Camping holidays by the sea away from the tourist strongholds and mass tourism
It's difficult to predict whether the summer of 2021 will be as hot as in previous years. But there are already signs that people will be flocking to the German North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts during the main season. If you still want to spend your camping holiday by the sea, it's worth considering the Netherlands with its many beaches and coastal areas. Freeontour presents five lesser-known holiday destinations in the Netherlands with many campsites and some even with RV sites.
Book campsites early
This advice also applies to Holland: book your campsite or motorhome pitch as early as possible. According to the latest predictions, a good two thirds of the Dutch will be holidaying in their own country this year. And furthermore, it's not even clear whether there will be restrictions for day visitors to the coast. Find out which restrictions currently apply in the Netherlands due to the COVID-19 situation there.
The Freeontour campsite guide also lets you send booking requests directly to the campsites. Try it out by clicking the button Availabilities & prices.
Camping by the sea in North Holland: Petten and Callantsoog
In general, the seaside resorts in the north of Holland are not as well-known as the southern regions, which tend to be heavily frequented by tourists. Nevertheless, there are a wealth of beautiful places and numerous campsites north of Amsterdam and Haarlem. Bloemendaal, Egmond aan Zee and Bergen aan Zee are certainly some of the most popular and renowned holiday resorts in this region, with a lot of hustle and bustle especially in summer. On the other hand Callantsoog is more easy-going and tranquil. This small town is located right behind the dunes and its 3.5 km long sandy beach offers plenty of space to slow down, stroll and relax. If you're lucky, you might even catch sight of some seals. The Zwanenwater nature reserve lies in the shadow of the dunes and boasts moors, dune valleys, lakes and forests. It's home to rare flora and fauna and perfect for taking beautiful walks in nature. For example, a signposted, roughly 5 km long circular tour through the nature reserve starts at the car park at Zuidschinkeldijk in Callantsoog. There are several campsites around Callantsoog to choose from. This also includes the Freeontour partner campsites Camping de Nollen and Camping Tempelhof.
Just south of Callantsoog lies the small town of Petten. Apart from three campsites, tourist accommodation is very limited, which is why this coastal town is regarded as a quiet holiday destination. There is also a 26 m high panoramic dune in Petten offering a great view of the North Sea and the beach. The panoramic dune and the other dune areas around Petten are also perfect for exploring by bicycle as the bike paths run right along the North Sea and the beaches. The flat polder landscape between Petten and the IJsselmeer is also ideal for long cycling and hiking tours.
Camping by the sea in South Holland: Kijkduin and Katwijk
The southern coastline between Amsterdam and The Hague has some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands, such as Zandvoort, Noordwijk and Scheveningen. But Kijkduin proves that there are smaller and quieter seaside resorts here as well. No road goes past Zuiderstrand, located between Scheveningen and Kijkduin, which usually makes it nice and quiet. To the south of the Kijkduin boulevard, the beach merges into a lagoon landscape where a "sand engine" was built a few years ago. This peninsula in the North Sea distributes the sand with the current and is designed to protect the coast from storm tides. By the way, there is also a dog beach here where our four-legged friends are allowed to walk without a lead all year round. Hardly surprising that the Kijkduinpark campsite is very popular with dog owners – and not just them.
To the north of The Hague, between Noordwijk and Scheveningen (at the level of Leiden) is the small town of Katwijk with its 5 km long sandy beach. Its landmarks include a white church and a white lighthouse, which incidentally is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Dutch coast. Katwijk aan Zee is very popular with families and dog owners who all benefit from the great conditions here for their camping holiday by the sea. For instance, families can take part in bike tours through the Meijendel dunes or to the De Pan van Persijn forest where children can play to their hearts' content before enjoying some food in the pancake restaurant. Dogs and their owners can also enjoy a 2.5 km long dog beach between Katwijk and Noordwijk. In Katwijk, two campsites are located right on the dunes within a very short walking distance to the beach.
Ouddorp – a stone's throw from Zeeland
When it comes to seaside camping in Holland, the first place most campers think of is the province of Zeeland. It has the longest coastline in the Netherlands, making this region a tourist favourite. This explains why some of the most popular and well-known tourist spots in the Netherlands can be found here. These include Domburg, Vlissingen, Renesse, Oostkapelle, Breskens and Westkapelle. It is by no means an exaggeration when we speak of mass tourism here in the main season. However, Ouddorp is not far from Zeeland – located on the northern tip of the island of Goeree-Overflakkee and with a total of 18 km of sandy beach and an extensive dune area, it is perfect for walks, hikes and bike tours. You will easily find a secluded spot on the beach just for yourself a few hundred metres away from the main beach access points. Moreover, the town itself is an excellent base for day trips to Zeeland or Grevelingenmeer. There are several campsites around Ouddorp.