Hidden Belgium: The romantic beach town

Our favourite spot on the Belgian coast the rare times we ventured there. The kids loved the large beach, the quistax and the ice cream. I loved the boule de Berlin delivered on the beach by some bakery boy…

Read the article from the Brussels Times:

Every Belgian has a favourite beach town. Some like Ostend for its urban buzz. Others go for Knokke for its chic art galleries and restaurants. But De Haan has an authentic charm that is hard to beat.

Le Coq (as it was originally called) was built in the dunes in 1889 by the German urban planner Hermann-Josef St├╝bben.

He shaped the resort with winding lanes, quaint white villas in English country house style and large gardens. The houses have romantic names like Little Red Riding Hood and look like drawings in a German fairy story.

While other resorts on the Belgian coast have become overdeveloped, De Haan has hardly changed.

The strict planning laws laid down at the time have prevented the construction of modern apartment buildings, and you still find small family-run hotels, unique B&Bs and friendly restaurants.