Places of interest

Things to do and see

There is so much to explore on Walcheren. Whether you want an active vacation, you are interested in art or just in gastronomy, you'll find it all on Walcheren. The island of Walcheren offers plenty to explore, see and do. The following pages are an invitation to our region. Whether it’s sports you are looking for, art or gastronomy, Walcheren offers it all! We have our favorites already bundled for you. You will discover them through this link, in our digital travel guide. On this page we see tell you more about what & doing falls in Villa Magnolia and its surroundings.

Oostkapelle

Oostkapelle seems to have gotten its name from the church (Kapel) that once was the centre of town. The church that can be found in the village centre these days is one of the oldest buildings on Walcheren. The tower is over 40 meters high. During the Siege of Middelburg in 1547 large parts of the church were destroyed. The village has long been known for agricultural efforts. It wasn’t until the late 19th century when leisure became of greater importance that people started to take trips to the beach and Oostkapelle became the heart of a touristic region.

Surroundings

Oostkapelle is situated on the beautiful peninsula of Walcheren although local people still refer to it as an island. It is the only place in the Netherlands where you will find forests, dunes, beaches and farmland. Close to the village of Oostkapelle you can find Domburg, the historic town of Veere and Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland.

Villa Magnolia is located on the Manteling. This beautiful area spreading over 740 hectares was once where rich families came for the summer season. Many of them had beautiful estates, or Buitenplaatsen, commissioned. Most of these estates can still be seen today. These days the Manteling offers its visitors the best of Zeeland. Forests that lead into dunes that lead to the North Sea. There are many biking, hiking and walking paths that cross the Manteling. To find out more about the rich history of the Manteling, you can visit the Terra Maris nature museum, located next to Westhove Castle. 

Close to Villa Magnolia you can find Oranjezon, a nature reserve and part of the Manteling. Oranjezon was once used for the extraction and the filtering of water. The water would be brought in, filtered through the dunes and exported again. Years and years of extraction as well as filtering of the sweet water had its effect on the salt water environment, as the dunes became rugged and the indigenous plants and wildlife became endangered. The decision was then made to halt all water treatment at Oranjezon in 1995 and Stichting het Zeeuws Landschap (the Zeeuws landscape) has been working to restore the reserve to its former glory. These days it is a park, with a small admission fee, where you can enjoy the surroundings following one of the many walking paths, spotting fallow deer and roe. Konik horses, a rather primitive breed of horses, are used in the area to graze. The grazing helps restore the landscape as it enables a wider variety of plants to grow.
Dogs are not admitted to the park.

One of the oldest biodynamic farms in the world can be found in Oostkapelle. Found in 1926 Loverendale was an initiative of local farmer Maria Tak van Poortvliet. Inspired by the antroposofical way of thinking she revalued her assets and shaped the farms in her possession to be alike those described by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the biodynamic movement. Following his teachings, one should seek a cohesion between animals, plants and humans. The farm thus combines agriculture with livestock.
The farm offers visitors a chance to explore the farm shop with plenty of fresh, local produce. Villa Magnolia serves the award winning cheeses made at Loverendale at breakfast.

Close to Oostkapelle lays the village of Grijpskerke. This village, with 1300 inhabitants, is also home to various colonies of bees. There is an exposition on honey making practices through the ages, as well as that one can watch a colony at work. There is a lovely terrace on the premises that serves coffee, cake and a delicious honey ice-cream. In the shop, you can find a variety of honey products such as honey wine and candy, soap and candles, as well as products related to bees and beekeeping.
The Imkerij Poppendamme is open to visitors every Tuesday till Saturday from 10:00-17:00 during high season, and every Saturday during the low season. In July and August the Imkerij opens its doors on Monday as well.

Oostkapelle and water

People in Zealand live with and from the ocean. The province is known for its mussels, clams and oysters, which can be found around Yrseke. Did you know you’re allowed to collect 10 kg of shellfish a day for your own consumption? At times you can find people cooking them directly on the beach. But our relationship with the ocean hasn’t always been a pleasant one.
Many people have heard of the flooding of 1953, where most of Zealand was covered in water. As a result, we now have the Delta Water Works in place which protect the whole country if such a flood would ever occur again. These works tamed the sea and connected the isles that form Zeeland. This industrial modern day wonder can be visited at Neeltje Jans.
Walcheren however, was not that much affected by this flooding disaster. Rather, they had their own disaster a decade before. During the war the dikes were bombed which resulted in Walcheren being flooded for over a year. The Farm ‘t Hof Jansen flooded as well as the land surrounding the Villa. Rather than walking the streets, people were forced to row standing up in their boats as oars could not be used due to the debris in the water. Walcheren remained flooded for almost a year. The devastating effects of the water can still be seen in the hall at the Farmhouse Garden Suite, where the original tiling has been restored. Before the restauration of the Farm in 2013, the effects were even more visible.

The people in Zeeland know you can never really tame the sea but rather that water reacts to what is around it. The sea will adapt itself to its environment. Therefor they give and take, and live with the sea.

Middelburg

Middelburg has much to offer. Only half an hour by bike, you can stroll through the many ‘hofjes’, sit down on one of the abundant terraces outside for coffee and a Zeeuwse bolus or visit one of many galleries or museums. Every Thursday you can find the weekly market on the market square, where you can buy a variety of local produce and exotic fruits. Surrounding the market square are the bustling shopping areas of Middelburg. During summer there are many cultural and musical festivals that take place in the city and offer a great day out for all.
On one of the sides of the market square you will find the Vleeshal, or meat market, a former market now made into a centre for contemporary art. A voluntary contribution will give you entrance to this hall. In the back of the building you can find Roosevelt Academy, one of the first university colleges in the Netherlands.
One of the true attractions of Middelburg is the Abbey. From the early 12th century onwards monks have held residency in Middelburg. After the Siege of Middelburg, during the 80 year war, the once Spanish minded city came under the rule of Willem van Oranje, and the abbey became the regional administrative centre, housing the Mint, the provincial council and later on the award winning Zeeuws Museum.
One of the oldest synagogues of the Netherlands can be found in Middelburg as well. Build in 1705, it was the first synagogue to be built outside of Amsterdam. Middelburg at the time had a large Jewish community. A lot of the history of the community and the building can be told through the outside of the building itself. If you would like to learn more, you can check the public agenda of the community or contact the synagogue.

Middelburg has a great variety of restaurants for every budget. The restaurants take great pride in using local produce and sustainable products. Please ask your host or hostess for recommendations. We’re very happy to share our favourites with you.

Domburg

Domburg is the bustling counterpart to the more relaxed and rural Oostkapelle. The town, build directly at the beach has a lot of history to it. The remains have been found of a temple built in the 7th century, when the area was part of the Roman Empire. The temple build was to honour Nehalennia, the patron of the seamen.
The presence of the temple gives a strong impression that in previous centuries Domburg relied heavily on fishing and trade. From the 18th century onward Domburg developed as a seaside resort, as rich and influential families build beach houses. These days, Domburg remains a busy and attractive seaside resort with great restaurants and great entertainment.
It has been said that the way the sun reflects in the North Sea and back into the clouds makes the Dutch sky one of the most interesting ones and the dispersion of light one of the most inspiring ones for painters and artists alike. Looking up on any given day you will see a harmonious balance between clouds and sun. The strong winds along the coastline make for a fast moving sky, ever-changing the outlook.
It was this light combined with the reputation of Domburg that brought famed artists such as Jan Toorop and Piet Mondriaan to the region. They resided in Domburg for a couple of seasons and created a vibrant and lively debate and art scene. Some of the works of Mondriaan, such as the Kerk te Oostkapelle (Church at Oostkapelle, 1908-1909 Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) were painted in Oostkapelle.
We invite you to visit Domburg for the freshest fish and the lively beachside bars, as well as the many restaurants. If you would like further recommendations, do not hesitate to ask, we love to share our insider knowledge.

Veere

The historic and very charming town of Veere is only half an hour by bike from Villa Magnolia. The scenic route will take you past forests, farmland and the Veerse Meer.
Arriving in Veere you might feel like you have stepped back in time. Some say Veere is the most beautiful village in the Netherlands, and we agree.
The historic village became a bustling trade-centre in the 16th century as the Scots used Veere and its harbour for the trade and sales of wool. 300 of the 3000 inhabitants at the time were Scots. During the 80 year war the city protested the reign of the Duke of Alba and joined the Dutch Republic, taking on a central role.
Today you can still enjoy the characteristic houses and structures that were built during the glory days of Veere. The people of Veere very much preserve what they have built up over decades. As such, you won’t be finding big chain stores but rather small local shops filled with artisanal products, antique stores and ateliers. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes when sightseeing, as the roads are paved with cobblestones. The former city hall has been turned into a museum that together with the Grote Kerk gives you the perfect introduction to the historical and artistic roots of Veere.

Veere has a marina, from which sightseeing tours leave every hour on the hour. There is a ferry for bikes as well, that will take you across the Veerse Meer.
After a long day of sightseeing there are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy local produce and fish.

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