THE SANTPOORT GUIDE | THE VILLAGE YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
When I moved from the big city of Amsterdam to the village of Santpoort-Noord with only 10.500 inhabitants, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I bought a house in a place I had never lived before, plus I didn’t know anybody. It turned out to be a good gamble because Santpoort is a very unique place.
Don’t be mistaken, Santpoort has more to the eye than you would expect. With the beach at cycling distance and the forest just a stone throw away, Santpoort also offers many great places to eat and explore. Here’s a full guide with the best that Santpoort has to offer.
Forest and Beach
Without question, this is probably the best feature Santpoort has, its stunning nature. Yes, this town is green and lush and one of the reasons I moved here in the first place. You have a few options; walk around in the forest, visit the beach or relax at one of the nearby lakes.
If you want to hug some trees, enter the nature reserve of Zuid-Kennemerland. There are a few ways to enter, but the best entrance is at Duin & Kruidberg. You can park you car for free or cycle your way through the park. Occasionally, wild deer will cross your path and don’t be surprised if you spot big grazers and other forest animals. Bring something to eat and drink as there are plenty of places to rest and enjoy a picnic.
If you are a sucker for the Dutch Coast, I advice you to hire a bicycle and cycle along the “Zeeweg” from the Duin & Kruidberg entrance. Follow this road all the way up for about 20 minutes and you’ll end up at the most beautiful beach entrance the Dutch coast has to offer. Because you can only gain access by bicycle or foot, you’ll find a quiet beach area where you’ll mainly find the locals. Officially, it’s also a nudist beach, and although you don’t see this very often, in the early morning and evening, some people love to take a dip in their birthday suit so jump in and feel free!
Also check out these 6 amazing nature parks in The Netherlands!
Did you know Santpoort has been voted as the greenest neighbourhood in the Netherlands?
Where to Stay
If you want to spend some more time in Santpoort (as we can imagine), there are a few places I can recommend you to stay.
Duin & Kruidberg
Known for its beautiful wedding location, this hotel and restaurant is located in the perfect spot. Therefore it’s gaining popularity for couples and also families that want to treat themselves to a few days of luxury. If you want, you can even eat at their Michelin Star restaurant. That being said, it is not too expensive if you book one of their room deals. duin-kruidberg-the-perfect-romantic-getaway
Not in Santpoort officially, however I still think you should know about this place. It is located in the Kennemerduinen forest and from Santpoort it’s about a 15 minute bicycle ride. This forest villa is perfect for groups of friends or families. It has a large garden, outside terrace, three bedrooms plus an extra guesthouse with a 2-persons bed and bathroom. bosvillakennemerduinen.nl
Where to Eat in Santpoort
Food, food, food. Yes, it’s the most important factor in my life. Luckily, Santpoort has a lot of tasty spots on offer and these are by far the best ones.
This place is Santpoorts food heart. If you haven’t been as a local, you are missing out. The Meierij is located in the main shopping street “hoofdstraat” and offers beautiful food that come in large portions. With that, they serve some amazing wines. Next door you’ll find the “Bokkensteeg” which is the sister-restaurant and a little more low key, so perfect for bringing your kids to! meierijsantpoort.nl
Restaurant De Boschbeek
You can find De Boschbeek in Santpoort-Zuid and right next to its local forest. From the outside it looks like a Hans & Gretel house, except you can only eat what’s on the menu of course.
Experience the flavours of Italy at this cute deli shop. Here you can buy freshly made pasta’s, lasagna and salads. Next to that, they sell wines, Italian cookies, cheese and amazing limoncello. Tip: From the 1st of October they will have a pop-up store at Hoofdstraat 224 with Italian gifts!
Hoeve Duin & Kruidberg
The place to go after a bicycle ride through the dunes and forest. Known for their choice of ice-cream, they also serve traditional tosti’s, sandwiches, salads and fries. Best of all, they have a large grass field and outside terrace, perfect for families! hoeveduinenkruidberg.nl
If you want to grab a beer and some typical Dutch snacks, you can do so at De Wildeman or Café Bartje. ‘T Palet is also a nice family run restaurant with a cozy vibe.
Where to Shop
No Lemons Please
The only giftshop where I can never leave empty handed. Located in the main shopping street, they sell products from HK Living (loving the coffee cups) and an assortment of home accessories, pillows, throws, jewellery, soap, sweet gifts, postcards, stationery and many more items. There is a corner for kids and the latest trends for your garden or balcony.
Places to Visit
Ruin of Brederode
If you have kids, definitely bring them to this cool castle! The Ruins of Brederode have a long history and was founded by William I van Brederode in the second half of the 13th century. It was destroyed several times and no longer inhabited since 1492. Nowadays, the castle is open for visitors where you pay a small entrance fee. From time to time they organise exhibitions and concerts. ruinevanbrederode.nl
Today, Brederode is the only castle ruin in the Netherlands.
Not far from the castle, you find the perfect spot for those who want to relax and put their feet up. Sauna Ridderrode offers thermal baths, sauna’s, steam rooms, and even a frozen iglo to boost your immune system. Which is just what we need right now!
Molen de Zandhaas
It is the first thing you see when you drive into Santpoort from a distance. The Windmill that still operates and produces flour. But there is more to the Zandhaas. Inside you’ll find the cutest little shop where you can buy organic vegetables and fruit, seeds, nuts, flour, sweets and even beer. The authentic and original interior of the store comes from the grocery store that originally stood on the corner of the Hoofdstraat and Wüstelaan in Santpoort-Noord. How cool! molendezandhaas.nl
Due to Covid, the big party was cancelled this year, but during the first week of August, Santpoort celebrates 9 days of partying that has the whole town involved. Eight full days of music, horse riding, mud wrestling and other games. If you haven’t experienced the “Feestweek”, you haven’t experienced Santpoort some may say.
Not in Santpoort but Nearby
The surrounding area’s of Santpoort are stunning to say the least. Therefore, I also want to highlight a few must visit places nearby.
This wonderful restaurant has a few reasons why you should plan a visit. Firstly, the location is mesmerising. It’s no surprise that Beeckestijn is used as a wedding location. Furthermore, the food here is more than great. I came for lunch and besides the approachable menu, they also serve a surprise lunch menu that is quite fancy! Pretty (filled) plates that actually taste great! The restaurant is currently also open for dinner and they offer take-away. Often overlooked, but Beeckestijn has an outside terrace, and I was told their “borrelplank” is something to return for. The couple that runs the brasserie certainly know how to pamper their guests and I will return! brasseriebeeckestijn.nl
If you have read our article about this wonderful place in Velsen, you know we are a big fan. Recently opened, this beautiful landhouse has transformed into an eco-hotel and restaurant. The high ceilings and classic details make this place one of a kind.
From Santpoort, you can easily cycle to Spaarnwoude where you’ll find Villa Westend. A restaurant with a man-made beach, perfect for summer. It has a relaxed beachy vibe where you can wine and dine in the evenings. During the day they offer lunch, snacks and drinks. Bring your kids but be careful at the waterfront as there is no supervision. Nearby there is a playground for kids where they can play in the shallow water.
Walking around graveyard Westerveld
Known as the most beautiful graveyard in the Netherlands, this place is worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood. Westerveld is located in Driehuis and amongst the people buried are a few famous Dutch writers, actors and politicians. Besides that you can also find several war graves here. Dogs are welcome as long as they are lined.
There you have it. Santpoort in a nutchell! If you haven’t been convinced yet, come and visit and you will see!