A versatile destination with sea view
TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: VEERE
In the beautiful region of Zeeland, mere metres away from the Belgian border, the city of Veere awaits you. Built on a peninsula, it is a paradise for beach lovers. But there is more to discover than its clean and cosy coastlines: immerse yourself too in its nature, culture and gastronomy.
In 2018, the coastal town of Zoutelande was omnipresent. The eponymous song from the Dutch band BLØF topped the Dutch and Flemish hit parades for months, chanting: “I am glad you are here. In Zoutelande”. And who are we to disagree? The village’s beach is as charming as they come and is surrounded by plenty of other amazing places. In total, the city of Veere (from which Zoutelande is a part) counts 13 charming centres and an impressive 34 kilometres of coastline. “Veere is unique in many aspects,” says Rob van der Zwaag, mayor of the town. “As a beach destination, cleanliness is paramount for us. In the last five years, we have won the title ‘cleanest beach of the Netherlands’ three times. This year, six of our beaches have also received a Blue Flag, a quality label for safe and neat coasts.” Nonetheless, all these beaches are unique. From nearly-deserted waterfronts to vibrant and lively sandboxes with bars, playgrounds and kiteboarders: the long coast of Veere has it all.
However, Veere is more than just another sunscreen scented beach town: it is a place where nature and culture collide. “The days that people expected nothing but sun, sea and sand are over. Tourists, now, also explore our historical centres, cultural activities, wellness facilities, delicacies from the sea and green oases. Behind the dunes of the Oostkapelle beach, a wide forest spreads out, which is unique in the Netherlands. More in the centre of the peninsula, you stumble upon a mosaic of agrarian acres.” In the city centre of Veere, on the other hand, time seems to have stood still. During the 15th century, the peninsula housed the Netherlands’ biggest and mightiest city. When the aristocracy left, innovation stopped, preserving the picturesque buildings in their medieval shape. More futuristic is the storm barrier in front of Veere. After the big flood of 1953, the billion-euro project was set up as the Netherlands’ foremost protection against the unpredictable tide. On the island of Neeltje Jans, the story of the disastrous storm and the view of the impressive dam (from the inside and outside) will leave a lasting impression. “In Veere, you can relax in the broadest sense of the word. There is a myriad of things to do, but, for those who want, it’s the perfect place to do nothing as well.”