Bloemendaal is a small town and municipality in the Kennemerland region, province of North Holland, Netherlands. The municipality consists of five more villages apart from Bloemendaal. These are Overveen, Aerdenhout, Bentveld, Vogelenzang and Bennebroek. The municipality is one of the richest in the Netherlands; especially Aerdenhout is synonymous with large villas and posh cars. Apart from viewing the grand villas, the main reason for visiting Bloemendaal are the coastal dunes and the beach. Both are very popular with Dutch and German tourists.
The villages in the municipality of Bloemendaal are, together with the town of Heemstede, all located on the inland side of the coastal dunes, the so-called Old Dunes. During the Middle Ages the area was part of Den Hout, a large forest domain and the hunting grounds of the counts of Holland, stretching all the way from Alkmaar to Leiden. From the 17th century onwards these woodlands became popular residences for the rich and famous, and you will still find some stately manors with fine parks and woodlands dotted along the edge of the dunes.
A famous inhabitant of the area was Carl Linnaeus, who spent two years in Bennebroek as the gardener of the Hartekamp estate (see See section). From the early 20th century onwards, a large number of villas were built in the area. The quiet and picturesque woodlands also attracted a number of Roman Catholic religious orders as well as some mental health institutes. In the area around Vogelenzang, you will also find many flower fields: it is part of the Bulb Region.
Currently, the municipality has approx. 23,000 inhabitants.
- Zandvoort Tourist Office (VVV Zandvoort), Bakkerstraat 2/B, 2042 HK Zandvoort, ☎ +31 23 57 179 47 (infovvvzandvoort.nl), . Mo-Fr 9PM - 5PM; Sa 10AM - 5PM; Su 11AM - 4PM. The Zandvoort Tourist Office also acts as the tourist office for Bloemendaal edit
The N208 is the major access road into the municipality from both Haarlem and Leiden. From Amsterdam, take the A9 motorway and then the N205 in the direction Haarlem-Zuid.
- The trainstation of Heemstede-Aerdenhout is on the intercity line between Amsterdam and Vlissingen, offering direct connections to Haarlem (5 mins), Amsterdam (20 mins), Leiden (20 mins), The Hague (30 mins), Rotterdam (1 hr) and Vlissingen (2hrs 45 mins). It also has a sprinter service to Haarlem and Leiden.
- Bloemendaal has its own train station, served by the sprinter line from Haarlem (5 mins) to Alkmaar (35 mins).
- Overveen also has a train station with a sprinter service to Amsterdam via Haarlem (5 mins) and to Zandvoort (8 mins).
Bus 50 connects Haarlem to Leiden serving Bennebroek. Bus 81 offers a direct service from Haarlem to Zandvoort via Bloemendaal.
You can cycle from Amsterdam to Bloemendaal, but going all the way to the beach will take you at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Huis te Vogelenzang
Since the places worth visiting are rather spread out, and public transport services are not very convenient for travel within the area, it is recommended to have a bike or car available. Parking is paid in many areas, and especially on the beach can be quite expensive.
- Behind the Beach, Zeeweg 60, Bloemendaal aan Zee, ☎ +31 23 822 47 46 ([email protected]), . Daily 9:30AM-5:30PM. The bike rental is at camping De Lakens (see Sleep section) From €9.50 per day. edit
- Eerebegraafplaats Kennemerduinen, Zeeweg, Bloemendaal, . 1 Apr - 31 Oct, daily 9AM-6PM; 1 Nov - 31 Mar daily 9AM-5PM. During the Second World War, the dunes were the area where the Germans executed many of their adversaries. In this cemetery, 373 Dutch resistance fighters have found their last resting place. Among them is Hannie Schaft, who became famous as the protagonist of the novel and movie ´Het meisje met het rode haar´ (The Girl with the Red Hair) Free entrance. edit
While the heart of the Bulb Region is found further to the south, there is plenty of opportunity to admire the tulips and hyacinths around Vogelenzang.
- Landgoed Elswout (Elswout estate), Elswoutlaan 12a, 2051 AE Overveen, ☎ +, . Sunrise - Sunset. A beautiful spot for a leisurely Sunday afternoon walk, to be finished with a cup of tea in the Orangerie (see Drink section). Free entrance. edit
- Buitenplaats Leyduin, Woestduinweg 4, Vogelenzang, . Gasterij Mo-We 10AM-6PM Th-Su 10AM-9PM (dinner on reservation only). A precious little area of woodland with the stately manor of Leyduin in the middle. Perfect for an afternoon walk, and to have coffee or lunch in the Gasterij. edit
- De Hartekamp, Herenweg 5, Heemstede. This beautiful estate on the border of Bennebroek and Heemstede is the place where Carl Linnaeus spent two years as the gardener of the Clifford family. Currently, it is in use as an institute for mentally handicapped, but the grounds are open for visitors, including the woodlands on the other side of the N208 road known as Overplaats. A pleasant place for a stroll. edit
Walking and cycling
Bloemendaal is located on the south side of the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, with the main entrance close to the Overveen train station.
- Bezoekerscentrum De Kennemerduinen (visitor centre), Zeeweg 12, 2051 EC Overveen, ☎ +31 23 54 11 123 ([email protected]). Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Mo closed. Information desk, small exhibition on the dune area, and a cafeteria. Free entrance. (N 52 23' 38'',E 4 35' 41'') edit
Alternatively, the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, stretching from Bloemendaal to Noordwijk, are very much recommended as well. There are entrances with paid parkings at Zandvoort, Vogelenzang (de Oase and Panneland) and near De Zilk (just across the border of South Holland). The area is managed by the Amsterdam Water Works, and it includes a pretty amazing hydraulic infrastructure for the infiltration and pumping up of fresh water. Unlike in the National Park, you can roam freely almost everywhere here, but the area is mostly off-limits for cyclists. The area is known for its many deer, colloquially known as 'Amsterdamherten'. They have become somewhat of a pest, so you will be almost certain to spot a few.
- Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, Visitor centre De Oranjekom: Eerste Leijweg 6, Vogelenzang (entrance De Oase), ☎ +31 20 608 75 95, . Daily from sunrise to sunset; visitor centre Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su-Mo closed. €1.50 per day, parking €2. edit
- Buitenplaatsenpad Zuid-Kennemerland (Estates trail), . A 16 km signposted circuit through Aerdenhout, Vogelenzang and Heemstede that leads you along the woodlands and estates of Leyduin, Overplaats and Groenendaal edit
The Bloemendaal aan Zee beach, while not as crowded as the one in Zandvoort, is still one of the most popular for the inhabitants of Amsterdam, with plenty of trendy beach pavillions. There is more than enough (expensive) parking on the beachside, but if you want it a bit more quiet, drive all the way up to Parnassia (see Eat section).
Music and theatre
- Caprera Openluchttheater, Hoge Duin en Daalseweg 2, Bloemendaal, ☎ +31 23 525 0050, . The open air theatre is a favourite with the locals, staging mainly Dutch artists from mid May to mid September. When there are no concerts, the surrounding park is opened daily for visitors (€1 entrance fee) edit
Various beach pavillions in Bloemendaal aan Zee organize regular clubnights. See the Dutch DJ Guide for more information.
- Bloemencorso (Bulb Flower Parade), . The annual flower parade going from Noordwijk to Haarlem in the 3rd weekend of April is a major event in the region. edit
- Linnaeushof, Glipperweg 4c, Heemstede (parking), ☎ +31 23 584 76 24 ([email protected]), . mid Mar - Oct, see website for details. Advertized as Europe's largest playground, this is a good destination to keep children up to 12 occupied for a full day. Especially the water playground is a favourite when the weather is warm enough. €13, parking €6. edit
Bloemendaal beach on a sunny day
The famous 'Amsterdam deer'
The only local delicacy is deer meat from the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. Since the animals don't have any natural enemies, they need to be kept under control by hunters, and the meat is on sale in some local shops.
- Van Leeuwen Vleesch, Bloemendaalseweg 230, Overveen, ☎ +31 23 525 4907, . Mo 12AM-6PM Tu-Fr 8AM-6PM Sa 8AM-5PM Su closed. You will have to order the deer meat in advance, and can then pick it up at the butcher shop, or have it delivered at home. edit
- Uitspanning De Oase, 1e Leijweg 9, 2114 BH Vogelenzang, ☎ +31 23 584 65 93. Friendly, traditional pancake house with terrace, at the entrance to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. The interior features a collection of old toys. On fine days, it can be pretty crowded, so it's better to book a table before you start your walk, instead of finding all tables occupied when you return hungry and tired. edit
- Parnassia aan Zee (PaZ), Zeeweg, 2051 EA Overveen, ☎ +31 23 573 21 40 ([email protected]), . Summer 9AM-7PM, Winter 9AM-5PM, Sa-Su 9AM-7PM (or longer, weather permitting). Hugely popular beach pavilion with great views of the sea. Self-service restaurant, in winter they will have a big fire roaring to warm you up after a beach or dune walk. edit
- Restaurant De Uitkijk (Kopje van Bloemendaal), Hoge Duin en Daalseweg 6, 2061 AG Bloemendaal, ☎ +31 23 525 11 62 ([email protected]), . 1 Oct - 1 Mar Tu-We and Fri-Su 11AM-late; 1 Mar - 1 Oct Tu-Su 11AM-late. The main attraction of this restaurant is the view over the dune area from the highest point in Bloemendaal. edit
- Kraantje Lek, Duinlustweg 22, Overveen, ☎ +31 23 524 1266, . One of the oldest tourist attractions in the area, that has entertained travellers for more than 450 years. The playground and the steep dune next to the restaurant are favourites with children. According to legend, the hollow tree that was on the site until 2007 was the place where the children of Haarlem were grown. The tree is now replaced by a bronze replica. edit
- De Bokkedoorns, Zeeweg 53, Overveen, ☎ +31 23 526 3600, . Tu-Fr, Su 12AM-2:30 PM, Tu-Su 6-9:30PM, Mo closed. One of the few two-star Michelin restaurants in the Netherlands, offering French cuisine. Standard 4-course menu €82. edit
- Camping De Lakens, Zeeweg 60, 2051 EC Bloemendaal aan Zee, ☎ +31 23 541 15 70 ([email protected]), . From €15.10 per person per night. edit
- Camping Vogelenzang, Tweede Doodweg 17, Vogelenzang, ☎ +31 23 584 7014, . checkout: 11:30AM. €24.75 per spot plus €2.30 tourist tax (Apr-Sep, closed in Winter). edit
- Haarlem, capital of North Holland, pleasant city with some good museums
- IJmuiden, impressive sea locks, friendly beach and great fish
- Leiden, historic university town with some fine museums as well
- Zandvoort, the major beach resort in the area
To the south, the Bulb Region has more flower fields, dunes and beaches on offer.
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