Spain versus The Netherlands
As Spain and The Netherlands battle it out in the FIFA World Cup, Canvas puts the two nations against each other to see who comes out on top as a camping holiday destination.
Canvas Holidays operates in no fewer than eight campsites in Spain, spread along the Catalonian coastline from Girona to Tarragona. One of our top sellers, Cambrils Park, offers quirky Aloha Bungalow accommodation for a glamping-style break in the sun. All our Spanish campsites are within 1.5 miles of a beach, and are well equipped with fantastic pools, perfect for cooling off from the Spanish sun.
We may only have one campsite in The Netherlands, but it is a mighty impressive one and also one of our most popular. Camping Duinrell is a firm family favourite boasting a theme park on site and amazing tropical pool complex, which is why it regularly sells out during half-term and Easter school holidays. It may not have a beach on its doorstep, but there’s a very lovely one just 3 miles away. You can even hire a bike from the campsite to cycle there.
Due to quantity, Spain emerges victorious.
Spain: 4 The Netherlands: 2
Spain has a reputation for being sunny and rightfully so. Summers are dry and warm, and full of sunshine. The north-eastern region regularly sees temperatures reach 28° in July and August. You can still experience temperatures of up to 26° in September, while April and May weather is usually milder than what you’d feel in the UK.
Holland’s climate maintains a fairly moderate temperature throughout the year – rarely too hot or too cold so perfect if you like to be active during a break. Showers can be a regular occurrence so travel prepared!
It’s hard to compete with regular sunshine, Spain knocks it out the park with this one.
Spain: 1 The Netherlands: 0
Golden beaches, rugged coastlines and mountainous backdrops make Spain easy on the eye. Stray away from the tourist trail, and you’ll find plenty of unspoilt bays, quaint fishing villages and charming towns full of rustic whitewashed buildings and cobbled alleyways. For some stunning views, go hiking up the multi-peaked mountain Montserrat, near Barcelona.
Famous for its flat landscape, The Netherlands is simply breathtaking during the spring months when its trademark tulips are in full bloom, forming a colourful patchwork of fields that stretch for miles, peppered by pretty windmills. This is what makes the Dutch landscape truly unique and like nowhere else in the world.
The Netherlands played this one with added flair to clinch it.
Spain: 1 The Netherlands: 2
Culture and sightseeing
There’s more to Spain than sunbathing on the beach. Barcelona is a haven for art and architecture lovers, boasting the world-renowned Picasso and Dali museums and trademark Gaudi architecture. Off the beaten track you’ll stumble upon many smaller galleries and arty boutiques. Further north you’ll find Girona, where you can explore a charming old town steeped in character and admire a wealth of historic buildings.
The Netherlands has a rich cultural heritage boasting Rembrandt and Van Gogh as artistic exports and today punches above its weight as a hot spot for art and history. As one of Europe’s hippest cities, Amsterdam is bursting with opportunities for culture vultures. The Anne Frank House is a poignant reminder of one of the most significant world events of the 20th century, while the recently revamped Rijksmuseum, the largest museum in The Netherlands, is a must for art lovers. Holland’s capital The Hague is a great place to visit to learn more about the country’s history and heritage, plus it holds its own in the culture stakes offering no fewer than 30 museums.
It’s close but The Netherlands has edged ahead, thanks to the enduring appeal of the Dutch Masters.
Spain: 1 The Netherlands: 2
Food and drink
Spanish cuisine doesn’t just taste great on holiday but has become popular in the UK with tapas restaurants available on most big city high streets. Paella pans are also a popular souvenir with holidaymakers eager to recreate their holiday dish at home. Catalan cuisine, considered to be Spain’s most rich and sophisticated food, relies heavily on typical Mediterranean produce like tomatoes, aubergine and beans, while pork in a variety of preparations is a regional speciality. A carafe of Cava or Sangria will complete any meal.
The nation that gave us the phrase “Dutch courage,” must surely be worth a visit for seeking out some alcoholic refreshment. Jenever is a traditional Dutch spirit that uses the juniper berry as its key ingredient, similar to gin. You can still come across the drink in Amsterdam and Schiedam. Typical of northern European countries, Dutch cuisine relies heavily on carbohydrate-laden ingredients, so not great if you’re watching your weight! If you’re looking to indulge, Dutch cheese varieties extend beyond the better-known Gouda, so should definitely be sampled. And, if you’re looking for some tasty bread to accompany your cheese, Gebr Niemeijer is considered to be one of the best bakeries in Amsterdam, where people queue for croissants and baguettes as good, if not better, as any found in France.
The delicious produce of the Mediterranean puts it in the back of the net for Spain.
Spain: 1 The Netherlands: 0
We love Spain and Holland equally at Canvas; both countries offer great holiday experiences whatever your preferences. In our contest, however, it’s Spain that qualifies as our winner, thanks to its great weather, delicious food and overall size and diversity. But if you do prefer to root for an underdog, Holland is most definitely worth a look!