to the sea and back.

At the beginning of September, I spent a few days at the Belgian seaside, more precisely in De Haan. And as usual I took you along with me on Instagram (here) and in addition, I decided to write some sort of an travel diary / guide for you and as a reminder for myself to visit the Belgian seaside more often. 


The Town.

As you may know, I usually go on a short vacation with my mum once a year and so this summer, we decided to book something spontaneous which then ended up in a short vacation to the Belgian coast. I've been to De Haan before, about 4 years ago, but believe me, I did not remember this very little town to be so calm and beautiful. 

But first, the basics: De Haan is a little town about 10 km away form Oostende, which is one of the biggest cities along the seaside. The costal village is known for it's many buildings in Belle Epoque style and the beautiful promenade along the sea. 

The little village has many beautiful hotels to offer, however we decided to rend an apartment. But if you're on the lookout for a cosy and beautiful hotel in De Haan I can recommend Hotel Alizee, which is the hotel we stayed in during our last visit. I primarily enjoy visiting this little village so much because De Haan is amazing for a short and relaxed visit.


Food Spots.

Starting with breakfast there were two spots that I'd absolutely recommend. Firstly The french Baker, the perfect place for a cosy brunch inside or a takeaway breakfast, located near the promenade this spot is also perfect for a little coffee on the go. Next up, the Staelens bakery and pastry, which makes the best chocolate croissants I've ever had. In fact, they were so yummy we had to go back a day later. Also, if you're up for some Belgian chocolate, check out theirs, it's amazing.

If you fancy a little afternoon treat, I can only recommend you to have a hot chocolate and a crêpe alongside the promenade. And for ice cream, the Australian Home Made Ice Cream is the best in town.

As for dinners, we choose restaurants located along the seaside as the weather was beautiful and the atmosphere was just magical. We literally had the pleasure of having dinner with a stunning view daily. Followed by a sunset walk on the beach this really was all I could have wished for.
Now onto the restaurants, my 2 favourites were the Brasserie Paname and the Auberge des Rois. Both offer a great variety of foods, traditional seafood dishes as well as vegetarian options and pasta. 


Fun Things.

De Haan is not really the town for the adventurous among you. However, the seaside is really beautiful and if you're lucky with the weather, spending a day at the beach and enjoying an ice cream in the afternoon is your best option. 
Each Wednesday morning, you also have the possibility to visit the local market and the few lovely stores would probably enjoy your visit too. In addition, the tram gives you the option to visit the neighbouring villages. 

Personally, I really enjoyed going for walks, either through the small streets of De Haan or along the sea. If you're in the mood for something different, you could also rend a bike or multiple-passengers carts, which is always a fun thing to do if you visit with a group. 


With that being said, I invite you to get lost in my captured moments. I hope you'll feel the vibes I felt - moody, melancholic and at the same time dreamy and free. 

the smell of ocean water


And that's it, my little travel diary. Have you ever visited the Belgian seaside?
Love, S.

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