| There are 280km (175
miles) of beaches and over fifty resorts in The Netherlands,
almost all of which are easily accessible from Rotterdam,
Amsterdam and The Hague. Large
areas have been specially allocated for naturists and the beaches
themselves are broad, sandy and gently sloping. There is surf along
the coast, and those who wish to swim must be strong enough to withstand
the hidden currents. Swimmers should obtain and follow local advice.
In the high season, lifeguards are on duty along the more dangerous
stretches of the coast.
The province of Zeeland has several medieval harbour
towns where some of the best seafood in Europe can be found. Most
of the province lies below the sea level and has been reclaimed
from the sea. The region also includes several islands and peninsulas
in the southwest Netherlands, Walcheren, Goeree-Overflakkee,
Schouwen-Duiveland, Tholen, St
Filipsland and North and South
The province has become renowned for a massive engineering project
of flood barriers designed to protect the mainland and the results
of reclamation from the devastating floods that periodically sweep
along the coastline. The countryside is heavily farmed.
The capital of the province is Middelburg, a town
that has been important since medieval times. The Town Hall
is widely regarded as being one of the most attractive non-religious
Gothic buildings in Europe.
The small town of Veere, 8km (5 miles) to the north,
retains many buildings from its golden age in the early 16th century.
The North Sea port of Flushing (Vlissingen)
is, for many British travellers arriving by boat, their first sight
of The Netherlands. It is also the country’s first town in
another sense, in 1572 it became the first place to fly the free
Dutch flag during the War of Independence.