1) It’s the world’s largest polder
A hundred years ago, there was nothing but water here. Flevoland is the Netherlands’ youngest province: the land was impoldered in the first half of the last century and the province of Flevoland was officially founded in 1986. It’s home to modern cities such as Almere and Lelystad, which blend modern architecture with futuristic urban planning, all while embracing the water and nature right on their doorstep. The New Land’s watery past is still apparent in the extraordinary nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen and its expanses of marshland and reed beds.
2) It’s home to breathtaking architecture…
When it comes to architecture, Almere ranks an impressive third in the Netherlands – and it actually comes first when looking at modern architecture in European New Towns. The city is home to high-profile buildings designed by leading architects including Teun Koolhaas, Herman Hertzbergen and Liesbeth van der Pol.
3) … and Land Art!
Flevoland is home to the world’s biggest concentration of Land Art – huge artworks made in, with and as a response to the surrounding landscape. All in all, there are six works, by artists including Anthony Gormley, Daniel Libeskind and Richard Serra. The pieces vary greatly: some refer directly to the surrounding nature and the (short) history of the land they’re in, while others are inspired precisely by how untouched and a-historical the landscape is. Best of all, you can see them all in one day on a guided tour!
4) It has an inland island
Schokland is a former island that ceased to be one when the surrounding land was reclaimed from the sea. But you can still see its shape as it is elevated from the surrounding land, and there is a sea wall in front of the old church. Acknowledging its unique status, UNESCO made Schokland the Netherlands’ first World Heritage site. Today it’s home to a museum and also a popular archaeological site
5) It’s fantastic for watersports
The Big Lake, an impressive artificial lake formed by the IJsselmeer, Markermeer and IJmeer, is perfect for sailing, swimming and surfing. And after a day of taking in stunning art and architecture, visiting the small harbours and fishing villages along the coastline to enjoy fresh fish, local cuisine and socialising on the waterside is the best way to relax!
6) You can shop til you drop
In addition to sports, nature, architecture and art, Flevoland is also a shoppers’ paradise. Batavia Stad is a lakeside fashion outlet mall in the city of Lelystad that offers more than 250 fashion brands, cafés and restaurants. Bargain hunters flock here from around the country to seek out fashionable items from prestigious Dutch and international designers, including Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Guess.
7) Lovers of maritime history will feel right at home…
At Batavialand in Lelystad, ships with an important maritime history are taken from oblivion and returned to their former glory. The first show-stopper is the reconstruction of the 17th-century VOC ship Batavia, and it is joined by other vessels in full Golden Age glory. The shipyard is also a great place to see craftsmanship of yesteryear being practised, and visitors can even get involved by testing their knot-tying skills or climbing the masts.
8) … and so will aviation geeks
Covering 6,000 m2, the Aviodrome museum covers all aspects of airplanes and the development of flight – all the way from the Wright Brothers’ first successful aircraft up to the enormous Boeing 747. Visitors can even explore a 747, gaining an exclusive peek into areas of the plane that are usually off limits.
In short, Flevoland offers a high-flying day out whether you’re a nature lover, a fashionista, a culture vulture or a history boffin!