After an exceptionally long spring (that often felt more like autumn), filled with lockdowns, curfews, and sideways rain; summer seems to have bloomed in the North. With temperatures in the next few weeks reaching the heady heights of almost 25 degrees centigrade (!), here’s some of the best places to head to for beach tennis, sandcastle-building, and maybe even a spot of light swimming.
Sometimes called ‘The Frisian Malibu’, Makkum is located on the western Frisian coast and has kilometres of lovely sandy beaches. It’s just inside the Afsluitdijk, and is lapped by the IJsselmeer’s gentle waves. Aside from a lovely beachfront boulevard, and a pretty town center, Makkum also has a well-regarded ceramics museum (a previous speciality of the area) for if there’s any unexpected rainfall.
Drenthe: ‘t Nije Hemelriek
Now Drenthe doesn’t actually have a coastline, but it more than makes up for it with a Caribbean-esque series of beaches, with clear blue water, at ‘t Nije Hemelriek. It’s near the village of Gasselte in Northern Drenthe, and was formed thanks to large-scale sand excavation. The colour of the water has to be seen to be believed, and there is a restaurant just behind the beach (as well as other facilities).
Friesland: The Wadden Islands: Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling, Vlieland; Ameland
There are four Wadden Islands that are part of Friesland, and are reachable from various ferry ports along the Frisian coast. Whether you visit the (slightly) more wild Terschelling, or live it up in the luxurious villages on Ameland, all of the islands have unique history, kilometres of beaches; and plenty of places to stay.
Now, despite having quite a long coastline, much of Groningen’s coast is made up of mud flats: great for bird-watching, but not quite as great for relaxing. However, a new city beach has just opened at Delfzijl, which is accessible by train from Groningen station in about half an hour. The new beach and promenade are clean, sandy, and (usually) quite quiet, too!