Zeeland shore

In the province Zeeland, we find an unique piece of coast. Vast headlands that cut, formed through rivers and sea, through the Zeeland landscape, and at the north Sea broad dunes and beaches with the most sun hours of The Netherlands. Together with all tourist facilities for recreation, staying the night and to enjoy rest and space, is Zeeland one of the better holiday destinations within the Netherlands.

Nature and landscape

The Zeeland history was always connected with the sea.† The water made the country, alternating flood and reclaiming of land. The largest part of the Zeeland landscape consists of polder meadows, that has been secured from the influences of the sea. The original islands from which Zeeland consisted transformed slowly in the peninsulas as we know them today.† But man had to give up land to the sea too, like the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe.

Between the Zeeland islands, a number of sea arms twist through the landscape: the Westerschelde, Oosterschelde, Grevelingenmeer and Haringvliet. After the flood of 1953 the Dutch accelerated the closement of a number of these waters.† It was an impossible task to raise all the dykes high enough to be capable of holding a storm tide as that took place in 1953 and by which many people died or lost their houses and possessions. Only the Westerschelde still has an open connection with the sea, because the required access to the harbor of Antwerp did not allow the Dutch to build a dam here.

In the west, we find at the North Sea coast a natural defense; the dunes. Together with the salt marshes between the islands the dunes and the beach form the major part of the natural landscape of Zeeland.† This is at the same time also the highest situated part of the province Zeeland.† The coast is not only an attractive territory for tourists, but also for the many birds and plants that live here.

The influence of the sea is also well noticeable on the land.† Everywhere we find the remainders of old marshes, no longer in open connection with the sea, coves that were formed through the building of new dykes or through floods. On places where these were not enclosed by dykes and polders beautiful nature reserves arise, where on some places also exist possibilities to recreate.

Forests are not very wide-spread in Zeeland. This is mainly caused by the agriculture, for which the scarce ground was considered more valuable. Most of the woods are near the coast, like the Manteling of Walcheren at Domburg and on Schouwen-Duivelland surrounding Burg Harmstede.

Culture and settlements

Very recent excavations show that first human activity in Zeeland started to take place about 15,000 years ago. It isnít a big surprise that the fist axe that was the main evidence for this fact was found nearby Cadzand, where a naturally higher dune is situated.

During the Roman ages, Zeeland became an important trade territory, with the present city of Domburg as the enter of gravity. Around the year of 300 ad most of the territory is flooded and most of the inhabitants pull away. Only near the coast it was possible to survive.† From 1100 man starts to develop polders, under the supervision of the monasteries and abbeys in the area. In the next centuries until way into the twentieth century the fight with the sea continued, with the province suffering from several big floods.

In the late 1500s Zeeland has an important role in the history of The Netherlands, during the conflict between Holland and Flanders, the war against Spain and becomes an important economic territory because of the fishery and commerce in the region.

The rustic atmosphere remembers of past ages with the influence of the Dutch Merchant Navy and fishery present in many towns along the Zeeland coast. As a visitor, you can notice this culture in towns and cities like Vlissingen, Veere, Goes and Terneuzen. But also in other areas the monumental architecture, atmosphere and hospitality reminds us of the history of this region.

Characterizing for Zeeland are the Zeeland costume, the dialect and old traditions like the ring stab and typical Zeeland products like boterbabbelaars and bolussen, but of course also the Zeeland mussels and oysters.

Information

Spread throughout Zeeland you can acquire tourist information at the VVV-offices. You will find them for instance in Ouddorp aan Zee, Burgh Haamstede, Renesse, Scharendijke, Zierikzee, Domburg, Vlissingen, Goes, Yerseke, Sint Maartensdijk, Terneuzen and Breskens.

For the active tourist, Zeeland has a lot to offer too. At the North Sea beaches, where you can find the most hours of sun in Holland every year, but also aquatic sports. The nature surrounding the coast is also very suitable for riding a bicycle.

Holiday and recreation along the shore of Zeeland

Kaart van NederlandNoord-HollandZuid-HollandZeelandFrieslandNoord-BrabantFlevolandGroningenDrentheUtrechtOverijsselLimburgGelderland