Who needs the Med? 10 of the best Dutch beaches

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.

The Netherlands has nearly 2,000 km of beach

The Netherlands has nearly 2,000 km of beach

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.

Schiermonnikoog has more beach than land

Schiermonnikoog almost has more beach than land

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.

Bergen has hills, sorry sand dunes

Bergen has hills, sorry sand dunes

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.

Cunningly photographed, the steel works look a long way away

Cunningly photographed, Tata Steel is  a long way away

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.

Yet another big wide beach

Yet another big wide beach

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….

 

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3 thoughts on “Who needs the Med? 10 of the best Dutch beaches

  1. Mavadelo

    the topic is called the best 10 Dutch beaches, I think Scheveningen would qualify in the 10 worst beaches 😉 it’s like Amsterdam, one big tourist trap, that is probably why it’s not in the list. Personally, 10… the beach you won’t share, would be somewhere on Vlieland for me. when you go to the “empty” side of the island you find some of the best beaches. mind you though that they are not always accesible due to them being in a breeding zone

    Reply
  2. nakedoutdoorguy

    Avoid the beaches in seaside towns near Holland’s big cities like Scheveningen or Zandvoort, it’s your worst nightmare tourist trap. The Netherlands best beaches are in areas like Zeeland (Zoutelande, Domburg, Haamstede) and the northern “Wadden” islands. The coast line of the Netherlands is very sunny from March to July, at this time of year clouds and rain showers start to develop inland. It might be windy and chilly (especially the Northern part) but from June to September the sand warms up quite well and sea water at the beach is around 20C.

    Reply

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