Maybe you already know the coastal area of Zeeland where it’s great to walk, cycle, fish and occupy yourself with a variety of sports activities.
What could be more lovely than spending time there yourself? A delightful escape from the hussle and bussle of everyday life…. Really enjoying a well-deserved rest.
Walcheren, an “island” to discover….
Viewed from the air a colourful patchwork, from the water a guilt-edged fata-morgana, from the dune tops a wide panorama with towers and mills like beacons in the landscape, and from the heart of Walcheren an island with many faces – colourful, sunny and sparkling, green and silver-white subdued mystique.
Walcheren actually is not really an island. It’s one peninsula connected to another, and from there to the mainland. Because of the connection it has the advantages, but not the disadvantages, of an island. Secluded, well-organised, varied, everything within cycling range, it’s a long coastline of 30 kilometers (!) and always has the sea within reach…. Protected by high dunes to the north and south, it has a sturdy dike at Westkapelle and a 5 km long boulevard in Vlissingen.
Inland there is a rich diversitiy of nature, villages and towns, water and agricultural sites. And still the “Island-feeling” prevails.
Here’s a satelite picture of Walcheren with the main centres… underneath is a more detailed photo of the location of the holiday home only a few minutes from the beach!
If you haven’t been to the Zeeland beaches you are selling yourself short…
Beautiful golden sandy beaches that go on for miles and miles, as far as you can see. An invitation for long healthy walks or day after day of beach fun. Sunbathing and comfort are guaranteed because you will have your own beach cabin from May 1 till September 15.
How about a beach barbeque while watching the sun setting over the sea – pleasure & romance!
Many sea pavilions cater for young and old – sheltered from the sea breeze you will enjoy the quiet, the sun and each other!
The public facilities are great! On every beach there is general supervision by police and rescue teams. The beaches and water are very clean with regular checks!
Things to do
- Zoutelande: Every Tuesday in summer there is a market in de Langstraat and around the church. There are several restaurants and terraces where you can have a drink or a meal in a nice ambiance. On the beach you will find some restaurants too like “Neptunes”or “De Strandzot” where you can have a meal while enyoing a view over the sea.
- Domburg: This village with a lot of character can be reached by way of a scenic bike trip. Alongside the coastline you will be cycling on top of the impressive North Sea dike at Westkapelle. A breathtaking trip leads you along many brilliant panoramas before entering Domburg. Lots of little shops, eating and drinking facilities make your visit worthwhile!
- Deltapark Neeltje Jans (www.neeltjejans.nl): A theme park for playing and learning, in the middle of the huge and inpressive sluice gates that are part of the Delta works (“Deltawerken”), the flood defence system for Zeeland and the south-west of The Netherlands. You will find this park north of the “Noord Beveland” peninsula (across the “Veerse Dam” direction “Burgh Haamstede”).
- Veere:A quaint little town where time seems to have stood still. Visit monumental late-medieval houses and browse through the many shops “from days gone by”.
- Middelburg: The beautiful historic center of Walcheren and capital of the province of Zeeland. Allthough WWII damaged the city centre, it retained most of its former glory with old streets and plenty of shopping and leisure possibilities.
In summer the top section of the tower of the old abbey church, the “Lange Jan” (“Tall John”) can be visited. This tower gives Middelburg its characteristic silhoutte. On a clear day you can see the whole of Walcheren.
A visit on (slightly crowdy) Market Day (every Thursday) on the main square in front of the striking, late gothical town hall is something of a must.
More places to visit are:
De Drukkery (Main square) is a bookstore with small restaurant, where it’s wonderful to relax for a moment.
The old Abbey and the Zeeland museum (“Zeeuws Museum“) – browse our history in a newly renovated setting.
“Minimundi” In this theme park you can walk among miniature topical buildings to be found on the peninsula of Walcheren. It’s the Zeeland counterpart of the Dutch “Madurodam”. You can find this at “ZEP” near the A58.
De Kloveniersdoelen is a cultural cinema with good quality films and also a restaurant.
The Middelburg Library is a spacious building on the quayside just outside the city centre(close to the train station), a place to spend a rainy day browsing through a multitude of books (English books too), international magazines, CDs/DVDs, newspapers and comic strip books. The library has a small restaurant as well.
On the quay across from the NS station (train station), you can board a boat that sails regularly to Veere and back. So you can visit Veere this way too.
- Vlissingen: The city on the river Schelde. Stroll along the boulevard watching huge ships closely pass by, or see pilot boats rushing away at the harbour’s end, as you tour Vlissingen. This harbour town also has a maritime shopping centre with a cosy presentation, lots of restaurants and bars and a large multiscreen cinema (CINECITY). At the end of the former harbour where you can find yachts nowadays instead of fishing trawlers, you can visit “Het Arsenaal“. It’s an amusement centre featuring maritime displays and also special shows and attractions where you can participate yourself – e.g. petting manta-rays. Next to it is an intimate theatre (“Arsenaal theater“) with quality stage productions and a wonderful restaurant.
On the front side of the harbour you can visit the “muZEEum” a maritime museum with a different approach.
Recommended is a walk along the shore of “het Eiland” towards the NS station, starting behind the Arsenaal on top of the dike then walking westward. At the station you can take a (pedestrian/bicyle) ferry to “Breskens” on the other side of the River Schelde, where you can take a bus to “Brugge” in Belgium (see below).
On Friday it’s Market Day in Vlissingen.
- Goes: leaving Walcheren travelling east you come across another nice town. The somewhat strange name “Goes” refers to grassy lands along a creek in Roman times.
Leisurely shopping and walking through the city centre you will find a beautiful late Gothic Church that is now mainly used for concerts and expositions. Opposite you will find the RC church. On the same square there is a nice local museum and the VVV (Tourist board). At the end of the main market square you’ll find the characteristic harbour.
Close to the NS station you can take a trip with old steam locomotives through the heart of the “Zuid-Beveland” peninsula, an agricultural area with a multitude of dikes. This area is a recommended auto route along the shaded medieval dikes (partly nature reserve) with quiet villages, special flora and grazing herd of sheep in summer.
Tuesday is Market day in Goes.
- Zierikzee: This historic town is a focus point for many tourists, but it’s never too crowded. It has a remarkable church tower that dominates the landscape of “Schouwen Duiveland”, a peninsula to the north of Goes. Zierikzee is reachable from the south by a 5 km long bridge across the “Oosterschelde”, a sea-arm almost closed off from the sea by the “Deltaworks” to prevent flooding.
At the end of the old harbour in the centre of town there is a historic museum.
- Brugge (Belgium): Not in Zeeland, but reacheable on a day trip from Vlissingen, taking the ferry (pedestrian / bicycle) to Breskens and from there the bus. Traveltime Breskens-Brugge ca. 1 hour. Brugge is one of the best conserved late medieval cities of the Low Countries and gastronomic paradise. Renowned are the canal trips through the centre. Brugge is also the international center for lace products.
- Gent (Belgium): This large city between Brugge and Antwerp has a nice city centre, canal trips by boat and a true medieval castle.
“The adoration of the Lamb” by the brothers Van Eyck in the “Jacobskerk” is truly worth a visit.
- Antwerpen (Belgium): Flemish capital and brimming metropolis on the River Schelde. Enjoy the typical Flemish/Belgian atmosphere of this large city. A nice day trip, but we recommend you also spend the night there and enjoy the evening wandering around the romantically lighted city centre. By train: Middelburg > Roosendaal > Antwerp. By car: A58 towards the west, exit Antwerp.
about 1 1/2 hrs drive.