Every season has its own unique temptations. The trick is to find a place where you can enjoy the time of year to the fullest. Four tips for home and abroad.
The touch of prominence which distinguishes the court city from our capital also makes The Hague the favourite large city of many Dutch people. The city is perhaps at its best in spring: terraces appear all over the place, the ‘Seringenberg’ (Lilac Mountain) on the De Horsten estate slowly colours purple and people start to paddle on the Zuiderstrand beach. And when it comes to art and culture, this season offers plenty of new delights such as promising exhibitions in the Museum Voorlinden and the Gemeentemuseum and new choreographies by the contemporary dance company Nederlands Dans Theater. The Hague also means shopping on Dennenweg and Prinsestraat, cycling past palaces, castles and estates and eating fish at Simonis by the harbour or Indonesian food at Soeboer, The Raffles of Garoeda opposite the Hofvijver pond. And after you've eaten, why not enjoy some fresh air on Scheveningen pier? The Hague is a beautiful city, both before and behind the dunes.
In the words of BLØF (a Dutch rock band from Vlissingen), summer on the Zeeland coast is ‘enjoyed at breakneck speed’, but it's perfectly possible to enjoy it slowly too. In Vlissingen, for example. Stroll down the boulevard, enjoy a local beer or eat mussels at one of the beach pavilions, relax on the wide sandy beach and look at the big ships sailing by. The surroundings of Vlissingen also offer many opportunities for pleasant strolls and excursions, for example in Veere, Domburg and Middelburg. Cyclists can enjoy a day trip which takes in the Breskens lighthouse, Cadzand-Bad and the Belgian coast to the fashionable coastal resort of Knokke. And in terms of culture, Zeeland also has a great deal to offer. During the Zeeland Nazomerfestival at the end of August, lovers of theatre and dance can enjoy unusual performances in unique locations, such as the city walls of Veere or the wind farm on Neeltje Jans. And people who love books and films should definitely wrap up the Zeeland summer with Film by the Sea, an annual film and literature festival in September which lasts a whole ten days.
Behind the Vlissingen boulevard, near the sea but away from the bustle of the beachgoers, you can admire the setting sun from your own terrace. The LARGO villas & dune lodges offer every convenience.
Is it because most of the houses are painted white? Because in the winter mist, the island looks like a bank of clouds from the sea? Or did it get its nickname from the salt pans in the south of the island? Whatever the case may be, this ‘white island’ consists of red earth surrounded by turquoise water. It is an island with a unique atmosphere, where you can discover the real art of living in complete freedom. An artist who has lived there for 20 years summarises it nicely: 'Living on an island, surrounded by the sea, gives you a great feeling. Problems seem far away, the natural elements are clearly present and make you feel like you are living life to the full.'
At one of the most beautiful and unique locations in Ibiza, Cala Vadella, you can enjoy spectacular sunsets over the fabulous bay in your luxurious and contemporary LARGO suite, just 75 metres from the beach.
The winter demands a step back: it's time for reflection, putting your house in order and contemplation, preferably staring at a fire or during a walk which defies the elements. On the island of Tholen, Oesterdam lies in the heart of the Oosterschelde national park and offer peace, space and plenty of beaches for long walks. It is not just the Zeeland coast, but also the Wouwse Plantage and the Kalmthoutse Heide which form the perfect location for winter walks. Fancy some culture and more sophisticated entertainment? If so, Bergen op Zoom and Antwerp are not far away. For example, visit the period rooms of the Bergen museum Het Markiezenhof which focuses on the history of the noblemen of Bergen op Zoom. Or head to Antwerp to expand your winter wardrobe, visit the Rubenshuis or MoMU fashion museum and enjoy lunch or dinner at The Jane. And then head right back to Zeeland, where the waves are rolling in and out and the fire is burning.
Savage or gentle waves, choppy or calm – the waters of the Oosterschelde put on a different show every day. A warm and comfortable LARGO water villa offers the perfect place to enjoy the constantly changing panorama.
Which seasons will you enjoy by the water?