Lazy landscape-checking afternoon
Loads of landscapes await you in Zeeland: wetlands, woods, rolling dunes and polders are all there at the cusp of land and sea. If you want to feast your eyes on them all (well, almost all) in just one afternoon, no worries. No hurry. Take it easy. Easezee.
Start your afternoon down in the south-west (maybe), in the Zwin nature reserve, where Zeeland nestles against coastal Flanders. Now a blend of salty marshes, mudflats, dunes and beaches, the area started to take shape around year 0, when the sea burst a dike in the dunes on the North Sea coast. The resulting Zwin Channel silted up over the centuries – in its estuary there still lie some 200 hectares of marsh. Behind them are beaches which gradually give way to mudflats as you go further inland, forming a vital breeding place for all kinds of birds. You can go around with a guide, or in parts on your own. The paths in the dunes will waft you along your walk – but do stop off and enjoy the 360° Zwin views from a beach pavilion.
The Neeltje Jans island is now a typical Zeeland nature park – some of it a reserve – where water, wind and sand meet. At its heart, a fascinating dune landscape displays its many stages of growth. On the Oosterschelde side (inland) lie extensive mudflats, on the, North Sea side salt marshes – all good for a stopover for dozens of bird species. The wide open sandy spaces are home to such flora as sea rocket and buckthorn. Mammals belong here too: seals seem to have settled here for the duration!
The 2.5 hectares of the landscape gardens in Terra Maris are like a living tapestry of our many forms of natural scenery. The name of this learning centre literally means ‘Land from the sea’. Special temporary exhibitions display aspects of our landscape history. There are excursions to the four corners of the centre for young and old. Your ‘ZeelandPas’ will get you a reduced entrance price.