a VirtualTourist member
I am planning a boating trip from the US for September. I am focusing on the Zeeland area and looking for advice on a suggested route to take. We are interested in picking up a hire bareboat and visting traditional Dutch towns and enjoying the local culture, museums, historical sites, etc. Ideally, we would like to spend no more than 4 to 5 hours per day traveling from site to site. Any recommendations on must see towns or even a suggested route would greatly be appreciated. Also, any recomendations on boat hire agencies in the area would also be appreciated. Thanks
Howdy, you have a great holiday planned. I live just north of the Zeeland province, so I know it well.
You could start at Hellevoetsluis (where I live) and make your way down to Middelharnis (a simple crossing of the Haringvliet), then east to Willemstad (must-visit), then to Bruinisse and westwards to Zierikzee (which involves going under the Zeelandbrug, once the longest bridge in Europe). Then possibly to Goes (the largest town) and on to Veere (must-visit!) and then on to Middelburg (must-visit!).
I suggest you hire bicycles here and there (or take them on the boat if possibly) to not miss out on many of the nice villages that I haven't mentioned. It's particularly nice to cycle east of Middelburg towards Domburg, an old seaside resort.
I have pages here on VT on various of the mentioned places. I can advice on where to visit, what to see. Boat hire agencies are another matter but if you have more of an idea where you'll start I can certainly ask around or help with translation.
At Willemstad is one of the biggest rental comapnies; see:
Sorry, but's just in Dutch, but you can send them an email (link is at the bottom of above website page).
The south of the Netherlands is an excellent sailing area with lots of lovely towns to visit like Zierkzee, Middelburg, Goes, Veere and Bergen op Zoom.
But if you want to make a round-trip, you'll need sailing experience at sea. E.g. the Oosterschelde en Westerschelde have strong tidal currents, sandbanks and at some parts heavy shipping-traffic. Make sure you have accurate and recent maps. If you want to rent a bigger boat (15 meter or more) or a boat that can go faster than 20 kilometers a houre you'll need a sailing licence.
Don't let this put you of if you're an experienced sailor, you'll have a great time then. But if you're not, then better stick to day-trips on lakes like the Veerse Meer or Grevelingen. Still nice sailing and towns to visit.