The best places to go in spring
Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The pristine woods, dunes and lagoons of the National Park de Suid-Kennemerland stretch north from Zandvoort up to the eminently missable industrial town of IJmuiden, at the mouth of the Nordzeekanaal. Bus #81 leaves Haarlem bus station every thirty minutes to cross the national park via the N200 before reaching the coast at the minuscule beachside settlement of Bloemendaal-aan-Zee. En route, several bus stops give access to the clearly marked hiking and cycling trails that pattern the national park, but the best option is to get off at the Koevlak entrance – ask the driver to let you off. Maps of the park are available at Haarlem tourist office, and there are three colour-coded hiking routes posted at Koevlak (and indeed all entrances). The most appealing is the 4- to 5-kilometre (1hr) jaunt west through pine woods and dunes to the seashore, where the Parnassia café (April–Nov), provides refreshments with a view of the North Sea. From here, it’s a 1.5km walk back to Bloemendaal-aan-Zee, where you can catch bus #81 back to Haarlem (or of course you can do the whole thing in reverse).
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