11 Best things to do in Zoetland (Netherlands)

In a gap between the high sand dunes on the west coast of Walcheren, Zoutelande is an amiable village on what is known as the Zeeland Riviera.

The blue flag beach of Zoutelande is located on a bend in the Walcheren coastline and therefore faces south and has more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the Netherlands.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Zoetland’s beautiful lights and coastal scenery attracted the attention of artists such as Piet Mondrian and Jan Toorop, who both painted landscapes around the village.

The dunes on the edge of the Zoutelande are huge and until recently the tallest dunes in the Netherlands at 54 meters, topped with lookouts and wartime bunkers.

1. Strand Zotterland

Strand Zotterland

The five-kilometer-long, wide sandy beach of Zoetland vanishes into the distance in either direction.

To get there from the village you have to climb the dyke, at the top you will feel how big the beach is and marvel at the complete view of the dunes that border the Zoutelande on both sides.

It is also the only south-facing beach in Walcheren and is the birthplace of the Zeeland Riviera brand.

The beach has won a Blue Flag every year since the early 1990s and was named “The Cleanest Beach in the Netherlands” (Schoonste Strand van Nederland) in 2003 and 2004.

The winds of the North Sea can be refreshing on hot days and are most loved by many kite flyers.

If you need a break, just grab a table at one of the beach pavilions (De Strandzot, De Branding, Neptunus, De Zeeuwse Rivièra) and enjoy lunch, dinner or a casual drink on the covered terrace.

2. Longstrat

Langstraat, Zoetland

Nearly all Zoetland’s amenities and dining options are concentrated on this lively pedestrian street behind the embankment.

The Langstraat welcomes Zoutelande’s weekly market during the summer, and during peak season it quickly develops into a four-week shopping extravaganza.

As you walk along the Langstraat, you will see many cafés and restaurant terraces, facing south for sunbathing, as well as ice cream parlors, several fashion stores and a supermarket.

About halfway you will reach the foot of the dyke, from which you can climb a flight of steps to the perfect beach of Zoetland.

3. Bunker Museum

Bunker Museum

During World War II, Zoetland was a link in the transcontinental coastal defense, built by the Germans, known as the Atlantic Wall.

This chain of bunkers, command posts and tank barriers stretched from Norway to the Franco-Spanish border.

In Zotterland, two bunkers in the dunes belonging to the Stützpunkt Lohengrin complex have reopened.

These were built around 1942 and are about 200 meters apart from each other.

The first is a 20-person bulletproof shelter with two-meter-thick walls and roof.

The second is an artillery observation post located in one of the highest sand dunes in the Netherlands.

This one has a steel cupola with a periscope to scan the sea, and in the event of an intrusion, the coordinates are calculated in a computing room and relayed by radio or phone.

The Bunker Museum shows you both facilities and is open on Sundays in summer.

4. Duintop


The highest point of Walcheren is also in the dunes of Zoutelande, with a scenic path through the bushes to the top.

This place is called Duintop, it is 54 meters above sea level and it takes at least a few minutes to enjoy the views of the beach, the North Sea and the Walcheren countryside.

On a clear day, ten different church towers can be seen from this vantage point.

This used to be the tallest dune in the Netherlands, but lost its title in 2014 when the dune at Schoorl in North Holland was measured at 55.5 meters.

5. Cycling


Walcheren Island has extensive safe paved cycle paths with a total length of more than 140 km.

This is incredible when you remember that the island is only 15 kilometers wide and long.

From Zotterland, you can reach the historic city of Middelburg, the base of the Dutch East India Company, within half an hour.

The next Blue Flag beach is 15 minutes from West Capelle, and you can plan a journey through jaw-dropping dunes.

Meanwhile, the countryside of Walcheren is beloved for its historic estates, built by wealthy families from Middleburg, and rare for its proximity to the sea with oak and beech woodlands.

As a tourist-friendly place, Zoutelande has several bicycle rental companies, such as Fietsverhuur Wim Koppejan in Duinweg and De Vriewieler in Timmermanstraat.

6. Catharinakerk

Katerina G

The Protestant church in Zoutelande is a Dutch heritage (Rijksmonument) still intact after many years of hardship.

In 1573, during the Eighty Years’ War, the choir and the North Passage were destroyed, and after the bombing of 2 November 1944, had to cease service in the final months of World War II. The façade still hints at the building’s long history, especially in the tower, with its blind arches and slender window openings with early Gothic elements from the 13th century.

A striking detail of this tower is that it is larger than it appears, as the lower part is buried by a medieval sand mound.

In 1909, Piet Mondrian also painted the Catharinakerk when he visited Zoetland.

7. Zoetlands Mollen

Zoetlands Mollen

On the north side of the village there is a lovely old smock mill, built in 1722 and commissioned by the city of Vlissingen.

From 1801 to 1970, four generations of the same family milled corn at Zoutelandse Molen.

Until then, the millstones date back to the 1500’s and were replaced by a pair of millstones brought from Westkapelle in the 17th century.

As a rule of thumb, if the sails are on on a Saturday, the mill will be open for tours and you will be greeted by the mill volunteers.

8. Speelboerderij Mariekerke

Speelboerderij Mariekerke

This dairy farm and petting zoo in the idyllic heart of Zoutelande costs just EUR 3.00 per person.

A place like this is a godsend for those traveling with children, and at least a few hours can be spent in Speelboerderij Mariekerke.

Children can play and cuddle with giant rabbits and dwarf goats, while lambs and bunnies are born each spring.

There are also docile highland cows, which can be hand-fed, as well as chickens, geese, ducks and other breeds.

In addition to the petting zoo, you’ll find playgrounds, corn mazes, game barns, hay sheds with slides, large trampolines, and gardens for spring and early summer flower picking.

9. Lichtopstand Zoutelande

Lichtopstand Zoutelande

A small singularity in the dunes of Zoutelande is a lighthouse dating back to around 1951. The Lichtopstand Zoutelande is one of the lines of lights on the west coast of Walcheren, illuminating and guiding ships through the narrow but deep Oostgat, the entrance to the West Scheldt Estuary.

The brick tower is 12.8 meters high and has a tent roof, while automatic white beacons have a range of 12 nautical miles.

10. Toeristenmarkt Zoutelande

Toeristenmarkt Zoutelande

The Willibordusplein along the Langstraat and in front of the Catharinakerk will have extended market hours for four weeks during the peak season in July and August, from 10:00 to 21:00 on Tuesdays.

The first of these is in mid-July, and you’ll find beach-friendly items such as towels, buckets and shovels, inflatables, and books at all four times.

You can also browse postcards, jewelry, clothing, local produce and freshly made treats like waffles and pancakes.

Outside of these weeks, the weekly market trades at the same location every Tuesday from May to September, but with fewer booths and less time between 12:00 and 19:00.

11. Kustmarathon


In early October, Willibrordusplein is the most scenic and difficult marathon finish line in the Netherlands.

Starting at Burgh-Haamstede on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland in the north, Kustmarathon follows the windswept coast, over dykes and dunes, and ends at Catharinakerk.

The main race starts at 12:00 on Saturday, but there are also a series of smaller events such as the Lighting Run from nearby Domburg to Zoutelande on Friday night, the mini marathon, the women’s 5 and 10k, the MTB race and the Sunday Marathon.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Zoeterne, The Netherlands
Lowest Price Guarantee