Rust aan de Kust
Nature

11 x Peace and quiet at the Belgian Coast

The Belgian Coast might attract lots of people, but even those among us who love empty beaches, lonely dunes and untouched polders will find the peace and quiet they crave in the most unexpected places.

We all need to get away from it all from time to time after, so here’s a list with the greatest places to go. Because Belgium’s seaside offers some unbelievable scenes you’ll never get tired of!

(Source Feeling Kust 2017)

Blankenberge - Bredene - De Haan - De Panne - Knokke-Heist - Koksijde - Nieuwpoort - Oostende - Zeebrugge

Blankenberge - Uitkerkse polders

Blankenberge - Uitkerkse Polder reserve - Sound of Silence

The godwits, lapwings, pied avocets and redshanks make sure West Flanders’ largest nature reserve between Blankenberge and Wenduine is never really completely quiet. But to make up for that, they let you spy on them undisturbed from one of the four bird observation huts or the tower that affords uninterrupted views of the vast open landscape. Wanna bet you find you inner peace instantly?

Blankenberge - Staketsel

Blankenberge and Nieuwpoort - Port Pier - Salty Promenade

If you’re in for a stroll high above the sea to get rid of the daily grind, while tasting the salty sea air in your mouth, then you must pay a visit to Blankenberge or Nieuwpoort pier. Promenade behind and the sea under, all around and next to you. Now capricious and wild with heads of foam, then flat as the cloth on a billiard table... In short, an incredible scene you’ll never forget!

Bredene - Visserskapel

Bredene - Fishermen’s chapel - Salty tears

Even as far back as 1710 there was a statue of Mary amidst the lonely no-man’s land between the dunes and polders. Then in 1736, a Fishermen’s chapel was erected, which became a favourite place of pilgrimage for Flemish fishermen. Maybe not surprising as the walls depict many a tragedy at sea: boats sinking, capsizing or just disappearing. The swathes of flowers, home-made sea-shell wreaths and photos, cards and drawings remind visitors of many a long lost fisherman or sailor and the grief of their families and loved ones.

De Haan - Chalet Westhinder

De Haan - Chalet Westhinder - Relaxing in the cabin

Only those in the know go to Westhinder, because you can only reach the place via the beach. So it’s a wonderfully lonely spot amidst the dunes where you can savour a fresh sangria or some home-made shrimp croquettes. That’s what life is all about ...

De Panne - Slenteren in de Sahara

De Panne - Westhoek - Strolling in the Sahara

Amidst the 340 ha of dunes lies the Sahara: a shifting dune of a good 120 ha that can certainly stand a comparison with its much bigger cousin just above the equator. In short, an endless, white sandy plain as far as the eye can see. And it can only be admired in De Panne!

Knokke-Heist - Koers zetten naar Cadzand

Knokke-Heist - Walk to Cadzand

As long as you’ve got your tide table and you’re not deterred by a brisk walk, you can cross the border to the Netherlands, leisurely strolling along the empty beach and seeing the Zwin nature park from another angle for a change. Careful though, because at high tide you’ll have to take a considerable detour!

Knokke-Heist - Dominicanenkerkje

Knokke-Heist - Dominican church - Cherry on the church

Het Zoute is more than just the place to be for shopping. Its grand villa-lined streets are also definitely worth a visit, as you’ll find vast, lush domains, surrounded by willows and connected by elegant avenues and winding paths. But the cherry on the cake is the cosy Dominican church where you’ll find all the peace and quiet you were after.

Knokke-Heist - Stilte in het Zwin

Knokke-Heist - Silence at the Zwin

Why not check out the completely renewed Zwin now you’re there anyway? Follow the cabin trail if you want to do some bird spotting.

Koksijde - Wulpen - Fluistervaren

Koksijde - Wulpen - Silent boats

The Koksijde01 and Koksijde02 await you just behind the coastline in the picturesque village of Wulpen. The two silent electric boats will take you along the Nieuwpoort-Dunkirk Canal to admire the wonderful panoramas, including quacking ducks, delightful villages and even die-hard amateur cyclists giving it their all.

Oostende - Oosteroever

Oostende - Oosteroever - Catch your breath in the dunes

The artistic ferry, customised by painter Roger Raveel, brings you to the Oosteroever for free where a whole other world far away from the urban buzz awaits you. Endless dune landscapes, the Lange Nelle lighthouse and Fort Napoleon where you can survey everything from the terrace.

Zeebrugge - Ponton A

Zeebrugge - Ponton A - In the shadow of the port

There’s peace and quiet to be found even where you’d least expect it: in the shadow of the vast port of Zeebrugge on the magnificent roof terrace of Ponton A, the new marina’s club house. Admire the scores of fishing boats and glittering yachts from high up in this immense global trading hub.