A significant portion of the Netherlands is below sea level, so the Dutch have been coming up with ingenious ways to manage water for over a thousand years. You'll learn all about it on this interesting 5-day itinerary. Visit the world’s largest storm surge barrier, the Delta Works, in the province of Zeeland. You'll cycle around the island of Schouwen-Duivenland and learn more about the natural environment on a boat cruise around Oosterschelde National Park — keep your eyes open for whales! Discover beautiful beaches and pedal along dune landscapes, stopping for fresh seafood, along the way, as you explore Walcheren Island. Finish with a day in historic Middelburg, an important trading center for the Dutch East India Company, before the trip ends in Amsterdam.

Highlights

  • Explore the famous Delta Works on a guided tour
  • Pedal around the windswept island of Schouwen-Duivenland
  • Go on a boat cruise around Oosterschelde National Park
  • Relax by the sea in elegant Zoutelande
  • Tour historic ships in Middelburg's old shipyards

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore the Delta Works of Burgh-Haamstede Burgh Haamstede
Day 2 Ride Around the Island on an E-bike Burgh Haamstede
Day 3 Cycle Around the Island of Walcheren Zoutelande
Day 4 See Remnants of the Dutch Golden Age at Middelburg Middelburg
Day 5 Return to Amsterdam - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Explore the Delta Works of Burgh-Haamstede

A sheep grazing near the Dutch coastline

Welcome to Holland! You'll begin the trip in Burgh-Haamstede, a small village on the island of Schouwen-Duivenland. On the way in, you will get the first glimpse of the famous Delta Works, a collection of dams, dykes, sluices, and storm surge barriers in the province of Zeeland. If you wish, you can also make a stop at the seal sanctuary at Stellendam.

Once you arrive in Burgh-Haamstede, go for a stroll around the quaint downtown, admiring traditional Dutch houses. If you like, you can relax on the beach for a few hours in the afternoon — it takes about 40 minutes to walk there, or 15 minutes to bike. Have dinner in town before getting some rest at your hotel. 

Day 2: Ride Around the Island on an E-bike

Scenic sand dunes on the island

After breakfast, you'll go on an e-bike tour around the island. The coastline here is scenic, with large dune areas and wide beaches. At a landmark known as Plompetoren, you will learn about the history of a "lost village" that was swallowed by the sea. At the nearby harbor of Burghsluis, board a boat for a cruise around Oosterschelde National Park, where you may spot seals — and whales, too, if you're lucky. 

Day 3: Cycle Around the Island of Walcheren

Part of the Delta Works off the coast of Walcheren

Bicycle adventures continue today. On two wheels, you'll ride across the famous Oosterscheldekering the major structure of the Delta Works — to the neighboring island of Walcheren. Head into the most beautiful area of the island at Westenschouwen, where narrow bicycle lanes wind through the forest, offering occasional views of the beach and the North Sea. 

When you reach Domburg, it's time for some rest and relaxation. Treat yourself to lunch at the classy Badpaviljoen Domburg, then continue to Zoutelande, where you'll check into a relaxing beach hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy by the sea.

Day 4: See Remnants of the Dutch Golden Age at Middelburg

The grand architecture of Kloveniersdoelen
The grand architecture of Kloveniersdoelen in Middelburg

Today's plan offers a mix of culture and history. You'll travel to Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland. With its lovely canal-side houses and historic architecture, Middelburg used to be an important trading center for the Dutch East India Company, mostly due to its practical location. Spices, textiles, and porcelain from Asia and Africa passed through here before becoming available on the European market. 

Today, reminders of the Golden Age are still evident throughout the town. One of the eight city gates is still visible, named the Koepoort, and so are many warehouses and shipyards where shipbuilders constructed around 300 ships over the course of two centuries. Another must-see is the Kloveniersdoelen, a residence built in 1607; it once housed the archers' guild. The 15th-century town hall, built in Gothic style, is one of the most impressive sights of all of Zeeland.

Many cafés and restaurants encircle the square here, so sit back and enjoy the view over a coffee or a glass of wine. Then wander through the narrow alleys of town — you're near the beach, so it's a good place to dine on fresh seafood on the last night of the trip.

Day 5: Return to Amsterdam - End of Trip

Dutch houses in Middelburg

Today you'll make the short trip to Amsterdam, where the trip ends. Head to the airport to catch your flight out. Safe travels! 

More Netherlands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Netherlands? Check out these other Netherlands itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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