The Netherlands is an amazing and intriguing country that, despite its modest size, deserves a separate trip. In its inhabitants, in an incomprehensible way, German industriousness is combined with a truly Dutch, unprejudiced outlook on life. A highly developed economy here coexists with unprecedented civil liberties – legalized consumption of soft drugs and legalized prostitution. And indescribable natural beauties, tulip fields and windmills, which inspired even Rembrandt himself, in the countryside are replaced as you approach the cities by magnificent European architecture, which has a long history.
For a beach holiday, keep in mind that the swimming season here lasts only from mid-June to mid-September. For sightseeing purposes, it is better to come here from May to September, when the weather is warm enough, and the inevitable short-term rains are not able to spoil the mood of tourists.
The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, but the population is quite educated and knows English well, and in some areas German and French.
Geography in Netherlands
According to top-engineering-schools, the Netherlands is a rather small country located on the coast of the North Sea, and the population density here is one of the highest in Europe. Do not confuse the Netherlands with Holland – these are not synonyms at all. Holland is just one of the Dutch provinces, albeit one of the largest. The word “Holland” itself means “wooded country”, from the Old Frisian holt (“tree”) and land (“country, land”). In terms of area, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is smaller than the Moscow Region – it covers an area of 41.5 thousand square meters. km, 40% of which is located below sea level.
In the east, the kingdom borders on Germany, in the south – on Belgium.. Basically, the country is located on coastal lowlands and areas of drained land – polders, known for their fertility. The highest point in the Netherlands, Mount Waalserberg rises just over 300 meters above sea level. The main rivers of the country are the majestic Rhine – the Netherlands are located in its lower reaches, as well as the Meuse and Scheldt, widely known from the paintings of local artists.
Administratively, the Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces (the last province, Flevoland, was created in 1986 on drained territories), the provinces are divided into urban and rural communities. Overseas territories – the Netherlands Antilles – also remain a reminder of the former maritime greatness of the Netherlands.
Climate in Netherlands
The climate of the Netherlands is typical of the maritime temperate zone, which includes the entire territory of the country. This type of climate implies, first of all, pleasant cool summers and mild winters. The small geographical size of the Netherlands implies the uniformity of climatic characteristics for all its regions, except that only the frequency of sunny days in different provinces differs slightly from each other, and even more so according to the Dutch themselves. They claim that in the provinces of Zeeland and Limburg the sun shines more often than in the rest of the territory.
Typical summer weather is partly cloudy, when the rain stops before it starts, five or six times a day and the air temperature is about +17 …. +22 degrees. In winter, snow cover is very rarely established here – the fallen snow usually melts quickly, because the air temperature rarely drops below zero for a long time.
In the cold season, sub-zero air temperatures here are more an exception than a rule, because if the wind blows from the sea, you can forget about frost, because the air above the sea always has a temperature above zero. The temperature of the ocean water off the coast is around +4…+6 degrees, which allows the world-famous Dutch ports to receive ships all year round. At times, drizzling rain, sometimes accompanied by sleet or snow pellets, is as much a part of the Dutch winter as fogs in the British Isles.
In the coldest month of the year – January – the average air temperature is around +1… +4 degrees, which, combined with high humidity and wind, creates not very comfortable weather.
However, there are also severe winters, when the flow of cold air from the continent chills the Dutch channels so much that they freeze. However, for the locals, this is most likely a pleasant surprise – after all, it is in such winters that a huge number of speed skating competitions are held, the love for which lives in the soul of every native of the Low Countries.
Best time to visit
For a beach holiday, keep in mind that the swimming season here only lasts from mid-June to mid-September. For sightseeing purposes, it is better to come here from May to September, when the weather is warm enough, and the inevitable short-term rains are not able to spoil the mood of tourists.