Nicest walking routes in Zeeland
All things considered, the best walking paths in Zeeland are those of the walks network. You just join up the dots of the network hubs on the map, and off you go on your very own route. Nice. Might be even nicer to choose one of the walking routes created by VVV Zeeland. Designer walks. Here are eleven routes in all (with their Dutch names, and explanation). You can get them in full detail from a VVV Inspiration Point or from the web shop.
1. Proef de Oosterschelde
The ‘taste the Oosterschelde’ route, 3.9 km, is a good place to start on mussel- and oyster breeding in and around Yerseke. It has been associated with the shellfish trade since time immemorial. A visit to the oyster ponds, and the taste of a fresh oyster, will easily open this sector up for you.
2. Stadsontdekkingstocht Zierikzee
The ‘town discovery’ route of Zierikzee, only 5 km long, brings you to many of the 500 monuments which adorn the place. Once a thriving economic power, Zierikzee still displays many tokens of its former prosperity.
3. Ontdek veelzijdig Veere
This historical town of Veere on the lake of the same name is much like an artichoke, a coveted vegetable at local produce markets. The more you unpeel it, the better it gets. The ‘discover the many sides of Veere’ route explains the rich past of this once mighty trading hub, walking you past its many monuments. The lake attracts many water sport aficionados.
4. De geheimen van Sluis and Sint Anna ter Muiden
A bit strange, perhaps, to have a route of 5 km called ‘secrets’ in the eclectic Sluis which wears its love of the good life on its sleeve. Is that the mystery? Shops, cafés, eateries and swish restaurants are all (un-)contained within old town walls. Next door, Sint Anna ter Muiden – an add-on of 5 km – is more sedate: its market square is a listed monument.
5. Struinen door bos en duin
You’ll ‘stroll through woods and dunes’ for 9 km here. The expressive plant life of the Manteling reserve will usher you to Zeeland’s oldest beach resort. It is here, to Domburg, that artists like Mondriaan and Toorop came, for the light. It is here that you will inevitably unwind on the splendid beach.
6. De polders rond Goudplaat
The short island loop is 2 km long, the long one nearly 8. They take you along the Veerse Meer lake and the polders of Noord-Beveland. You’ll see the uninhabited island of Haringvreter (‘herring gobbler’), enjoyed by birds, deer and day-tripping humans.
7. Mosselroute: Bruinisse
More an ode than a walk, this is about mussels, and the fishing village they spawned: Bruinisse on Schouwen-Duiveland. Mussels are served at eatery terraces all along the route. You can choose a longer route, 10 km, out into the country and the old sailing harbour of Zijpe.
8. Stadsontdekkingstocht Hulst
Discover the town of Hulst, with its defensive walls and its enthusiastic association with the medieval tale ‘Of Reynaert the Fox’. It is said it happened here. The route passes the Sint Willibrordus basilica, unique in Zeeland, and is well worth a look inside and out.
A stroll through the orchards of Kapelle in the pretty Zak van Zuid-Beveland area, well-known for its fruit. Growers have produce stalls along the way, others let you pick your own. That’s in summertime, but the viewing is easy in springtime too, when the buds burst into a walk-stopping riot of colourful blossom.
10. Door de duinen van Renesse
Quite something, these 12 km of dunes, young and old, up hill and down dale, in the sunny sea air of Renesse on the headland of Schouwen-Duiveland. To control erosion, rows of alder hedges have been planted on sand walls. The result: dune stabilisation. The spin-off: some stunning biodiversity.
11. Land en water bij Nieuwvliet
This route of 8.6 km pivots around Nieuwvliet in West-Zeeland-Flanders. In its polders, wetlands, beaches and dunes, you’ll see a wealth of water fowl and grassland birds. The route crosses the De Verdronken Zwarte Polder, a marshland with an exceptional population of plants and birds.