The island of Schouwen-Duiveland was originally four islands: Schouwen, Duiveland, Dreischor and Bommenede. Over the centuries it has grown due to influence by both nature and man. The dam between Schouwen and Duiveland dates from 1610.
On April 30, 1900 the Rotterdam Tramway Company opened a steam tram line on the island running as public transport until 1 February 1953. The line was not replaced after the floods of 1953, it instead was replaced by a bus line.
During the Second World War, Schouwen-Duiveland was the only island that remained under German occupation until May 1945. In December 1944, the Germans had declared their intent to deport all local men aged between 17 and 40. The local resistance fighters made plans to sabotage this by stealing all the registers on the island with the help of nearby allies, who were preparing to liberate the island. Events unfolded that led to the capture of ten local men, who were subsequently executed.
After the completion of the Brouwersdam in 1972 the island became a center of water sports. Surfing, sailing and diving are common activities on the North Sea beaches and the Grevelingenmeer.
From Ghent, take the R4 heading for Terneuzen. The R4 will turn into the N62 after crossing the border. This road will have you end up in Zuid-Beveland. From here you have two options:
- When travelling to Zierikzee or Bruinisse, take a right, staying on the N62. Turn onto the A58 heading for Goes. Just before Goes, use Knooppunt De Poel to turn onto the A256, which shortly after will become the N256. Take the two bridges over the Veerse Meer and the Oosterschelde, and you'll find yourself near Zierikzee. At the end of the road, turn left to get into Zierikzee, or turn right to get to Bruinisse.
- When travelling to Renesse, turn onto the N254, followed by a turn onto the A58 heading for Goes. Almost immediately after joining this highway, you trade it for the N57. Follow the N57, which will take you over the Oosterscheldekering and past Neeltje Jans. Again, stay on the N57, take a left near Serooskerke, followed by a straight onto the N651 shortly after. This road will take you directly to Renesse.
The island can largely be travelled by bike, though this isn't recommended on days with bad weather. Travel times may be longer when getting around by bike, but you get to see more of the landscape by choosing the bike. The flat terrain makes it to where nearly anyone can find joy in the cycling. As an alternative, getting around by bus or car are perfectly fine as well. Busses are free to use around Renesse.
- Visit the beaches - The shores along the North Sea and the Oosterschelde have actual beaches, and are great for sunbathing and swimming during the summer, and great for long strolls during all other seasons.
- Cycling - The flat terrain of the island lends itself perfectly to cycling, whether it is professional or recreational cycling, anyone can find joy in renting a bike and going from town to town, whether that would be to see some towns or just to get some groceries.
- By road, you can easily get to the other islands in the delta; Goeree-Overflakkee, Tholen, Noord- and Zuid-Beveland and Walcheren.
- The southern Randstad can be reached easily. Brielle, Rotterdam and The Hague are about an hour away.
- Flanders isn't out of reach either. Ghent and Antwerp are about 90 minutes away.