The Belgian Coast, also known as the Flemish Coast, is a 67 km long stretch of coastline located in the northwest of Belgium, in the province of West-Flanders. With its miles of sandy beaches, picturesque seaside towns, delicious seafood, and fun activities, the Belgian coast is the perfect destination for your next vacation. In this travel guide, we’ll take you through some of the must-see and must-do things when visiting the Belgian Coast.
Belgian Coast Attractions: Things to See and Do
- The historic town of Ostend: Ostend is the largest coastal town in Belgium and is famous for its lively promenade, Victorian architecture, and the James Ensor House. You can take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, admire the stunning architecture, and visit the James Ensor House.
- The Plopsaland Amusement Park: Located in De Panne, this theme park offers a wide range of rides and attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. You can spend a day at the park, enjoying the rides, attractions, and shows.
- Sunbathing on the beach: The Belgian Coast boasts miles of sandy beaches that are perfect for lounging and soaking up the sun. You can spend a day at the beach, relax, and enjoy the sea, sun, and sand.
- Kite-surfing: With strong winds and shallow waters, the Belgian Coast is a popular destination for kitesurfing enthusiasts. You can try kitesurfing and experience the thrill of the sport.
- Seafood tasting: The Belgian Coast is well-known for its delicious seafood, including mussels, shrimp, and fish. You can try these local delicacies at one of the many seafood restaurants along the coast.
- Cycling: The Belgian Coast has a network of cycling paths that are perfect for exploring the picturesque towns and countryside. You can rent a bike and explore the towns and countryside, taking in the sights in a unique way.
Belgian Coast Seaside Resorts: A Guide to Popular Destinations
Discover the charm of Belgian seaside resorts on your next vacation. From elegant Victorian architecture to contemporary beachfront developments, the Belgian coast offers a wide variety of resorts to suit all tastes and budgets.
- Ostend: Known as the “Queen of the Belgian Coast,” Ostend offers a mix of history, culture, and beach life. It’s home to the famous Albert I Promenade, the James Ensor House, and the Mu.ZEE Ostend Museum.
- Knokke: This upscale seaside resort is a favourite among the Belgian elite, with designer boutiques, art galleries, and the Royal Zoute Golf Club all within reach.
- De Haan: A picturesque seaside town renowned for its Art Nouveau villas, visitors can enjoy the De Haan Beach or take a stroll on the De Haan Pier.
- Blankenberge: A popular seaside resort offering a lively atmosphere and a wide sandy beach. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Blankenberge Pier, the Sea Life Center or the Casino Blankenberge.
- Nieuwpoort: With a long sandy beach, marina and fish market, this lively town is perfect for water sports enthusiasts. Check out Nieuwpoort Bad for more excitement.
- Middelkerke: This seaside resort boasts a lively atmosphere and a wide sandy beach. Visitors can explore the Casino Middelkerke, the Middelkerke Pier or the Plopsaland De Panne theme park.
- Zeebrugge: Known for its port, marina, and fish market, this seaside town is also home to the Westhinder, a lightship that serves as a navigation aid in the area of sandbanks and other dangerous areas for shipping.
- Koksijde: A seaside resort that’s known for its wide sandy beach and dunes. It’s home to the Oostduinkerke Beach, the Koksijde Airfield Museum, and the St. Peter and Paul Church.
- De Panne: This seaside town offers a wide sandy beach, dunes and the Plopsaland De Panne theme park. Take a walk on the De Panne Pier or visit the De Panne Airfield Museum for more exploration..
Travel to Belgian Coast: How to Get There
The Belgian Coast can easily be reached by train from most Belgian cities. There are trainstations in Knokke-Heist, Blankenberge and Ostend. From there you can use the coastal tram to reach your end destination.
When traveling from the UK to the Belgian coast by car, you can either take a ferry or the eurotunnel to France and follow the A76/E40 highway to your destination. Direct passenger ferry’s to the Belgian coast have been discontinued until further notice.
Getting around the Belgian coast
Getting around at the Belgian coast is easy thanks to the coastal tram that links all Belgian Coastal towns from De Panne to Knokke-Heist. The Coastal Tram runs every 10 mins during summer, every 15 minutes during autumn and spring and every 20 minutes during winter.
Several Coastal Tram stops have a Coastal Tram Shop where you can buy tickets. When closed it’s possible to buy your ticket on the tram. Any single ticket for the coastal tram costs 3€ regarding your destination. Daypasses cost 6€ in pre-sale and 8€ on board. 3 day passes cost 12€ and 5 day passes cost 17€. 7 Day passes for West Flanders costs 24€ for a single person and 24€ for 2 persons.
List of stops: https://www.delijn.be/en/lijnen/lijn/5/500/2
Day trips to the Belgian Coast
If you’re looking for a quick getaway or a day trip, the Belgian coast is the perfect destination. Thanks to the excellent public transport and easy access by car, it’s a popular day trip destination for many locals and tourists.
Keep in mind that during warm summer days it can become very crowded. Travelers by car will often experience more difficulties in finding a parking space, and have a risk of traffic jams in the evening on the way back.
Belgian Coast Accommodation: Hotels, Holiday Homes and More
The Belgian Coast is a popular holiday destination for many Belgians and tourists from other countries. This results in a large variety of different accommodation types available, ranging from hotels, BnB’s, apartments, holiday homes, vacation parks and camping sites.
Holiday Homes on Belgian Coast: A Guide to Rentals
Many Belgians who go on holiday to the Belgian Coast prefer to rent either an apartment or holiday home.
Belgian Coast Holiday Parks: Family-Friendly Vacation Spots
- Center Parcs has a holiday park in De Haan
- Sunparks has a holiday park in Oostduinkerke
- Roompot has a bungalow vacation park in Bredene
- Floréal has 2 holiday resorts where you can rent studio’s and apartments, with or without hotel formula. One is located in Nieuwpoort, the other in Blankenberge.
Camping on Belgian Coast: Grounds and Facilities
Wildcamping on the beach or in the dunes is strictly forbidden at the entire Belgian coastline. In addition, nearly all Belgian coastal towns prohibit spending the night in a vehicle on public roads as well. However there are plenty of camping grounds and dedicated mobilhome parkings available.
- 18-21 May 2023: Folkloric festivities at the harbour of Blankenberge
- 10-11 June 2023: Kite festival in Westende
- 8-9 July 2023: Giants festival Wenduine
- 11 July 2023: Fireworks in Middelkerke
- 15-17 July 2023: Food festival in Middelkerke
- 21 July 2023: Fireworks in Blankenberge and Westende (National Holiday celebrations)
- 12-13 August 2023: International street theater festival in Wenduine
- 15 August 2023: Fireworks in Middelkerke
- 26 August 2023: Fireworks in Blankenberge
- 27 August 2023: Flower Parade in Blankenberge
- 28 October 2023: Fireworks in Blankenberge
In conclusion, the Belgian Coast is a charming destination that offers miles of sandy beaches, picturesque towns, and delicious seafood. Visitors can explore the historic town of Ostend, try kite-surfing, taste local seafood delicacies, and enjoy cycling along the network of cycling paths. There are also a variety of seaside resorts to suit all tastes and budgets, from elegant Victorian architecture to contemporary beachfront developments. Travel to the Belgian Coast is easy by train or car, and getting around the coast is made convenient by the coastal tram that links all the coastal towns. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an active getaway, the Belgian Coast has something to offer for everyone.