Belgian Coast travel guide

Everything you should know before planning a holiday in Belgian Coast, at a glance.

Everything you should know before planning a holiday at the Belgian Coast, at a glance. When go, the best sights and attractions, food and drinks not to miss. And the best boutique hotels at the Belgian Coast bookable online, just a click away. 

Although often overlooked by travellers, the Belgian coast is an great holiday destination. Cooler than its French counterpart, it's also more relaxed and less crowded, with miles of white sand beaches as well as coastal walking and cycling trails, historic cities and fantastic dining.


When to travel to Belgian Coast

A visit in summer is the best way to enjoy the Belgian coast in weather that lets you explore the beaches and not just stay in town. A holiday to the Belgian Coast is popular for taking the invigorating coast breeze and fill up with iodine, and fish feasts. 


Climate


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Average Temperature
°C 4 3 6 9 12 15 17 17 16 13 8 6
°F 38 37 43 47 53 58 63 63 60 55 46 42













Average Rainfall
mm 70 40 50 40 50 60 40 40 40 50 60 60
Days 8 5 6 6 4 6 5 4 7 6 5 6

Sights and attractions in Belgian Coast

The most famous of coastal Belgium's features are its long sand beaches. These gentle beaches stretch along Belgium's 70 km of North Sea coastline, attracting holidaymaker and nature lovers from throughout Belgium and, increasingly, the rest of Europe. The sandy coastline is dotted with resort towns, all of them linked by a tramway that runs from De Panne in the southwest to Knokke-Heist in the northeast. From the rustic charm of De Haan's thatched cottages to the busy modern resort of Blankenberg, the coast has a wide range of different beach experiences. 

Beach resorts aren't the only thing the Belgian coastline has to offer. The region's historic towns are well worth exploring. In just a short distance, the towns of the Belgian coastline showcase great cultural diversity. The southern stretch of coast is right by the French border, and it's not uncommon to hear French rather than Durch. The town of Ostend was once the playground of Belgium's idle rich, but the Second World War and subsequent decades of property development have not been kind. Still, there's a lot worth seeing here, and a walk along the beach to nearby Mariakerke's Our Lady of the Dunes is very rewarding. Music lovers can also follow the path of soul legend Marvin Gaye, who spent months in Ostend recovering from his substance abuse problem and rediscovering his faith. 

Nature lovers have a lot to enjoy on the Belgian coast. The Westhoek nature reserve is home to many local species, including pole cats and even wildcats. The Zwin's vast expanse of dune and salt marsh is home to dozens of species of bird, including avocets, cormorants and oystercatchers. The Coastal Walking Path covers 180 km of beaches, dunes and varied terrain, allowing walkers to get a feel for the Belgian coastal landscape. 

Perhaps more than anything else, sports such as surfing and windsurfing bring visitors to the Belgian coast. This region was also the birthplace of the unusual sport of land yachting, in which wheeled vehicles equipped with sails cruise across the dunes and flat land of the coast.

Major cities of the Belgian coast: Bruges, Zeebrugge, Ostend.

Main attractions of the Belgian coast: Bruges, sand beaches, casinos, surfing, nature reserves, seafood

Most beautiful villages of the Belgian coast: Le Zoute, De Haan.

Food and drinks of Belgian Coast

Perhaps unsurprisingly, seafood dominates the cuisine of the Belgian coast. But it isn't all about mussels, although no one should visit the region without trying the shellfish, that Belgians surprisingly serve with French fries, at least once. The Belgian coast has a wide range of different dishes to offer. 

  • Seafood
    The Belgian coast is famous for its seafood, particularly shellfish. Seafood restaurants range from expensive establishments in the largest resort towns to small oyster huts, but the standard is uniformly high. Caraway bread is the perfect compliment to fresh mussels, langoustines and other shellfish.
  • Waffles
    When you think of Belgian food, you think of waffles, and the coast is no exception to this rule. All along the coastline, small establishments selling beer and waffles are the holidaymaker's standby. Waffles aren't just sweet, either – savoury waffles with chives and cheese or mushrooms are a great accompaniment to the range of beers Belgium has to offer.
  • Beer
    Belgium is famous for its beers, but most Belgian beers don't come from the coastal region. Nonetheless, Belgium's beer culture is alive and well along the coast, particularly in Ostend, which has an annual open-air beer festival.
  • Fine dining
    Far removed from the waffle shops and oyster huts of the coastal towns are the cutting-edge restaurants that are making the Belgian coast a popular gastrotourism destination, including several Michelin-starred restaurants - although but fantastic eating is a feature of the whole coastal region.

About

Size: 3.144 square kilometers (Western Flanders)
Population: 1.150.000 (Western Flanders)
Provinces: Western Flanders
Landscape: Fine, sandy beaches, dunes, canals