26 % of the Netherlands is protected by dikes and occupying land, that would be flooded if it wasn’t walled in. Yes, this is one of the world’s lowest-lying countries and almost flat as a pannenkoek – pancake in Dutch.
The Netherlands is rich in history, but more famous for it’s dim coffee shops and red light district. Luckily, it can offer much more culture that that: great architecture like the Boekhandel Dominicanen in Maastricht, a UNESCO-listed network of waterways, Van Gogh and Rembrandt. It has the Keukenhof Garden – Kitchen garden – which is one of the biggest flower gardens in the world.
If you can, take a spring trip to the Netherlands in April. Millions of colorful tulips, that bloom in the tulip-fields, dotted with windmills and dairy farms, welcomes the spring and is an unforgettable experience.
Weather and Climate
Best time to visit the Netherlands is from April to October.
The Netherlands is part of the Northwest European lowlands and – as other parts of the northwestern Europe – is a temperate oceanic climate of drifting low pressure, winds from the west and longer lasting rain or showers. In the spring and early summer there may occur longer periods of dry weather.
The tiny height differences and the country’s small size means, that the climate varies little from region to region.
The average daytime temperature in January is 5°C (41°F) and in July 22°C (71°F)
The average of precipitation in January is 62 mm. (2,4 in.) and in July 66 mm. (2,6 in.)
The Netherlands was covered by the sea millions of years ago. Most of the underground was formed by the sea and rivers, like lime, gypsum and rock salt.
The two previous ice ages also helped shape the country. The ice formed hills and valleys. It also had a lot of sand, gravel and clay with it and when the ice disappeared, the sand, gravel and clay was left behind.
Throughout the ages, the country has descended and the sea has increased. This has meant, that much of the Netherlands today is lower than sea level. Therefore, it was necessary to build large dams, so the country would not be flooded by the sea.
The lowest point is almost 7 metres (22 ft.) below sea level and can be found north of Rotterdam. The highest point, the Vaalserberg, is located in the southeastern corner of the country and is 323 metres (1.059 ft.) above sea level.
5 things the Netherlands is known for, outside Netherlands
- Rembrandt (Painter, 1606-1669)
- Vincent van Gogh (Painter, 1853-1890)
- Windmills (Around 1000 old windmills from the 17th and 18th century)
- Gouda cheese (Dates back to 1184)
- Clogs (Footwear made of wood)