Nederlands Kustpad 1 | 6
BURGH-HAAMSTEDE - PORT ZÉLANDE (19,2 KM)
The Dutch Coastal Path (Nederlandse Kustpad) is a long-distance hiking path that covers the coastline from the Belgian border to the north of the country. It is split up into two part, today we walk the sixth stage of the first part of the Dutch Coastal Path. The sixth stage of this path leads along a coast that is often hit by the most severe storms. It starts in the picturesque village of Burgh-Haamstede. A place that forms a peaceful beacon in the region Zeeland, which is mainly flooded with German tourists nowadays.
The route starts just outside the village of Burgh-Haamstede, where you walk over asphalted terrain, slowly into the dunes. It feels peaceful and calm here despite the many campsites that you pass. The paths wind their way neatly through the fenced off terrains. Where tents and caravans with neatly raked pieces of grass determine your view.
Between the campsides
Just as you start to get bored by the meandering between the campsites, the road opens to a long straight path towards the sea. You leave the forests around the dunes behind you and walk towards the beach. Only one high row of dunes stands between you and the beach, these dunes protect the land here from the sometimes wild sea. This row immediately constitutes the highest peak of today.
Once on top, the ‘climb’ proved to be more than worth it. You look out over one of the widest beaches in the country. Hundreds of meters of sand stretched out in front of you, giving you an unobstructed view over the water and the blue sky. The beach is even so wide that you can hardly discover the surf of the sea.
Hiking over the beach
The sun is burning with its rays in the sand and the wind is looking for a quiet place in a dune pan. You walk further on the beach and decide, just before the route continues on a shell path through the dunes, to find a quiet place to rest your feet. This is one of the best places to sit down and enjoy the nature. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to sit down here.
Even though you are not yet halfway, it is certainly worthwhile and provides enough energy to continue the route with good effort. After you walk further, a shell path leads you through the dunes towards Renesse. A village that is flooded every summer by tourists, especially the eastern neighbors of the Dutch. It is a phenomenon to see while walking, but for us no reason to stand still for a long time.
When you have left the village, the route will send you back to the beach. Walking along the beach you can see the Brouwersdam, laying in the distance. This seventh structure of the Deltawerken is located between Zuid-Holland and Zeeland and has closed the sea arm between the two provinces. The construction of the dam created the Grevelingenmeer, the largest saltwater lake in Western Europe. The immense structure is one of the characteristic symbols of Zeeland. From the beach you can view the entire dam that you are approaching slowly.
The last part of this stage leads you along the main road on the Brouwersdam in the direction of Port Zélande. From here you look out over the North Sea where you can see the sun go down if your timing is right. A beautiful sight that you will not find anywhere else very soon. Once you have arrived at the Port Zélande park you have the option to catch a bus back to the start of the route. Or continue the Nederlandse Kustpad after a good night’s rest.