Did you know that you can see from a tram in a day the entire Belgian coastline of the North Sea from the border with the Netherlands until reaching the dunes of sand near France? C’est posible!
The Belgian Coast Tram from Knokke–Heist until De Panne has 65 kilometers and is the longest tram line in the world with 67 stops. Beautiful Belgium. Talk about World records. De Kusttram (dutch) or Coast Tram is part of the public transport that connects the Flemish towns and resorts along the entire sandy coast. Perfect now in spring and soon summer, if you buy a regular day train ticket, the tram trip is part of the package.
In my Belgian years I tried to travel often inside the country and understand Belgium as much as possible.
De Kusttram is the tram that connects the 10 towns in the Flemish coast:
- De Panne
- De Haan
The 2 hours and 15 minutes trip one way can be done all at once or with stops in the cutest town along the way. To enjoy this more, what I did was to split the trip from one corner of the country to another in two ocassions and each time half of the way to Oostende.
De Panne – Oostende – Knokke
My first tram trip started near France, from De Panne, that has the widest beach, with a first stop in Niuwport. I must say that Niewport had a beautiful harbor area. We walked on the beach until we reached the next town, Middelkerke and from there, took the tram until Oostende, that has a very long esplanade with neoclassical arcades called Royal Galleries. The city of Ostend is the largest on the coast and has the easiest connection to return to Brussels.
And second round started near the Netherlands in Knokke, a very elegant resort, with a first stop in Blankenberge and a second in De Haan, that became a favorite one. De Haan is beautiful and I felt transported to the Belle Epoque immediately. And later continued until – you guessed – Oostende again in the middle, in time for dinner and sunset. Enjoyed this second half more and repeated next summer.
Resources for this journey
Train ticket using the Belgian Rail services. The website of the Belgian coast offers information on the stops/towns along the coast.
One alternative – The movie (and the city) in Bruges was my favorite day-trip from Brussels. I went so many times I lost count and wrote the story already.
Along the way and the years, I truly appreciated and admired the creativity and innovation of Belgium when it came to transportation and trains.