A small tourism-centered town with several beach access paths over the high dunes to the North Sea beaches, Callantsoog, is a very nice place to spend the day.
- Parking within the city center is all paid-parking only, but limited to only an hour, long enough to get something quick to eat or doing a quick shopping trip.
- Within the town, you will find many options for food. Brazil offers the best cinnamon ice cream I’ve ever had among other flavors, pannekoeken, waffles, tostis, pizza, pasta, “American” hamburgers, bitterballen, and a variety of other foods. The prices are ok and the food is good.
- The small shops will provide everything that you forgot to take to the beach (in our case, the sand toys) and other souvenirs. You can also rent different beach sporting equipment like sailboards and even bicycles.
- Before and after the city center of Callantsoog, you’ll find large parking areas where you can leave your vehicle all day long for free. From there you walk to the dunes to one of about 5 different paths along the town that lead up and over to the other side. At each entrance to the beach you’ll find a covered eatery with bathrooms. Some even rent cots, umbrellas, and wind-tents. We left the city center following the road around to the first big parking lot we found (by Duinweg). That place rents wind-tents for 3E/day plus a 2E deposit.
- The beaches are long and wide making it easy to find a nice spot to set up camp even amongst the crowds. Small shells are abundant, large ones are nearly impossible to find. Still, there’s enough to keep the beachcombers happy. The food is decent and not to pricey. In one spot where it is more dangerous for swimmers, lifeguards do patrol and keep people out of the water. But in most places, there were a lot of swimmers, young and old, venturing out quite a ways into the water, so it must not drop off to suddenly.
- It is windy – so bring your kite and if you don’t own a tent, consider renting one. The shade and wind protection was much needed at certain times of the day, plus it marks your territory on the beach.
- A caution: There is a nude beach further south from Callantsoog. It is not something you’ll just run into without a bit of a walk, but do be aware that it’s there just in case your travelling with young ones who don’t need that kind of education yet.
- Though the dunes that separate the beach and the town are forbidden for climbing off of the designated paved trails, there are beautiful dunes just south of the town (Zwanenwater) with two lakes among them, nature preserves, and hiking trails, that you can enjoy. From May through August, guided excursions are available. Perfect for bird-enthusiasts, the preserve is well known for its stork colony as well as the more than 70 other species of bird that breed there.
Near: 10 minutes from Schagen, 25 minutes from Alkmaar, 10 minutes from Anna Paulowna, 15 minutes from Den Helder