Sleeper cottages on Groede beach
© Anda van Riet via Provincie Zeeland
Category:Discover the Netherlands

A perfect seaside holiday

A seaside holiday – the words conjure up so many different images and associations. Technicolor parasols and ice cream in cones. Brisk walks in the dunes and the sails of surfers and boats on the horizon. Seafood shacks and glamorous beach bars. A dive into the salty water and the cries of seagulls. And if you’re going to the Dutch North Sea coast, there’s something else: endless views, a wide expanse, a feeling of calm. No matter the time of the year, a visit to the seaside here will ground you.

  • Plan your perfect seaside holiday.
  • Explore the endless Dutch coastline.
  • Stay in extraordinary accommodation among the dunes.
Lady enjoys the dunes at Hargen Aan Zee Noord-Holland

What’s your perfect seaside holiday? A lazy summertime trip with books on the beach and refreshing swims? An autumnal visit to blow away the cobwebs on brisk strolls along the sand? Making use of the strong winds in winter and spring for exhilarating water sports? It’s all catered for on the Dutch coast.

Stretching over 450 kilometers, from Zeeland in the south to the northeast of Groningen, the coastline is characterized by endless horizons, wide beaches and beautiful seaside towns. There are great opportunities for water sports including surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing.

Take a deep breath on the Wadden Islands

Family walk together on beach by the sea

An ecosystem unlike any other, the Wadden Sea, which lies between Den Helder in the Netherlands and Esbjerg in Denmark, is the largest system of intertidal mud flats in the world. It’s an incredibly diverse region that is ruled by the tides. Of the 50 islands dotted across the shallow Wadden Sea, five are located in the Netherlands: the Wadden Islands Texel, Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. Each has its own personality and special features and activities, from horse-riding on car-free Vlieland to the famous lighthouses of Terschelling. They are also great spots for water sports – try Texel for surfing and Terschelling’s Noordzeestrand for kitesurfing. Finally, visitors to the Wadden Sea should not miss the opportunity to take a walk on the seafloor during low tide: called wadlopen, this is a truly special experience. You can join a guided walk that starts at the coastline, but there are also sailing boat trips where the boat is run aground at low tide and you can stroll out to the Wadden sea floor from there.

Enjoy glorious seafood and vast golden beaches in Zeeland

Zeeland woman serches for shells on the beach Walcheren Vrouwenpolder

Zeeland offers a richly varied experience. It’s famous for its seafood, such as Zeeland oysters, mussels and lobster. Visitors can explore a variety of idyllic villages and towns such as Middelburg, Domburg and Vlissingen, and several museums explore the province’s eventful history. And of course, there are Zeeland’s famous beaches: vast expanses of golden sand that are renowned for being especially clean and safe. Another fact to note is that Zeeland gets more summer sunshine than any other Dutch province.

Seaside with a dose of city life

Couple with bikes looking at the ocean

Many of the Netherlands’ most famous beaches are conveniently close to its cities, so visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds. The Hague has Scheveningen with its pier and grand Kurhaus hotel, beautiful Noordwijk, where you can visit flower fields, and peaceful Kijkduin, which is great for hiking and cycling. Amsterdam and Haarlem’s ‘local’ beach towns include well-known Zandvoort, which can be reached by direct train from Amsterdam Central Station in just 30 minutes, and Bloemendaal, which is chockfull of trendy beach clubs and bars. And Egmond aan Zee and Bergen aan Zee are particularly family-friendly destinations.

Special places to stay

Beachlodge Brouwersdam Ouddorp

The Dutch seaside has plenty of special places to stay so you can make your holiday even more memorable. There are many options that let you immerse yourself in the maritime landscape. The beautiful beach lodges by Zeeland’s Brouwersdam, for example, offer incredible views over the water. In North Holland, you could go glamping by the beach, staying in a cabin or even a teepee. And the Tien Torens hotel in Zeeland is located directly in the dunes, and has an architecturally remarkable main house plus lodges in the dunes. And there are many more options to explore – accommodation here is as varied as the coastline itself. Just choose your perfect seaside holiday.

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