De Haan, Belgium  » Travel  »
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  • After such a hectic week, especially with the start of the school year last Tuesday, my husband and I decided that we should get out of Brussels and go for a day trip to the coast
  • All in all, De Haan is a nice, quiet and easy trip which I could recommend

    • by bethbarl

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      Nearly everything I do here is based on the weather. After such a hectic week, especially with the start of the school year last Tuesday, my husband and I decided that we should get out of Brussels and go for a day trip to the coast. Everyone in my family loves the coast or the beach but staying 4 years previously in a landlocked county did not give us lots of opportunities to visit the sea (unless we did specific trips to Namibia, South Africa or Mozambique. It was raining in the morning of Sunday and we actually thought that it would be the same weather in the coast. Having stayed most of the time in either Knokke or Nieuwvliet-Bad in the past visits, we thought we should find something different.

      De Haan fits the bill. It is not as crowded as Knokke and it does not take long to reach the place. To get there from Brussels, you have to take the Ring (E40) and follow the panel leading to Oostende. When traffic conditions are fluid, you will reach De Haan in 1 hour and

      15 minutes which is not such a long travelling time. Once you reach Oostende just follow the panel going to De Haan or Coq in French. The roads are not bad and in the middle of these national ways, you will see trams going to Knokke (for those who prefer not to drive). There are several beaches along the Oostende road and we intend to discover each one every chance we can get. For us, it is way simpler to go from Brussels to the coast than do it from Luxembourg.

      De Haan is a tiny seaside coast village but has everything you would need on a smaller and more manageable scale than what you would get in Knokke, for instance. The beach is not so big and it seems to be better organized. For instance, we rented a go cart for an hour to cycle on the esplanade (€15 per hour, the kids get a lollipop afterwards and no ID needed - it is on a trust basis). Not all areas on the esplanade though are accessible for go-karting and we could only go in specially ...

      • designated places. As the area is small,it is not such an overwhelming place to cycle around. There are also enough parking places (no need to pay on a Sunday or if you don’t see parking meters).

        The beach itself is not so crowded and there is always a place to walk, play with the kites, kite surf and other beach activities. Although the weather was very cooperative that day, I am pretty sure that the water is cold (could not believe several people were swimming in the sea).

        For dining and restaurants, there are plenty on the esplanade. Tea rooms are also available for some coffee, tea and the most pleasing are pasties like cake or pies. Most of the restaurants serve seafood, mussels and oysters.

        Taverne Tiffany’s is a restaurant on the Zeedijk which serves a variety of seafood, meat and pasta. The portions are quite big and during the second course, I gave up. Budget about €147 for a family of 4 in this restaurant and you should eat well. Credit card or any sort of debit card is not accepted in most restaurants here

        (which is odd). Everything has to be paid in cash.

        Otherwise, there are enough amusement activities from the park where you can also rent go-karts, skateboards or simply sit on a terrace taking a sunbath and relaxing. For my kids, they wanted to hire a go kart to pedal together as a family and played putt-putt or mini-golf (La Potiniere Mini-Golf costs €4 per hour per play; open daily until 6 p.m.).

        Like most of the seaside places here in Belgium, it is also possible to rent apartments, houses to even up to a year. Prices vary but will probably save you hotel accommodation money in the long run if you make a weekly trip to the coast.

        All in all, De Haan is a nice, quiet and easy trip which I could recommend. The travelling time is not so bad, the beach is not crowded unlike Knokke, there are plenty of things to do in the area and prices are reasonable by European standards. It’s not the St. Tropez but just the same you get the sea, good food and recreational activities.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in September, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3817091269471230/k2311a0917/9.17.10
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