Want to know which are the biggest lakes in South Holland, Netherlands? Some of these lakes formed naturally while others resulted from years of peat and sand extraction necessary for construction…
#1 – Grevelingenmeer: This is the largest salt water lake in western Europe at 13,872 hectares. It is located between the island of Goeree-Overflakkee (the largest island in South Holland) and the island of Schouwen-Duiveland in Zeeland. It was created by the construction of Brouwersdam as part of the DeltaWorks project to protect from North Sea flooding.
#2 – Reeuwijkseplassen: The total area of these hallow inland lakes near Gouda is 735 hectares, making them the second largest in the province
#3 – Braassemermeer: At 425 hectares, this naturally-formed lake in the north-east quadrant of Zuid-Holland is the third largest.
#4 – Brielse Meer: Although just slightly smaller than the Braassemermeer at 400 hectares, the Brielsemeer differs in both shape (narrow and elongated) and origin (created when both ends were dammed off to protect surrounding land from North Sea flooding in 1950).
#5 – Vlietland: The fifth largest lake in South Holland is the rectangular-shaped Vlietland at 300 hectares. Officially part of Leidschendam, it also borders Voorschoten, Stompwijk and Leiden. It offers both a sandy beach on the west side and a wide assortment of water sports.
#6 – Oostvoornesmeer: This 270-hectare lake on the back side of the Port of Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte extension is part fresh water, part salt water due to its proximity to the North Sea. With an average depth of 25-35 meters (8-11 stories), it is one of the deepest lakes in South Holland. The lake has two beach areas: north east and south east.
#7T – ‘t Joppe and Kaagerplassen: Tied for seventh place of the largest lakes in South Holland are ‘t Joppe and the Kaagerplassen, which sit adjacent to each other and are often referenced together as the Kaag lakes, located to the north of Leiden. As a combined total, this lake area would rank as the 3rd biggest in South Holland at 500 hectares. But technically, these are separate lakes (‘t Joppe = 1 lake, Kaagerplassen = 3 lakes).
The are two key differences between ‘t Joppe and the Kaagerplassen…origin and depth. Het Joppe (250 hectares water surface) was man-made (i.e. created by the excavation of sand and peat) while the Kaagerplassen (250 hectares total) formed naturally. So while both appear quite similar when looking at them from the surface, it is the depth that differs substantially. The average depth of the Kaagerplassen lakes is 3-4 meters (approximately 1-1.5 stories) while the average depth of the ‘t Joppe lake is 39-42 meters (12-13 stories). This also means there will a be a difference in water temperature, with that of the Kaagerplassen lakes being warmer in summer and colder in winter than the ‘t Joppe water.
#9 – Zevenhuizerplas: The ninth largest lake in South Holland is the man-made Zevenhuizerplas at 174 hectares. It was created by the extraction of peat and sand needed to build several new Rotterdam neighborhoods. The lake now offers a great beach and boardwalk area.
#10T – Zoetermeerseplas and Kralingse Plas: Tied for tenth largest lake in South Holland are the Zoetermeerseplas in Zoetermeer and the Kralingse Plas in Rotterdam. Both lakes are 100 hectares in size. But these two also have different origins with the Zoetermeerseplas forming from the excavation of sand needed to build three new districts in the city. The average depth is 25-30 meters (7.5-9 stories). The Kralingse Plas formed naturally and is shallower. Both lakes have recreational beaches for sunbathers.