Bicycle holiday in Zeeland
A bicycle holiday in Zeeland is what cycling enthusiasts prefer over going to the north Netherland. The reason is that, some claim, the south is more challenging (the wind) and more scenic then the north. However, Zeeland is mostly skipped. Still Zeeland has plenty to offer for cyclists. So let's see. We start in Gorinchem, as we already came there when we cycled in Zuid Holland.
Take the Merwedebrug to the other side of the Waal river. Now here you have plenty of options. One of them is to follow the river eastwards to Zaltbommel and further all the way to Nijmegen. You will follow smaller roads passing vineyards and many fruit gardens. In the right season, summer, early autumn, this is an excellent area to explore the local fruits (including cherries).
For going to Zeeland, the best option is to follow directions to Geertruidenberg, Oosterhout and Breda from where you can decide to continue directly to Belgium or you can go westwards.
If Zeeland is your destination, a nice option is the road to the Volkeraksluizen. This is a much nicer route to follow then going directly out of Rotterdam south.
However, should you want too directly from Rotterdam. You can take the Erasmusbrug and continue to Hoogvliet, Spijkenisse, Hellevoetsluis and the Haringvliet sluices.
Once you're at the sluices, you have left the urban jungle and have arrived in the northern islands of Zeeland. However, I would NOT recommend this road, I would cycle through Gorinchem, despite it is longer.
You can continue to Goedereede on Goeree Overflakke island and the island: Shouwen-Duivenland. This is a very beautiful piece of the Netherlands. Zeeland has a lot of nature to offer and camping is preferred too as you can absorb much more of the nature itself.
However, the main cities in Zeeland, Veere, Domburg, Zierikzee, Vlissingen, Goes, Middelburg, Goedereede and other slightly bigger towns have hotels.
You have to organise your journey a little more because there are limited places to cross from one to another island.
And Zeeland has plenty of campings. This area is popular during the summer holidays for German travelers.
Should you not want to go to the Volkeraksluizen, continue from Breda to Bergen Op Zoom and cycle to Riland, Goes, Middelburg and Vlissingen. This too is a nice road.
Especially Goes is worth a visit. It's an old town, even for Dutch standards, the history leads back to the 10th century.
Goes' main industry was cloth and salt production but in the 16th century the sea got bogged down and in 1544 a large fire destroyed a part of the city and the importance of the town declined. But the town is still very scenic.
You bicycle holiday in Zeeland will bring you along many historical cities and towns that go back many hundreds of years. All of these cities are related to the sea: Vlissingen, Domburg, Middelburg, Zierikzee and others. Some still have an active fishing fleet, but most have still a beautiful city center worth visiting.
In 1953 the North Sea flood (Watersnood ramp) destroyed much of Zeeland. Many injuries were counted, officially 1853 people were killed. It was the biggest disaster in the Netherlands.
The authorities started to build a system of dykes to safeguard the land for an eventual disaster called the Deltawerken. When you travel through Zeeland, you will see several of these Deltawerken, as the Volkeraksluices, Oosterscheldebarrier, Zeelandbridge and the Stormsurgebarrier to name a few.
Once you are in Middelburg or Vlissingen, your bicycle holiday in Zeeland is over, Belgium is not far. Just cross the straits and you are a day ride from Gent, one of those beautiful old towns in Belgium with a rich history. However, that is another story.
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