Easily accessible by train or ferry from many other countries in Europe, The Hague is the only large city that has a beach directly on the North Sea. The combination of outdoor recreation and culture makes The Hague one of our favorite destinations. Planning an athletic vacation in The Hague is more fun with a friend – read why friendship is the forgotten pillar of wellness.
About The Hague, Netherlands
Located on the coast of the North Sea, The Hague offers miles of coastline for water sports and has a bustling downtown that is full of culture. When you are not running, surfing, or biking in The Hague, you can explore many of the art museums and monuments around the city. Additionally, The Hague is the perfect destination to go for an athletic vacation. For that reason, we have outlined the best places to run, the best kiteboarding spots, and the best hiking trails to help you plan the perfect athletic vacation in The Hague.
The Best Running Trail in The Hague
Scheveningen Boulevard Boardwalk
Location: Start at De Pier (shown above)
Length: 3km to 20km+
The Scheveningen Boulevard (Strandweg) section of the boardwalk starts at De Pier and goes north to Carlton Beachclub. The paved boardwalk, Strandweg, follows the beach giving you the option of beach running or pavement running. This stretch is part of a longer 20km+ beach running section that starts at the “Hook of Holland” area (canal entrance from the North Sea) and heads north to the Westduinpark nature preserve. The north end of Carlton Beach club, Oostduinpark, offers gravel running paths by the historic Atlantic Wall built by German soldiers during WWII.
The coastal boardwalk, Strandweg, is located just outside of the core downtown area of The Hague. There is plenty of beach running/trail running in either direction so once you make it to the coast you are ready to go. Our favorite route is starts at the Hook of Holland where you can watch ships enter the main entrance to the canals, Breddiep, and ends at De Pier. End your workout with a hardy meal from De Pier Pannenkoeken Grill while overlooking the North Sea.
Best Spot to Kitesurf in The Hague
The Kitesurfing scene is big in The Hague and offers a variety of options for various ability levels. For beginners, the best time to kitesurf The Hague is March, April, and May when the water is warmer and the wind is light. Advanced riders who are willing to brave the cold will enjoy the consistent 25km+ wind in September and October.
If you are staying in The Hague this is the most accessible kiteboarding spot. Located just a few minutes from downtown, Zandmotor Beach is the best kitesurfing spot in The Hague. An intermediate to advanced spot mainly because of rip currents and variable conditions, Zandmotor offers a designated zone for kiting (south end of the beach) and friendly locals. The close proximity to downtown, steady wind, and friendly locals makes this a very popular spot and can get a bit crowded. After a day of kitesurfing, stop by BLOW Beach House restaurant to share stories with fellow kiters.
Located a short drive north of The Hague, Noordwijk Beach has a large launch site and fairly consistent choppy water and light to mid-range wind. During the winter months, the waves get much larger, and the wind blows 45km+ making it a popular beach for expert-level kitesurfers. Make it a staycation and book a few nights at the five-star oceanfront hotel, Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin. For dinner, book a table with a friend at Breakers Beach House, which is on the sand just in front of the hotel.
Best Hiking in The Hague
The coastal trails and wooded forests that surround The Hague offer convenient hiking trails with a variety of lengths. Along with the stunning beauty of The Hague you will find historic landmarks from a darker time in Europe. Many WWII structures are still intact and easily hiked from around The Hague.
Located along the sand dunes, the Westduinpark natural preserve is home to highland cattle and sheep that you will likely see during your hike. Once a favorite hunting ground for the Royal House of Orange, the grounds were decimated for extensive bunker construction during WWII. Thanks to a large restoration process starting back in 2012, the nature reserve has bounced back and is one of the best hiking locations in The Hague. Along with the amazing scenery, there are many health benefits to being in a nature preserve. The science behind Forest Bathing is relatively new, but the initial findings are promising for feeling more joy, calmness, and contentment.