The wild dune beaches of the Netherlands, that’s how The Telegraph described our ‘secret’ seaside a couple of years ago. Come to think of it, they are pretty amazing. And they're only a short bus ride from Rotterdam.
De Kwade Hoek and Goeree are only 55 kilometres west of Rotterdam. With big and deserted soft, powdery beaches they’re real hidden gems. And we didn’t even mention yet the endless wild dunes with cycling and foot paths.
Realm of wild
In 1953, a disastrous storm caused one of the most catastrophic floods in the Netherlands’ history. To stop such a disaster happening again, a series of dams was built, connecting the outermost islands and cutting off those behind. De Kwade Hoek (literally Nasty Corner) is one of the few spots left where beaches brave the open sea, and where the surges and shifting sands still hold sway. ‘The Goeree dunes that back the beaches are an untouched realm of wild flowers and busy bird life,’ The Telegraph wrote.
Peace, or oysters, mussels and beer
De Kwade Hoek sits at the tip of an island, and was a real island until it was connected to the mainland. To get there you need to aim for either Ouddorp or Goedereede, two beautiful old little towns with gabled houses. From there it’s half an hour walk to the sea, along the most beautiful footpaths. The dune paths are paved and great for cycling. You can rent bikes at Akershoek Fietsen (Dorpsweg 27, Ouddorp; 0031 187 681704).
The beach is wide and generally empty, but not the best place for swimming as the water can be quite shallow. If you go to the southern part (Strand Noord and Strand ‘t Flaauwe Werk) you’ll find better swimming beaches. But also more people – and places to get oysters, mussels, and beer.
How to get there: The Telegraph advises its readers to take a taxi from Schiphol Airport (!). But unless you are loaded, we would advise you to check 9292 for public transport. If you take the bus from Metro Spijkenisse it’s about 1 hour and 15 minutes to Ouddorp.