Excursions & day trips
If any one city epitomises the multicultural history of Sri Lanka, then it has to be Galle. The old town is packed into a walled peninsula and boasts a maze of alleys lined with Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. But the adventure begins at Balapitiya, where we'll stop for a boat ride in the Madu River.You'll explore its marshes, which are home to almost 20 species of birds and a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians, too. You should be able to spot a fair few during a river safari that'll also take you through mangrove forests. The Madu has 64 islets, and we'll do a bit of island hopping before dropping by at the Ambalangoda Mask Museum.Then we'll head to historic Galle. It will enchant you with its rich heritage, quaint streets and hives of artistic activity. Check out the old Dutch church and the beautiful white mosque at the ramparts by the sea. Oh, and the beaches aren't bad, either. Lunch will be in Galle, and you'll be able to visit a moonstone mine in Meetiyagoda if you'd like, before a final stop at a turtle hatchery.