The most western part of The Netherlands consists of many islands arranged in the province Zeeland or “Sea land” in direct translation. If the name of the region makes you wonder than you will not be surprised to hear that almost half of the province is, in fact, water. And yes, New Zealand is named after this small province.
Being one of the most devastated regions due to the floods, Zeeland is to be known by the world for the incredible dikes built in the water. Neeltje Jans is the name of the famous dam which has a special documentary on Discovery channel. Getting there can be a hassle on one’s travel shoulder as there are a few buses which will leave you in the middle of nowhere. It is better to travel with car or by bike, as the islands are well connected with bicycle lanes.
But in this post we will focus on Vlissingen. It is not the capital of the province, but it is an important city. Due to its location, it used to be and it is, still, an important harbor in the area. Close to Antwerp and having a strategic position, the city wasn’t ignored by the powers in Europe. Invaded by French, British, Germans and Spanish, the region simply survived each obstacle. And the most important, it survived the floods. The marks of the fights can be easily seen, but the city was revived and rebuilt after World War II.
A visit at the casemates it is highly recommended. It is small museum in the casemates located near the sea, perfect for kids and grownups too. There you will find more about the attacks over the city, but more in depth about the time when Napoleon was in the region.
A stroll in the neighborhoods surrounding the city center is also a nice activity while in the city. The houses are smaller than in other provinces and the locals like to have something to show in their windows. And since you are in a sea city, a walk on the beach it is a must. Due to the multitude of shells brought by the water, hundreds of birds are on the sand searching for food. It is quite an impressive landscape to be part of.
There are direct trains from Amsterdam to Vlissingen and if you are interested in traveling by public transport you can check this article. Enjoy!