Galle wasn’t the top of my list of places to visit when we were in Sri Lanka. Not for any particular reason, I just wanted to head straight to the beaches for some much-needed R&R.


But I’m glad we went: it turned out to be one of my favourite places in Sri Lanka.


Imagine narrow, cobble-stoned streets, cool boutique shops and cute cafés, surrounded by centuries of history in the shape of fort walls.


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We spent two days here, kicking our visit off with a tour with renowned war reporter Juliet Coombe. She first came to Sri Lanka to cover the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but fell in love with the place – and a man. She stayed and has since opened a company called Sri Serendipity, which includes a café, tours and a publishing house.


The tour took us all around the centuries-old fort walls, Juliet all the while bombarding us with fascinating facts about slaves (they were imported by the Dutch to build the walls), taxes (in Sri Lanka you pay tax based on the width of your house and the number of windows it has) and cinnamon (Sri Lanka produces 90 percent of the world’s cinnamon production).


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If you’re visiting Sri Lanka, put Galle right at the top of your list.


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You can read more about Galle in this article I wrote for Air Niugini’s Paradise in-flight magazine.