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Best Driving Route of the Delta Project Dams, Gates from Terneuzen to Bergen Op Zoom

Hi everyone. My husband and his brother are planning a trip to the Netherlands in June 2022 (if COVID allows) They are interested in incorporating some of the Delta Project Infrastructure in their route from Terneuzen to Bergen Op Zoom. They will have their own car. We are thinking of the following: Terneuzen, Middleburg, Veere, Vrouwenpolder, Neeltje Jans, Brouwersdam, Stellendam, Phillipsdam, Tholen, Bergen Op Zoom. The distance from beginning to end is about 95 miles, so we think they can do this comfortably in one day, with a few stops along the way at points of interest. We would appreciate any information from forum members who may be familiar with this amazing feat of engineering, the area, route that would allow them to see the different aspects of the Delta Project, while still stopping at interesting villages, beaches, etc. along the way. Thank you.

Posted by
25104 posts

will they spend the night in Bergen Op Zoom?

I know a good (tiny) B&B.

Posted by
64 posts

Yes, they're staying 3 nights in Bergen Op Zoom, but plan to stay at de Draak Hotel, however I would still appreciate the name of your B&B for future trips. Thank you.

Posted by
25104 posts

We loved our stay at De Drie Scheepkens in Bergen op Zoom. The hosts were lovely, individual breakfasts tasty, steep stairs no problem with luggage (see above host comment) and the two rooms upstairs share a roof garden. Parking is available at a nearby public carpark around the corner.

The name, by the way, means sort of, the three little sheep.

I wrote a review here several years ago https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/netherlands-reviews/bergen-op-zoom

One small concern (given Covid and time) is that the link in that review isn't working but there are several hotel companies still showing it. I don't know ...

Posted by
64 posts

Loved your writeup Nigel. My husband and his brother plan to stay at de Draak because it was where the 4th Canadian Armoured Division (the Division their Dad served with in WW2) made their headquarters following the liberation of the town in October 1944. If they did not have this personal connection to de Draak, I'm quite sure they would enjoy 'De Drie Scheepkens'. It sounds lovely. We have always enjoyed staying at B&B's like the one you've described, because it's the perfect way to connect with people on a more personal level. Will keep it in mind for a future trip, should we be fortunate enough to return. Thanks again!

Posted by
1509 posts

Hi Jane,

As Nigel already portrayed in his review Bergen-op-Zoom is indeed a nice place to stay.

From Terneuzen you can drive first to Middelburg and Veere ( toll tunnel - 5€ ). The first needs at least an hour walking to see the best places, not to miss is the Kuiperspoort, a hidden alley near the old harbour. West of Veere Domburg is a lovely old fashioned beach resort, with nearby a medieval castle.

Driving north you will drive over the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier, half way there is Deltapark Neeltje Jans, a theme park about the Delta Works, with an exhibition how it is constructed. There are guided and boat tours. https://www.neeltjejans.nl/en/

Near Stellendam you can see the Haringvlietdam, also a moveable barrier but there is no visitor centre. Driving over it you won’t see much, the best place to view are to my idea the pier or the slope at the westside next to the road south of the barrier. Some walking is needed there. Not to miss west of Stellendam is tiny and very lovely Goedereede, a good place for a stop.

Zierikzee is in the same leaque as Middelburg and Veere, so a mustsee too but requires a serious detour if you want to drive over the Philipsdam to Tholen and Bergen-op-Zoom. Worth a visit is the moving Flood Disaster Museum near Ouwerkerk, east of Zierikzee. The flood disaster of 1953 was the reason to start the Delta Works. https://watersnoodmuseum.nl/en/

Closer to Rotterdam (so completely out of the way) the moveable Maeslant barrier is one of the final projects, very impressive and highly recommended to put on your list too. There is a visitor centre offering guided tours, English too but at fixed hours. https://www.keringhuis.nl/english

The area to cover is quite huge and doing everything justice a day is to my idea not enough unless you make a selection.

Have you any idea about the footsteps of your husband’s dad? Guess Terneuzen has something to do with it as it is not directly a tourist destination. I know the Canadien forces were very much involved liberating the area here.

Posted by
64 posts

Thanks for this Wil. You've confirmed what we suspected (and feared), that this may be a somewhat ambitious route. Will try to streamline so that they get a good overview that includes the Storm Surge Barrier and the Deltapark Neeltje Jans park, the moveable barrier near Stellendam. While it would have been nice to visit the Flood Disaster Museum at Ouwerkerk, and the Maeslant Barrier, as you say, it would be a significant detour and would take too much time away from the ability to stop and spend time at key spots. My father-in-law's regiment was the 22nd Canadian Armoured Division (Canadian Grenadier Guards), and after Normandy, their route took them north into Belgium; Bruge, Moerbrugge, Moerkerk, Eecloo, Sluiskil (south of Terneuzen) through Antwerp to Essen, Wouwsce Plantage, Bergen Op Zoom where the regiment harboured for a period of time. It's a short distance from Sluiskil to Terneuzen, and we thought that taking the route through the upper Scheldt as opposed to Antwerp would give them an excellent opportunity to see something of the Delta Project. Thanks very much for your excellent recommendations and valuable information. We will try to work out a more reasonable route that allows them a good overview of the Delta Project in the time they have allotted. Thanks again!

Posted by
1509 posts

Sluiskil is my native village, born in the early sixties there the war was actually not so long behind us but certainly not forgotten. Attended school for many years in Terneuzen and later I moved over 25 years back to IJzendijke, so to what was once in the Breskens Pocket. I know that the fights near Moerkerke (certainly not the only place) were extremely hard. Do you have already contact with someone living here in the region?

Posted by
64 posts

That's so interesting. Actually, my husband and I made a similar trip in 2012, and stayed in Sluiskil for 3 nights as we travelled areas of the Breskens Pocket that we knew the 4th CAD had travelled, battles they fought in. We came to know some wonderful locals from Oostkamp and Odelem when they stopped to talk with us as we visited the Canadian memorial in Moerbrugge. My husband and his brother hope to meet up with them when they make this journey together. We have found the people of Belgium and the Netherlands to be so wonderfully welcoming and friendly, and have stayed in touch over the years. It is our hope to return together with some of our grandchildren some day, so that they can learn first hand of their Great-Grandfather's wartime experience, by visiting some of the places he travelled and fought. We never knew of the existence of the Delta Project until a few years ago, and so feel it would be a good opportunity to see this marvel of engineering before heading to Bergen Op Zoom. The information you have provided will help us to plot a route that is doable in one day, while at the same time taking in key sites. We'll be sure to post something of their experience to this site, upon their return. Again, thanks so much for your insight and suggestions. It is much appreciated.

Posted by
1509 posts

You’re Welcome. Meeting people you can share memories with and staying in touch over the years makes a journey very special.

Guess it will be hotel Dallinga in Sluiskil where you will stay again. If so and you want some stories about Sluiskil ask for Meerten, father of one of the guys running nowadays the hotel and can help you in case it is of interest ofcourse. In Oostburg there is a little museum named Oorlogsmuseum Switchback, sometimes it's closed for longer periods but with some luck those who run it can provide interesting details about the regiment of your husband’s dad. If you like I can contact the museum manager for you to learn more, hopefully he has something useful.

I know it’s going to make putting your coming trip together not easier but since a few years the Battle of the Scheldt museum in Nieuwdorp is considerably extended, you can see a Buffalo landing vehicle there used during the landing near Hoofdplaat. The museum is named actually Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland, Nieuwdorp is just north of the toll tunnel I mentioned before.

Jane, I wish you a very memorable trip with your husband and brother-in-law next June.

Posted by
64 posts

Thank you Wil. Actually, when my husband and I travelled to the area in 2012, we travelled to Bergen Op Zoom from Sluiskil by way of Antwerp. The trip in 2022 will be just my husband and his brother. When my husband and I made the trip in 2012, we stayed in the converted Monastery section of Hotel Dallinga, a very cool experience with a wonderful restaurant adjacent to the hotel. My husband and his brother will be leaving from Bruges, a distance of appr. 250 miles to Bergen Op Zoom, so we may have to rethink trying to make that trip in one day, especially if they plan to stop at key points of interest, like the museum at Nieudorp. In 2012, we visited the Polish/Canadian museum in Adegem, where we were warmly welcomed by owner Gilbert Van Landschoot who had built the museum in memory of his father and dedicated it to the Poles and Canadians who liberated the area. A very impressive museum. You've given us much to think about Wil. It's obvious there is more to see along this route that can be done in one day, so am hopeful we can add another night in Sluiskil to allow them to do justice to this leg of the journey. On our last visit, we tried to locate the Philippine train station (as it is described in the CGG regimental history), where my father-in-laws unit participated in a major engagement and where his superior officer received the Distinguished Conduct medal. We only learned later that this train station was actually located in Sluiskil, so that will be a key location for my husband and his brother to visit. If they do decided to stay in Sluiskil for a night, they will definitely ask for Meerten. Hearing the recollections and stories of locals who either experienced the war, or have recollections from others, is always a trememdously moving experience. Again, thank you SO much for your help. It will be a very poignant and memorable experience for these two brothers, sons. Cheers!