I really wanted to take a walk in a different environment. Since I live in the eastern part of the Netherlands I could not choose better than the Dutch Coastal Path 2. A great long distance hiking path through the dunes and over the beach! I love long distance hiking paths and like to walk a few days in a row. This time I chose the longest walking route in the Netherlands: The Dutch Coastal Path!
Did you know that the Dutch Coastal Path is no less than 721 kilometers long? The Dutch Coastal Path starts in the town of Sluis on the Zeeland coast and ends in Bad Nieuweschans on the border with Germany? The route is indicated as LAW5.
Because the Dutch Coastal Path is the longest hiking trail in the Netherlands which they have divided it into 4 parts of which separate booklets have been published. These are Deltapad, Hollands Kustpad, Friese Kustpad and Wad- en Wierdenpad. Take a look at the website of wandelnet (let google translate it for you) for the descriptions of the entire Dutch Coastal path.
I started my walk on the long distance hiking path called the Dutch Coastal Path 2 in Hillegom. I had booked a hotel here and was allowed to leave my car the days I was hiking the path.
After a good breakfast I walked that first morning to De Zilk which was about 4 km. When I arrived there, there was the disappointment that the route was actually just not well indicated. I could see on the map of the website that I was walking on the route and had seen 1 red/white sign which also showed that I was actually on the path.
My first wildlife sighting – Dutch Coastal Path
What I like about this kind of walks is that I don’t need to have anything in my hand. All I have to do is walk and at junctions or crossroads I have to make sure there is a indication for where to turn to. That is not possible on this hike unfortunately.
Later it turned out that there should be signs. These have been removed by the National Park Waterleidingduinen. Yet on the 2 days after this part it is still not good indicated and I need the website continuously and this costs a lot of your phone battery… The last day was super signposted and I didn’t need the phone for the route!
That first day on the Dutch Coastal Path 2 I walked through the dunes and enjoyed the panoramic views. I also walked through a forest area where it was pleasant to stay. It was warm and so I could really appreciate the shade of the trees. I walked this day to the center of Haarlem and when I arrived there I loved to explore that old city.
Dutch Coastal Path
I think I walked at least 30 km this day. Of course I had to count on all those 4 km I walked before I was on the route….And then I also walked a few km in the city of Haarlem and enjoyed the real Dutch streets and houses and ofcourse canals in a city. A kayak experience through the canals would be great, right?
Boats sailing through the canals to end the day for a while.
Dutch Coastal Path 2 Stage 06
Haarlem – Santpoort Noord 18.1 km
The next morning I picked up the Dutch Coastal Path 2 at the back of the trainstation. You then walk left down the road and criss-cross through the neighborhood and out of the city. You walk into a nature reserve where at that time it was very busy with local people taking a dip in lake Het Wed in the National Park South Kennemerland and doing their morning gymnastics. Oh no that’s what we now call bootcamp nowadays 🙂
Stage 6 Dutch Coastal Path 2
The further I got from there, the quieter it became in the National Park South Kennemerland. I passed a memorial place from the second world war where 92 resistance fighters were found murdered.
It was a lovely area for walking and slowly it became more and more dune-like and I felt I was getting close to the dunes and the sea again. But the most beautiful spot of this walk was yet to come. I also sat there for a while to enjoy all the sounds and the beautiful view.
The Vogelmeer (Bird Lake)
After this I went into the dunes and finally came to walk on the beach for the first time!
What a great part of this hike with great weather!!
I went to the beach at Parnassia aan Zee, this is municipality of Overveen. The weather was great and I should have (afterwards) just gone into the sea. Only…for your feet, for your calluses, that’s not so nice if you have to go back in your shoes and walk another 10km. I thought of saving this for the next day because I would have a hotel on the coast but the weather turned to be different and I had sea fog.
But I sat at the coast for a while, lying in the sun on my sarong… and then walked on again.
When I went back into the dunes I recognized this path, I had walked it before. It is part of the NS walk in the Kennemerduinen.
At Santpoort I went looking for my hotel and of course after that I did not do much more than relax, drink a nice cup of coffee on the terrace and have a good dinner.
Dutch Coastal Path 2 Stage 07
Santpoort Noord – Wijk aan Zee 14.4 km
I found the Dutch Coastal Path 2 again on the main road in Driehuis and from there I picked it up in the direction of Beeckestijn. Here I walked through a nice big park and was led in front of the manor and then turned off to Velsen.
Shortly after that I walked along the water, Binnentoeleidingskanaal (canal) and went to the ferry to go to the other side. I could get a nice cappuccino and shortly after that I could get over. For pedestrians it is free, very nice!
Corona on the Dutch Coastal Path 2
The Dutch Coastal Path 2 is still not always well signposted and I’m searching in a park / forest where I come to walk in after the ferry. The weather is lovely and as long as I am away from the coast it is super. When I walk along the main road I see that I am heading towards the fog again. Walking close to Wijk aan Zee is really getting fogier and therefore colder.
So swimming in the sea is really not going to happen.
Just before Wijk aan Zee I hike into the dunes. It is already quite foggy and when I come on top of the dunes and stand near a nice viewpoint a picture is taken of me by a couple of nice fellow hikers but the view is hard to find 🙂
I want to check into hotel Sonnevanck in Wijk aan Zee. Unfortunately they don’t want to check me in until 3 o’clock and they make me wait more than 1,5 hours after lunch. I am cold and want to take a hot shower.
When I’ve finally been able to take a hot shower I’m going to explore the area again. I make a nice long walk on the beach and then, just before dinner, a walk into the dunes. In the dunes near Wijk aan Zee many WWII bunkers are hidden.
Very interesting area!!
Dutch Coastal Path 2 Stage 08
Wijk aan Zee – Egmond aan Zee 20 km
I had seen the signs for the Dutch coastal path in the middle of the village, I have to go along the supermarket towards the dunes. There I could get some breakfast and some for lunch. The hotel where I was, of course, had breakfast but it only started after 9 o’clock.
That was too late for me so I took it with me to have breakfast in the dunes.
After seeing some of those great Scottish Highlanders I came across a nice bench to have my breakfast and of course to do that long expected Yoga pose :).
I think it’s great that friends and readers are already asking for it:
When are you doing a pose?
Ofcourse I will do a pose in the dunes!!
Yoga on the Dutch Coastal Path 2
This whole day I walked in the beautiful dune area. For a moment I came a little bit more inland and could enjoy my lunch at Johanna’s Hof (Castricum) and then I dived back into the dunes. I really thought this was the most beautiful day in terms of walking and area!
Johanna’s Hof – Castricum is on the hiking path.
Immediately after that you dive into a wooded area and then back into the dunes!
Just before Egmond aan Zee I bent down to Egmond Binnen to walk from there to Heiloo. There is a trainstation and there I took the train back to Hillegom where I parked my car 4 days earlier.
It was a great micro advonture on the Dutch Coastal Path 2.
I have been on the path for 4 days and was gone for 5 days in total. I slept in lovely hotels with all the luxury and during the day I lived as a pilgrim! Once you have been a pilgrim (I once walked 35 days in a row) you will understand what I mean! Otherwise I can recommend you to really go for a long distance hike.
How nice it is to be away for a while and really be on the road. To travel and to work on being well and healthy. I can recommend it to everyone!
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