Scharendijke gets its name from its 15th-century origins on a schaardijk, a dike built next to a deep flood trench. At that time, it was little more than a hamlet, inhabited by farmers and dike workers.
The construction of a small harbour, Kloosternol, in the early 20th century ushered in a period of development. That harbour was later expanded into a marina. Scharendijke’s cosy village centre now boasts several restaurants, café’s and shops for visitors to enjoy.
The North Sea flood of 1953 severely damaged a neighbouring village, Elkerzee, and completely destroyed their church. Two years later, the Bethlehem Church was built in Scharendijke to replace it. The church’s name refers to a medieval monastery, Bethlehem, that may have stood in that very place.
With the North Sea beaches and Lake Grevelingen within walking distance, Scharendijke is an ideal place for sports such as surfing, sailing and diving. Dutch divers consider nearby diving areas like ‘het Koepeltje’, ‘Scharendijke Haven’ and ‘Nieuwe Kerkweg’ to be the hotspots of Lake Grevelingen. Also characteristic of Scharendijke are the ‘Muralt walls’ atop the dike. These concrete walls are an inexpensive solution for raising the dike.
From 1973 through 1980, tourists came to Scharendijke to visit the dolphinarium. This attraction, previously housed in Rotterdam, attracted some 150,000 spectators to the dolphin shows every summer.
Various events are held in and around Scharendijke. One is Straô, an equine event that only takes place in certain villages in Schouwen. Riders take their horses to the sea to wash off their hooves, just as farmers used to do for their horses after a long winter indoors. This cleaned out any wounds and was thought to drive out evil spirits. For more events in Scharendijke, check out our event calendar.