The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland), mostly located on the North Sea coast, is a country, that can boast about a rich variety of stunning landscapes and untouched nature. Moderately warm climate of the country is perfect for those who prefer a beach holiday, but cannot stand the heat. The Netherlands offers not only a lazy holiday on a sun lounger, but also the possibility of enjoying various activities, like diving.
Domburg beach (Dutch: Domburg), in the province of Zeeland, attracts fans of "wall diving". A person dives under the water along the cliff, and finds himself surrounded by coral reefs, atolls and rocks.
A small beach called Playa Kalki is located near the coral wall, where you can see green eels, lobsters and various fish. And the beaches of San Nicolas city can surprise divers with its coral formations — tunnels and caves. Lobsters, turtles and porcupine fish inhabit them.
The main dive shops are located in the province of Zeeland (Dutch: Zeeland). You can get all the necessary information and assistance in diving on the numerous diving sites of the country. They also provide equipment and boat rental services, diving trainings, certification and dive guides.
Spring in the Netherlands is cool and the weather tends to change several times a day. The tourist diving season starts in May. There is little or no rain during this time of the year. The air temperature varies from +7… +14 °C. The sea water warms up to +11 °C.
In summer it is warm, the weather is clear and perfect for long dives. August is the hottest and the rainiest month of the year. The average air temperature is +20… 23 °C. Water in the North sea is heated to about +23 °C.
Diving season in the Netherlands ends at the beginning of autumn. The air temperature drops from 17 °C in September to +9 °C in November. The water temperature is +17… +11 °C. In the morning, the city is often enveloped in white fog, it can rain frequently but for short periods of time.
In the Netherlands winters are mild but with wet snow, which melts very fast. It is often frosty. Some canals can freeze in the winter. Although the sea never freezes, it is not the best time for diving. Air temperature + 5 ° C, water + 7 ° C.
The Lakes of Vinkeveen (Dutch: Vinkeveense Plassen) appears to be the one of the most popular diving sites with a maximum depth of 55 meters. Aircraft cabins, boat remains, cars, buses, bicycles and other wrecks lie on the seabed waiting to be explored.
Lake Grevelingen (Dutch: Grevelingen) is the flooded former part of the river delta, that attracts divers with fish glowing in the dark.
General hospitals provide standard, albeit very good, health care for tourists. The local doctors have first class education which justifies the hight prices for medical care.
The Netherlands seem to be a very safe country, but pickpockets may sometimes be an issue for unwitting tourists. You should also keep in mind that tourists could be fined for many things: for example, for smoking in public places or for unauthorized video shooting. In some places, as well as getting a fine, your camera could get confiscated.
Diving in these waters is safe, as there are very few poisonous animals in the North Sea, unlike the southern seas. Despite the fact that sharks come here — catshark, great white shark, spiny dogfish, angelshark, their diet consists exclusively of fish. There have been no reported shark attacks in the Netherlands.
The traditional dishes of the Netherlands are simple but tasty. Start your meal with stamppot — mashed potatoes with cabbage, carrots or sauerkraut. It is usually served with a lovely smelling sausage. As for first dishes, be sure to try the snert — a thick pea soup with smoked meats. Light-salted herring is a street food delicacy that any foodie will definitely love. It is impossible to pass by the variety of Dutch kebabs, for example, chicken sauté with peanut sauce and onion chips, served with potatoes and salad as a side dish.
A stroopwafel is a traditional and popular sweet treat and worth sampling. The country is known for its delicious beer, so be sure to try Heineken, Grolsch, Brand, Bavaria and Amstel. Tap water in the Netherlands is safe and drinkable.