The dunes around Zandvoort
The Zandvoort dunes make up a wide area characterized by a varied animal and plant life. And do you know what makes these dunes so special? It is like a kind of no man's land where you'll be struck by a sense of peace and quiet. A special bit of nature, separate from both sea and the ‘mainland’. As soon as you leave the beach and the roaring waves, and climb over a dune, the wind drops off completely. You can hear the birds singing and smell all the plants and trees. Just sit down somewhere and enjoy!
The dunes protect the land against the sea, because as you may know, one third of the Netherlands is below sea level. The plants protect the sand dunes, so they can stand up to the sometimes ferocious seas. And the unusual plant and animal life make walking and cycling through the dunes a very special experience. You can come face to face with fallow deer, Konik horses and bison. These fragile dunes are very important as a coastal defense and for their unique nature, but we love to share them with you! The society for the protection of nature and wildlife Natuurmonumenten has been defending nature in the Netherlands for over a century. They do this by buying natural areas, managing them sustainably and looking after their best interests.
The dunes of natural park the Kennemerduinen are the most well-known to visitors. The park is situated between IJmuiden, Haarlem and Zandvoort, and also has a visitor center. Discover the dunes by looking, feeling and smelling. This visitor center not only has a permanent exhibition about the plant and animal life in the dunes, it also has a cozy dune café and a fun nature playground outside. Entrance to the National Park is free and it is perfect for walking and cycling. There are areas for children to play, and a wonderful dune lake for swimming.
The natural reserve Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is a unique area, as you are allowed to stray off the paths here. It also has the largest population of fallow deer in the Netherlands. And there are many traces of the Second World War to be found here. You can head out to the many bunkers, some plainly visible, some partly obscured by sand and dunes.