The (brouwers) dam that fizzes
You’ll find all the clichés here on the Brouwersdam – sea, beach and wide-open nature, but with value added. This six and a half kilometre long beauty is the link between the islands of Goeree-Overflakkee and Schouwen-Duiveland. Wedged between the Grevelingen and the North Sea, it offers you a take-all-the-buffeting-you-want sort of buffet, as climate isotopes do. The wind will draw you and your surfing clobber to the waves, but there are drier choices if you’re into wheels and wings: buggy ones, boogie ones, beachies, and biggies (they’re awesome).
Lying between the beaches of the North Sea and the Grevelingen, the Brouwersdam is a fine trio of surfing, sailing and diving. Like many a ménage à trois, it poses a dilemma. To our west, the North Sea side is a magnet for drawing kite surfers (beaches, right?). The wind surfers go to the Grevelingen skies and watery expanses, to get their fill of Western Europe’s largest and cleanest freshwater later. One dilemma is choosing the relaxation or the pulsing push of water sport. The iconic wind-in-your-hair thrill, or a precarious last stand on a supping board or taking a cruise on a boat trip, or going out in your sloop, or sailing towards the sunset. Choices! The winners: for picking up more sailing skills, go to the Grevelingen. For water sports, the dam. See more about water sports at the Brouwersdam.
Some clichés are best under water. In the Grevelingen lake, you can dive away to your heart’s content. After all, beauty is in the masked eyes of the beholder. The water is splendidly clear, with five metres vision and reasonably warm – 20 in summer – thanks to some small tidal influence. Sea anemones, sea squirts, crabs, lobsters and starfish abound, among the sculpins, flatfish, small sharks and occasional sea horses.
Not any old water jump, this giant off the Brouwersdam. A mega slope a mere eight metres high, it’ll take your breath away. Which is what you meant, right? And you’ll set new limits for yourself. Hard call? Allowed, dude, so take it easier on a tyre or a mat.
Not so much of a splash freak? Just exercise on dry land, or sand? You’ll soon find vendors with kit to rent, or locate one of three beach sport pitches with their nets. Choose your game: volleyball, football-tennis or invent your own!
Is the Brouwersdam the spiritual home of the beach pavilion? Check ‘em out, preferably with that iconic salt in your hair, dry sand between your toes and that holistic MeBeach glow. To work: flick that sand off the table, charm the staff to bring your drink, pronto, and ponder over the menu. Hurrying is not an option, not with all those loungers, sit bags and bunk-size tables. Unless you’re the waiter.
Concert at Sea
Coo-eee, the sound of the sunset: that’s the backdrop for this massive event, Concert at Sea, now deep in its second decade. From its humble beginnings as a party for Zeeland’s very own perennially millennial band, Bløf, the nation’s pride rides on it. You’ll feel why: the salty wind, the growling bass, the incisive words, the wicked riffs. No bluffing.
The same Brouwersdam song sheet of sun, sea, beach and more music raises its head, and your ears, here. Toe-tapping in the sand during the Beachboom Festival. A trinity of eras and styles: House, 90s and Party. Great beats and a hint of drama, too.
Play it again, dam
Much more than a mere musical mecca, the Brouwersdam is worth getting to know better. At the Kabbelaarsbank site, the Damspel game will reveal QR-codes nearby. Scan them on your phone, and come out the winner as a dam expert.
Try the cycling option on, or across, the Brouwersdam. Against the wind, or leeside. Watery views from on high, or tether your bike for more liquids and chews at a beach pavilion.
No chance of boredom on the Brouwersdam. All-day fun: the nature area at De Punt has great walks and bike trails, and the lookout post up in the woods. Or let the sun, sea and sand stream over you on the shore.
Along the bunkers
A bit of a gritty walk, but good on a need-to-know basis, is the Bunkerroute. Markers will guide you along, explaining the history of each enigmatic bunker – and the local flora and fauna.
Kabbelaarsbank, natural eye-opener
Smack in the middle of the Brouwersdam, the Kabbelaarsbank area has two charming walkways through the woods, dunes, flowery fields and fascinating creeks. Cool glimpses of the Grevelingen, while you peep quietly out behind those screens at the birdlife dobbing around.
See me, seal thee
Maybe they live here for the address? Seals a-plenty on the sea side, at the Brouwerssluis sluice gate. Yep, that’s them watching you with those big wide-open eyes just above the water.
All aboard the tram museum
For the essential tram-buff lurking below your peaked hat, a sumptuous hissin’ and a-clankin’ collection of steam locs, and some diesel rookies, awaits you on the northern end of Brouwersdam at the RTM Museum. The Rotterdamsche Tramweg Mij (Limited) once linked the distant port with the islands. Your tram ride is best enjoyed when combined with a boat trip on the Grevelingen lake.
Grevelingen visitor centre
Climb up the tower here at Grevelingen Visitor Centre (free during opening hours) and take in the view and panorama show over the lake, the North Sea and the nature area. Below, the shop will help you with maps for cycling and walking trails, and guide books. Plus souvenirs, gifts, beach things and some unique local produce.