Route: Cocktail at sunset 

Duration: 1/2 day or full day

De Haven van Zandvoort

  • Take a train from Amsterdam Central Station (platform 1) to Zandvoort aan Zee (25 minutes). Located almost directly west of Amsterdam and surrounded by the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, Zandvoort aan Zee is the perfect spot for a relaxing day at the beach. 
  • Chill out at one of the many beach clubs, such as Safari Lodge or De Haven van Zandvoort, and stroll the endless sandy coastline. Not far from the seafront is a fine selection of shops. Choose from antique and jewellery boutiques, trendy clothes stores and, of course, a surf shop. 
  • Racing enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Circuit Park Zandvoort, nestled amid the dunes. Check their website for details of upcoming Formula 3, motor and GP events.
  • For something less strenuous, take a short romantic stroll from Zandvoort aan Zee to Bloemendaal aan Zee for fine cocktails and stunning sea views. If you don’t want to walk back to Zandvoort, catch bus 81 from Bloemendaal Strand. And if you’re not quite ready to come back to Amsterdam, extend your visit with an overnight stay (prices from €75 per night). 

Route: Raw Beauty 

Duration: full day

Forteiland IJmuiden

  • Take bus 82 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to IJmuiden aan Zee, last stop (30 minutes). Walk through the bunker-studded dunes, where enormous ships are disappearing over the horizon. Or walk literally kilometres into the sea along one of the two piers. These provide stunning views of the harbour and the many passing freight and cruise ships as well as the North Sea. IJmuiden aan Zee is known for its fresh fish, and a visit would not be complete without sampling the catch of the day. 
  • Continue on by water taxi from IJmuiden to Wijk aan Zee. The water taxi across the North Sea canal costs just 4 for a return ticket and also stops at Forteiland (Fortress Island) on the first Sunday of every month. Forteiland is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Every piece of this imposing structure carries echoes of the past. 
  • If you’re heading back from IJmuiden to Amsterdam, you may like to visit the Spaarnwoude recreational area (bus 82, Golfbaan stop). There are tons of activities including indoor skiing, paintballing and climbing. Bus 82 will take you back to Amsterdam. 

Route: Wind, water, beach 

Duration: full day

  • Looking for some action? Take bus 82 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station to IJmuiden aan Zee, which is known for its raw beauty and outdoor sports. If you arrive by bus, it’s a short walk to the marina where you can rent a powerboat/RIB boat through ProRib Events
  • For a slower start to the day, try SUP or surf lessons at Seaside Sports or Hightide. Then rent an electric bike at Dutch Pedelec Tours and explore this unique region in a unique manner. 
  • At the 'Noordpier' beach you can take water sport lessons at OZ lines or Outstanding Events. Wijk aan Zee’s beach is the widest in Holland and is especially popular with blokarters and kite-surfers. It also offers several laid-back beach clubs. 
  • To reach Wijk aan Zee take a train to Beverwijk from Amsterdam Central Station and then bus 74 from Beverwijk. 

Route: Dutch Dunes 

Duration: 1/2 day or full day

  • Take a train from Amsterdam Central Station (platform 1) to Zandvoort aan Zee
  • The best way to explore the rolling Dutch dunes is on foot or by bike through the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Bikes can be rented from the Zandvoort Tourist Information Centre (VVV) A or Behind The Beach Bike Rental (in the town centre). The magnificent dunes area is famed for its more than 200 different species of birds, rabbits, red deer, roe deer and large grazers such as cows, horses and the special bison known as Wisent. 
  • Besides the rich flora and fauna, the dunes are also home to numerous carefully preserved manorial estates. One of the most spectacular is Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate (45 mins by bike from Zandvoort). This estate is also easily accessible on foot from Santpoort Noord train station. 
  • Want to explore the dunes from the beach at IJmuiden? Then join a Bunker Route walking tour, which takes in a number of impressive bunkers dotted around the dunes (book in advance). In fine weather, pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic en route. 
  • End your day with a cold drink and a perfect sunset in one of the many trendy beach clubs in Zandvoort aan Zee or neighbouring Bloemendaal aan Zee.