The Most Beautiful Beaches in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the most popular European travel destinations. Especially its big cities, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, draw in travellers from all over the world and make the Netherlands one of the most visited countries in Europe. But the Netherlands has so much more to offer than just its cities! It’s also a great place to go on holiday if you prefer being surrounded by sand dunes and picturesque landscapes. We simply love the winding Dutch coastline with its hundreds of gorgeous beaches. To help you choose which places to visit on your next holiday, we’ve compiled a handy list of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands.
Zandvoort aan Zee
Zandvoort aan Zee has a population of around 17,000 people and is located about 25 kilometres away from Amsterdam. To the north, the town’s coastline merges directly into the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. The park is definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in exploring a landscape made up of woods and dunes. You can also find some of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands in this wonderful conservation area.
The beaches surrounding Zandvoort aan Zee are also very popular with visitors, and you’ll find plenty of wonderful bars and restaurants here. If you’re in the mood for sports, you can also spend your time sailing and windsurfing on this beach.
One section of the Zandvoort coast is also a dedicated nudist area. Along this stretch of beach, you can strip off and go for a swim or a walk along the beach without risking any funny looks. But if nudity makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably best to keep moving!
Scheveningen, a resort town with a population of 60,000 people, is undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday spots in the Netherlands. Visitors either stay in one of Scheveningen’s lovely hotels, or they just enjoy the town and its adjoining beach for one day.
With Scheveningen being such a popular holiday destination, it’s really no surprise that there’s plenty to see and do here. The beach in particular is a major reason why so many people are drawn to Scheveningen.
Another interesting sight is the town’s sculpture park. It’s a public exhibition of more than 600 sculptural works along the wide beach promenade. We also recommend visiting Scheveningen’s lighthouse and harbour.
You’ll probably be surprised by the sheer size of Scheveningen’s beach – the endless stretches of sand here are truly impressive. Why not use this chance to feel the fine sand between your toes and to just relax as you stroll barefoot along the seafront?
Of course, there are also plenty of shops and restaurants along the beach. In summer, you can also visit one of the many great bars here and treat yourself to a refreshing drink.
On special occasions, Scheveningen’s beach is also the place of festivals and firework displays. New Year’s Eve is a particularly great time to swing by here and witness the breathtaking firework spectacle.
Hook of Holland
Hook of Holland is a city district in the western part of Rotterdam and is located at the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg canal. This coastline is home to some wide beaches that attract a lot of visitors in the summer.
The city district itself also has some interesting sights and is certainly worth taking a stroll through. Don’t miss out on the Hook of Holland’s pretty Gothic brick houses and picturesque windmills! As the beach here often has a low water level, it’s also a popular place for mudflat hikes. Bear in mind, however, that the water can rise rapidly at high tide. Only walk across the mudflats if you’re familiar with the tides and the terrain.
The best thing about the Hook of Holland’s beach is that it offers the same amenities as the one at Scheveningen, but with the advantage that western Rotterdam tends to be a lot less crowded. Despite the smaller number of tourists, you’ll still find plenty of bars and restaurants along the beach promenade.
The Beaches of Texel
Texel is one of the populated islands in the Wadden Sea. As it is also relatively close to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, Texel is one of the most popular travel destinations outside the mainland. Ferry tickets from the North Holland coast to the island are also pretty cheap.
One of the spots that absolutely has to be on your bucket list is the Duinen van Texel National Park, which is situated along the northern coastline of the island. The beach’s most prominent landmark, a red lighthouse, always makes for a great photo!
As it’s often pretty windy on Texel, you’ll find plenty of people flying kites here. We highly recommend bringing along your own kite and letting it soar high above the beach.
Texel is also a great destination for hiking tours. The aforementioned dunes of Texel, which cover a third of the island’s land, provide an impressive backdrop for hikes through the picturesque landscape. Another great way of exploring the fifth-largest island in the Dutch Wadden Sea is by bike.
Egmond aan Zee
If you like visiting small villages, you’re sure to like Egmond aan Zee. It’s an old fishing village on the northwestern coast of the Netherlands. Even today, fishing plays an important role in the village’s economy. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, tourism has become a second significant source of income.
Egmond aan Zee has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands and therefore attracts visitors from all over the world. It’s the perfect place to go swimming or to take a walk along the coast.
The beach’s sand dunes as well as its lighthouse might remind you of Texel. While the two beaches are similar in some regards, Egmond aan Zee has one exciting advantage – with a little luck, you might see some wild horses while you’re walking around.
Egmond aan Zee’s beach is particularly popular with families, because the sea here is mostly calm and therefore perfect for swimming. In addition, the area is not as overcrowded as many other Dutch beaches. While other coastlines are often filled with restaurants and bars, this village just offers its beautiful beach without any tall buildings around, making it a perfect spot for sunbathing!
The Beaches of Ameland
Another place with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands is the island of Ameland. It is just seven kilometres from the Dutch mainland and has a rugged dune landscape.
As Ameland isn’t particularly large, you’re never very far away from the beach. In fact, you can easily reach it by foot from almost anywhere on the island. The Ameland beach is pretty long and sandy, which makes it the perfect location for a barefoot walk. You’ll also come across quite a few sand dunes here, which are a lot of fun to climb. Just like Texel, Ameland is almost always windy, and you’ll probably spot some people flying kites here as well.
The Zuiderstrand is only a few meters away from Scheveningen. It’s so close to the town, in fact, that people sometimes confuse the two beaches. The Zuiderstrand offers an entirely different atmosphere, however, and is notably less crowded.
It’s surrounded by the Westduinpark (West Dune Park). The dunes in this area make a walk along the coast a wonderful experience.
If you’re planning a beach holiday, why not make it one to the Netherlands? The country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, whether they’re on the mainland or on one of the Wadden Sea’s picturesque islands.
The most beautiful beaches on the Dutch mainland can be found in Zandvoort aan Zee, Scheveningen, and Hook of Holland. But Egmond aan Zee – a small fishing village in the northwest of the country – is also home to a gorgeous beach you shouldn’t miss out on!
In the Wadden Sea, Texel has a particularly picturesque beach. It’s the perfect place for long walks, and its beautiful lighthouse is also well worth a visit. If you’d rather head to somewhere even more peaceful, we highly recommend visiting Ameland.
One thing is certain – the Dutch coast and the Wadden Sea islands are the perfect destination for a relaxed beach holiday. Now you just have to decide which one of these beautiful beaches in the Netherlands you want to visit!