Beachcombing was once part of everyday life for the people of Zandvoort, as they sought out a means of earning additional income. While beachcombing is now more a hobby than a sideline, it still reveals numerous interesting finds. The juttersmuseum reveals a number of these surprising artefacts and curiosities collected from the local beach, including a series of messages sent in bottles from all over the world! The Juttersmu-ZEE-um also introduces facts about the local residents and their ties with the sea and the beach, while a highlight for kids is the museum’s sea aquarium. Entrance to this family museum is free!
Forteiland is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fortress was constructed in the 1880s to help defend the surrounding area and restrict shipping traffic heading for Amsterdam. During World War II, Fortress Island was used by the German soldiers as part of the Atlantic Wall, which is when its additional military bunkers were constructed. This iconic post is half underground and is the defensive line’s largest building. Some of its most interesting features include an impressive dining hall, a dungeon and an armoury. Visit the island on `public days' that are held on the first Sunday of every month between March and November. In 2012, the attraction was awarded the Golden Green Key, becoming the first UNESCO World Heritage location to obtain a golden environmental label.
Sand Sculpture Festival
Every year, mountains of sand will be formed into the most beautiful and detailed sculptures during Zandvoort’s Sand Sculpture Festival. Participants from all over Europe are given a week to complete their creation. The structure of beach sand is unsuitable for making such sculptures, so special river sand is brought in for the occasion. The impressive sand creations can be seen on several of Zandvoort’s squares, both in town and along the boulevard. The Sand Sculpture Festival can be visited for free until the end of October when the sculptures are removed.
Sand Sculpture Festival, Zandvoort
Fort bij Vijfhuizen is a former military fort located just south of Haarlem. It was once part of Amsterdam's Defence Line, a 135 km-long ring of defensive structures that once served to protect the city. The fort was restored in the early 2000s and is now used as a centre for contemporary art, complete with a restaurant. It also hosts film screenings, business functions, and is an excellent departure point for local cycling and walking routes.
Luminocity Beach Festival
The Netherlands and trance music are inextricably linked and superstar-DJs such as Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and DJ Tiesto are Dutch. At the Luminosity Beach Festival, three days of pure trance are on the cards. Major international acts and up-and-coming talents take to the decks. At this outdoor trance festival, you can feel the beats as well as the sand between your toes! Every summer edition is set to deliver blistering sets from big names.
Luminosity Beach Festival, Bloemendaal
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Dutch industry was dependent on the import of iron and steel from other countries. Entrepreneur H.J.E Wenckebach decided to change that and set up his own steel ovens company. The factory is still in use and is a true monument of Dutch industrial heritage. The Hoogovens Museum is located in the factory’s old tube foundry, just outside Tata Steel. Learn about the raw history of the iron and steel industry in IJmuiden, musing over the objects, historical documents, photos and film material.
Hoogovens Museum, IJmuiden
Located to the south of Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen make up a nature reserve, which also helps supply drinking water for Amsterdam. The hundreds of dunes of the Waterleidingduinen filter rainwater, the first step in the process of creating fresh drinking water for the city’s residents. It’s a great place for a walk, run or hike, but bicycles aren’t allowed in - helping to protect the dune landscape. Instead, a dedicated cycle path connects the park to the coastline. It’s not uncommon to see wild foxes romping through the underbrush and deer grazing in the dunes. And there’s naturally also plenty of plant life: the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is home to the largest array of toadstools and mushrooms in the Netherlands.
Culture lovers heading to Amsterdam Beach will be pleasantly surprised by Country Estate Beeckestijn, an 18th-century summer residence in Velsen-Zuid. The estate is rich with history and features a massive, unique landscaped garden that’s perfect for a midday stroll. A long period of restoration in a number of stages, which started back in 1969, will see the gardens restored to their former 18th-century glory. The combination of two different styles - the geometric gardens in baroque style and the more playful landscaped garden - is unique in the Netherlands. Here you can find a rose garden with pergola, a herb garden with a serpentine wall, symmetrically shaped formal flower beds and a cherry garden. In addition, the gardens have been laid out with ponds, garden sculptures and original features, such as the ice house and the gardener’s cottage.
Duin & Kruidberg
Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate is a beautiful estate with a rich history, located in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. The estate was bought by the later king Willem III in 1682 and was soon nicknamed 't Princenbosch, the prince’s forest. The prince used the country house as a hunting lodge and as a smaller version of Het Loo Palace. The mansion, which resembles a small castle, now houses a four star hotel and several restaurants. Perfect after a walk or cycle tour in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort-Noord
Hans Davids Museum
HDMZ is a brand new museum where residents and tourists alike can enjoy the rich and eventful history of Zandvoort. Enjoy modern and contemporary visual art from the special private collection and watch the award-winning 360 panorama video of the city.
Learn everything about Zandvoort’s heritage at this centre for art and culture, right in the middle of the town of Zandvoort and only a short walk from the beach. Zandvoorts Museum offers creative workshops, activities by the museum theatre and a temporary exhibition. Must do: go on one of the walks and guided tours through the old city centre.
Zandvoorts Museum, Zandvoort