As we have now accepted, we will most likely have to stay in or close to the Netherlands next summer . And that’s not as bad as it seems, because there are plenty of beautiful places to discover! However, if you think after a while you have seen everything in your own country, then there may also be the option to take the car and cross the border to our beautiful neighboring country Belgium . That just feels a bit more exotic! The Belgian coastal towns in particular are very beautiful, versatile and perfect for a wonderful holiday by the sea.


White jetty runs over the water at the beach at Nieuwkerk, Belgium.  Lighthouse in the background.
Jetty and lighthouse on the beach at Nieuwkerk

Nieuwpoort is known as the best sailing center of all Belgian coastal towns, and is home to one of the largest marinas in the North of Europe . It is a historic destination with a lively center and played a major role in the First World War.
In addition, Nieuwpoort is a real fishing spot and there is still plenty of fishing. In the nearby National Fisheries Museum you can learn and see everything about the fisheries of this area! If you are looking for a combination between modern and old, Nieuwpoort is ideal. Tall apartment buildings alternate with trendy boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and the old center breathes history. In addition, the wide, long beach is of course one of the main attractions. To enjoy!


Beautiful sunset at the beach at Ostend, Belgium.
Sunset at the beach near Ostend

This lovely seaside resort on the North Sea offers more than 9 kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches where you can easily spend a few days. Alternate sunbathing and swimming with a lovely walk on the long boulevard, and also discover the bustling center of Ostend. Here you can shop for hours, visit museums, grab some terraces, etc. Ostend used to be a picturesque fishing village, and nowadays a lively mix of old and new. There are plenty of good restaurants and eateries up for grabs, and the green surroundings are perfect for nature trips.



The beach at Zeebrugge with the Palace residence in the background
The beach at Zeebrugge with the Palace residence in the background

Zeebrugge is also called the fishing city of Belgium, and has a central location on the Belgian coast. This makes it the perfect destination to explore the beautiful surroundings (including the Ardennes). Zeebrugge has Europe’s largest fish market, and the beautiful harbor with its rich history is also famous. There are many luxury hotels here, but there are also affordable options, and the beach is long and wide. Besides this, Zeebrugge has much more to offer. For example, visit the Fisheries Museum, the Russian submarine Foxtrot , and the beautiful Residence Palace.   Take a walk along the calm Zeebrugge sea wall, and occasionally stop at a cozy cafe or fish restaurant to rest. When you want to go out, take your bike and ride via a 12-kilometer canal to the historic city of Bruges



Long coastline and dunes in Bredene beach, Belgium.
Long coastline and dunes in Bredene

Bredene is actually nothing like most other coastal towns in Belgium. You will not come across many new buildings here, no luxury resorts, expensive hotels or chain stores. No, you really go to Bredene purely for the peace and quiet, and that is not far to seek on the beautiful wide beach, which is surrounded by high dunes. Due to its central location, Bredene is also very suitable for exploring the vast hinterland. So take your bike or sturdy walking shoes with you when you go here. In addition to the beautiful surroundings, Bredene also offers opportunities for entertainment. The village itself is cute and authentic, and there are a number of good restaurants. Brasserie Duinenhoeve is especially recommended! Pure and traditional, and honest food.


From Breakdown

The beach at De Panne with its colored yellow beach houses, Belgium.
The beach at De Panne with its colored beach houses

This seaside resort certainly belongs to the category of “most beautiful coastal towns in Belgium”. The white-covered sandy beach is the widest in the whole country, and therefore attracts many visitors. The high idyllic dunes of the Panne, together with those of Dunkirk , were also perfect shelters for the evacuation of British troops during the Second World War. The city is therefore honored with a monument to King Leopold, and an interesting museum from the war. Outside of the historical side, De Panne is just a super beautiful and bustling place to stay. On the boulevard you will find cozy bars, bistros and shops, and in the surrounding countryside you can enjoy walking and cycling. The perfect coastal destination!


The high dunes at Oostduinkerke, Belgium.
The high dunes at Oostduinkerke

This seaside resort is also called Koksijde-Oostduinkerke because of its sub-municipality, and is located on the southwest coast of Belgium. You can experience a wonderful holiday here, between the Hoge Blekker (highest dune on the Flemish coast) and the more than 700 hectares of beautiful nature reserves. In addition, Oostduinkerke is also very artistic and you can be surprised by various works of art and archaeology. Think for example of the Paul Delvaux Museum . Very interesting! for example is a must see for any culture lover. Oostduinkerke also has an authentic fisherman’s life, and you can occasionally see shrimp pickers at work on the beach. Of course you can also enjoy delicious seafood and fresh fish here at one of the cozy restaurants.


The beach of Knokke-heist with the city in the background.
The beach of Knokke-heist with the city in the background

This top destination on the Belgian coast has one large beach, which in turn is divided into 5 different beaches. So there is always plenty of choice, and whoever wants can alternate one beach with the other. Besides that, Knokke-Heist is close to a beautiful nature reserve, there are plenty of shops, numerous cultural activities, good outdoor sports facilities, and there is a wonderful mix of cultural diversity. In addition, Knokke-Heist has dozens of art galleries, where art lovers can indulge themselves. A little further from the center, the neighborhoods become a bit more chic, and you will find more trendy and luxurious shops and restaurants.