32 km long water icon between IJsselmeer and Waddenzee.
Those who know the Netherlands a little, know that it has a rich history with water. Characteristic icons such as mills, polders, pumping stations, mounds and dikes are good examples of this. The Afsluitdijk is perhaps the most impressive example of Dutch Delta Design. And with more than 600,000 visitors annually, also one of the most popular waterworks in the Netherlands.
The Afsluitdijk has been connecting the provinces of North Holland and Friesland since 1932. The 32-kilometer-long dike runs straight through the sea and thus separates the former Zuiderzee into the current sweet IJsselmeer and the salty Wadden Sea. In addition, the Afsluitdijk shortened the more than 300 kilometers of vulnerable Zuiderzee coast to a safe 32 kilometers.
A unique example of hydraulic engineering that we consider Dutch to be quite common. Tens of thousands of people pass the dike every day, with the beautiful Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site on one side and the IJsselmeer on the other, without realizing how unique it actually is.
From functional to attractive.
To give the Afsluitdijk the attention it deserves, there are plans to make the water icon not only safer and future-proof, but also more interesting and more of an experience for tourists. Under the motto "one Afsluitdijk, many stories" attention is paid to sustainable energy, nature, cultural history, military heritage, and recreation. With new cycling and walking paths along the Wadden Sea, a facelift for the Vlieter Monument, and a Fish Migration River at Kornwerderzand, the Afsluitdijk will be a real crowd pleaser. For more, see: www.deafsluitdijk.nl
See & Do
Afsluitdijk Wadden Center
In 2018, the Afsluitdijk Wadden Center was opened at Kornwerderzand. Discover, experience and enjoy, these are the keywords of this experience center. It tells the story of (the) life of the Dutch in the Delta, through the ages and with a view to the future of climate change and sea level rise. Visitors make their way through storms from the past to the solutions of today. Experience the mudflats with dry feet and fly over the mudflats like a godwit? It is possible in the exhibition! www.afsluitdijkwaddencenter.nl
Walking through ancient Zuiderzee towns and Wadden ports.
Beautiful Zuiderzee towns such as Makkum, Workum, Den Oever, Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Stavoren and Hindeloopen are ideal for exploring on foot. The same applies to the Wadden ports of Harlingen and Den Oever. There are plenty of old monuments, beautiful old streets and of course cozy fishing ports and fish restaurants.
Mud-walking; walking at the bottom of the sea
The Afsluitdijk is located directly on the Waddenzee; one of the richest and most extensive nature reserves in the Netherlands and since 2009 UNESCO World Heritage. It is known for the many special plants, birds and fish and there are plenty of seals to spot. During low water levels, the sandbanks dry up, which makes it possible to walk on the seabed in certain places under the guidance of a Wadden Sea guide. Surrounded by nothing but sea, wind and water, this adventurous walk on the Wadden from Den Oever or the Frisian coast is definitely recommended.
Must do: Casemate Museum or Vlieter Monument
A visit to the Casemate Museum Kornwerderzand or the Vlieter Monument by the famous Dutch architect Dudok is a special experience and one of the must-do's when you are on the Afsluitdijk.