The Netherlands is fringed by nearly 2,000 kilometres of coastline and has lots of beaches – one of which you are bound to flock to when and if the sun comes out. Here are 10 of our favourites, courtesy of a sun-burnt and tired Telegraaf and some beach bums at NbN.
1. The beach at Castricum is the place where the pale-cheeked children from Amsterdam went (and still go) for their hols. NbN knows quite a few people who have mixed memories of happy camper fun and the mind-gnawing boredom of sitting in a rain-sodden tent at nearby Bakkum campsite. The beach is lovely in all weathers though, and relatively unspoilt.
2. The beach at Schiermonnikoog is surprisingly green, with lots of small dunes covered in band wheat grass and marram grass. It’s also one of the widest beaches in Europe so you’re sure to find a place to enjoy your book and peanut butter sandwich in peace.
3. Katwijk: Close to crowded Scheveningen, Katwijk boasts the oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands, has a delightful promenade and more space to spread your towel.
4. Bergen: Close to the Schoorlse Duinen, Bergen is popular with nature lovers and artists. In the twenties and thirties Bergen was home to a whole gaggle of artists who collectively became known as the Bergense School. Two of their best-known representatives are Charley Toorop and John Rädecker.
5. While Bergen is associated with art and well, hoity-toitiness, Zandvoort’s attraction is based mainly on the availability of beer and kroketten and, as a quick look at the beach will tell you, Red Bull. A short train ride away from Amsterdam, Zandvoort is a strange mixture of fifties boarding houses, ugly high-rises from the sixties and lots of bars and shops run by busty blondes.
6. Velsen-Noord: Under the belching smoke of the Tata steelworks, the beach is wide, wild and particularly suitable for surfing. Timboektoe started out as a popular surfers shack but is a great place for a sundowner.
7. Kijkduin is a quiet family friendly beach and it’s only a 30-minute bike-ride from The Hague. Have a look at some of the bunkers that made up the Atlantik Wall, a 2685 kilometre long line of defence from the Second World War.
8. Cadzand is the southern-most coastal resort in the Netherlands, in fact it is so near to Belgium that you can practically smell the mussels and chips. The beach is 11 kilometres long and is well-known for its mud flats and salt marsh lands that make up the landscape. The Zwingeul is popular with children who like to hunt for shark’s teeth there.
9. Domburg: Located at the edge of a nature reserve, De Manteling, this is the oldest beach in Zeeland. Wide clean beach with accessible boardwalks, old historic buildings and numerous beach pavilions.
10. This is the one you don’t tell anyone about. It’s got a beautiful view, a nice little beach bar to watch the sunset from and the parking’s cheap. And it is your secret. We know where we go….