Go with the wind in the Houwaarderduin
The wind creates quite an amazing spectacle when it is given free rein. There are few places in north-western Europe where the sand is allowed to drift freely, but you can still find them in the Netherlands! During a visit to the Houwaarderduin dune, which is north of the town of Noordwijk, nature lovers can indulge themselves and watch the sand move with the wind at their leisure. Enjoy the extraordinary panoramic view of dunes, pine trees, sea and the towers of Noordwijk.
Spring or summer. The bulb fields are in bloom in April and early May.
The dune can drift again
The dune landscape north of Noordwijk is largely an open and dry area with drifting dunes. Those who go hiking here will see marram grass growing along the top of the dunes and fox tracks in the sand. As evening falls, following tracks might even result in a memorable encounter with a fox or a roe deer.
A trip back in time
When you walk from Houwaarderduin towards Noordwijk, you will pass the Atlantikwall Museum. The Atlantikwall or Atlantic Wall is a remnant of the line of defence built by Germany during World War II to prevent an invasion from the sea. Nowadays it is a museum housed in a series of bunkers.
Coast and sea route
The Coast & Sea walk is three hours of enjoying the wind, sand and sea. The route starts in Noordwijk at Vuurtorenplein ('Lighthouse Square'), from where you will soon be walking the winding paths through the pristine dune landscape. Halfway through the walk you will have a panoramic view from the Houwaarderduin, one of the three lookout points, over the dunes to Noordwijk and the bulb-growing region beyond. In spring, this is the most colourful region in the Netherlands!
Nature cottage near the beach
If you want to get away from the crowds, you can spend the night in a holiday rental amidst the country estates in Noordwijkerhout and near to the beach. These properties are managed by an organisation called Natuurhuisje (Nature cottage). Here you can unwind surrounded by beautiful nature.
Over the Kachelduin with forest ranger Mark
Forest rangers have mapped out the most scenic routes through nature for you. Mark Kras, a forest ranger in Hollandse Duin, has chosen a route that goes over the Kachelduin and through the dune forest of Noordwijk. During this hike, you can listen to the song of the nightingale and enjoy the colours of the bulb fields. The nature surrounding this forest ranger path truly comes alive in spring and summer.