• Menu
  • Menu
Entspannung am Strand von Zandvoort, Bild: Christian Szymala / shutterstock

Zandvoort – Would you like a bit of the sea?

Zandvoort – this name stands for the perfect break by the sea. Long walks on the beach, where you can really let yourself be blown through. The relaxed flair of countless beach clubs, where you can relax almost nowhere else. But that’s by no means all that the Dutch seaside resort has to offer. Because here relaxation and variety are always only a few meters apart.

So it is not for nothing that Zandvoort bears the nickname “place of short distances”. From the beach you can walk to the cozy village center, the Formula 1 race track Circuit Zandvoort or one of two large nature areas where you can walk and cycle. Last but not least, from the centrally located Zandvoort train station, you can easily reach Amsterdam in 25 minutes and Haarlem in 15 minutes.

From fishing village to convivial seaside resort

Just a few steps from the beach boulevard, you will find numerous traces of the original fishing village of Sandevoerde. For centuries, its inhabitants lived more poorly than right from fishing, poaching and the cultivation of dune potatoes. Their houses were small and located on narrow streets popularly called “Sloppies”. On a walk around the center you can still discover many of them.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the rise to a seaside resort took place. New streets and squares were built, and beautiful villas with bay windows and verandas were built next to the fishermen’s houses. In this flair, the centre of Zandvoort today invites you to take a relaxed stroll through numerous small shops. And when the shopping bag is filled, cozy street cafés offer the perfect place to stop and rest.

Home of motorsport

Motorsport in Zandvoort
Motorsport in Zandvoort, Image: motorsports Photographer / shutterstock

But Zandvoort can also be really fast. Just a stone’s throw from the village and the sea is one of the most spectacular race tracks in the world. From 1952 to 1985, the legendary CM.com Circuit Zandvoort was one of the worldwide stops of the Formula 1 World Championship. Dozens of motorsport events such as the Historic Grand Prix and the Formula 3 Masters take place here every year. In 2021, Formula 1 also returned – finally.

See also  West Frisian Islands – Island highlights off the Dutch North Sea coast

Directly above the pit lane, you can fulfil your dream of driving a Formula 1 race yourself all year round – at least virtually. At the Racesquare Circuit Zandvoort, several high-end simulators offer the opportunity to slip into the role of Louis Hamilton, Max Verstappen & Co. Up to 20 “drivers” compete live against each other in free practice, qualifying and finally in the decisive race.

Impressive nature experience

Also short is the distance to the two nature areas that surround the village: the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park in the north and the Amsterdam Waterleiding Dunes in the south. Here you can expect some very special animal encounters. Because Zandvoort borders on an area of around 300 hectares, where a herd of bison can be admired in the wild since 2007.

They are among the oldest inhabitants in Europe and are currently the largest living land mammals on our continent. In addition to them, Scottish Highland cattle and Konik horses also live in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Amsterdam’s Waterleiding Dunes are also home to over 6,000 fallow deer. With a bit of luck, you can observe the curious animals on a walk through the town and even on the beach boulevard.

Surfing, kitesurfing & Co.

Speaking of the beach, it’s the perfect place for lots of action. At the forefront: water sports. Almost every day there is enough wind and waves here to get your money’s worth. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re already a professional or a beginner. In Zandvoort you will find several water sports schools that offer a comprehensive range of training in surfing, stand-up paddling and kitesurfing for every level.

In the water sports center “The Spot” you are also at the right address for the latest trend sport “foiling”. A hydrofoil is attached under the surfboard, which ensures that the board lifts off from the water. Due to the low resistance, high speeds can be achieved even with little wind. “The Spot” offers lessons in

kite foiling, SUP foiling and wing foiling. Beginners can also learn the latter directly.

Day trips with direct connection

View of Zandvoort
View of Zandvoort, Image: Kyara Janssen / shutterstock

Combine a relaxing break by the sea with a city trip? This is possible at Zandvoort like hardly anywhere else. Because Zandvoort is the only coastal town in the Netherlands to have a train station. And it is just 300 m from the beach. This means that you can get from the sea to Amsterdam Central Station, which is located in the middle of the turbulent city centre, in just 25 minutes without changing trains.

See also  The border triangle of Germany / Netherlands / Belgium

But Haarlem is also a recommended address. From Zandvoort, you can get off the train after just 15 minutes. The station is already a real attraction: it is the only one in the Netherlands that was built in the typical Art Nouveau style. From here you can go to the historic center around the “Grote Markt”, which enchants with beautiful alleys and facades, or to one of several important museums.

(Fun) Facts about Zandvoort

Whether beach, village, nature or circuit: There are a lot of interesting things worth knowing about the Dutch coastal town. With these exciting, curious and funny Zandvoort facts, real fans and those who want to become fans are well prepared for their next visit.

Zandvoort goes Los Angeles

Many artists, athletes and other well-known personalities have a close relationship with Zandvoort. In her honor, a Walk of Fame was established in 2010, honoring a total of 22 celebrities.

Famous Zandvoort fans

Since the beginning of the 19th century, Zandvoort has enjoyed great popularity as a seaside resort. What few people know is that two famous women also found their way here: Austria’s Empress Sissi and – barely 50 years after her – the Jewish girl Anne Frank.

Final stop: Amsterdam beach

Zandvoort is the only coastal town in the Netherlands to have a train station. It was opened in 1881 and can be reached in 25 minutes as a direct connection from Amsterdam. It is not for nothing that Zandvoort has the nickname “Beach of Amsterdam”.

Shining Sea

From spring to the beginning of summer, Zandvoort beach is the scene of an impressive sight. Especially in warm and at the same time calm weather, you can observe the so-called “sea glow” here. The cause is the single-celled alga Nocticula scintillans.

Bathing by the numbers

The official highlight of Zandvoort: the beach. It stretches over a length of about 9 km, 3 km of which are designated as nudist beaches. Around 5 million cups of coffee are drunk here every year and just as many bodies are tanned.

Zandvoorter “Colorado potato beetle”

Potatoes have been grown in the dune sand north of Zandvoort for 200 years. Due to its special taste, this specialty is still very popular today. You can buy them from the trunk of the orange “Colorado potato beetle” every Wednesday and Saturday during the season.

Fish enjoyment with pitfalls

A delicious fried fish, a crab roll or would you prefer a portion of kibbeling? On the boulevard of Zandvoort there are many large and small fish stalls. But beware: the seagulls also love fish! If you don’t want to share, you should be careful of them.