Some 20km southeast of Rotterdam, the ancient port of Dordrecht, or “Dordt” as it’s often called, sits beside one of the busiest waterway junctions in the world, where tankers and containers from the north pass the waterborne traffic of the Maas and Rijn. Eclipsed by the expansion of Rotterdam – and barely touched by World War II – Dordrecht’s old centre has survived in excellent nick, its medley of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century warehouses, townhouses and workers’ terraces strung along its innermost canals and harbours. It takes about three hours to cover all the town’s main sights, and it’s the obvious base from which to explore the sprawling marshes and tidal flats of the wilderness Nationaal Park de Biesbosch just south of town. The other main pull hereabouts is the windmills of the Kinderdijk.

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