A stunning delta area full of polders, harbour towns and cities, history, forts and nature.
Willemstad: ‘Most Important Fortified City’
Willemstad was named after the Founding Father of the Dutch Republic, William of Orange, and is one of the most strategically situated fortified cities. The many listed buildings, the narrow streets and the lovely squares create an unique historic atmosphere. The Mauritshuis is a must-do.
Mauritshuis: ‘Royal Hunting Lodge’
The current museum in Willemstad was once a stunning hunting lodge and country residence. Commissioned by Prince Maurits, it was built in 1623 and is a national monument of exceptional beauty. The building has two identical stepped gables and is a wonderful example of Dutch Renaissance architecture.
Forts around Willemstad: ‘Historic Defence Line’
Fort Sabina dates from the time of Napoleon and together with Fort Prins Frederik, Fort Buitensluis, Fort Bovensluis and Fort De Hel was part of the Willemstad Defence Line. The central axis is the Southern Water Line, which for many centuries formed an attractive chain of fortified cities, forts and entrenchments.
Fort the Roovere: ‘Ramparts & Forts’
Fort the Roovere (Halsteren) is part of the Southern Water Line. From 1628, this water line offered resistance against several European armies. The fort has been restored to its former glory. The remains of French trenches can still be seen along the earthen ramparts and canals. A highlight is the wooden Trench Bridge.
Bergen op Zoom: ‘City Walk’
This centuries-old gem with its narrow streets, old squares and unique monuments has a rich and eventful past stretching back more than 800 years. The Markiezenhof is inextricably linked to Bergen op Zoom’s rich history.
Markiezenhof: ‘Gentlemen & Marquises’
Bergen op Zoom: this former city palace of Gentlemen and Marquises from the 15th century is today used as a museum. The ornately decorated rooms, courtyards and gardens give you a good impression of the history of this city and region and of the nobility who resided here.
Watersnoodmuseum: ‘National Remembrance Centre’
Ouwerkerk: The museum gives a powerful insight into the events during and after the floods of 1 February 1953. What happened that night? What went wrong? The museum is located in four enormous concrete caissons, which have been used to seal the lowest hole in the dyke.
Tholen: ‘Best Kept Secret’
This fortified city received city rights in 1366 and has a rich history with a protected cityscape. In addition to dozens of historic national monuments, you will find many old city walls and defences around the city centre. The Medieval street pattern is also still visible here.
Roosevelt Information Centre: ‘Round Trip of Roosevelt’
Oud-Vossemeer: The ancestors of former US presidents Theodore and Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Franklin’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt, came from here. Oud-Vossemeer exudes the atmosphere of America in the middle of the last century, when president Franklin D. Roosevelt made his legendary speech on the Four Freedoms.
Local Produce Auction: ‘Going Once, Going Twice’
Sint-Annaland: sit on authentic benches and operate the clock to secure a good price. Regional producers and suppliers offer a wide variety of fresh and delicious seasonal vegetables, such as Zeeland butterscotch, mustard and flowers.
Van Gogh House: Birthplace:
Zundert: Vincent van Gogh was born to a dominee in Zundert on 30 March 1853. Vincent’s homeland is still visible in Zundert. And tangible. Vincent’s birthplace is located right here, where the Vincent van Gogh House now stands.
Van Gogh Church: ‘Vincent’s Homeland’
Etten-Leur: after attempts at turning his hand to art dealing, teaching and preaching, Vincent van Gogh moved back in with his parents in Etten at the age of 28. This was the tipping point in his life and he started to take painting more seriously. Visit the Van Gogh Church and Information Centre to learn more.
Oudenbosch Basilica: ‘Like St Peter’s’
Oudenbosch: you feel like you’re in Rome, but really you’re in Oudenbosch. The Basilica was built between 1867 and 1880 and is a small-scale copy of St Pieter’s Basilica, with a façade that resembles that of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.
Hortus Botanicus: ‘Meet in the Green’
Oudenbosch: the former abbey’s botanical gardens date back to the 18th century and contain a remarkable collection of trees and bushes. You can enjoy peacefully meander while enjoying the serenity and beautiful abundance of plants.
De Biesbosch National Park ‘Beaver spotting’
This national park is a protected nature reserve and the largest freshwater tidal area in Europe. The ‘ebbing and flowing’ freshwater is unique in the world! But how is it possible? Go in search of a beaver or bald eagle on foot, by bike or by boat.
Oosterschelde National Park: ‘Freshwater & saltwater’
The Oosterschelde is the largest and wettest national park in the Netherlands. It is a world of tides, wind and above all water. A lot of water. Excursions include walks or cycles through the stunning nature, or a boat ride to spot seals sunbathing on the sandbanks, or perhaps even a porpoise.
Tiengemeten Nature Reserve: ‘Onto the paths, down the tracks’
Experience the peace and space of this unique island near Willemstad, which has been ‘given back’ to nature. Beautiful walks, a guided bike ride or an island tour in a covered wagon are all fantastic options.
Delta Ferries & Water Bus: ‘Sailing through the Delta’
Island hopping around the Haringvliet region. A unique experience travelling in small ships and discovering the Haringvliet and surroundings. A total of ten different small ferries sail in this area.
A Seal: ‘Seal Experience’
Stellendam: weak and injured seals found along the coast are taken to the seal shelter. See how the seals are cared for and learn how to feed themselves, play and swim again. Visit ‘A Seal’ Seal Shelter and find out all there is to know about saving people and animals.
Slikken van Flakkee: ‘Flamingo spotting’
Grevelingen: this nature reserve becomes more famous each year due to the flamingos that come to nest in the early season (winter and spring). There are also special excursions to see the Heck cattle Fjord horses in this area. You can also spot beaver, seals and roe deer here.
Haringvliet: ‘The Tap of Europe’
Stellendam: the Haringvliet Sluices separate the North Sea and the Haringvliet. They regulate the water level in a way that is comparable to turning a tap on and off. That is why they are nicknamed the Tap of Europe. The sluices will be opened partially in 2018.
Volkerak Sluices: ‘World Guinness Book of Records’
These freight sluices are part of the Delta Plan and form the largest and busiest inland shipping sluice complex in Europe. Each sluice is 325 metres long and 24 metres wide. The tower offers a great view of the huge freight ships.
Dyke Route: ‘Battle against water’
Steenbergen: route through the typical Dutch polder and dyke landscape of this region, a unique area of natural beauty with many streams and rivers. On this route, you will learn about how the residents battled for centuries against the water.
Ouddorp Bunker Route: ‘Experience the bunker’
Many bunkers together formed the coastal defence. At De Punt in Ouddorp there are a number of recently unearthed bunkers to visit, experience and admire via a beautiful trail.
Tulip arrangement: ‘Keukenhof in Waterpoort’
Everyone has seen images of the many thousands of tulips in the Keukenhof. The tulip fields throughout the area come into full bloom in spring season due to the many hours of sunlight. You will also visit a tulip nursery. There are various tulip routes that you can explore by bike as well.
Guided tour: ‘Fresh fish’
Stellendam: experience the fishing industry in all its facets in the port of Stellendam! After soaking in the hustle and bustle of activity in the port while enjoying a cup of coffee, you will be guided around the fish market.
Mill route: ‘Typical Dutch landscape’
Many mills are still in operation and open to the public. They are centuries-old and typify the Dutch landscape. You will pass by the abundance of mills in the area during this excursion. From water and corn mills to oil and saw Mills.
De Mèkkerstee Cheese Farm: ‘Cheese champion’
With two gold medals and one silver, this cheese farm has won two different organic goat’s cheese competitions in England. The International Cheese Awards is one of the most famous cheese competitions in the world. Attend a demonstration on the tradition of cheese making.
Rosada Designer Outlet: ‘Great shopping’
Roosendaal: at McArthurGlen Rosada you will find big brands with discounts of up to 70%. With more than 75 shops, McArthurGlen Rosada is the ideal place for a relaxing day of shopping.