Fotograaf Andreas Weise
Nature

The Dutch North Sea coast

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Holland lies by the North Sea. The North Sea is known for its endless sandy beaches, protective dykes and dunes as well as marvellous water sports facilities. In short: The North Sea coast is perfect for a holiday by or on the water.

Fotograaf Andreas Weise
  • At Holland's North Sea, you'll find plenty of lovely seaside resorts for your holiday.
  • The North Sea is an El Dorado for sunbathers, water sports enthusiasts and cyclists.
  • Tips for your North Sea holiday: walking on the beach, beach clubs and wellness.

Where to spend your North Sea holiday?

If you want to spend your holiday at the Dutch North Sea, you have the following coastal regions to choose from: On the southern North Sea coast lies Zeeland, with long sandy beaches and idyllic harbours. Head north and you'll find South Holland and North Holland with well-known seaside resorts such as NoordwijkScheveningenZandvoort and Bergen aan Zee. With the variety of choices offered by idyllic villages and interesting cities such as Amsterdam and the Hague, you can have fantastic holidays here all year round. In the north of the Netherlands, the North Sea islands of Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog are lined up like pearls in a necklace. 

The unique North Sea coast

Many holidaymakers come to Holland's North Sea coast because of the fantastic beaches and seaside resorts. Some are attracted to the North Sea islands, such as Texel and Ameland. Others would rather stay on the mainland, and combine a beach holiday with trips into the hinterland. In spring, a beach holiday in Noordwijk aan Zee and a visit to the neighbouring tulip fields is a very winning combination. In the northern Netherlands, the Wadden Sea, which ranges between the North Sea islands and the mainland, is also part of the North Sea. This unique nature reserve, marked by the tide's ebb and flow, possesses a rich fauna and flora. The Wadden Sea makes a particularly special experience during a mudflat hiking tour.

A North Sea holiday with children

Digging and burrowing, playing football and flying kites, building dams and marble runs - a holiday with children at the North Sea is always a success. Because which place has a bigger sandpit and a better water playground than the sea itself? Teenagers can learn wind or kite surfing at the North Sea. There's also the opportunity to go on a diving course, especially in Zeeland. If the little pirates and water fairies still have energy left after a day at the beach, the North Sea coast is an ideal place for a cycling tour. The Dutch are known for their love of cycling, and lots of consideration is given to little cyclists as a result. If everyone is feeling pleasantly worn out after an exciting and varied day at the North Sea coast, a spacious holiday home is the best place for a family to stay. Lots of space to relax!

On the North Sea beach with the dog

Holland's North Sea coast also caters perfectly for those who are planning a beach holiday with their four-legged friends: you can find out about dog-friendly beaches in the Netherlands in our article 'On the beach with the dog'. Incidentally, going for walks on the beach with your four-legged friend in autumn and winter has its own particularly charm when the clouds loom over the North Sea and you almost have the beach to yourself! Dogs are also allowed to run freely on most Dutch North Sea beaches between October and April.

Activities in and by the North Sea

Holidays by the North Sea - that's music to the ears of ever water sports enthusiast. Sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, riding in a catamaran, waterskiing or whizzing over the sea in a powerboat - the North Sea is huge, and so is the offer of water sports. Between the North Sea islands and the mainland lies the Wadden Sea, which invites you to go on an adventure with a mudflat hiking tour. Further inland, you can find dune landscapes and polders, which can be explored by bicycle. Even if there's a headwind rising, you won't be expecting any hurdles during your cycling tour except for dykes and dunes. Holland is an exceptional land for cycling, and over 32,000 km of cycle paths all over the country are there to be explored.

Tips for a holiday by the North Sea

  • You should always pack a windproof and rainproof jacket if you're planning on spending your holiday by the North Sea. The weather can be unpredictable, to say the least. The good news is: the sun often comes out at some point during the day.
  • If you want to take your dog with you on holiday by the North Sea, you'll find lots of lovely dog-friendly beaches in Holland, where dogs can run around freely all year round.
  • After a walk on the beach, next stop is a beach bar – we'll show you the ten loveliest beach pavilions by Holland's North Sea coast.
  • Or would you prefer a wellness centre? If you fancy a bit of wellness during your holiday, you can find wellness centres on the coast in Holland.
  • The North Sea is beautiful even in autumn and winter, and you can enjoy the smell of a fresh sea breeze. Tip: a beach walk in Scheveningen.

Book a holiday by the North Sea

The Dutch are huge camping fans, and because of this, there are loads of lovely campsites on the Dutch North Sea coast as well. While couples or single travellers usually choose a hotel, families with children prefer a holiday home for a holiday on the North Sea coast. Be it a holiday home or apartment, near the beach or in the dunes - you'll find the right accommodation for your holiday by the North Sea:

A sea brimming with history

It is thanks to the North Sea that the Dutch are known all over the world. After all, it was from the harbours of the North Sea coast that Dutch seafarers conquered the seas. In the 17th and 18th centuries, for example, the Reede van Texel was known as an anchorage point for the Dutch East India Company, which sailed from here to Indonesia, crossing the North Sea. The aim was to explore the rest of the world, and to trade with other countries. The two westernmost provinces of the Netherlands – South Holland and North Holland – therefore became very prosperous and well-known.

Economic importance

The North Sea is still of great economic importance for the Dutch today. Several harbours with fishing boats and cargo ships line the coast. The port of Rotterdam, one of the largest in the world and strongly dependent on its connection to the sea, as well as the many small, idyllic harbour towns such as Brouwershaven, come to mind. Ultimately, the North Sea is also essential for the Dutch tourism industry. It boasts endless beaches, vast dune-covered areas, and ideal conditions for many types of water sports. The North Sea is therefore also a perfect holiday destination.

Controlling the North Sea

The Dutch have a love-hate relationship with the North Sea. In the past, flooding took many lives. Without the thousands of dunes, dykes, storm surge barriers and other water protection apparatus, a large percentage of the Netherlands would be underwater. A world-famous example is the Delta Works in Zeeland, with which the Dutch have earned a worldwide reputation as water specialists. The Netherlands owes a significant proportion of its economic strength to the sea. Nevertheless, the North Sea will always remain a threat which must be controlled constantly.

Holidays by the North Sea

The North Sea offers many popular coastal resorts, including the bustling seaside town of Scheveningen, with its famous pier, and the family seaside resort of Katwijk. If you want to spend a holiday on the North Sea coast, there are several luxurious holiday cottages and holiday apartments which are just a stone’s throw from the beach.

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