Laze on the beach, experience the thrill of motor racing or stroll amongst the dunes of a nature reserve in one of the Netherlands’ most popular coastal playgrounds.
Grab a beach towel and head to Zandvoort, a bustling little town with a long sandy beach on the North Sea coast. This popular beach resort is just a short train ride away from the capital Amsterdam, but feels like a world away.
Formerly a sleepy fishing village “Zandvoort aan Zee,” as the Dutch often call it, has grown out to become a busy coastal resort where mostly German and Dutch vacationers come to relax. With its trendy beach pavilions, fun summer festivals and secluded coastal nature parks, Zandvoort is a great place to escape to on a sunny day.
Rent a deck chair and sun umbrella and listen to the lounge music or Dutch folk songs coming from the speakers of your beach pavilion of choice. Wade into the ocean for a refreshing swim in summer. For refreshments or snacks, simply wait for one of the tractors that drive up and down the beach to sell irresistible treats.
Try windsurfing or kitesurfing to get an adrenalin buzz. Local operators rent out equipment and provide courses. Keep the excitement going by visiting Circuit Park Zandvoort in the dunes. Come on a race day to watch the professionals take on the circuit’s infamous sweeping bends or come any other day to experience being a passenger or even a driver in a race car for yourself.
Put on your walking shoes or rent a bicycle and delve into abundant nature of the coastal dunes surrounding Zandvoort. Kennemerduinen and Waterleidingduinen both have high dunes where deer, birds and rabbits roam. Bring a picnic along and relax with a view of the sea or a lake. You can also opt for a horseback ride through the dunes or let the children amble around on gentle ponies.
Find fashion, swimwear, beach toys and souvenirs in Zandvoort’s main street, where modern stores are dotted among the historic houses. If you are in Zandvoort on a Wednesday, browse its open-air market for fresh produce and sweet treats. On a rainy day, visit the Zandvoorts Museum to see its art exhibits.
Finish your day with a romantic dinner at one of the beach pavilions as the sun sets over the ocean, while you sip on a cold Dutch lager beer or rosé wine.