The Netherlands’ sweeping coastline encompasses a series of clean, white, sandy beaches, several of which can be reached via public transport from the capital of Amsterdam, offering a calming seaside alternative to the city’s bustling streets.
Despite the renowned unpredictability of the Dutch weather, the country’s picturesque shores can be visited throughout the year and are particularly scenic outside peak season, as the crowds disperse and their natural rugged beauty is exposed. Perfect for a romantic stroll, adventurous water sports or a refreshing dip in the height of summer, the following selection grants a concise introduction to North Holland’s most visited beaches.
Zandvoort aan Zee: The Popular Choice
Stretching approximately 9km, this expansive setting welcomes sun seekers in their droves, receiving around 10,000 guests on especially busy days, many of which are Amsterdammers seeking an escape from the congested metropolis. Accessible by train in less than thirty minutes, Zandvoort’s smooth sands provide abundant space for absorbing the sun’s revitalising rays or enjoying a game of beach volleyball, and also house a nudist area and a collection of temporary cafes serving a wonderful variety of cuisines. The surrounding vicinity is equally worthy of exploration for nature lovers and walking enthusiasts alike, with the neighbouring Zuid-Kennemerland National Park supplying a pictorial background amidst the ancient sand dunes. For further information, please visit either this site, or this site.
Bloemendaal aan Zee: Hipster Heaven
Nestled between Zandvoort to the south and the peaceful beaches of Ijmuiden to the north, Bloemendaal is legendary for its energetic, trendy vibe and its fashionable cafes and restaurants, which transform into pulsating clubs after sunset. Attracting a younger crowd than its family orientated neighbour, this animated environment offers afternoons of sun lounging and surfing and evenings of nonstop partying, with a queue of establishments lining up to receive throngs of eager nightlife fans. Huge dance parties and events are arranged throughout the warmer months, with top notch DJs electrifying the masses with booming Dutch house and techno.
Wijk aan Zee: Surfer’s Paradise
Home of the prestigious Tata Steel chess tournament, this charming village boasts the broadest beach of the province, which has recently become a magnet for kite and board surfers. Hosting numerous pavilions that provide patrons with a chic ambience, plentiful food options and mouth watering cocktails, Wijk aan Zee makes the perfect choice for chilling out in the sunshine after hours of exhilarating water sports, with ample rental stations also on hand. The steely industrial backdrop of the Tata factory creates a surreal contrast to the clear white sands. For more information, head here. Please bear in mind that it can be exceptionally windy along the coastline and that the sea is often freezing cold, even at the beginning of summer. Despite its somewhat murky appearance, the water is in fact cleaner than the blue depths of the Mediterranean! Also remember that the sun sets in the west, rewarding lingering visitors with a breathtaking view to treasure indefinitely. For simple and detailed advice on how to reach any of the aforementioned destinations via public transport, please visit this great website.