Where to find the best Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

The tulip season is here and they are more popular than ever! We’ve selected a few regions in the that are just out of this world.. Here are the best tulip fields in the Netherlands.

Noordoostpolder
This tiny place is located in the Flevoland province and has an amazing backdrop with windmills and the sea. Car and bicycle routes have been voted one of the best in the world because of the tulip fields you are about to see here.

Noordoostpolder Tulips
Photo by Peter Abbes

Tulips are only blooming between April and May

Schagerbrug
If you’re looking for beautiful purple tulip fields and flowers, you need to visit the area of Schagerbrug. The fields here look like a Dutch painting because of the windmill that is situated here. If you come during the morning, you will have the best photo’s at sunrise.

Tulip field North Holland
Photo by GroovyPat

Goeree-Overflakkee
Another lesser known area to spot some of the largest and most beautiful tulip fields in the Netherlands. Goeree-Overflakkee is an island located in Zeeland, which is the south west of Holland. There are around 18 tulip fields on the island, in all different colours. Because these tulip fields are less known, you won’t find many tourists or locals walking around, winning! From Amsterdam, it’s about 2 hours drive.

Goeree-Overflakkee, Netherlands

Tulips were originally imported from Turkey in the 16th century, and later produced in The Netherlands

Bollenstreek: Lisse / Hillegom / Noorwijkerhout
One of the more popular tulip destinations. Lisse is near Amsterdam, so it explains why so many people go here. If you can, visit these tulip fields during the week, and early morning. If you go by car, you can drive through the whole area and make several stops.

Lisse tulip fileds

Polderbaan Schiphol
Next to the longest runway in Amsterdam Schiphol, you will find a few tulip fields. Combine this with a trip to the Polderbaan to see airplanes take off and land. This is also the tulip field you see in the header photo of this article.

Tulip Field next to Polderbaan
Relaxing in the Tulip field next to the Polderbaan

Keukenhof
We have the Van Gogh Museum, and we have the Keukenhof. It’s the one place all travelers know about. Mind you, if you visit the Keukenhof, you will share the tulip watching with thousands of tourists from all over the world. Buy tickets to the Keukenhof

There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3,000 different varieties.

Important note:
Please be aware that you cannot walk into every tulip field. If you see the farmer, please ask for permission. Otherwise respect their crop and do not walk in between the flowers (only the ground/sandy parts). There are wider area’s that you can take photo’s from. This year many tulip farmers have decided to close their fields with gates because there are so many tourists ruining their tulip field. 


Treat yourself to some flowers at the Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam!

Enjoy!

Wander-Lust

Visiting the Dutch capital? Here are 7 Photo Worthy Spots in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has many photogenic places where you can shoot amazing pictures. Whether you like photography or like to be in the picture yourself, the locations selected below do not disappoint you! Are you visiting Amsterdam and you want to know where to find the best spots? Now it’s up to you to find the right angle on the right time of the day (sunset recommended!).

1. NDSM Wharf
Urban photography at your fingertips! The NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam Noord is a rugged, adventurous and iconic area next to the IJ. The free character, the post-industrial buildings and the creative atmosphere form the backdrop where culture, events and urban development come together. Go here for a wonderful afternoon exploring and photographing!

2. Damrak Canal
Do you want a photo of the old typical Amsterdam houses? Then Damrak Canal is your way to go. The famous ‘dancing houses’ line on the side of the canal. The tall and narrow houses can be found throughout whole Amsterdam, but these are the most iconic ones. With sunset it is nice to see the reflection of the lights in the water.

September

3. EYE Film Museum
Besides the beautiful old canal houses, there are enough modern architectural gems in the city. The EYE Museum in particular is a spectacular building for photography from both afar as for very (close) detailed photographs. And you know why it’s called EYE? If you find the right perspective, you can see the shape of an eye in the museum. 

4. A’Dam Tower
The A’DAM Tower is a nearly one-hundred-meter high tower on the shore of the IJ in Amsterdam-Noord. From here you have a beautiful view of Amsterdam. They also have a giant swing on one of the top floors: Over the Edge! If you go with sunset you will often see a beautiful pink / purplish sky.

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5. The Canals
The one and only way to really experience Amsterdam is to walk along the canals. You will discover many beautiful bridges, streets and squares. It is wonderful to wander around for hours along the canals with a camera. Best spots are; prinsengracht/singel, 

6. Hortus Botanicus
If you really want to see special plant species, the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is highly recommended. The Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. There are no fewer than four thousand species of plants from all corners of the garden and greenhouses. You can make beautiful pictures of the surroundings, the plants and the architecture of the building. Fashion shoots are also regularly hold here.

hortus botanicus

7. Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum shows art in a beautiful environment. One of the more unknown but beautiful rooms in the museum is the Research Library. This place is the largest public art history research library in the Netherlands. Doesn’t it look cool?! Hogwarts vibes all over the place.

Rijksmuseum
Get arty at Rijksmuseum

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.

3 x new Sustainable Hotels in Amsterdam you want to check out

Sustainability is becoming more and more important and you can also see this shift in the travel industry. Right now, we are anticipating the opening of 3 sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Let us introduce..

QO
Amstel Kwartier

The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by Conran & Partners from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK. Also keep an eye out for the highly anticipated restaurant Persijn which is opening within the next month! The opening was due in December but like most building sights, it’s postponed until early spring. To read more about QO, go to this article.

QO, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

QO Amsterdam
QO from the outside

There will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia

Jakarta Hotel Amsterdam
Java Eiland

Located on Java Eiland in Amsterdam, this hotel is set to be the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands. The name comes from the location, where ships used to leave for Jakarta, Indonesia. Hotel Jakarta offers 200 luxurious rooms with a Indonesian influenced style. All the materials used to build, are recyclable and even the staff will wear sustainably made company clothing, designed by fashion label By Rockland | HACKED by. There are panoramic views over the Amsterdam IJ and most rooms have a balcony. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Café Jakarta and you will be able to get your drinks at Malabar. Besides this, there will be a wellness and swimming pool! In collaboration with Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, there will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia. www.hoteljakarta.amsterdam

Hotel Jakarta, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
Relaxing in the spa

Boot&Co
Houthavens

Another hotel that is being build right now is Boot&Co. The hotel is expected to be finished in 2019 and we can’t wait! Boot&Co is designed for the traveler that wants to feel at home, and perhaps would like to extent his days. Instead of the usual hotel room, this place will be equipped with 84 hotel apartments to give you the feeling of being at home. So what makes it sustainable? First of all, the hotel will be located in a fully climate neutral neighbourhood. Secondly, they will try to save and re-use water, isolation will be of the highest standard and Boot&Co will get it’s heating from factories around the area. They will of course work with PV panels and you can even charge your electrical car in the car park. 

With a EPC of 0,041 and a BREEAM ambition for Excellent, Boot&Co will be extremely sustainable


Boot&Co, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
The building will have the look of a school (source)

We’re happy that these 3 hotels are setting the bar for the “green” travel industry. Hopefully there will be more to follow.

Love,

Wander-Lust

The Best of Brabant

We’re going for a ride. No fast cars, touring buses or cute Volkswagen vans (I desperately want one though). This time we’re doing it the Dutch way, by bicycle. A ride that will take you from the industrial hotspots to picturesque villages. From Mondriaan to Dutch Design. All in the art heart of Brabant. So hop on the bike with me and I’ll show you the must-visit places of this pop-up cycle route, temporarily on from 2 until 24 September.

Did you know Brabant is the most hospitable province of the Netherlands?

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Did you know Brabant is the most hospitable province of the Netherlands? It is well-known for it’s friendly, warm hearthed people who know the best way to enjoy the good things life has to offer. Brabant is also easily accessible by bus or train from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels or Cologne because of its central location. Enough reasons to experience the famous Brabant hospitality yourself.

Hotspot 1: Werkwarenhuis
In the creative center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch you’ll find the mini-society, Werkwarenhuis. This initiative from Social able shows you design is much more than creating beautiful (and mostly extremely expansive) products. Design has the power to spread a message, connect people, pull them out of their comfort zone and motivate them. Werkwarenhuis is an inspiring, workplace were people who don’t participate that easily will find themselves connected. And that, that’s the true power of design: a strong social value that can’t be expressed in money.

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The best part it, you can buy the products that they create and the location is gorgeous as well. At least, if you like pink as much as I do. Cause literally everything is pink at the Werkwarenhuis, everything. So, hello cute Instagram photo’s!

Hotspot 2: Heusden
After a 40 minute bicycle ride from ‘s-Hertogenbosch you will arrive at Heusden, a romantic surprise you didn’t expect. Imagine small houses, mills, wooden bridges and narrow streets. If feels like we stepped back in time, in the best way. You won’t see any neon signs or commercial chains: the village breathes authenticity. With its many studios and galleries, the charming fortified city Heusden is a great destination for lovers of art and culture. You will find many traditional crafts, like a couturier, hatter and perfume maker. A perfect gift for your travel partner if you want to add a little spark to the romance. Tip » Brabant even provides you with your very own tour guide! He follows you every step and you don’t even have to be social with him. O btw, I’m talking about an app guide, not about one from flesh and blood. The ‘Routes in Brabant‘ app gives you the ideal guidance during the most beautiful cycling routes they have put together for you. It doesn’t only inform you about cultural history facts and landscape features, also restaurants and cozy cafes are included.

Heusden, Brabant
Heusden

Hotspot 3: Oisterwijk
The nickname of Oisterwijk, (yes, the letter i is no typo), Pearl In The Green, is well deserved. The village is surrounded by green and forest. The Burgundian lifestyle is well represented by the many nice restaurants, sunny terraces and luxurious shops. This creates a perfect getaway with a spark of flamboyance. Enjoy the forest, laid back with a glass of wine or go shopping. Everything is possible.

Oisterwijk Brabant
Sundaymorning@ekwc

Hungry for some more design? You can’t miss out on Sundaymorning@ekwc, an international workplace where artists, designers and architects whom explore the technical and artistic possibilities of ceramics. Taste a freshly roasted cup of coffee from Rozema&VanSchijndel while enjoying the beautiful, ceramic art projects that decorate the industrial building.

Coffee in Brabant
Coffee at Rozema&VanSchijndel

It’s time to put my bike back in the barn, but you can still enjoy the pop-up route till the 24th of September. It’s also possible to split the route in multiply days, so enjoy everything at your own pace. If you are looking for a place to stay the night I would recommend Huizebergen.nl. A monumental Villa from 1916, hidden in a beautiful park with ancient trees.  Scared for the rain or simply not in the mood for cycling? Everything on the route is easy accessible by car and public transport.

Get inspired by nature, design and charming cities while enjoying the Brabant hospitality. And for now, as they say in Brabant, allé tot in den drooij!

Love,

Eva

Do you want to take the same route as Eva, check the website!

Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

More of The Netherlands? What about a getaway/glamping holiday on Terschelling

Terschelling glamping

Flevoland » Relax & Unwind in The Netherlands

Get lost in 56 km of untouched nature, stand face tot face with wild animals during a safari or survival on a deserted island. I’m not talking about Kenya, South-America or Sri Lanka. Adventure awaits and it may be closer to home than you think. Actually, for Dutchies not even a two-hour car ride. You can find it in the Oostvaardersplassen in Flevoland, the youngest province of the Netherlands. 

Flevoland nature

Nature
The polder was created in the center of the country, where the Zuiderzee used to be. Officially established in 1986 and already an attractive residential and recreational area with a growing number of inhabitants. Let me take you on a virtual tour through the largest artificial island in the world. Not only humans enjoy the wide marshlands and pristine grasslands of the Oostvaardersplassen. It’s also a paradise for birds, Konik horses and deer. You can spot these wild animals and many others during a safari or together with the local forest ranger. There are also special cycling and hiking routes set around the area. More of an water person then an animal lover? With over 90.000 hectares of water, Flevoland is heaven on earth for sailors, fishermen and watersport enthusiasts. After all, Flevoland used the be the Zuiderzee so it’s not a big surprise. The remaining water consists of the IJsselmeer, the Markermeer and the Randmeren. You will find modern marinas and various possibilities of all kinds of water sports to explore the wild (and not so wild) waters of Flevoland. For example, rent a Catamaran at Sail Today for physical action or take a trip on a Rib Boat to enjoy the water at the speed of light (of at least, it feels that way).

Nature in Flevoland

Flevoland Harbor

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Tip » Do you prefer a spot on the front row and are you not afraid of heights? Experience the Oostvaardersplassen, LandArt and BataviaHarbor from a small air plane. Book your flight here.

Flevoland from above
Flevoland from above

Culture
Do you like art and architecture? Flevoland has many exhibitions, festivals and special buildings. You don’t even have to go to a museum to check out the artworks. Seven of the eight Lands Arts Works that the Netherlands have to offer are hidden in Flevoland. In place you didn’t expect, in the middle of the landscape. They created a car and bike route along the different Land Arts Works, a great way to discover Flevoland.

Art in Flevoland

Tip » Getting hungry? Enjoy freshly caught fish at Restaurant de Kaap in Urk, a traditional and characteristic fishing village in the northwest of Flevoland. The village used to be an island and still has its own dialect and way of living. When you’re there, don’t forget to check out the small monumental houses, cozy squares and beautiful harbor.

Where to Sleep
Go back to basics in a tipi on the desert island De Kluut or spend your night underneath the starts on Camping Raft in the midst of the beautiful, rugged nature of the Stille Ken in Zeewolde.
My favorite place to sleep is at Netl, the wildest garden, in the north of Flevoland. Beaches, natural playgrounds, bamboo jungle, 18 hole pitch & putt golf course and cozy beach pavilion; the perfect place break and balance your daily routines. Sleep at the campsite or in one of the unique accommodations, for example the sea container or Pipowagen.

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One of the accommodations in Netl

Verdict
Flevoland is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature close to home. A 50-minute car ride from Amsterdam brings me to a whole other world, far away from the buzz from the city. Summer dress and flipflop weather is not guaranteed unfortunately, but the landscape and tranquility brings a valid holiday vibe (even when it rains). And beside that, just imagine how romantic it would be to sleep underneath the stars in the middle of a lake…

Love,

Eva

These are the safest countries in the world

Whether we’d like to admit our not, the world has been coping with several new insecurities since 2009 according to the Global Peace Index. With this fact developing worldwide, travelers are seeking after safer destinations as well as feeling save in your own home country. The Global Peace Index has selected 25 countries in their 10th report, that are referred to as the safest countries in the world. 18 of which are European. So how did they select these countries and where should you feel the safest? To start off with, they looked at several points such as respective intrinsic wealth per capita, educational access, criminal justice systems, and social welfare. No, not just terrorism. (even though it has affected many countries over the last few years)

Scandinavia
Having all three of its most prominent constituent nations (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) among the 25 safest countries in the world, Scandinavia has to be considered the safest region. Iceland and Finland aren’t officially part of Scandinavia but you can kind of consider them to be, then it would be 5 safe countries within one region and this is pretty impressive to say the least. People from Scandinavian countries are among some of the happiest people on the planet so that might count for something too.

Shopping in Stockholm
Feeling good in Sweden

Asia
This might surprise you but Asia is doing pretty well, even though the Asian countries represented are fairly small. Their the second-best represented region in the top 25 safest countries in the world. Some violations are paid with a high price in Asian countries, like it’s even forbidden to sell chewing gum in Singapore in order to keep the streets clean. Somehow this works over there and people play by the rules, making the crime rate lower.

The list
So you’re all wondering where to plan your next (safe) adventure to right? Nice to know that plenty of beautiful countries with a lot of sunshine made it to the list. The largest improvement in the region was recorded by Portugal, which built on gains last year to rise nine places to fifth globally.

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We are 2 happy campers in Portugal

RankCountryGlobal Peace Index
1Iceland1.192
2Denmark1.246
3Austria1.278
4New Zealand1.287
5Portugal1.356
6Czech Republic1.360
7Switzerland1.370
8Canada1.388
9Japan1.395
10Slovenia1.408
11Finland1.429
12Ireland1.433
13Bhutan1.445
14Sweden1.610
15Australia1.465
16Germany1.860
17Norway1.500
18Belgium1.528
19Hungary1.534
20Singapore1.535
21Netherlands1.541
22Poland1.557
23Mauritius1.559
24Slovakia1.603
25Spain1.604

To learn more about the report and to see the full list of 163 countries, please check here.
So, is your country on the list and more importantly, where do you feel save?

Love,

Elke

Why you should visit the Assen TT next year

I might look like a tiny girly girl but I’m really nothing like it. I’m more of a tomboy that likes girly stuff now and then. (I wear high heels on some rare occasions). One of those tomboy things is, that I love motor racing. I’m talking bikes. Cars don’t really do it for me. It’s probably because during my time in London (where I lived a bunch of years) I dated a guy that was racing in the Superbikes championship. 6 months of the year I was walking around the racetrack supporting the team and over the years I learned a lot about bikes, racing and the championships. Moto GP is basically the Formule 1 of Motor racing. It’s a worldwide competition with racing locations in Australia, USA, Spain, Japan, France, Italy and also the Netherlands. Every June the Moto GP comes to Assen in the north east of Holland. The Dutch racetrack was build in 1955 so it’s pretty old and has been part of the racing agenda for years.  So why will this interest you, I hear you think. The TT in Assen is a spectacle everyone should at experience at least once if their life and this is why;

Assen TT Festival
It has become somewhat of a tradition that the town Assen celebrates the TT with music, beer, performances, competitions and motorcycle tours. This starts on Wednesday before the raceweekend and continues until Sunday evening. Everywhere in Assen is a party, it almost feels like carnival. You will find all sorts of people here. Yes, mainly bikers but famous DJ’s and singers are also attracting people from other area’s and even abroad. You will find rock, blues, dance and even German Slager music at the TT. Entrance is free and so is the hangover the next day. On Thursday it suppose to be the best day for locals. They call it the “Assernacht” but since the festival is now a 4-day celebration, all days are busy and fun. Be prepared for beer, beer and more beer. 200.000 people visit the TT every year so if you decide to visit the festival, park your car outside the city center and walk because it will be too busy.

Where to Sleep
If you go to the TT and you really want to experience the biker life, you can stay on one of the TT Campings. It’s like a festival with lot’s of mud, BBQ’s, motorcycles and beer. There are several campings all over Assen and surrounded towns. Some people open their backyard and create a small camping for visitors. If you prefer a little more comfort, good food and some luxury, you should stay at the Hof van Saksen. This is a spacious, green lakeside resort with modern bungalows or farmhouses perfect for a group of friends or families with kids. Each accommodation has a large bathroom, kitchen, living space and one or more bedrooms. I stayed in a house for 4 persons with 2 bedrooms a garden and a sauna! The bathroom had Rituals shampoo and body lotions and I had my breakfast delivered to my door in the morning. The main building also features a large swimming pool with waterslides and if you really want to pamper yourself you can book a day at the spa or treat yourself to one of the many treatments on offer. (something you will need after a night at the Assen TT night!) In the Hof van Saksen there are 5 different restaurants (yes 5!) like the Grand Cafe, Italian Gusto, a self service restaurant and Brasserie Coccinella overlooking the lake. A 4 persons farmhouse including a sauna and bubble bath is available from 589 euro’s for a 3 nights stay during the weekend. You can book your stay here.

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Assen TT Camping (photo by Vice)

Hof van Saksen Assen TT
The farmhouse I stayed in last weekend. Car: Peugeot 208GTI

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Evening falls over the the Hof van Saksen lake

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Typical Dutch breakfast brought to my farmhouse

Around the area
Assen is situated in Drenthe, a beautiful Dutch province with forests, lakes and history. At the Hof van Saksen you can rent bicycles and cycle around the area for hours where you will meet cows, horses, large farmhouses and beautiful forests. One of cool things you can visit are the Hunebeds. These are the oldest monuments in Holland and date back at least 5000 years ago. They are believed to be graves build by farmers with large rocks that traveled along with ice gletsjers from Scandinavia. How they managed to build graves with these massive rocks is anyone’s guess but if they could build pyramids back in the day, they could certainly build a Hunebed. 

Hunebeds
Impressive; The Hunebeds in Drenthe

The Races
But let’s face it, the Assen TT is all about the races that are being held on the circuit that weekend. Tickets are available from 44 euro’s for a free spot around the track and go up to over a 100 euro’s for the best seats. I love reporting from this spectaculair event because you never know what’s going to happen. The all time favorite crashed and it suddenly started pouring down with rain which ended up with surprising end results.

“The Assen TT is an event in The Netherlands, everyone should visit at least once.”

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Full on action in the first lap

Valentino Rossi Assen TT
Valentino Rossi (the main man) getting onto his bike

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Spanish Rider Dani Pedrosa

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Umbrella girls are always part of the Moto GP in Assen

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Walking on track after the race

The moto GP continues it’s next race in Germany with 9 more destinations to follow. But no experience will be like the Assen TT. Will you go next year?
For info about the Assen TT Festival check the official website. If you want to visit other Moto GP races, go here.

Love,

Elke

*Photography by Jesse Denijs

San Blas, a little Panama in the Netherlands

Every spring, you see them building it up. The beachclubs.

Beach girls like myself can enjoy food, drinks, coffee and music until summer stops and they start breaking it down again. 
Until now. San Blas is a new beachbar/restaurant in Bloemendaal that stays open all year. 365 days a week.

A Dutch couple came up with the idea after living in Panama for many years. They lived near San Blas, a group of more than 365 islands in Panama. “one island for each day of the year”

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The interior design of San Blas takes you straight to Panama

I was there when it first opened and sat in the first sunlight behind the glass so you can enjoy people watching without sitting in the wind.
You can also rent San Blas for parties, weddings or business meetings. Not bad!

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Old vintage doors, complete the picture

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The floor is amazing at San Blas!

San Blas is now open for you to enjoy food and drinks from 9am until the sun goes down..
Beachclub San Blas
Zeeweg 84
2051 EC Overveen
The Netherlands

Love,

Elke