Today the sun was shining, not a cloud was to be seen in the sky and temperatures reached the double figures! So we decided to hit the beach. I have frequently visited beaches in the Netherlands such as Hoek van Holland, Scheveningen and Kijkduin, but on this particular occasion, we visited a beach I have never been to before. One I didn’t even know existed (and actually it didn’t until 2013). The beach at Maasvlakte 2.
My husband had been there before and warned me that I was in for a treat. However, with the drive there being terribly industrial, I had my doubts. We parked our car by the dunes, and as we walked up over them, my jaw dropped as a beautiful sandy beach came into view that stretched both ways as far as the eye could see. Best of all, there was no one on it! We were, for at least an hour or so, literally the only ones to be found on this unexpected paradise.
We had a great afternoon soaking up the sun whilst collecting shells, digging in the sand and relaxing to sound of the constant waves rolling in.
For those who are not aware, the Maasvlakte 2 is a mega dredging project during which the port of Rotterdam was artificially enlarged by reclaiming land from the North Sea. One of the biggest engineering projects in the Netherlands following the success of the first Maasvlakte area. Approximately 20 square kilometers of land was reclaimed! In addition to the economic benefits for the city of Rotterdam, a 7 kilometre-long sandy beach for recreation has been created. This beach is the ‘successor’ to the very popular Slufter Beach, which was closed to allow for the construction of Maasvlakte 2.
If you would like to learn more about the Maasvlakte 2, dredging at sea, raising new port land, or loading and unloading ships, then you could visit the information centre, FutureLand (Europaweg 902, Maasvlakte). At FutureLand you can view interactive models that show how the land was claimed back from the water, step into a simulator that allows you to view the Maasvlakte 2 from the air, or watch the film Zeezicht (Sea View) projected on to a 4 by 4 meter water curtain. You can also join a free guided tour on Sundays at 13:00 which lasts about one hour. FutureLand is open from Tuesday to Friday and on Sunday, and entrance is free.
The Maasvlakte 2 beach is an enormous hidden gem. Granted, it is windy, has no glamorous shops or barely any restaurants, but it is in our eyes it is a paradise. Unlike other beaches in the Netherlands, here you will not have to fight for a spot to lay your towel or set up your sun tent (or in our case dig our own water-way through the sand). You will have a seven kilometer area of glorious sandy beach to choose from. So don’t be put off by all the industrial areas along the way, take a drive out to the Maasvlakte 2 beach and you will not be disappointed.