Overview: Zandvoort is a *major* resort area. There are tons of hotels, cabins, car camping and tent camping areas. Zandvoort's almost 200-year old popularity as a tourist resort is reflected by the fact that half the local population is directly employed by the tourist industry. Things to do include sun-bathing, swimming (beware rip tides), hang gliding, sailing, hiking, biking (which is true everywhere in the Netherlands), golf and motorsports (at the world famous Circuit Park Zandvoort). On weekends and holidays, it is jammed. Basically, it is the Jersey Shore, without the garbage, spray tans or attitude.
Nudity: Yes, this is the Netherlands, but families need not worry as nudity is not allowed on the majority of the beach. Nudity is only allowed in specified areas. In Zandvoort, the clothing-optional area is between poles 68 and 71, off paved roads, just south of town.
Hike: The immediate park around Zandvoort is about 20km long by 5km wide, with unbroken beach stretching from IJmuiden 45km south to Den Haag ("The Hague"). There are literally hundreds of kilometers of possible hiking / biking in the park. Basically, you can pick your own path, going where you will on the beach, or back in the dunes. The only restriction being don't cross a fence, or violate a "Toegang Verboden!" ("do not enter") sign. The berm of the dune immediately behind the beach is off limits, but the lower dunes behind it are free reign.
This description describes the route I took, which hits a little bit of everything: Start at the Parnassia cafe. Walk down the sandy access to the beach, then head south towards Zandvoort. Take your time. Do it barefoot. (Like I said, it's clean, so no worry about stepping on sharp stuff.) Walk in the water. Hold hands. :-)
In a mile, at the next beach access, go up over the berm, cross the road, then turn right up the path. Walk until you get to the N200 road you drove in on, crossing the parking area on the other side. To the right of the paved path, will be a dirt trail; take that. If you look ahead, you will see a tall signal tower: That is what we are aiming for (helps keep you from getting turned around in the dunes). Work your way south on a combination of dune and bike trails until you come to several small ponds. You have gone about 2.0 miles.
Just past the ponds will be a trail to your right; take that. In about .3 miles, you will cross what looks a corral gate. (There are wild cattle in the dunes.) Cross it, turning right up what is more like a jeep trail. When you reach an open, sandy area, turn left towards the tower, staying left of the house. When you get to the track, you have gone about 3.0 miles. You can walk right up to the fence, no problem, no fee, even when they are racing. It's great viewing.
Work your way clockwise around the track, either on the gravel access road, or on a trail a bit higher up on the berm. You will pass a golf course on your left, and then some small lakes, also on your left. Continue until you see a paved parking area; you have gone about 4.0 miles.
Head for the building (track offices) on the west end of the parking area. Exit the track grounds, then turn right up the voetpad ("sidewalk") to the traffic circle. You can descend to the beach for some more surf & sand walking, or stroll along the voetpad until you arrive at the De Zeemeermin ("The Mermaid") fish shack. The Centre Parc Hotel is across the street. End of hike. You have gone about 5.4 miles.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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