The Netherlands is known for its charming cities, iconic windmills, and vibrant tulip fields. However, it also boasts a stunning coastline with beautiful beaches that are perfect for relaxing, swimming, and sightseeing.
In this article, we will discuss the top 10 best beaches in the Netherlands, delving into their history and attractions.
Best Beaches in the Netherlands
1. Scheveningen Beach, The Hague
Scheveningen Beach is the most popular and iconic beach in the Netherlands. Located in The Hague, it was first developed as a seaside resort in the 19th century.
Today, it offers a wide range of attractions, including the historic Kurhaus hotel, the Scheveningen Pier with its Ferris wheel and bungee jumping opportunities, and a promenade lined with restaurants and shops.
The beach is also home to the SEA LIFE Scheveningen aquarium and the Beelden aan Zee sculpture museum. Scheveningen Beach hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the International Fireworks Festival and the New Year’s Dive.
2. Zandvoort Beach
Zandvoort Beach, located near Amsterdam, is known for its soft, golden sand and lively atmosphere. Originally a fishing village, Zandvoort has evolved into a bustling seaside destination since the 19th century.
The beach offers numerous facilities, including sunbed rentals, beach bars, and restaurants. Zandvoort is also famous for the Circuit Zandvoort, a motorsport race track that hosts various racing events, including the Dutch Grand Prix.
Nature lovers can explore the nearby Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna.
3. Texel Beach
Texel Beach, situated on the largest of the West Frisian Islands, is a nature lover’s paradise. The island is home to seven distinct beaches, each with its unique character.
The most popular is De Koog, featuring soft sand, crystal-clear water, and a charming village. Texel’s beaches are part of the UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea, renowned for its rich biodiversity and unique tidal ecosystem.
The island’s dunes and salt marshes make it a prime location for birdwatching and hiking. Additionally, the Ecomare center offers visitors a chance to learn about the region’s marine life and conservation efforts.
4. Bloemendaal aan Zee
Bloemendaal aan Zee, located close to Haarlem, is a trendy and stylish beach destination. The beach features upscale beach clubs, attracting a fashionable crowd looking for a luxurious seaside experience.
Bloemendaal aan Zee has a rich history dating back to the 17th century when Amsterdam’s elite built their summer homes in the area. Besides sunbathing and swimming, visitors can enjoy watersports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing.
The nearby Kennemerduinen nature reserve offers opportunities for hiking and cycling through its beautiful dune landscape.
5. Noordwijk Beach
Noordwijk Beach is a versatile seaside destination offering something for everyone. Situated along the Dutch Flower Route, Noordwijk has a long history as a coastal resort, with its first hotel built in the 19th century.
The beach features a lively boulevard lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Noordwijk is also home to Space Expo, a museum dedicated to space exploration, and the Keukenhof Gardens, one of the world’s most famous tulip gardens.
Active visitors can partake in a range of watersports or explore the extensive network of walking and cycling paths.
6. Bergen aan Zee
Bergen aan Zee, nestled between the North Holland Dune Reserve and the Schoorl National Park, is a tranquil and picturesque beach destination. Established in the early 20th century as a seaside resort, it has retained its charm and natural beauty.
The beach is popular among families and nature enthusiasts, who enjoy the clean sand, calm waters, and scenic dunes. Nearby, visitors can explore the Parnassia Dune Park, home to diverse flora and fauna, and the Kranenburgh Museum, which showcases modern and contemporary art.
The charming village of Bergen is renowned for its art scene, hosting various cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
7. Domburg Beach
Domburg Beach, located in the province of Zeeland, is the oldest seaside resort in the Netherlands, with its origins dating back to the 17th century. It is known for its therapeutic sea air, attracting visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
The beach features clean sand, clear water, and excellent facilities, such as beach bars and sunbed rentals. Domburg is also home to the Marie Tak van Poortvliet Museum, which showcases the works of artists who were inspired by the region’s unique light and natural beauty.
Visitors can enjoy walking or cycling through the surrounding dunes and countryside.
8. Vlieland Beach
Vlieland Beach, situated on the second-smallest of the West Frisian Islands, offers a secluded and peaceful retreat. The island is only accessible by ferry, and cars are restricted, allowing visitors to enjoy its unspoiled nature and pristine beaches.
The beach stretches for 20 kilometers, providing ample space for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. Vlieland is a haven for birdwatching, with over 190 species recorded on the island.
The picturesque village of Oost-Vlieland, with its charming streets and historic lighthouse, is perfect for leisurely strolls and shopping.
9. Katwijk Beach
Katwijk Beach, located between The Hague and Amsterdam, is a family-friendly seaside destination. The beach boasts clean sand and calm waters, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
The charming village of Katwijk, with its narrow streets and traditional fishermen’s houses, adds to the beach’s appeal.
The area has a rich history dating back to Roman times, with the nearby Valkenburg archaeological site showcasing its Roman heritage. Katwijk is also home to the Katwijks Museum, which highlights the region’s fishing and maritime history.
10. Cadzand Beach
Cadzand Beach, situated in the southernmost part of the Netherlands near the Belgian border, is a hidden gem known for its stunning sunsets and unique fossil finds. The beach features soft sand, shallow waters, and beautiful sand dunes, making it a popular destination for families and nature lovers.
Cadzand is part of the Zwin Nature Reserve, which is home to diverse birdlife and a rich ecosystem. Visitors can enjoy various watersports, including kitesurfing and sailing, or explore the charming village of Cadzand-Bad with its lovely shops and restaurants.
The Netherlands offers a diverse array of beaches, each with its unique history, attractions, and ambiance. From bustling seaside resorts to serene, unspoiled islands, there is a perfect beach destination for every traveler in the Netherlands.