Wander through the drifting dunes of Schoorl

Schoorsle Duinen

In our opinion, the Dunes of Schoorl is one of the most beautiful dune areas in the Netherlands. Less subjectively, they are the highest dunes in the Netherlands. A century ago this area was nothing more than a large sandpit. But a lot has changed in a hundred years. It’s now a beautiful area for walking, with winding dune paths, dozens of species of birds, rare mushrooms and drifting dunes.

60 kilometres of walking trails

There are no less than 60 kilometres of walking paths in the Dunes of Schoorl. It helps if you don’t mind a bit of a climb, as there is a lot of height differences and many of the paths are made of loose dune sand.

The nature reserve has changed quite a bit over the years. In the past, it was considered best practice encourage the development of scrubland, but now space has been cleared to allow dunes to drift naturally. You can see this at De Kerf, where the waters of the North Sea have access to the valleys behind the dunes during the spring tide and north-westerly storms. As a result, the saltwater flows further into the dunes, and plants such as samphire, sea rocket and salt marsh grass are now growing. They attract new bird species and dune lizards.

You’ll also find several large grazers in the area, and if you go for a walk in August and September you can wonder at the splendour of the heather covering the area in a carpet of purple.