Galle Harbor is a natural harbor, located in Galle, south-western coast of Sri Lanka. Currently Galle port serves as one of the most active regional ports in the country and it is also the only Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for pleasure yachts. International yacht societies have recognized Galle harbor as one of the world’s best attractions for yachting.
Galle harbor was a major harbor in the country, which was in use even during the pre-Christian times, but gained importance after the 12th century. By the 14th century, Galle harbor was the most important harbor in Sri Lanka and retained its importance until 1873 when an artificial harbor was built in Colombo. After the construction of Galle Fort in the 17th century Galle port was a major port in the Indian Ocean for more than 200 years, which was an important anchorage for boats and ships traveling between Europe and Asia.When the British colonial government constructed breakwaters in the Colombo Harbor in late 19th century, much international marine traffic shifted to Colombo from Galle.Thereafter Galle port became a secondary port of the country, though it still handles some ships and boats.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has planned to develop the existing Port of Galle to accommodate the increasing demand for freight handling for Sri lanka as well as a international regional destination. This is planned with the construction of a deep water passenger vessel terminal and breakwaters, dredging of entrance channel and basin, and other facilities at the port of Galle to contribute to the economic development of the country. Some of the facilities provided at Galle Port had been damaged during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the proposed development is also expects to provide a fully fledged Yacht Marina for the Galle Port to facilitate the calling yachts as well as to attract more Yachts. SLPA expects to provide berthing facilities to passenger vessels of 300 m in length and cargo vessels of 200 m in length which have a depth of 10 m and 10.9 m respectively with this project. This will be achieved by constructing breakwaters to cover the effects of waves in the Galle bay area.