The seaside destination you don't expect is Belgium! Welcome to the homeland of some of the Europe's most beautiful beaches, where you will be surprised to discover that the sea is really beautiful and art is the setting for a hospitable country, made of good food and enchanting landscapes.
Few have yet understood the beauty of the coasts of Belgium, and this perhaps makes them even more beautiful and interesting to visit. With its 70 kilometres of sand, there is something for all tastes. And so a trip to the cities of art in the country can offer also many diversions around the coast, where there is a sea waiting for the tourist that seems painted with watercolours on the golden sand. There are few people around and you can enjoy a seaside stay between activities.
To make it easier for you to find the right beach for you, we have selected a large list of Belgium's best beach venues. That's why all you have to do is buy your ticket and pack your bags: we'll take care of the tour!
- Ostend Beach
- Knokke-Heist beaches
- De Panne Beach
- Blankenberge Beach
- De Haan Beach
- Bredene Beaches
- Oostduinkerke Beach
- Koksijde Beach
- Nieuwpoort Beach
- Zeebrugge Beach
- Middelkerke Beach
- Wenduine Beach
- Sint-Idesbald Beach
- Maboge Beach
- Westende-Bad Beach
- Lommel Beach
- Raversijde Beach
In the heart of the Belgian coast, in Flanders, we find Ostende (which you'll also find written as Oostende or Ostende), a popular seaside destination for all residents living in the area. The golden beach throws itself headlong into a quiet and rather warm sea, and the facilities offer all the comforts necessary for a relaxing stay. Ostend is perfect for the whole family, including children, and offers an oasis of peace and relaxation just a 30-minute train ride from Brussels, a feature not to be underestimated if you are on holiday nearby! Come to Ostend for the sea and a tan, and then stay in the area for the art exhibitions, temporary installations and a tour of the city centre.
After a day of sun and sea you can in fact enjoy the beauties of a city that has so much to offer its tourists and is characterised by its long tradition of hospitality. Stop at one of the many eateries around here and enjoy the best of local food, of which we must absolutely mention the mussel and shrimp croquettes. Crispy outside and creamy inside, they are the perfect end to a 100% Belgian day. If you arrive in Ostend in August, you can enjoy the TAZ Festival, or the "Theatre on the Sea", a must for all culture lovers. Between dances, concerts and literary debates, you will discover that this city hides a sensitive artistic spirit. For example, you'll want to check out the museum of James Ensor, a famous local painter with a strong sense for the macabre. You can't miss a visit to the Mu.ZEE, a museum of contemporary art that exhibits the works of artists of our times in combination with wonderful historical masterpieces. And, speaking of history, don't forget that you are in Ostend, an important German maritime hub in World War I: around the city you will find a series of audio guides available to help you understand its history.
If you love adventure, you can instead decide to board one of the fishing boats departing from the various piers: the excursion lasts all day, and you can keep everything you manage to catch.
The beauty of Belgium's beaches lies in their simplicity: golden sand, scent of saline, blue sea and the pleasant feeling of not being too far from some of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Welcome to Knokke, also known as Knokke-Heist. Located on the north side of the Belgian coast, this seaside area offers long walks, good food and delicious shopping centres for shopping. It is the VIP area of the coast, and as a result offers a number of truly exclusive luxury accommodation solutions. And despite this, with a little research you can take a dip in the Knokke sea without spending a fortune: just search carefully! This destination is perhaps the most glamorous and exclusive in the whole of Belgium, and offers tourists a rather picturesque insight into the good life of the place.
Knokke is beautiful in all seasons, but in summer especially it manages to give its best: the golden coast is in fact lapped by the waves of the North Sea that, especially in the warmer months, welcomes you with its gentle and warm waves. The coast stretches for kilometres and is dotted with sand dunes, pastel-coloured huts and blue and white striped screens: it will be a pleasure to position your lounge chair and fall asleep in the sun in such a place. If you're a nightlife lover, Knokke-Heist is definitely your holiday destination in Belgium: suntan by day, aperitif in the evening and dances in the various clubs on the sand.
You will also be enchanted by the goodness of the food: Knokke is famous for its fresh fish catch, and brings excellent crustaceans, salads and many other goodness all to discover in the excellent restaurants. After a nice lunch of prawns, eaten strictly at the beach, all you have to do is immerse yourself in luxury shopping in the city centre streets. Knokke is more beautiful when visited slowly: take a walk or rent a bike to experience its 100% charm. If you need an extra thrill, you can always try your hand at surfing: Several bathing facilities here offer all the necessary equipment for a day of water sports.
In Knokke there is a beautiful tradition: paper flowers, to be sold strictly in exchange for shells. It is a local custom that over time has spread to the rest of the coast. The children create beautiful paper flowers and decorate them with whatever they find, then place them in the sand and wait for other children to buy them in exchange for... shells. The more colourful the flower, the higher its price!
De Panne Beach
The beach in the town of De Panne is as white as a tropical one and offers a vast coastline entirely dedicated to true fans of days at the seaside. It is no coincidence, therefore, that De Panne is amongst the main beaches of the country, and hosts thousands and thousands of tourists each year who are attracted by its beauty.
The city of De Panne was recorded in history, for the first time, in 1831, when King Leopold I set foot there, declaring it his own. Its sandy dunes, along with those of Dunkerque, have since become famous as the theatre of the famous "Operation Dynamo", in 1940, when a miraculous mass evacuation of Allied forces against the Nazi Empire took place. Both events are commemorated in the town centre: the former by a monument, the latter by a World War II museum with free entry. The town is also equipped with several bike paths that allow long bike rides, mostly flat, ideal for the whole family.
Currently, De Panne has turned into a popular destination for tourists where the beaches, above all, play a key role, especially in the summer. The white sand is thrown into a cosy North Sea and houses a series of luxury beach and bistro facilities, ideal for a stay made of relaxation and, inevitably, good food. This is the right location to bring the children as well: in summer the coast comes alive and you just have to look around to get the little ones involved in organised activities, such as sandcastle races or baby lifeguards. Guaranteed fun!
Welcome to Blankenberge, where each year, the sandy beaches offer a beautiful haunt for tourists who love the relaxation and the sweet scent of the sea. Once, these borders were the favourite destination for holidaymakers looking for luxury. Think, for example, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who in 1914 had to come here to enjoy his holidays following his official engagement. Today, however, Blankenberge offers fun and relaxation for all budgets.
Despite not having the same decadent allure as the French Riviera, the Belgian coast retains a very special charm that residents are madly in love with. All you need is a stay in one of these locations, such as Blankenberge, to learn to look at these beaches with the same eyes as those who have enjoyed them since childhood. Arriving at Blankenberge, take a walk around the town and enjoy the atmosphere of local bars and restaurants. Stop at the casino, which, with its Art Deco style, is worth seeing even if you don't care about the game. The Belle Epoque Centrum is also worth seeing. It is a museum set up in the heart of some Belle Epoque-style houses – a design current that was extremely popular in this area before the First World War.
If you arrive in August, you may run into the spectacular flower festival held annually on the beach: dozens of floats decorated with thousands of fresh flowers and surrounded by people in costume, ready to celebrate life and beauty.
De Haan Beach
De Haan is a delightful village overlooking the North Sea in Belgium. Its beaches, the longest on the Belgian coast, offer a safe haven every year for residents and foreigners, looking for not only a sandy strip where you can lie in the sun, but also of a lovely wooded landscape, where calm and serenity prevail over all the tourist life of the equipped bathing areas. De Haan offers a good 12 kilometres of coastline up to 80 metres wide where there are people around, but, at the same time, you can relax under the umbrella without the worry of waking up after a nap immersed in the midday rush, as can happen in other locations.
Come to De Haan for the tan and stay for the water sports: Several coastal resorts offer everything you need for windsurfing, water skiing and many other adrenaline-fuelled activities that will give a boost to your Belgian experience.
Nearby, there is also a nature park you can visit on foot, bike or on horseback: the unspoiled nature of this little hidden gem will give that extra touch to your holiday.
Grass growing amongst the sand dunes, a watercolour-painted sea and a rusty, soft sand under your feet. Welcome to Bredene, one of the small hidden jewels of the nearly 70 kilometres of coastline of Belgium. The lovely beach of this place offers tourists a safe shelter from the popular tourist areas and a few glimpses of unspoiled maritime landscape. Several properties on the coast provide equipment for hire for water sports like kite surfing, windsurfing and more. To fully enjoy the potential of this location, however, you need nothing but a lounge chair and a camera.
In recent years, Bredene has also become famous as it hosts the only beach for nudists on the entire Belgian coast.
At low tide, Oostduinkerke beach is over a kilometre wide. Overlooking the North Sea, this strip of Belgian coastline stretches as far as Dunkirk and is characterised by spectacular sand dunes sprinkled with green grass. Here the currents are quite strong, and it is advisable to bathe only when the coastguards are on duty, to make the swimming experience much safer. At the same time, the location is perfect for water sports, such as the very popular windsurfing.
Those who prefer sunbathing and relaxation can rent a parasol in one of the many bathing facilities that stand along the coast, where you can enjoy the hot days of Oostduinkerke without having to worry about anything: here, in fact, there are plenty of bars and restaurants where eating is an authentic pleasure. It will be the food that completes your all-encompassing Belgian experience!
Despite enjoying only 70 kilometres of coastline, Belgium has made sure to make the most of its seaside resources. Koksijde beach offers bathers and water sports enthusiasts a perfect location to relax on the immaculate sand and enjoy the waves of the North Sea. Come here if you want to avoid the rush of beaches like De Panne or Ostend and enjoy magnificent sunshine just a few metres from some of the most delicious restaurants in the whole country. Koksijde has become the home of a pack of seals that can be admired in certain seasons.
The beaches of this destination are perfect for anyone who dreams of a few hours of relaxation in the sun or to recharge their batteries in an oasis of peace. To really get the most out of the peace, just take your own towel and get away from the establishments. If you want to swim, however, remember to keep sight of one of the many lifeguards operating on the coast: the waters here are moved by pretty strong currents that require a little attention.
Welcome at the seaside resort and mediaeval port of Nieuwpoort, one of the many delicious attractions on the Belgian coast. The city is divided into two main parts: the old town, with small houses and cobblestone streets dating back to the Middle Ages, and the newer coastal part, equipped with establishments, hotels, restaurants and apartments. The Nieuwpoort bell tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth a visit at any time of your stay in this delightful city. Throughout its history, Nieuwpoort has suffered a series of sieges that have never really managed to break its spirit. The town has always managed to rise from the ashes, bringing with it a piece of history to show off with historical pride. Nieuwpoort is the perfect destination for all the tourists who are looking for a place suitable for fishing or water sports, but it also offers many excursions for fans of European history. In short: here there is a bit of everything, and every member of the family will be able to find the perfect activity for their dream holidays.
Near one of Europe's largest ports for yachts, don't miss the art installation "Le vent souffle où veut" (The wind blows wherever it pleases), designed by Daniel Buren for the Beaufort03. High metal poles installed at identical distances offer the illusion of a dense bush that ends, at the highest end, with a plethora of colourful bands.
Along one of the Nieuwpoort's artificial canals instead, there is the monument to the fallen of the Belgian front and the statue dedicated to their commander, King Albert I. Built with encouragement from the National Association of Veterans in 1938, it was made of clay from the national park that stands around the river Ijzer.
Come to Bruges for history and be enchanted, instead, by its beautiful beaches. Calm, lapped by a sea that is always sparkling and full of opportunities for spend each day in a slightly different way. There is room for all and the sand is always clean and cared for. According to a number of guides, it is also the only coastal area in Belgium where you can take advantage of ample free parking, a feature that Bruges also boasts on its official website. For those who love history, a good walk around the old port area is a must, currently destined for the landing of fishermen. Here you can breathe a mysterious, characteristic atmosphere that will make you fall in love. Stop for a dinner at one of the many local restaurants and let yourself enjoy a truly special dining experience.
Here you can visit one of Europe's largest fish markets, or decide to spend an afternoon immersed in the legacies of the past. Take, for example, the St George's day monument, a reminder of the First World War from where a number of scenic walkways start that lead tourists to admire the Belgian coast as they have never seen it before. We recommend that you bring a camera with you!
Welcome to Middelkerke, the beach you've always dreamed of. Wide, empty and lapped by a gentle North Sea, this beautiful strip of coastline is perfect for a summer holiday decidedly out of the ordinary and, at the same time, in the name of relaxing bathing just a few kilometres from some of the most beautiful city centres in Belgium.
Middelkerke is a destination for fans of beach holidays looking for a corner of paradise where you can sunbathe, take long walks on the beach or enjoy water sports. The beach resorts keep the sand clean and offer all the conveniences you'd expect from a nice seaside resort: renting umbrellas and loungers, bars, restaurants and small shops where you can get caught up in the mad shopping.
The Belgian coast princess is Wenduine, a beautiful and welcoming town that is also one of the favourite ‘pearls’ of the coast. It is a perfect location for the whole family, with a special attention for the spa treatments, sandy beaches and a multitude of activities that are a bit outside classic beach life. Here you can enjoy the North Sea from one of the many organised establishments, the sand as soft as a cloud and a number of opportunities to relax. You can also trek, play tennis or mini golf, ride a bike, fish, horseback or surf. There are many options all at your disposal: the only limit is your imagination!
Wenduine is very proud of its beach, which is located a few kilometres from De Haan and is perfect for a stay of sun, seafood restaurants and relaxation.
Westende is divided into two parts: Westende-bad, the seaside area, and Westende-dorp, which is the city centre. It is easily reached from Middelkerke and offers its few but good tourists a clean and pristine beach and all the necessary equipment for a truly relaxing stay.
The beach comes alive especially during the period of July and August, when the activities buzz and you can have fun during the hottest hours of the day in a friendly climate. Westende is also the ideal destination for those looking for rest and relaxation just a few kilometres from some of Belgium's most important centres, which can always be visited between one afternoon at the beach and another. Here, too, the currents of the North Sea can be quite strong, so it is recommended to bathe only under the watchful supervision of the lifeguards, on duty during the day.
Westende offers its tourists the best of relaxation and local gastronomy: you will be enchanted by the goodness of the dishes offered by the local restaurants and bistros, who with their experience in the sector know how to make every holiday on the Belgian coast unforgettable.
Leave for Belgium with Costa Cruises
Get on board a Costa Cruise and don't miss the opportunity to relax on Belgium's most beautiful beaches. From the famous beach of Ostend, with its golden sand and a calm and peaceful sea, to Bredene beach, a paradise for water sports lovers. Don't wait any longer and leave for a relaxing holiday on the beaches of Belgium!