10 Coastal Resorts
Where the North Sea, the dunes and the polders meet, lies this green pearl of the Flemish coast. Enjoy the immeasurable expanses of the dunes with their surprising scenery, wander undisturbed through one of the unspoilt nature reserves, take an early beachwalk, with an eye on the far horizon or ramble along signposted paths through our nature reserves, discovering one thing after another. These are all treasures that make your holiday in De Panne an undeniable success.
On top of this, De Panne has the widest beach on the coast, ideal for a pleasant walk or even a sand-yacht trip beside the sea.
De Panne, after all, is the ideal place for sand-yachting, with its wide beach and absence of breakwaters.
It was also on the beach of De Panne that King Leopold I, on 17th July 1831, came ashore and, in doing so, set foot on his future kingdom for the first time. A monument reminds us of this event.
Koksijde - Oostduinkerke
Its vast nature reserves and outstanding cultural life make Koksijde-Oostduinkerke a top attraction on the Flemish coast. The image of the resort is undoubtedly that of the horseback shrimp fishermen. Oostduinkerke is the only resort in the world where you can still see this taking place. Furthermore, Koksijde-Oostduinkerke has all the facilities that a keen sporting tourist could dream of, an exciting calendar of events, pleasant terraces and mouth-watering cuisine.
Not just sea and beach
Koksijde-Oostduinkerke is so much more than just sea and beach. Survey the world once from the top of the highest sand-dune on the Flemish coast, the Hoge Blekker (33m) or wander endlessly in the unspoiled nature reserves that extend to around 300 hectares.
Even a number of sieges could not break Nieuwpoort's spirit. It rose from its ashes with more charm than ever before. Above all, it is a safe home port for its fishermen, for thousands of water-sports enthusiasts and for all its guests.
Stirring monuments, pleasant squares, impressive shopping-streets and restful parks. The result of a successful town renovation.
When you speak of Nieuwpoort, you also speak of sun, sea and sand. A definite family seaside resort with a 'sea' of recreational facilities on or along the fine sandy beach and the traffic-free promenade.
The endless sea, the channel and the reservoirs offer an ideal backdrop for practically all kinds of aquatic sports: padding and swimming, boat trips and sailing, fishing and angling, wave-carting and surfing.
Everything is possible here !!!
At the confluence of the salty seawater and the fresh water of the IJzer, you will find the nature reserve "De IJzermonding", with its distinctive fauna and flora.
Moreover, Nieuwpoort is the only place where dune-flowers grow on the beach. The hinterland also offers surprisingly beautiful little glimpses of nature.
Middelkerke - Westende
Halfway along the coastline you will find Middelkerke, a family orientated resort with lots of leisure facilities. On the long, broad promenade, the Casino, the cultural centre of the resort, immediately catches the eye. Popular Flemish artists regularly appear here. Not surprisingly, the casino attracts a wide public - indeed, just like the resort itself.
The promenade leads to the borough of Westende, which is divided into Westende-bad (beach) and Westende-dorp (village). Once upon a time this was a prestigious resort, but a great deal of the beautiful 'Belle Epoque' houses from that time were lost in the two world wars.
Middelkerke is an excellent starting point for bicycle rides and walks through the polder countryside. An absolute must is the Schoorbakker route, good for a cycle trip of 48 kilometres in the polders between Middelkerke and Diksmuide.
Besides walking and cycling, this resort offers a wide range of sports facilities. Here life never stands still, for the authorities organise activities throughout the year. A few of the most spectacular activities are the fishing weekend and the beer weekend in June, the cartoon festival and the Happy Kids weekend in the summer holidays and the Agricultural Weekend and the Champagne Weekend in the autumn.
At the only true 'City at the Sea' you will discover over 9 kms of great sandy beaches that invite you to delightful sunbathing and a refreshing dip in the North Sea, alternated with a brisk walk along the promenade. But this bathing resort has a lot more to offer besides just the sun, the sea and the beach.
Welcome to the bristling world of Ostend. After a delightful dip in the sea you will ready to discover a city that offers you a sea of possibilities. You will be able to thoroughly enjoy:
sports and relaxation, strolling and shopping, music and museums, etc.
Select your favourite day or week from our event calendar and discover it for yourself: Ostend is turning summery!
Bredene is unique in a number of ways. It is the odd man out of the coastal resorts. Because of its central location, Bredene is ideally suited to the exploration of the coast and the hinterland. The 'maritime' flavour of Oostende is never far away, the art centres of Brugge and Damme lie within cycling distance and those who want to go further, can find numerous historic towns and areas within a stones throw. Even a day trip to London or Paris is possible from Bredene !
A resort between sand-dune and polder
De Haan - Wenduine
The tourist heart of De Haan-Centre is the 'Concession', the beautiful and historic residential area with its typical Belle Epoque villas. In 1889 the Belgian Government granted a long term lease - or 'concession' - for 90 years on this 50 hectare plot of land. De Haan-Centre is really charming, not only because of its style and situation, but thanks to the absence of depressing high-rise buildings. These characteristics give a special look to this seaside resort.
Upon your arrival in De Haan you are instantly enchanted by the beautiful cottages and villas in Anglo-Norman style : façades with mock-timber work, cottages with red roofs, balconies and little turrets, …
The pleasant and hospitable resort of Wenduine owes its quiet, family character to the long tradition of holiday homes for children who have chosen this as their favourite stopping place .
Even with its lively holiday atmosphere, Wenduine is a green oasis of rest and hospitality.
The Rotonde, the Spioenkop with the adjacent Prince Albert Park, the Hubert Mill and the four Wenduine giants are still silent witnesses to what started in the 13th century as a little fishing port and that - since the 1900s - has developed into a touristic seaside resort with typically cosy pubs and shops.
In summer, Blankenberge is a city that never sleeps, a piece of a Spanish 'Costa' in Belgium
Luckily this effervescent place also has ample possibilities for those who want peace and quiet. Our favourite spot is certainly the harbour, where fishing boats and yachts come and go and where the shrimp catches are brought ashore. Sitting on the benches beside the water you will never tire of looking at the vast water basin.
This resort has something for everybody, which you will notice when, on a sunny day, the beach, the promenade and the lively shopping streets are so packed that you could walk on the shoppers heads, if you had a mind to.
Blankenberge is perhaps one of the most popular and of the busiest resorts on the coast.
Here it is buzzing with activity on the broad beach and on the promenade with its countless food stalls and shops.
After the sun has gone down, Blankenberge remains a firebrand of a city, with a night life which can hardly be found anywhere else on the coast.
The proud townsfolk of Zeebrugge often call their town 'the fish capital'.
They are entitled to do so because the fish market of Zeebrugge and its surrounding fishmongers have been an attraction for many years for visitors from all over the country.
The fish market was moved some years ago to the inner harbour and the free space has been mostly taken up by Seafront, a museum about life in and on the sea. The fishmongers around the old fish market, however, stayed where they were, which ensures that the previous pleasantly busy atmosphere is preserved.
'A touch of sophistication'
A top destination on the Belgian coast: it has a lovely beach, divided into 5 different beaches (Heist, Duinbergen, Albertstrand, Knokke and the Zoute), a beautiful nature reserve, plenty of shopping facilities, a wide range of cultural activities, a number of architectural gems and an excellent sports infrastructure.
Knokke-Heist, by the merging of separate communities shows several different faces.
Knokke-Heist is a seaside resort with a great cultural charisma. There is not only the casino, but also the Scharpoord cultural centre, which together offer a lively cultural calendar. Besides this, Knokke-Heist has around fifty art galleries, some of which are of international status.
Then there is the Lippenslaan, the well-known, long and renovated shopping street., The further you walk from here in the direction of the Zoute, the more the 'look at me' factor arises. Trendy cars, more expensive handbags, more fashionable shops, sophisticated ladies and golfing carts all over the place, create the image of the street. The Zoute is the most sophisticated resort on the coast, with stately avenues as well as winding lanes in the quiet neighbourhoods, eye-catching villas, a golf course and, of course, …the Zwin.