What Are the Physical Features of the Netherlands?

The physical features of the Netherlands include flat country, rolling hills and the Ardennes Mountains. Water features, such as the Rhine, Meuse and Schelde Rivers, are some of the most prominent features of this country.

Not only are there rivers and lakes, there are countless canals that crisscross the country that drain water and control flooding. One-fourth of the Netherlands is located at or below sea level, making flooding a very real problem. To protect the land from the sea, the Dutch dug canals, placed settlements on man-made hills and built windmill water pumps.

IJsselmeer, a physical feature and the largest lake in the country, was created when the North Sea was dammed from its freshwater tributaries.

Other physical feature of the Netherlands include plains and lowlands. The coast of the Netherlands is characterized by sand dunes, many of which are broken up by the North Sea into islands. Just beyond the coast are the lowlands.

Finally, the highest physical feature is located in the southern Netherlands. The Netherlands rise in the east to rolling hills, which eventually becomes the Ardennes Mountains and the Limburg Plateau in the south. The highest point in the country, Vaalserberg, is located in this area.