Have you ever heard of Goeree-Overflakkee? In case that you did, you might think this island is located in the province Zeeland, but it actually belongs to Zuid-Holland. Why does that matter? Because Goeree offers a wide range of activities and is way less touristy than Zeeland. Goeree is a perfect destination if you like to do water sports, it features cute historic villages and has spectacular tulip fields! The island is pretty small and you can drive around the whole island in 60 minutes. We stayed for 3 nights which I found the perfect amount of nights to get a good feel.
Because I do not want to bore/seduce you with tulip pictures yet, I will start off with my first recommendation: Goedereede. Goedereede is a little port town in the middle of Goeree. Goeree has lots of cute little villages but after doing extensive research Goeree seemed to be the most picturesque. You can walk through the whole town in less than an hour, but it is also a great spot to have lunch at one of the many terraces in the old port. We brought a visit to the windmill that is located on the edge of the town, for a voluntary fee you can have a look inside and you receive information from the kind miller.
Bird observatory Tij
Hielke loves birds, I love a good twirling spot and we both love architecture. So we had to visit bird observatory Tij near Stellendam. The observatory has the shape of a giant egg and looks out over the Haringvliet. You can access the observatory after a small walk over a footpath that builds up excitement very nicely. You pass a little tunnel until you can access “the egg”. I would have loved to walk around the egg observatory, but that is not possible because you would interrupt the birds. I found this a very peaceful spot and definitely a hidden gem! The observatory is sponsored by Natuurmonumenten & De Vogelbescherming and is free to visit.
I absolutely loved the tulip fields at Goeree: they are incredibly stretched out, quiet and they have windmills and no background noise. It often is possible to park your car in front of the fields to enjoy the view during sunset, which is something which is harder to come by at the famous fields in Lisse. I loved taking the drone out to shoot videos of the multi color fields, because it was so quiet we didn’t have to worry about interrupting anyone. Most of the fields are located in between Stellendam and Oude-Tonge. Make sure that you are always behaving respectfully when entering the fields and that you don’t step on the flowers.
Sunset at the lighthouse Westhoofd
You can park your car for free opposite the lighthouse Westhoofd. We parked our van in front of the lighthouse so we would have a nice view of the lighthouse when we were having dinner. Afterwards we had a sunset walk on the beach near the lighthouse, from the parking this is only a short walk. We were lucky to spot some kitesurfers, who made the sunset an even better spectacle!
The beach near Ouddorp is one of the best beaches for kitesurfing in The Netherlands. And if you don’t want to kitesurf yourself, it also makes a fun watch! This beach also features a beach club and from here you can do a beautiful walk in the direction of the lighthouse.
Lookout at Ouddorp
Near the first beach when you leave Ouddorp you can find a fun lookout tower. This is also a good area to do some nature walks and to visit a beach club. Unfortunately they were not open when we visited (COVID), but the views were great!
A special mention to the blossoms of Goeree! In Melissant and Stellendam we found many, many great magnolia and cherry blossom trees. The cherry blossom season usually coincides with tulip season, which makes April/May the perfect time to visit Goeree-Overflakkee.
Other things to do
Of course you can undertake many other activities at Goeree. Apparently, the island is very suitable for cycling, but because we were traveling with a baby not all the activities wee an option. Middelharnis also seemed like a cool city, with many great restaurants. We also weren’t able to bring a visit to the Slikken of Goeree, a nature reserve that is partly dry when visiting during the right tide. You can also spot wild horses here!