It took me a while to understand it’s possible to go to the beach in the Netherlands. When I moved to Amsterdam I didn’t realized the sea was so close and that it implied the presence of the beach. I realized that after a few months, when the summer broke – well let’s say when the temperatures reached 20/25 °C – and my Dutch friends started asking “so, shall we go to the beach this weekend?”.
The beach is wide and sandy, while the sea…well, I must say it’s not as clear and warm as the sea in Sardinia. The water is very clean, but the wind lifts the sand and makes the sea dark and unwelcoming. I like it anyway, maybe because I spent lots of summers in Romagna region in Italy, where the sea is not crystalline at all.
Dutch standards are a bit different from the Italian ones: as soon as the sun comes out and the temperatures are above 20 °C, everyone goes to the beach to enjoy the the clean air and the light. People often take a day off to go to the beach (since it’s very rare you must take advantage of the good weather, whether it’s during the weekend or in the middle of the week!) and there are often traffic jams close to the beach properties. If you live in Amsterdam, the closest beaches are in Zandvoort and Bloemingdale, reachable by train from the Amsterdam central station (or by bus number 80 from the stop in Marnixstraat).
When the weather is good, I often go there. Maybe just for a walk on the beach with the feet in the water.
Last time I went to Zandvoort, I had an orange juice at George no. 5, a cool cafe with a swimming pool, sun beds and a DJ for dancing nights on the beach.
The warm feeling on the skin, the wind carrying the smell of the sea, the laughter of happy people, the sun warming the heart: those are all excellent reasons to have a day excursion outside Amsterdam!