North Sea


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The Netherlands is bordered by the North Sea. The North Sea is known for its endless sandy beaches, protective dykes and dunes, and water sports facilities. In short: The North Sea coast is perfect for a holiday by or on the water.

  • The North Sea brought prosperity to the Dutch in the Golden Age.
  • Both large port towns and fishing villages are located along the coast of the North Sea.
  • The irrepressible natural power of the North Sea is kept at bay thanks to flood defence barriers and dykes.

A sea brimming with history

It is thanks to the North Sea that the Dutch are known all over the world. It was from the harbours of the North Sea coast that Dutch seafarers conquered the seas. In the 17th and 18th centuries, for example, the Reede van Texel was known as an anchorage point for the Dutch East India Company, which sailed from here to Indonesia, crossing the North Sea.The aim was to explore the rest of the world, and to trade with other countries. The two westernmost provinces of the Netherlands – South Holland and North Holland – therefore became very prosperous and well-known.

Economic importance

The North Sea is still of great economic importance for the Dutch today.Several harbours with fishing boats and cargo ships line the coast. The port of Rotterdam, one of the largest in the world and strongly dependent on its connection to the sea, as well as the many small, idyllic harbour towns such as Brouwershaven, come to mind. Ultimately, the North Sea is also essential for the Dutch tourism industry.It boasts endless beaches, vast dune-covered areas, and ideal conditions for many types of water sports. The North Sea is therefore also a perfect holiday destination.

Controlling the North Sea

The Dutch have a love-hate relationship with the North Sea. In the past, flooding has resulted in the loss of many lives. Without the thousands of dunes, dykes, storm surge barriers and other water defences, a large percentage of the Netherlands would be underwater. A world-famous example is the Delta Works in Zeeland, with which the Dutch have earned a worldwide reputation as water specialists. The Netherlands owes a significant proportion of its economic strength to the sea; but at the same time, the North Sea is a threat which must be controlled constantly.

Holidays by the North Sea

The North Sea offers many popular coastal resorts, including the bustling seaside town of Scheveningen, with its famous pier, and the family seaside resort of Katwijk. If you want to spend your holiday on the North Sea coast, there are several luxurious holiday cottages and apartments which are just a stone’s throw from the beach.


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