The sun sets over the North Sea and the sand and grass on top of the dunes slowly colors in shades of purple and rust. Flocks of seagulls glide along the water surface at the horizon. A quintessential display at the Belgian coast.
From our cozy spot in the dunes, we’re looking out on the beach of Bredene, taking in the scenes. Down below the last wind surfers splash out of the water. Men and women pulling their boards and windsails to the shore while creating wide tracks on the beach.
Belgium is blessed with a small coastline. Only 67 kilometers of sea and sand which extends from the nature domain Het Zwin in the North at the border with the Netherlands to where the Belgian beaches merge into the French Opal Coast in the South. Small, yet it attracts over 8 million tourists per year. All these years Bredene managed to keep itself from the beaten tourist trail. Located on the edge of a protected dune nature reserve, Bredene has remained secluded and evolved into a true oasis for prestine beaches, nature lovers and adventure seekers.
– Unspoiled nature in Bredene –
We unboarded the train at Ostend, the only real city on the Belgian coast and located right in the center of it. The lively seafront, shopping opportunities and great museums makes the nearby seaside resort of Bredene appear like a sleepy, old-fashioned gem in contrast. The view over the beach from atop the dunes exudes pure tranquility, but beneath the surface this place is bubbling.
Here are some of our favourite activities in Bredene!
Dancing on water
In summer, beach activities like windsurfing, kite surfing and body boarding thrive on the. Bredene shores. Beachclub Twins is the perfect place to learn how to master the foaming waves of the Northsea.
Tucked away between the dunes, the beach club also boasts a beautiful sundeck from where you can enjoy drinks, snacks en beautiful views of the coastline.
Enjoy the famous Grey Shrimps aka ‘Caviar of the North Sea’
Nothing tastes as good as Flemish grey shrimps. This seasonal local delicacy owes its special taste to the freshness of the catch. The grey shrimp with its characteristic crunch and refined taste is a true delicacy from the North Sea, which more than rightfully has been granted the honorary titles of “Grey Gold” and “Caviar of the North Sea”.
These typical Flemish shrimps are prepared without preservatives and are caught all along the Belgian coast. The shrimp must be delivered to the harbor within 24 hours after the catch and are typically cooked “à la Flamande”. Local must-try dishes including these shrimps are ‘Grey Shrimp Croquettes‘ and ‘Tomaat Garnaal‘.
Bredene enjoys a unique seaside setting in Belgium, particularly because it is the only seaside resort where the natural transition between the beach and dunes is still fully respected. Wilderness galore in an otherwise perfectly curated 67km coastline.
Seawalls and high-rise buildings prevent the natural course of events in other Belgian seaside resorts, and once you’ve tasted the raw nature in Bredene, we guarantee you’ll be able to prove us wrong: Bredene is absolutely wonderful!
Dunes of several meters altitude, covered with natural vegetation… a perfect playground to set your inner ten-year-old free, or enjoy a romantic stroll and – why not – take a picnic! At L’Homard et La Moule you can order a Lobster2Go for 29€ p.p. and take out a sumptuous lobster dinner to share and enjoy in a romantic setting overlooking the water.
Bredene is the only Belgian coastal resort where the dunes flow uninterrupted into the fine sand and sea. And that makes for some incredibly beautiful views while strolling on the beach!
Walking from Bredene to Ostend and back is about a 5km stroll and will take you a good hour for a round trip. You cannot enter Ostend city on foot though, you’ll have to take a short and free ferry ride (wheelchair accessible) that starts at the Maritime Plein and will drop you off at the other side of the docks at the Visserskaai.
The ferry | starts at the Maritime Plein if you approach Ostend from Bredene.
Check out the up-to-date time table each week here
Tantalize your tastebuds with dishes by the Seaweedchef
The pièce de résistance in terms of culinary delights in Bredene must be restaurant L’Homard et La Moule. This restaurant is owned by the one and only Seaweedchef. Restaurant L’Homard et La Moule is widely known for integrating different types of seaweed in a fun, delicious way into the all the dishes served.
We love exploring new destinations and what better way to get to know a location by trying its local food. Donald, aka the Seaweedchef, uses different types of seaweed which he picks himself at both the Belgian Coast as well as the French Opal Coast
Every single dish in our three course meal was wonderfully prepared and every seaweed used added that extra touch of magic. No need to worry about brown drabs of seaweed, the seaweed is used as delicate seasoning in each separate dish.
Shortbread with parmesan, poppy seeds and Japanese berries seaweed; Salmon Sushi with homemade (and slightly spicy!) Nori, lobster with algae butter,… It doesn’t only sound good, it tastes simply delicious!
Nothing is more romantic than enjoying an incredible sunset with your loved one. Pick a spot high in the dunes, bring a bottle of champagne and enjoy your last moments at the Belgian Coast while taking in an incredible scenery!
– Where is Bredene? –
Bredene is located east of Ostend, more or less in the center of the Belgian Coats. It might not be as popular as more famous Belgian seaside resorts like Ostend, Knokke or Blankenberghe but that’s part of its appeal! Where mass tourism flocks to the more developed coastal resorts with its wide promenades, go-karts and high rise buildings, it are the pure natural beaches in Bredene that attract nature lovers and hikers.
– How to get to Bredene? –
Bredene is conveniently located next to Ostend, the largest city at the Belgian Coast and home to one of the largest train lines in the country. You can check train tables here. From Brussels Airport you can get to Ostend by train in about two hours. From the Ostend train station you can take the coastal tramway to Bredene Aan Zee (direction Knokke). Check timetables here.
We’ll remember our strolls through the dunes of Bredene fondly. As the only seaside resort on the Belgian North Sea coast where the dunes and the beach still flow naturally into each other it holds a special place in our hearts as this is what nature should look like, without human intervention. It makes for incredible beautiful views and as the saying goes…no therapy is better than beach therapy!
A big thank you to Westtoer as well as each individual operator who hosted us during our stay. As always, all words and opinions are our own.
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