The Maasvlakte beach is a pretty man-made location that has been expanded for the Rotterdam Harbour. The beach area is a beautiful 500 meter stretch, perfect for summer sunbathing and winter walks. The World’s largest wind turbine can be seen from here too, as well as a superb spot for boat spotting!
History of the Maasvlakte
The area of the Maasvlakte is an extension to the Europoort Port in Rotterdam. The whole area has been claimed back from the North Sea, which started back in the 1960s. This was to accommodate larger container ships for the river to be deep enough. In 2008 to 2013 there was construction of the Maasvlakte 2, a second area for around 2,000 hectares more space.
Many container terminals can be found in the Maasvlakte, such as Europe Container Terminals (ECT), Maersk and Euromax. The Maasvlakte is also home for many large distribution centers such as for Reebok and DHL.
So when it comes to the Maasvlakte Beach, you can basically enjoy it as a man-made beach.
Location of the Maasvlakte
You can get to the Maasvlakte by driving via the A15 motorway, which is the end point of the motorway from Germany. Else jump on your bike (if you are not too far away) and cycle along one of the dedicated bike paths.
There is plenty of parking at the Maasvlakte Beach area, as well as all along the coast. So unless it’s the hottest day of the year during the summer holidays, you shouldn’t worry about finding a spot.
Unfortunately there is no public transport to the Maasvlakte Beach. Which I personally love, as you can truly enjoy the beach and nature of the area. So if you are visiting Rotterdam, consider renting a car for a day for a day trip!
The Maasvlakte Beach is a 500 metre stretch along the coast. It is perfect for all ages, especially for children when the tide is out, as there are many large puddles of water to play in away from the larger waves.
Since the beach is so large, you can easily find a nice spot for your day of relaxation and fun. Just don’t forget your suncream! Even on busier days it is very likely that you will be able to spread out from other people, due to all the space. So don’t expect to be stuck so close to other tourists and locals.
Since this beach is with the North Sea, towards the South there are often kite surfers catching the waves. Towards the North of the beach you can also find usually fishermen out for their daily catch.
If you have a dog, they are also welcome. But please keep them on a leash during your visit.
A Bite To Eat
The Maasvlakte Beach has one super mini take-away stand located on the parking of one of the Maasvlakte Beach. Which I love about this beach, as it is not commercial allowing you to truly enjoy the nature. You can find a larger snack restaurant called at the Smickel-Inn ‘Balkon van Europa’, which is a viewing point for all the ships coming in and out of the harbour. However this is a little drive away from the beach area. Keep in mind these snack bars are seasonal.
At the Museum FutureLand they also have a little cafe for some lunch and a drink.
I can highly suggest you bring your own food and drink for a beach trip. This is always most convenient, and then to use the snack bars when you fancy that cold ice cream or some typical Dutch chips!
From the Maasvlakte, you can easily spot many large container ships and cruise ships, as they will likely be coming in or leaving Rotterdam Harbour. The best place for this close to the opening of the river, opposite Hoek van Holland. This is because these ships will be most closet to the coast. However from the Maasvlakte Beach you can always spot them in the distance out at sea.
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The FutureLand museum is an information center and the perfect place to explore the developments of what is happening at the harbour. They have in depth explanations about the Maasvlatke 2 area that has been man-made, and a cool guide to the offshore innovations happening off the coast.
They have some interactive sections for those really wanting to get stuck in, else join one of their boat or coach trips around the harbour.
Along the coast of the Maasvlakte Beach, you will be able to spot rabbits through the sandy grassy dunes. There is also many birds in the area. So if you are visiting for an early morning or late afternoon, sit down and watch them fly around you looking for food.
If you are lucky, you might get to see some seals. There is protected area close to the viewing points.
World Largest Wind Turbine – Haliade-X
The world’s largest wind turbine is called Haliade-X and built byFrom driving towards the Maasvlakte Beach parking area, you will already be able to spot the World’s largest wind turbine. The wings of the turbine are 107 meter long, with the whole thing being 248 meter high, which is much higher than the Euromast in Rotterdam. If you are wondering about the power, it can generate 16,000 households. Realistically, this type of wind turbine should be located out at sea, as it can handle much stronger winds than on land. However this is a test prototype and so we can expect bigger turbines out at sea in the future too.
If you want to really check it out up close, you can stand right at the bottom. Just drive into the area next to Sif Terminal and park close to the FutureLand Museum. From there you can walk around to the edge and hear the blades slicing through the air.
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The Maasvlakte Beach is a great place to really have a true beach experience. As there is only one take-away snack stand, you can really the nature and the beach with no commercial area. You can reach the Maasvlakte location all year round, allowing you to enjoy the hot sunshine during Summer to the cold winds during Winter.
- Take your camera for those beautiful beach photos (try visiting for sunset!)
- Dogs are welcome
- Bring a picnic – and your pocket money for an ice cream
- Don’t forget suncream
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