The seaside resort town of Zandvoort has a rich and storied past. Known to exist as early as 1100, it was originally a fishing port. In the early 19th century, Zandvoort began to transform into the kind of resort town that had become popular in England. Tourism increased as public transport connected the area to larger cities in the Netherlands. It thrived for many years, but was damaged during World War II and was closed. A few years later, when the war ended, Zandvoort beach reopened and the town of Zandvoort sprung back to life. 

A Holland Beach with fun for all

Today, as the unofficial Amsterdam beach, it’s a popular day trip for those living in or visiting the Dutch capital. During summer, visitors to the beach soak up the sun from the sand, take long walks along the shore or get involved in watersports (think: surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding). There’s a bike track for both amateurs and pros alike that offers scenic views along the journey. There are also more than 30 beach clubs along Zandvoort beach, where you can have a drink with friends, enjoy a long lunch by the water and take in the lively atmosphere.

Beyond the beach

The Netherlands’ beaches may be fun in the summertime, but Zandvoort is perfect for visiting all year long thanks to the wide variety of attractions. The most famous of these is Circuit Zandvoort, a motorsport racing track located in the dunes. A thrilling place to visit for car enthusiasts, it also provides a unique backdrop for those with an interest in photography. 

Zandvoort’s natural wonders

The dunes around Zandvoort are a photo-worthy setting too; the rugged beauty of this natural landscape is one of the most impressive sights you’ll see near any Holland beach. Take a walk through the Amsterdam Waterleidingduinen (or ‘water supply dunes’). The channels of water throughout these dunes help filter rainwater to provide clean drinking water for the city of Amsterdam. There’s enough to supply two months’ worth! Within this stunning nature reserve, deer, rabbits, foxes and birds can often be spotted going about their daily life. 

Zandvoort is also close to the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, where you can walk, bike, swim or go horseback riding through the 3,800-acre reserve. Zandvoort train station is only minutes from the beach. Trains arrive here from Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. The half-hour journey sometimes goes via Haarlem, 1 of Holland’s most beautiful medieval cities.