters wide. This two storied building extends from the Black Fort to the Commandment Bastion. This building which was erected mainly as a warehouse, also functioned as part of the rampart wall. It is believed that the construction of this building was done in stages during a period of 09 years. The stone plaques installed above the entrances on the upper floor bear many different years such as 1671, 1672, 1676, etc.
On display are marine archaeological artefacts, recovered by the Marine Archaeology Unit, in diving operations carried out in the Galle Sea Bay area, since 1993, under the Avondster Project, which was launched with assistance from the Netherlands.

The Museum is open to the public every day, except on public holidays, from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Experiences & Activities

Experiences & Activities

Galle Fort walks with a local

Wander along the cobblestoned pathways of the 17th century Galle Fort with a local host and explore about its vibrant history and culture. Stroll along three of the 14 bastions, all with mount canons to protect it from outside invasions. Each bastion has its unique set of characteristics – the moon bastion showcases 19 canons, the largest number in the fort and the Black Fort which was believed to have housed firearms and gun powder. Stroll through the narrow pathways and navigate the cafes, hotels and charming old houses owned by generations of Galle families to get an insight in to their lives, culture and history.

Recommend to start at 8am or 4pm, as it gets hot at the Fort during the day time.

A visit to the Virgin White Tea Factory

In the coastal town of Koggala, 30 minutes from Galle Fort, lays a unique one of a kind white tea factory. Handunugoda Tea Factory is known as the virgin white tea factory as it produces a white tea completely untouched by the human hand. Not only this, it is also the only tea estate in the world in close proximity to the sea, giving it a distinctive flavor. Traditional tea crafting methods with time tested techniques perfected through centuries of tea production are used for its production.

You are welcome any day of the week (except special public holidays) between 8.00 AM and 4.30 PM.

Enjoy the coastal railway ride

Train travel in Sri Lanka is a beautiful and affordable way to see the country. The journey along the coast will show you a glimpse of local village life of fishermen coming ashore with their daily catch, Children going to school, Vendors selling fruits and vegetable, etc. You may also find one or two venders on board selling finger food and calling the names of these delicacies out loud. Feeling the breeze of the Indian Ocean on your face and looking out the window the passing by coconut trees on the beautiful beaches are unique experiences.
You may ride all the way to Colombo or hop off a station close by and continue exploring small villages close by.

Snorkeling, Diving or Surfing – which fixes your mood!

Diving and snorkeling in the waters of the Indian Ocean are amazing. The best time to visit the south coast of Sri Lanka for snorkeling is between November to April. Unawatuna (10 min), Hikkaduwa (30 min), Bentota (1 hour) and Polhena (1 hour) , from Galle are few of the best spots for this. Here the Indian Ocean is filled with not only a variety of aquatic animals and plants and corals, but also shipwrecks that are waiting to be discovered.
If you are more of a surfing kind of person, you will find some best breaks around Galle. Hikkadua, Thalpe, Unawatuna and Ahangama are few of the world famous spots within just one hour from Galle. You will find plenty of options to rent the gear and what other way to mingle with the locals than this.

Whale and Dolphin Watching at Mirissa

Sri Lanka’s waters are home to blue whales, the largest animal in the world; seeing a blue whale up close and personal is an experience that cannot be described in words. Blue whales are thought to live as long as 200 years, and subsist on a diet of krill and other types of plankton. Off Sri Lanka’s coast is the largest known pod of blue whales in the world, with over 1000 whales. Among the other types of whales you might encounter in Sri Lanka include sperm whales, Bryde’s whales, and if you are really lucky, killer whales (also known as orcas).
In addition to whales the chance of seeing pods of dolphins and them swiing along with the boat is a common site during the season. Among the species of dolphins you may see are Bottlenose Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, and Striped Dolphins. Dolphins are playful and will swim alongside boats, jumping out of the water and being playful.
Required to be at the Mirissa Harbor by 6am. Boats will start leaving by about 6.30am and return to shore by approx. 10am. Private boats or shared can be arranged.