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Wide beaches, foamy waves, sun and relaxation. This is, for some, the essence of the Zeeland province. These are the things that attract tourists every year since the 19th century. These, and the wellness resorts built in the more recent years. One of the oldest seaside resorts in the Netherlands, Domburg, with its tall dunes and magical light, couldn’t miss from my route in Zeeland.

Although I visited Domburg in August, the weather wasn’t suitable for sunbathing and swimming. It was a rainy day, with cold winds blowing from the sea. The town is small and cosy, with houses painted in white and pastel colours specific to this province. There are many restaurants, most of them offering sea food menus, and bakeries where you can sample the local delicacies. After a short walk and watching a part of the ring riding tournament that took place that day, we went to the beach. The clouds were spectacular, and so was the beach. The colour of the sea was something I haven’t seen in the Netherlands before. There’s a viewpoint on the dunes, from where you can admire the surroundings. It overlooks the beach, the golf course and the town. The light was indeed special, and I could see why it attracted so many painters in the past. Mondriaan was one of these artists that came to Domburg and painted the sea and the landscape. Domburg is part of the Mondriaan Route, and you can follow it through the town using a route map.

Domburg Beach

Domburg started its history as a seaside resort in 1834, when a Badpaviljoen was built, to host people who wanted to enjoy the sea. A connecting steamship brought tourists from England, and this British influence was responsible for the construction of the second golf course in the Netherlands, still existing today. I also discovered that Domburg has a villa named Carmen Sylva, after a former queen of Romania who spent some weeks there in 1889 and made the resort famous by appearing in the American magazine Cosmopolitan. Carmen Sylva was her writer’s pseudonym and her real name was Elisabeth of Wied, wife of King Carol I.

What to do in Domburg

In 2013, Domburg became the second resort in the Netherlands to receive the “health resort” designation. This means it meets all the international criteria: the sea water, the climate and the natural resources of the soils here have health-giving properties. So, the best thing to do in Domburg is to have a relaxed stay at one of the Spa hotels.

Close to Domburg, as you walk towards Oostkapelle, there’s a nature reserve, Manteling van Walcheren, where you can go for walks or cycling. Inside the reserve you will find a castle — Kasteel Westhove, and a museum, Terra Maris, in the former orangery of the castle. The museum is dedicated to the nature and landscape of Zeeland.

Another museum that you can visit is Marie Tak van Poortvliet Museum Domburg, exhibiting art collections.

There are also a few art galleries in town that should be on your list as well, because they have lovely contemporary art that you might take home with you.

As you can see, Domburg could be a great destination for any season, not only for the summer. I hope I will return there someday for a well-deserved spa break.

To learn more about Zeeland and other Dutch provinces, check out Amsterdamian’s other articles: Dutch Provinces, a Complete Guide.

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  1. Ring Riding in Zeeland: an Age-Old Tradition | Amsterdamian - Amsterdam Blog - […] Domburg: Beach, Art and Nature on the Zeeland Coast […]

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