Dirksland (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɪr(ə)kslɑnt] (listen)) is a town and former municipality on Goeree-Overflakkee Island in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The former municipality had a population of about 8,000 in 2007, and covered an area of about 74 km² of which about 19 km² was water. The former municipality of Dirksland also included the communities of Herkingen, and Melissant. On January 1, 2013, Dirksland merged with Goedereede, Middelharnis, and Oostflakkee into the new municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee.
|• Total||74.15 km2 (28.63 sq mi)|
|• Land||55.56 km2 (21.45 sq mi)|
|• Water||18.58 km2 (7.17 sq mi)|
(1 January 2007)
|• Density||150/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|Source: CBS, Statline.|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
The North Sea flood of 1953 did not have as much of a destructive effect on Dirksland as the rest of the island, because Dirksland is somewhat higher. Dirksland is the largest of the three communities within the former municipality and also has the only hospital on Goeree-Overflakkee island. The Van Weel-Bethesda Hospital is one of the smallest in the country, but has an excellent reputation. Dirksland can be recognized from a distance by the tallest water tower in the country. The towns are agriculturally focused and have several campgrounds for people who prefer a bit of rest over the busy Ouddorp area but still want to be close to shore. Dirksland has an inland harbor with a newly restored gate complex.
Herkingen lies on the south side of the island and borders the Grevelingenmeer, which is a saltwater lake that has been disconnected directly from the North Sea by the Brouwersdam, but still connects to the Oosterschelde which is saltwater. The Grevelingenmeer has quite a large size yachting marina and is a large water sports area with the main recreational areas on Schouwen-Duiveland. The town of Herkingen currently hosts several of the largest modern windmills in the country.