I’m excited to present my first guest post, written by Nicole Basaraba, a lovely Canadian writer living in Europe. I met her via her entertaining travel and book lover’s blog, www.universecityblog.wordpress.com. She kindly offered to share a Belgian beach getaway with us today. In return, I’ll be posting my review of THE HELP on her blog later next week. Please feel free to comment as usual, and enjoy this bonus mini-escape!
A Weekend Getaway in De Haan, Belgium
Guest post by Nicole Basaraba at www.universecityblog.wordpress.com
While the weather isn’t known to be the best in Belgium, ok its not known to even be good, but when the sun decides to make an appearance most people head to the North Sea.
The word, North, automatically makes you think – cold – and its true it can be chilly, but if you want a weekend away in early spring or late summer, De Haan is the place to go on the Belgian coast.
There are quite a few cities to visit along the Belgian coast, but De Haan is the most inviting. It’s smaller than the popular Oostende and I find that every time we are driving away from De Haan into the sunset I’m always wishing that we could stay longer.
De Haan is in the Flemish part of Belgium and the people are always friendly and cheerful. The residents of these coastal cities dress differently than people living in other parts of the Belgium. You will see young and older people alike riding their bicycles wearing white pants, pastel or navy blue shirts, bright red shoes and hats. They have the sailor-look down pat.
The main street in De Haan is narrow, allows cars, and also happens to be one of the cleanest main shopping streets I’ve seen in Belgium. The shops have tall glass windows with an endless display of pristine clothing, shoes, beachwear, perfumes and other toys that are dying for you to buy them.
You can bring a towel or pay a fee to rent a lounging chair to bask in the sun for the afternoon on the longest sandy beach on the Belgian coast. If you want to be closer to the main road with access to bathrooms, restaurants and terraces to enjoy a cool drink and a snack, then the top of the beach is where to set up camp. Or if you plan on getting a great tan, playing Frisbee and splashing in the salty water you can walk down to the lower end of the beach and sit where the real action is at.
Traveler’s tip: There aren’t any lifeguards to be seen scoping out the waters, so make sure that you keep an eye on your children. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about any sharks or jellyfish.
De Haan is also known for its sand dunnes. So if you’re spending a weekend, you may want to dedicate a full day to sunbathing and frolicking on the beach and another day to enjoying the views of the sand dunnes, the picturesque villas with the endless balconies, window shopping along streets lined with flowers and visiting the two windmills: Hubert Mill and Geerssens Mill.
The best part about De Haan is not only its beauty and charm, but that it has a population of about 12,000 so it doesn’t get overcrowded like some seaside destinations in Europe and you’re sure to find relaxation.
For more information about De Haan tourism, visit this website. http://www.dehaan.be/vertaling_engels/toerisme.htm
For more photos of the De Haan beach, visit Nicole Basaraba’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicole-Basarabas-Uni-verse-city/135767209800581
Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian expat working in print/web publishing in Brussels, Belgium – the land of chocolate. When she’s not eating chocolate and blogging about her European travels, you can find her writing, chatting on various social media, curled up with a good book, watching a movie or hitting the beach.