When you think of Belgium, you think of chocolate, beer, and Moules-Frites. What you don’t believe are beaches. But that is a mistake. Belgium is blessed with 42 miles of unspoiled sandy coastline. Whether you prefer small isolated harbors or long stretches of golden sand, you will have no problem finding something to suit your needs. Here, we take a look at some of the best beaches in Belgium.
How to get there
The Belgian coast is just 50 minutes by train from Brussels. Although it can be reached by any of the different routes, the best way to enjoy it to the fullest is by taking the picturesque coastal tram from De Panne, near the French border, to the fascinating little seaside town of Knokke-Heist. . The coastal tram, which takes 2 hours and 27 minutes from start to finish, is the longest tram route in the world. Sit back and enjoy as it takes you through some of the most impressive resorts and towns in the country.
When to visit
It is not a bad time to visit the Belgian coast, but if you prefer a bit of sun with its sand and sea, visit from July to August to enjoy the best weather.
Where to go
With 42 miles of stunning coastline to enjoy, Belgium is the ideal place to enjoy beach culture. If you can only fit a small selection of your beaches into your itinerary, don’t miss out on these top options.
If you prefer action-packed resorts to sleepy little hideaways, you’ll love Blankenberge. The long stretch of beach is dotted with colorful beach huts that can be rented daily. Parallel to the beach there is a promenade full of food stalls and shops. The city itself is home to a wide variety of bars and restaurants, making it the ideal destination for anyone looking to experience Belgium’s nightlife as much as its beaches.
Ostend is not only one of the liveliest cities in Belgium, it is also one of the best beach destinations in the country. As Travel Triangle writes, the city has a multitude of activities for you to enjoy, including sightseeing, shopping, dining, and visits to one of the many museums or galleries. If you prefer to spend the day lounging on the beach, you will find the ideal long stretch of golden sand. The boardwalk, meanwhile, is a great place to take an evening stroll and watch the sun set over the ocean. Best of all, the city is within easy reach of Brussels, allowing you to pack both on the beach and in the metropolis on the same day. Trains leave for the capital every 30 minutes.
De Hann is a beautiful little resort filled with charming Anglo-Norman cottages and quaint little villas. As it is a bit off the beaten track, it is ideal for people hoping to enjoy a quiet and relaxing day at the beach, free from the noise and crowds of larger resorts like Ostend. As The Culture Trip writes, one of the best ways to get to De Hann is to rent a bike at the Ostend train station and then ride the coastal path to De Hann. If you prefer to take the lazy route, take the equally scenic Coastal Tram.
You don’t go to Oostduinkerke to lay on the beach and enjoy the sun. Well, you could, but that’s not the main attraction. What has drawn crowds of people here for generations is the city’s 500-year history of gray shrimp fishing. Usually carried out on horseback, the tradition has even earned the city a mention on the UNESCO list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” Visit between April and September to see the fascinating tradition for yourself. During your trip, be sure to enjoy fresh fish, crab, and of course gray shrimp at one of the many restaurants and bistros that line the boardwalk.
Comprised of five coastal towns, Middelkerke features a 6-mile stretch of wide boardwalk. With lots of fun and games on offer (including playgrounds, miniature golf, and rollerblading ramps), it’s a great place to take the whole family. Once you’re done on the beach, don’t miss out on some delicious local food and beer at some of the great little restaurants dotted along the coast.
As Holiday Park Specials writes, the old fishing port of Nieuwpoort has been transformed in recent years into an elegant resort. Very popular with water sports enthusiasts, Nieuwpoort is a great place to head for some fun on the water. Whether you want to sail, swim, or take a boat ride along the shore, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained. …