Finally, a beach time in the Netherlands!
We decided to take a break from all roaming around the beautiful Dutch villages , eating Bitterballen and Poffertjes, plus we had finally got enough of the delicious cheeses that we tasted from Henri Willig in Chatharina´s Farmstead. We still haven´t get over though from the beauty of the Windmills so we head to the beach near Amsterdam.And this is the time we found Zanvoort.
Zanvoort is located in North Holland and is quite close from Amsterdam, Zaandam, Haarlem and yes, from Keukenhof in Lisse!This is a perfect daytrip from Amsterdam since it is well connected with train from Schiphol.
We´ve been itching to cool down and just have a quiet time in the beach, with less crowds and noise.Luckily, we found this coast near the dunes.Zanvoort is just a few kilometers from Haarlem where my sister in law lives ,and that makes it super convenient for us. We booked a hotel in Zanvoort and reminisced the times where we are still living near the beachfront in Kuwait.
The sea landscape is just what I ´ve needed. I was really speechless and lost for words for many times. I really miss the sea, the sunrises, the sea salt smell of the wind, the roaring of waves…and sands on my feet. When I was living in Kuwait, I have this view every single day and I kind of took it for granted. Now I realized how my life in Germany have changed me. With long winters here, I always craved the beautiful tropical beaches and the arid beaches we have in the Middle East. I was feeling exhausted from the daily business and life routines and super grateful that we have this much needed-break.
Zanvoort is known for two things; it´s beautiful stretch of beach which spans up to 9 kilometers and 90 meters wide and the Zanvoort Circuit.It is very popular sunbathing resort and as well as for surfers. Actually you can do lots and lots of things here.The choices are endless, or just do Nothing! It all depends if you can do it all with all the time that you have.There´s also the Bloemendaal an Zee, which is famous for parties, and of course, for nature wanderers and lovers of the wildlife–the dunes. Other than the beach, this place is also the center for adrenaline junkie racing tracks —Circuit Zandvoort,the Dutch Formula 1.
Well we did not come here for the racing but we had a glimpse of the tracks ! Nor did we go partying, we´re just too lazy that we wanted to just lie down in the sand all day and do nothing. Zanvoort is surrounded with wild dunes, the lovely nature and wildlife.If you are up for adventure, you can just ride your bike and cycle through the dunes or just take a walk.There are many stalls which you can rent a bike and explore the beach.
It was still quiet during our visit. In the afternoon we are so happy that finally the sun decided to shine so we had a bit of sun, but it´s very windy. Of course, we´re in Holland so it´s windy and the beach´s calm beauty relaxes us during our stay.We have a lovely time having our first Dutch picnic and watching the tides goes by.
This place is perfect for kids to let off their steam as well. The beach itself is the largest playground!My kid busied herself doing skipping rope and building her own sandcastles! Oh yes, we collect seashells as well…
It´s still too cold for us to swim, too bad, but because of the direction of the tides, unfortunately there was lots of jelly fish in the shore but that didn´t really bother us.
Unfortunately, you cannot swim in the North Sea all year round. The water temperature is usually only suitable for a dip in the summer months (June-September). There will be flags near the beach that indicate whether you can go in or not. An orange windsock indicates that it is safe to swim. A yellow flag indicates there is some risk and a red flag means you shouldn’t go in.
Although the North Sea is clean and relatively safe, we do had lots of jellyfish seen on the shore! I heard that they are quite harmless, but their stings can be very itchy. There isn’t really a ‘jellyfish season’, but my sister in law said that it´s due to the wind´s direction which is, the easterly winds. That’s when you have a much higher chance of encountering jellyfish near the shoreline. Take that as a sign to go on a beach walk instead of swimming in the sea.When you see them in the shores, that´s a sign not to go in!
But hey, the Dutch people has this thing about New Year´s dive in Zanvoort where thousands of people wear their Unox bonnet and dived into freezing waters of Zanvoort beach!If you wanna see something crazy on New Year, then you might want to go here, plus walking in the dunes in Winter can be a bit refreshing.
Actually , I was happy that it´s not yet the peak season when we came here but the place had already a crowd of tourists and visitors.It was even a surprise to find a decent hotel and everything is expensive in this area. I can imagine how busy this place would be in summer! There was a line of lovely shops and restaurants.Here you can find everything that you need for your perfect Dutch beach getaway. Near our Hotel were plenty lines of supermarkets and grocery stores.Also very important, Zanvoort has ample paid parking lots along it´s coastine, even camper vans have their own spaces to park.
One thing that makes this place special is the sunset. My final words for Zanvoort, when we looked at our surroundings as an art, we may not see it always as perfect.Sometimes it doen´st even the things that we imagined for or expected…but then yes, that is life.I don´t even want a perfect beach or so, that´s it.
What are your thoughts when you´re at the beach?
Until then,Happy weekend everyone, in Dutch we say it Tot Ziens!