Fishing used to be the bread and butter of this little Dutch village, but in the 19th century its sandy shores began attracting visitors in droves, transforming it into one of the Netherlands’ best seaside resorts. It remains a lovely break today – rolling dunes tumble down to the dark waters of the North Sea, where brave souls windsurf even in the colder months, and beach lovers flock in the summertime for sunbathing and swimming.
Families will find Zandvoort an accommodating place, the long beaches and extensive facilities making holidays fun (and easy) for everyone. The many bars lining the sand are great for afternoon drinks, especially as the sun slips into the sea. In town, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, with everything from fine dining to traditional Dutch cafés serving sandwiches and coffee.
Zandvoort borders the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, famous for its coastal dunes and hiking and cycling trails. The shrub-covered dunes are a romantic place for a picnic, the songbirds and butterflies flitting about as Highland cattle graze in the distance. Zandvoort is also just a short train ride from Haarlem and Amsterdam – so you can always spice up your relaxing beach routine with a day trip.
When to go?
Your best bet is the summer months, when the sun doesn’t set until 21:00 or 22:00 and it’s warm enough for languid hours of sunbathing – and probably even a swim! That said, Zandvoort is nice for a refreshing seaside stroll anytime of the year (just remember that Dutch weather is notoriously unpredictable).
Where to stay?
Schelvis Apartments – Zandvoort, the Netherlands
These lovely apartments have all the comforts of home. Booking.com guests especially liked that the kitchen had so many extras, such as spices, coffee pods, and a dishwasher. They also loved the location – it’s only a two-minute walk to the sea!
Beach House Zandvoort – Zandvoort, the Netherlands
Beach House is an ideal choice for families, with most of the fully-equipped apartments sleeping up to four people. You can easily walk to the beach, the city centre, and the supermarket in only a few minutes – giving your days a very relaxed pace.
Hendrika Apartments – Zandvoort, the Netherlands
The bright rooms of Hendrika Apartments are located in a charming house dating back to 1905, all looking out on a quaint garden. Booking.com guests praised the design of the studios, and the owner Willem for his friendliness and local tips.