Take a magical boat ride down the beautiful Madu River, a wetland estuary spreading over 900 hectares of which 770 hectares is covered with water and inhabited with 64 islands. The boat ride is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem; a world heritage site protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands being one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest.
Journey past massive mangrove forests, glide under the canopy of the forest tunnels as they curve playfully towards the watercourse. Take in the unique biodiversity of the Madu River and its surrounding islands that boasts of hundreds of birds, plants, fish and animals.
There’s plenty more to do; quench your thirst with a refreshing drink of King Coconut Water and then proceed towards the Buddhist Monastery, see how Kraal fishing is carried out, how Ceylon Cinnamon is peeled and enjoy some ‘fish therapy’ as they playfully nibble your feet at the ‘fish spa’. If it’s later in the evening watch the fishermen in their canoes lighting lanterns on traps that catch prawn and other shellfish. It’s certainly going to be a memorable day-out on the serene waters of the unforgettable Madu River!
After an exciting Madu river boat trip, drive down to Galle on the highway and visit a Turtle hatchery near Galle to see various species of Sea Turtles, if you wish you could even release a baby Turtle to the Ocean.
Then proceed to Koggala to witness Sri Lanka's most photographed iconic stilt fishermen who sits on perched poles in the shallow water of the Indian Ocean waiting for their daily catch followed by a visit to Galle market and fishermen selling their daily catch by the beach in Galle town.
Finally we take you to a leisure stroll in the best preserved colonial fort in South Asia; relive a 500 year old history, be captivated by the glorious past!
This magnificent piece of architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site was initiated by the Portuguese in the 16th century, seeing some of its best days during Dutch rule in the 18th century, until the British took over in 1796.
Enter the fort through the main entrance which bears the carved logo of the British monarch on the outer wall and the VOC symbol of the Dutch East India Company in the inner wall. Observe the magnificent building with its old stone walls, the ramparts, Dutch colonial villas, the clock tower, the Old Dutch Hospital, Dutch period houses, the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church and the old Bread fruit tree, thought to be the oldest bread fruit tree in the country.
The fascination about the Country Side is that it is a living historical site and not just another well preserved piece of architecture. The Country Side covering 52 hectares of land is one of the busiest places in Galle with a multi-ethnic population living within its walls. Walk around the old town and the ramparts; visit the Maritime Museum, Country Side Temple, Antique shops, Country Side Mosque and the many hotels and restaurants around. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Indian Ocean over the fort walls