If you have read my blog before, you would know that a day at De Haan beach and woodlands was nowhere on our Europe itinerary. So here comes a post about our lucky goof-up that led us to a place off the beaten track on our well-planned vacation. Stay with us to know more about our story and the place itself.
The tram station is at the center of your De Haan tourist map. I later found that it is listed among the top places of interest at De Haan on wiki-voyage, so that confirms I am not the only one who found it fascinating. On one side of the station, there is a flight of steps upwards leading to the beach. This is also an amazing photo-point which gives you a great panoramic view of the city. We didn’t know this place had a name, let alone the fact that we were standing on the second-highest dune of Belgium until I checked the wiki. It’s called Spioenkop ( in case you go there and want to search for it on Maps) and is 31 meters above sea level. To go to the beach, you need to ascend the steps to Spioenkop and then descend on the other side.
This beach was nothing like what we had seen before. There was only one family apart from us nearby and far away we could see some tourist activity. As I said it was sunny and windy, and at the beach, the wind completely overpowered the sun. I realized that getting into those slippers and pajamas that I was dying to wear at the beach, was not such a great idea after all. Unlike the Mediterranean Sea, which is as calm as a lake, the North Sea has got the waves and the roar.
The 12 km long De Haan beach is the longest in Belgium. One side of the beach is throbbing with usual beach activities like paragliding and skiing, while the other side remains quiet, with families sitting enjoying quality time with their kids and some joggers. As you walk towards the west, it gets busier. At the far end in the west lies the only nude beach of Flanders coastline. De Haan beach is the cleanest public beach I’ve been to, so we were not surprised to know that the beach is cleaned daily during the summer when it is the most crowded. Here are some pictures we took there which does capture the unique serenity of the beach but not the feeling. Speaking of photos let’s head to what I consider a photographer’s paradise, our next stop of the day.
Once done with all that take a train to the Belgian capital and get back to your backpacking schedule. Read Saniya’s guide for the itinerary of Brussels. Did you like our off-beat travel story? Do you have any such funny travel story that you want to share? Share your thoughts in comments or mail us at [email protected] We will be glad to read and reply.
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The beach and the woodland areas look beautiful! I would love to visit here one day, thankyou for sharing!
Thank you for sharing! I would love to visit Belgium again soon!:)
waow it's so epic. an escape point from city ha? I will keep in mind when I visit Belgium again. Thanks for sharing
It looks exactly like the place where you can relax for a day, take it slow, enjoy some walks and some time with you family. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Love it when simple mix ups end up making the trip even better than was originally planned! De Haan seems like a very pretty and historical place to visit! I hadn't heard of it before but would definitely love to check it out the next time I'm in Belgium!
Glad that you love De Haan. The path looks so relaxing and it is lovely to walk just admire the place, looks quiet too. Hopefully to visit Belgium soon.
I have visited Belgium several times in my life and I have never heard of De Hann before bumping into your informative post. I will never stop learning and this is the most beautiful thing!
If only all mistakes were that pretty! It seems you have discovered an amazing place Sinjana! I can picture myself taking long walks on that beautiful beach. Thank you so much for sharing. We are definitely adding De Haan to our bucket list.
De Haan looks amazing! Thanks for this guide to such a lovely place. The Dune woodland area looks especially awesome.
I love it when travel plans go wrong but the wrong turns out to be so right! I haven’t heard of De Hann but it looks like a lovely place and it’s lovely to get off the tourist trail.
We would never have thought that Belgium had such a lovely beach! Thanks for pointing that out to us
I would love to see all these attractions in this amazing country. I've lived in Belgium but I've never been here. Beautiful spots
I have traveled to Belgium but not been to De Haan. While gazing at your pics I can imaging this is a fabulous destination to visit.
ah you've gotta love a good accomodation "mishap"! i had a similar experience in Switzerland but it always works out for the best. great post thanks for sharing!
I see De Haan turned out to be a little adventure for you! It looks like a very nice town indeed, very tranquil and peaceful
Villa Savoyarde, what an interesting story! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I'm sure Belgium is now in my travel bucket. I would love to visit this place.
I had not heard about De Haan but looking at your pictures it does look like an amazing place to visit.
I've never heard of De Haan but I'm intrigued, it sounds fantastic. Looks like it was a very worthy mistake.
Belgium is a beautiful country but you have explored some offbeat paths there which is again more beautiful thing to do. I love offbeat paths and therefore Dehaan interests me a lot. I loved that dunes and sea photo, what a contrast of nature with different shades of brown and blue.
This all looks absolutely wonderful. Your post makes me feel like I’m there!
Every new hidden gem I discover on the internet is welcome! Thanks for sharing this one with us. De Haan looks amazing!
Looks pretty of beaten. At least for me, I have friends in Belgium, and they never mentioned it. We only went to the places in Brussels and around.
Unplanned trips are always fun and exciting especially if you are way off the tourist tracks. Love the quaint little village and the coast.
Sometimes the unexpected turns out to be the best when traveling. Unplanned can be so much more fun!
Yes, this is definitely off the beaten tracks! Being based in Northern Germany, this all looks so familiar to me 😉
Sometimes when plans go wrong they actually go right. There are no expectations and you find yourself having a sweet surprise. De Haan sounds like one of those experiences for you. Great times.
I love it when life takes you by surprise and make you discover places that weren't even on your list! DeHaan beach and woodland look lovely!
Lovely pics and beautiful scenery, esp the beach and dunes! This is the way to make the best of a goof up!
I visited Belgium a few years ago, but I would love to go back and explore De Haan. It looks so beautiful, loved your photos. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic place.
The countryside and the beach here looks great – a very different option to consider for when we next visit Belgium. I hadn't even heard of De Haan. It sounds like a very tranquil place to explore nature.
I love your writing style. Haven’t visited De-Haan yet but from what you’ve written so far, sounds a lot of fun!
This is a very detailed post with so many things to do even for budget travelers. Visiting the dune woodland national park seems like an incredible ways to enjoy the wildlife in De Haan and then later hit the beach of De Haan to relax and enjoy the cool breeze.
I have friends, and relatives leaving in Belgium. I have never heard of Dehaan with their stories. I might be sharing this article to them, i'm sure they are familiar about this.
Great post by the way!
Never heard of De Haan and I'm from the Netherlands! Love hiddem gems like this and definitely want to explore more of Belgium
I have never been here bit it looks like a great place to visit, i love the way you write its very detailed post! and very nice pictures by the way! hope i can visit this place one day!
You and your husband are the perfect travelers – you take a mishap and make the best of it! While DeHaan may not have been one of your original destinations, I love that you went ahead with it and didn’t make a fuss with Ibis in Bruges. I love your tenacity at walking to the hotel even after taking the wrong tram. And I find it admirable that you took the time to explore, rather than just write the day off and take a nap! The beach is pretty, the neighborhood feels like an old town should, and you got to see a beautiful train station. All positives for DeHaan and you!
Oh dear, what a challenge getting to De Haan! I know exactly how you feel about paying extra because we hadn’t done our research prior to going somewhere and you’re kicking yourself because you can work out how much money you could have saved. And so weird the tram missed your stop! why would they do that? They should be stopping in every stop regardless of whether there are passengers or not. What a waste of 6 Euros. Well, De Haan and the woodlands look gorgeous so despite the challenges, well worth it right?