Afsluitdijk, IJsselmeer
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Covering an area of 1100 km², the IJsselmeer is the biggest lake in Holland. What is special about the lake is that it used to be the Zuiderzee (South Sea) and was closed off by a man-made dyke, the Afsluitdijk. The lake is fed by several rivers, including the Amstel, the Rhine, the Vecht and the IJssel.

  • The IJsselmeer is the biggest lake in Holland.
  • There are picturesque old fishing villages along the IJsselmeer.
  • Enjoy the recreational options on the water.


The Afsluitdijk or ‘closing dyke’ is a 32 kilometre embankment that closes off the IJsselmeer lake from the Wadden Sea. The road on the Afsluitdijk connects the provinces of Friesland and Noord-Holland. At low tide the water in the Wadden Sea drops below the water level in the IJsselmeer. Water is then run off through the Stevin sluices in Den Oever and the Lorentz sluices in Kornwerderzand.

Water sports

The IJsselmeer is used for transport and fishing but it is also popular for water sports. And the lake supplies tap water for Groningen and Friesland. The lake itself and the many typically Dutch scenes around the IJsselmeer are well worth a visit.

Category: Discover

Land of Water

Did you know that no less than 26 per cent of Holland lies below sea level? See and experience how Holland manages and enjoys its water in a variety of places.

Discover the sights of the IJsselmeer region in the center of Holland. Visit Volendam, the Afsluitdijk and Batavialand and go for a boat and bicycle ride through nature.

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