Alblasserwaard-Drechtsteden is a water-rich polder area in South Holland, Netherlands, with Alblasserwaard alone housing around fifty polders. Most of these polders, unlike polders such as the Beemster and Flevoland, are not reclaimed lakes or seas, but instead are reclaimed from the many riverbanks of the many rivers that meander through the region.
- 1 Alblasserdam-Molenwaard (Alblasserdam, Kinderdijk, Nieuw-Lekkerland)
- 2 Dordrecht
- 3 Gorinchem
- 4 Hardinxveld-Giessendam (Hardinxveld, Giessendam)
- 5 Leerdammer Lekland (Giessenlanden, Leerdam, Zederik)
- 6 Papendrecht
- 7 Sliedrecht
- 8 Zwijndrechtse Waard (Zwijndrecht, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht)
Alblasserwaard and the Drechtsteden are two regions (Dutch: Landstreken) of the Netherlands. The Alblasserwaard is located between the rivers Lek in the north, the Merwede (Boven-Merwede and Beneden Merwede) in the south, the Oude Zederik, Merwedekanaal and Linge to the east and the Noord in the west. The region has been named after the Alblas river, which was once a heavily used river in the region. The Drechtsteden consist of most of the Dutch cities which have their names end with 'Drecht'. These include Dordrecht, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht and Zwijndrecht. These cities count some 270.000 citizens in total, spread over 169 square kilometres (65 sq mi) of land. The Drechtsteden, which literally means 'Drecht-cities', only consists of the cities of such a name found along the Beneden-Merwede, Noord and Oude Maas rivers. The Netherlands, however, counts many more 'Drechtsteden' throughout the country. Alblasserwaard-Drechtsteden is best known for the iconic and well-known Kinderdijk.
The region is crossed by three highways, the A15, A16 and A27/E311. The A15 is the highway that visits most of the destinations in the region. From cities such as Hilversum, Utrecht and Almere, use the A27 heading south, turning onto the A15 going west at Gorinchem. This is also where you will find exit 27, which services Gorinchem. The highway then goes on to connect to Hardinxveld, Sliedrecht, Papendrecht and Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht in that order. Dordrecht can be reached by following the N3 from exit 23, servicing Papendrecht. Zwijndrecht can be reached by following directions through Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, or by following the A15, turning onto the A16 when it terminates, not heading for Rotterdam, and then using exit 22 to enter Zwijndrecht. From Amsterdam, either travel to Hilversum using the A1 or Utrecht using the A2 following the directions above, or head to Leiden and Den Haag using the A4 up to Rotterdam. Here, cross the Nieuwe Maas. Shortly after, the A4 will terminate, at which point you turn towards the east, onto the A15. This highway will run alongside the A16 for a few kilometres, after which the two go their seperate ways. Following the A15 will get you past Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Papendrecht and the others as described above. Again stay on the A16 to get to Zwijdrecht and Dordrecht. From most of the North and East Netherlands, first travel to Arnhem, from which you follow the A50 heading for Utrecht. Follow directions to Wijchen, which will get you onto the A50. At Knooppunt Valburg, turn onto the A15 heading for Tiel. Following the highway after passing Tiel will get you to Gorinchem, from which the directions from Hilversum can be followed.
By public transit
Alblasserwaard-Drechtsteden can be reached by public transit rather easily. From Rotterdam, The Hague, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, Lelystad or Roosendaal, take a train to Dordrecht. You'll be able to choose between NS' Sprinter and Intercity services, of the latter is the faster option. The Sprinters from 's-Hertogenbosch, Roosendaal and Den Haag, however, stop at 1 before terminating at 2 . From here, most busses service the surrounding cities. Most of Alblasserwaard is serviced by Arriva, connecting to the aforementioned station in Dordrecht, stopping at 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 and 11 , before terminating in Geldermalsen, which can be reached using Sprinter services from Utrecht, 's-Hertogenbosch, Tiel and Den Haag Centraal.