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March 2021, Zeeland – Netherlands
Escaping to the beach in March? Sure. Who cares about seasons anymore!
March is that time of the year when rain is pretty much gone, sun is gentle, light flows into every corner the house. Hibernation is over. Most people start making vacation plans for the summer, but don’t leave just yet. I always consider this a perfect time for exploring.
And what better way to escape the hectic rythm of the city, than running to the beach.
Zeeland is living proof of the Dutch continuous fight with water. We found this province quite charming and different than the standard scenery of the Netherlands.
All in all, Zeeland has the ingredients for a perfect getaway: sunny days, soft sand, salty sea air and unlimited relaxation. If you haven’t been yet, here are some ideas for the weekend.
Anyone coming to Zeeland should spend a weekend in Middelburg anyway, the capital of the province that is full of historic buildings.
Middelburg can feel like stepping back in time, particularly if you are there on a weekday. You can wander through quiet streets of pretty stone houses and enjoy coffee in the grand Markt, overlooked by its very impressive town hall.
The heart of the town is dominated by the former abbey complex, part of which dates back to the 15th century.
The city vibe is nice, but you probably came to Zeeland for the beach.
The sun sets in the west so you may get lucky and witness a fabulous sunset as well. Above the village is the striking centuries-old lighthouse, ‘t Hoge Licht. Some 50 metres high, it can be seen from anywhere in the area. It’s the one guiding your way if you’re lost among the dunes.
Domburg is the oldest seaside resort in Zeeland. In summer the town is bustling. Luckily, with all the pandemic-related measures, everything was closed so we had it all for ourselves.
It was a well deserved break for recharge, while sitting in the sun and waiting for a fresh portion of kibbeling to be served on the go.
Veere used to be open to the sea, and its wealth comes from its position as a major port in the wool trade with Scotland in the 15th century. The enormous church which dominates the surrounding countryside is testament to its wealthy past.
Pick a good spot in the sun and watch the boats sail off.
Even a week’s holiday will not be enough to discover all that this country has in terms of dikes and polders. But what we saw in Zeeland is an engineering masterpiece. A series of dams connects the islands in a plan to protect the land from flooding from the North Sea.
The longest dam in the Delta Works is the nine-kilometer-long Oosterscheldekering.
On 4 October 1986, Queen Beatrix officially opened the dam for use by saying the well-known words: “De stormvloedkering is gesloten. De Deltawerken zijn voltooid. Zeeland is veilig.” (The flood barrier is closed. The Delta Works are completed. Zeeland is safe.)