Discover Benelux | The Netherlands | Top Places to Visit
Photo: Antoon van der Graaf
ZANDVOORT AAN ZEE
A seaside paradise waiting to be discovered TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: VVV ZANDVOORT
A tranquil, nature-rich seaside town awaits at just a short train ride from Amsterdam. For centuries, the coastal town of Zandvoort has been a popular beach destination, featuring flowing dunes, a quaint former fishermen’s town and wide stretches of sandy beach. “You wouldn’t expect such a beautiful area so close to Amsterdam, but Zandvoort is the perfect place to get some fresh air and enjoy the beach,” says Pim Huijsmans, who works for the local tourism board, VVV Zandvoort. While the Dutch summer is slowly drawing to a close, he assures us that there are a wealth of activities on offer in and around Zandvoort aside from soaking up the last days of sun.
Belling bucks and bike rides Zandvoort is surrounded by gorgeous nature, with the water-rich Amsterdam26 | Issue 45 | September 2017
se Waterleidingduinen to the South, and National Park Zuid-Kennemerland to the north. The national park is home to a large variety of wildlife, including highland cattle, numerous species of birds, Konik horses and even wisents, also known as European bison.
the entire area is designated for pedestrians only. It is also home to the Netherlands’ largest population of fallow deer, and now is one of the best times to see them. “October is the start of the rutting season. This means you can hear the bucks belling, which is almost like a burping sound. They run after each other sometimes you’ll even see them battling, which is a very spectacular,” says Huijsmans. To witness the deer’s entire mating ritual, visitors can book a guided Burl Walk in October.
It offers hundreds of kilometres of paths both for hikers, cyclists and horse riders, through a stunning and varied natural landscape. Huijsmans says: “The national park is perfect for a day of cycling, or you can book a guided walk with a ranger who can help you spot wildlife and then take you to the wisents.”
Always something new
On the other side of Zandvoort are the unique Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, a natural area for water-purification made of 3,400 hectares of dunes, woodlands and waterways. The splendid landscape is perfect for a relaxing walk in nature, as
Thanks to its proximity to Amsterdam, Zandvoort attracts many cosmopolitan visitors. For businesses, this is an ideal place to trial products, set up temporary concept stores or open a pop-up shop. This creates an always-evolving commercial environment, so even for regular
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