The main claim to fame of the hamlet of Burghsluis on the Kop van Schouwen headland is its harbour. It’s very popular among water sport lovers.
The sluice which became Burghsluis was originally built to channel excess rain water from the Burgh en Westland polder into the Oosterschelde estuary. Slowly, a village, mainly occupied in fishing, grew and made its harbour. That was enlarged in 1865. The 1953 Flood disaster reaped death and destruction here: 10 souls perished, and the dike was breached.
To accommodate equipment for the Delta Works, the harbour was expanded further, to 4 hectares. Leisure boats are now the core business. The harbour master has his office in the old lantern room of the Haamstede lighthouse.
Burghsluis harbour is the departure point for bike ferry MS Onrust to Zierikzee and Colijnsplaat – a good way to sandwich a cruise into one of the many bike routes around. Nature safari cruises also leave from here for some seal-spotting and porpoise-peering out on the Oosterschelde.
Just up the dike from Burghsluis the Plompetoren tower invites you up for a climb. It’s all that remains of the sunken village of Koudekerke, drowned at the end of 16th century. On the way to the tower, you’ll cross the nature area of the Koudekerke inlays.