In the Netherlands we are blessed with over 500 kilometers of coastline. And that means not only many beaches to choose from, but also many beautiful coastal towns. Places where you can not only go for a day at the beach, but also be surprised by a beautiful center with pleasant shopping streets, good restaurants or nice sights. In these coastal towns in the Netherlands, you can turn your beach visit into a weekend getaway!
At the top of the list is Vlissingen in Zeeland. Truly a city by the sea, because in addition to being a coastal town, Vlissingen is also a very nice city where there is plenty to do. Fun fact: Vlissingen has the longest boulevard in the Netherlands. Moreover, you will not find ugly hotels and apartment complexes here, as in many seaside resorts, but rather brightly colored buildings and characteristic streets. During a visit to Vlissingen , MuZeem is also recommended, where you can learn all about Zeeland’s maritime past using the latest technology. Another tip is to take the ferry to the also nice harbor town of Breskens, on the other side of the Westerschelde.
Egmond aan Zee, North Holland
From Zeeland to North Holland, because Egmond aan Zee is certainly one of the most beautiful coastal towns in the Netherlands. Egmond aan Zee is not only extremely popular because of its beautiful beach; it also has an attractive center. From the beach you walk through the dunes past the fishermen’s houses, through streets with cozy bistros and boutiques and of course the striking lighthouse Speijck. Opt for a beautiful hotel by the sea and make it a weekend, because enthusiasts can easily spend a day in Egmond aan Zee with the many museums and sights. There is the (freely accessible!) Maritime Museum and in July and August you can take a look at the KNRM boathouse and the lighthouse.
Ouddorp, South Holland
The beautiful coastal town of Ouddorp is located on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee, in the extreme south of South Holland. Ouddorp is an ideal base to explore the many beautiful beaches and villages in both South Holland and Zeeland, including the special Neeltje Jans Delta Park . But Ouddorp itself is also definitely worth a visit. It may be small, but the center is full of surprising shops and eateries. An extra nice thing about Ouddorp is that it still has something small; for example, you can visit a goat farm and put together your own bouquet in the picking garden. Nature lovers can also indulge themselves here: Ouddorp is beautifully situated between the nature reserves of Goeree-Overvlakkee.
In addition to Vlissingen, Zierikzee is also one of the Zeeland coastal towns that you really must visit once. This traditionally prosperous trading town is today a kind of old-Dutch open-air museum. This starts at the charming harbor and leads through the city walls and characteristic streets to the stately town hall. During a visit to Zierikzee, be sure to climb the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren for a view over the village and the surrounding area.
Wijk aan Zee, North Holland
It is also called the best kept secret of the North Sea coast. Whether that is true is the question, because Wijk aan Zee is not undiscovered. It is surprising, because in addition to beautiful beaches (the widest beach in the Netherlands even) the village itself is also very nice to visit. The typical fishing village has grown into a lively but friendly center where many surfers also feel at home. Wijk aan Zee is known as one of the best surf spots in the Netherlands. The village is also beautifully situated next to the protected dune area of North Holland, where you can enjoy walking and cycling.