Belgium has a lot to offer its visitors, whether you are looking for historic towns and cities, lovely countryside or coastal resorts with wide stretches of good beaches. Along the coast from Ostend you will find several coastal resorts including Nieuwport, Koksijde and De Panne.
The De Kusttram are trams that travel along nearly the whole length of Belgium’s coastline and are an excellent and enjoyable way to get from one resort to another.
The tram finishes its journey at De Panne which is Belgium’s westernmost coastal resort which is approximately 2km from the French border. De Panne once a fishing village is now a modern beach resort; it is also the largest sand dune area in Belgium. The resort does get very busy in the main summer holiday months.
You will find the Staatsnatuurreservaat De Westhoek, a Nature reserve, about 2km west of the town centre, and you can walk along the marked paths of the reserve. The Westhoek forms a remarkable wildlife area.
There are four nature areas around De Panne, Westhoek is one of the most important of these areas, you are asked to keep on the sign posted pathways to avoid causing damage and erosion and help preserve the reserve.
De Panne Tourist Office can supply brochures with information on the dunes and the surrounding area, (www.depanne.be) which may be of interest to you.
De Panne has the widest beach on the Flemish coast you can enjoy the sea and sand, have a swim and relax on the beach. There are many café/restaurants where you can have a meal, a beer, coffee or try a Belgian waffle and ice-cream while watching the people go by.
Many of the restaurants are situated next to the sea you can sit at one of the bars alongside the beach area enjoying your refreshments and the holiday atmosphere.
The long firm sand beaches and the wind make perfect conditions for sand yachting, if you feel like having a go there are rental companies on the beach area that will be happy to assist!
You may want to spend some time exploring De Panne and browsing around the shops. At the end of King Albert Square you will see a war monument which remembers the soldiers who died in the First World War.
If you are holidaying with children you may like to visit Plopsaland, a family orientated amusement park approximately 3km from De Panne at Adinkerke. Veurne is a charming town about 10km from De Panne and worth visiting if you are exploring Belgium.
The Grote Markt is a good place to head for it is lined with cafés/ restaurants
; there are a collection of interesting medieval buildings including the Stadius which was constructed between 1596 and 1612.
The spectacular sand dunes and the wide beach make De Panne a popular destination for a short or longer stay. De Panne is about 26km S.W. of Ostend.