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Nestled in the heart of the picturesque province of Zeeland in the Netherlands lies Yerseke (map), a charming village with a rich maritime heritage and which is especially renowned for its prized oysters and mussels. As a fan of these mollusks, I was excited to include Yerseke, the oyster capital of The Netherlands, in my road trip around Zeeland. With its serene coastal setting and numerous seafood-related activities, I knew that Yerseke would be a fabulous treat. And it was!

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Oyster warehouses at the harbour in Yerseke
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Oysters galore!

The Oyster and Mussel Farms in Yerseke

Yerseke’s claim to fame is undoubtedly its thriving oyster and mussel industry. The village is home to numerous oyster and mussel farms, so one of the first things I did was to tour one of these farms, specifically the Oesterij.

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Oesterij restaurant
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The restaurant faces its oyster farm

This farm, located at the harbour front, offers oyster and mussel tastings at its two restaurants as well as guided tours and an informative museum. Touring the farm was a great way to witness firsthand the meticulous care and craftsmanship that goes into cultivating these mollusks.

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The little museum at the Oesterij

Oyster-tasting in Yerseke

A trip to Yerseke would be incomplete without savouring the exquisite taste of fresh oysters (and mussels). After the oyster farm tour, I got to have my first taste of the delicious oysters. Gosh, they were sublime! I greedily ordered more of the local variety, Zeeuwse Creuse, as well as a mix of different oyster varieties, and paired them with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The combination of briny sea flavours and the idyllic waterfront setting made for a simply heavenly culinary experience.

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Oyster tasting at Oesterij
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Plump and delicious mussels at Oesterij

The Oesterfestival (Oyster Festival)

The oyster season in Zeeland kicks of in late-September and to celebrate this, the Oesterfestival (Oyster Festival) is organised every year in October. This 3-day oyster extravaganza features many oyster-tasting opportunities, guided tours and lots of food and drinks.

Where to eat in Yerseke

Being the oyster capital of the Netherlands with a famous seafood industry, Yerseke boasts a good variety of eateries, from simple seafood kiosks at the harbour to high-end seafood restaurants. In addition to the Oesterij at the harbour, my seafood splurge in Yerseke also included Oesterput 14De Viskêête (both at the harbour) and the top-notch Oesterbeurs restaurant in the village centre.

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Oesterput 14
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Oesters & Bubbels
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De Viskêête at the Yerseke yacht harbour
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At De Viskêête, I ordered a Dutch delicacy, raw herring with chopped onions, and paired this with a yummy rosé while enjoying the harbour view.
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The top-notch Oesterbeurs restaurant

How to get to Yerseke

It’s a bit of a challenge to get to Yerseke with public transport from cities in the north like Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Depending on the time of day, it can take between 2.5 and 3.5 hours to get to Yerseke from Amsterdam, a journey that involves changing trains and reaching Yerseke by bus. By car, it’s a bit more than 2 hours from Amsterdam, and 1+ hour from Rotterdam. Search for rental cars.

When to visit Yerseke

The best time to visit Yerseke largely depends on your seafood preferences and whether you’d like to experience specific events:

Summer

June to September is ideal for pleasant weather and enjoying the outdoor ambiance of Yerseke. Oysters and mussels are still available during this time, and you can enjoy them in the open-air seafood restaurants.

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Oyster season

To witness the oyster harvest and farming activities at their peak, visit from late autumn to early spring. An easy way to remember when the oyster season (or mussels for that matter) is: months with the letter ‘R’ (i.e. September till April). The Oyster Festival is typically held in October.

Where to stay in Yerseke

Yerseke is small so there’s a limited number of accommodation options in the village. I stayed at the wonderful Sint Anna B&B Petit Hotel. This B&B is located in a converted church and features spacious rooms and bathrooms, and a delicious breakfast spread. The owners, Meinte and Maartje, also organise oyster tours and tastings for their guests.

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Sint Anna B&B PetitHotel is located in a former church
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My room at the Sint Anna B&B

Yerseke is a captivating destination that combines seafood indulgence with natural beauty. Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or simply seeking a tranquil getaway by the sea, Yerseke in Zeeland, Netherlands, promises a delightful experience you won’t soon forget. I know I won’t!

Places to visit around Yerseke

During my visit to Yerseke, I also had the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. Two places I visited were:

Yerseke Moer

For those interested in the natural beauty of the area, Yerseke Moer is a must-visit. This nature reserve just outside Yerseke (map) forms a stark contrast to the bustling seafood industry. There are walking paths which made it easy to appreciate the flora and fauna, including a great variety of bird life, in the salt marshes and tidal flats. It’s a peaceful retreat that provides a glimpse into the natural landscape of Zeeland.

Goes

The largest town in the area is Goes, an absolute gem. Goes (map) was founded in the 10th century and grew into an important regional centre with medieval fortifications. These days, it’s a bustling town with numerous historic attractions as well as a plethora of shops, restaurants and cafés.

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Stadshaven (town harbour) in Goes

I recommend a visit to the 12th century Mary Magdalene Church (volunteer guides in the church provide a fascinating commentary of the history of the church), the Grote Markt (or main square) and the picturesque Stadshaven (town harbour).

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Mary Magdalene Church in Goes
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The stunning nave of the Mary Magdalene Church
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Grote Markt or main square in Goes

I also suggest having lunch or a drink at Slot Oostende (Oostende Castle), opposite the Mary Magdalene Church. This 13th century castle is now a café/restaurant, hotel and brewery.

Other nearby towns I recommend for a visit include Middelburg and Bergen Op Zoom, which feature on my list of most beautiful towns in the Netherlands.

Source: https://velvetescape.com/

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By Lala