Beaches of West Zeeland-Flanders

The days are as long as our beaches, and as deep as the love they enjoy from locals and visitors alike. Ideal for a day full of sun, fun and splashing. Ideal too for water sport fans. Walk the length and breadth of the beaches, and hang on in (and out) there until the sun sets behind the horizon.

Country’s cleanest beaches

Our four resort spots are, from east to west, Breskens, Groede, Nieuwvliet-Bad and Cadzand-Bad. The coastline of West Zeeland-Flanders runs from Hoofdplaat to the Belgian border in the Het Zwin area of natural beauty at Knokke-Heist. Their beaches are among the cleanest – and most pleasurable –in the entire country. The icing on this natural cake are the beach pavilions – coastal conviviality, to a sea.


You’ll never get bored in the fishing village of Breskens, which you’ll typically reach along the beach, strolling, east from the ferry jetty. But for a change, just peep north now and then, to the d’n overkant (other side) and its bustling Vlissingen: those ocean-faring boats on the Westerschelde are mega-fascinating.

Second stop is Groede, nudging the sea and the Cletemspolder. Great dunes for exploring adventures: walking trails, a hand-pulled raft, plank paths and stepping stones. The Groe is a beach for all seasons, with pavilions on and in the dunes. Families love Nieuwvliet-Bad too: on its unbelievable expanses, the tide leaves shoals of shallow pools. Sheer paradise for little ones and upwards.


And then along came Cadzand-Bad. It has become a rather stylish resort, with new housing, hotels and a swish marina (the old name ‘cad’ comes from the medieval ‘kade’, or quay). Along with Domburg, it is the only Dutch seaside resort certified as a spa for thalassotherapy. As well as its therapy and wellness appeal, it has rafts of activity for the energetic, the culture-vulture and the foodie. Sound like someone you know?

Blue flags a-flying

No fewer than six beaches in West Zeeland-Flanders proudly wear – at the latest count – the Blue Flag eco-label. It’s awarded annually in Europe for clean, accessible and safe beaches. Visitors can count on good quality sea water for swimming, beach lifeguards, a first aid post, toilets and PRM facilities. All in all, a sound package for a carefree stay.


Well known as ‘groynes’ throughout the very tidal coasts of the North Sea, our version of wave-breakers are called ‘paalhoofden’, literally the heads of poles, usually of timber. They’re driven deep into the beach and sea floor, usually in long parallel rows. Standing firm against the endless lashings of tides and currents suffered by our Land on Sea, they prevent the erosion of much sand. Explains how we’ve survived!