Spotlight on the Dutch Coastline

April 13, 2017

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Little known to many is that some of Europe’s most captivating coastal scenes sit along Northern Holland. With over 500km of coast, it makes for amazing hikes, cycle routes and road trips.

This coastline is just a short drive from Amsterdam, with the most surprising spots, such as Haarlem and The Hague, boasting breath-taking beaches.

 

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Things to do

  • The Hague’s seaside resort, Scheveningen, stretches 11km, with a boardwalk dating back to the early 20th The famous pier, built in 1900, is brimming with shops, restaurants and sun decks. If you fancy a thrill, why not zip line down it? This new installation is 55m high, 350m long and reaches up to 80km an hour as you fly over the beachgoers beneath.
  • The ferris wheel is another iconic landmark in Scheveningen. Built into the sea, it makes for outstanding panoramic scenes. Book into the VIP gondola for a glass bottom, making for even better views (if possible)!
  • Zandvoort, set in a National Park, is a chic resort just outside central Haarlem. The stylish bars and restaurants line the 9km of seafront. Try your hand at a water sport, with surfing, paddle boarding, scuba diving and kite surfing just a few of the options.
  • Or work up a sweat on land at Zandvoort’s Tent 6. Oozing minimalist cool, this bar/restaurant turns into a yoga studio on Wednesday mornings. The beautiful beach setting is the perfect surrounding for this calming practise, why not give it a go?
  • For a quieter retreat, escape to Texel Island. In the most northern region of Holland, Texel Island is filled with natural treasures, such as the unique De Slufter, and 30km of beach which is a regular haven for seals. Rent a holiday home just minutes from the sand or hide away in any of the island’s 7 charming villages.
  • After wandering through the wonders of Texel’s landscape, see it all from above in the picturesque crimson lighthouse. The lighthouse dates back 150 years and from the outdoor platform you can admire the island’s stunning landscape.

Where to eat

  • Housed in the magnificent Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus is the exquisitely modern Waves restaurant. With the largest terrace in Scheveningen, enjoy al fresco cocktails and an upmarket BBQ menu. You’ll also find an enticing à la carte menu, as well as high tea and even high wine. Swap tea and sandwiches for fine wine paired with complimenting amuse bouches.
  • Dress down and relax with a burger at Aloha Beach. This surf shack style restaurant in Bloemendaal has the coolest interior, with palm tree covered furnishings and unvarnished wood. The menu is equally on trend. Order the acai bowl, an Instagram favourite, or opt for nachos, pancakes or, of course, bitterballen.
  • The modern lounge style décor of Zandvoort’s Beach Club Tien makes the perfect setting for a relaxed meal. Basically on the sand, the views, especially during the sunset, are absolutely spectacular. Expect mouth-watering seafood fresh from the same waters that lapped your toes only moments earlier. Dine on tuna steak, swordfish and more.
  • Gamba Ijssalon is a pretty little ice cream parlour slightly further into the centre of Scheveningen. Enjoy salivating over rows and rows of delicious flavours before the fatal moment of deciding which one to get.

Where to drink

  • Woodstock 69 on the sands of Bloemendaal is a laid back bar set up by 3 friends with a mantra of love and acceptance. Incredibly eclectic, you’ll find everything from raves on the dancefloor to spontaneous jam sessions underneath tipis.
  • For that health kick, head to Eazie. This is Scheveningen’s answer to fast, clean food. Their chilled smoothies are ideal on a summer’s day. Just off the seafront, get one to go before you head down for a day on the beach.
  • Nestled away in Texel Island’s wondrous National Park is the cool yet cosy pub, Strandpaviljoen Vijftien. With a real wood fire and dogs allowed, you can really settle in here, be that with a pint or a hot chocolate, and take in the tranquil coastal views.

How to get there

From our port near Amsterdam, Holland’s coast is less than a 20 minute drive. Bloemendaal and Zandvoort are the closest options. However, Scheveningen is less than 1 hour and Texel Island is under 2 hours. Hop on our ferry to Holland from Newcastle and begin exploring…

 

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