Perched on the south-western tip of the island, pretty Galle is one of Sri Lanka's major cities - with many attractive buildings dating back to its time as a Dutch colonial outpost.
Little is known about Galle before 1505, when it was commandeered by the Portuguese. They surrendered the city to the Dutch in 1640, and the new leaders built its mighty fortress - which survives to this day.
Galle is now one of the finest examples of a European-built fortified city outside of Europe - making it a delight to discover - with a magnificent array of structures dating back through the centuries. This has not gone unnoticed by UNESCO, who gave it World Heritage status in 1988.
Almost entirely surrounded by the ocean, Galle has a wonderfully relaxing yet lively atmosphere - which has endeared it to tourists for more than a century.