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#BelgianSummer – Seaside holidays at the North Sea

July 11, 2020

Seaside holidays at the North Sea

July is the month of the Belgian national holiday and the Flemish Community holiday. So for its first series of #BelgianSummer articles, Imagine Belgium puts Flanders in the spotlight.

De Panne, Ostend, Knokke Le Zoute, many of you will enjoy the Belgian coast this summer. So why not visit the surrounding areas and enjoy what Flanders has to offer beyond its beautiful beaches?

To get from one city to another, nothing better than the Coastal Tram and its 67 km of spectacular panorama between Knokke and de Panne, the longest coastal tramway line in the world. It would be a shame to miss it!

This summer, let’s challenge ourselves with the TikTok Tour to discover 10 mythical places in Ostend! A great initiative that makes Ostend the first TikTok city in Belgium! Our team started using the app just for the occasion. To take full advantage of the « City by the Sea », the Zomer in O festival has concocted a cultural programme that will delight you after a few months of lockdown.

If you like street art, Ostend is THE place not to be on the coast. The Crystal Ship is the art festival that turned Ostend into a real open-air gallery. Treat yourself to a street art tour with a guide or with the free Crystal Ship Chatbot accessible in Dutch via Messenger.

Not far from there, go and see the Atlantikwall in Raversyde, the former German defence line, and Fort Napoleon which offers a brand new trail on the history of the site.

De Panne is also reinventing tourism with its brand new city game Rosalie, where children go exploring the Dumont district with their iPad looking for 10 QR codes to complete lots of fun challenges.

De Panne is surrounded by four nature reserves. So between two swims at the beach, go play in the dunes of the Westhoek Reserve.

In case of rain (let’s not be fooled, it often rains in Belgium), just a few meters from the beach in Koksijde, the Delvaux Museum is a must in town and an ideal alternative on rainy days. Just next door is the National Fishing Museum in Oostduinkerke to learn more about the inescapable shrimp fishing on horseback. Don’t worry, we didn’t know what it was either. In fact, it is a real local craft and an ancestral tradition, recognized as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! Enough to create vocations among little budding fishermen this summer!

In Blankenberge you can observe different types of animals like at the nature reserve Uitkerkse Polder where migratory birds are passing through and at the SeaLife Aquarium for fish watching. There is even a Seal Rescue Centre where the sick pups are cared for before being released into the sea.

Who says we can’t surf in the North Sea? In De Haan, there are some nice waves, so check the tide forecast and get your board out! This summer, try your hand at surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing, there’s an activity for everyone. Enjoy the sun and some waves to jump into the sea and experience lots of sensations. All you need now is the wavy hair strand!

With its luxury villas and cars, Knokke deserves its title of “Saint-Tropez of the North Sea”. But Knokke is above all a superb walk along the 9 km of the pedestrian seawall. Get away from the buzz of the city and observe nature in the Zwin Nature Park. Just a few kilometers away from Knokke, this area is considered to be the “international bird airport”. Take your binoculars with you… and be careful with landings!

Imagine Belgium has at heart to offer activities accessible to the greatest number of people. As of this summer, we offer the opportunity to try our brand new virtual reality experience to discover Belgium from the Grand Place of Brussels. Find out more here.

Written by Mathilde Pareja

Meet Mathilde, our new Content Creator After 2 years working at the European Parliament and a solo trip in New Zealand, Mathilde is ready for new challenges. She loves traveling and meeting new people. And you can definitely spend hours talking about everything with her!

July 11, 2020

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