Overlooking the North Sea on the Flemish Coast, Westende is a family-friendly beach resort in Belgium. It once lay at the far western end of Testerep, a former island that is now connected to mainland West Flanders.
Things to do in Westende
In the heart of Westende is Villa Les Zephyrs, a house museum that has been recreated as it appeared in the 1930s when it was a holiday home for a Ghent-based doctor. Its interior was designed by Henry van de Velde, who was a prominent designer of the period. Highlights include the sunken terrazzo bath and the stained glass windows, as well as the Art Nouveau decoration of the dining room. Contemporary art exhibitions regularly take place here.
Enjoy a stroll through the St Laureins Dunes, which lie on the western edge of Westende. They overlook a wide expanse of sand that stretches for nine kilometres along the coast, giving you plenty of space to relax and play in the shallow waters. Beach volleyball and soccer games are organised in the summer months and lifeguards patrol the waters for your peace of mind.
Cycling trails wind through the surrounding polder countryside to Middelkerke, a historic spa town with an attractive promenade. Between the two towns lies De Kegel X-Treme, an entertainment hub where you can go ten-pin bowling, laser shooting or go-karting. Challenge your family and friends to a game of mini-golf or tackle the high ropes course of the Adventure Park.
Getting around Westende
Westende is a 40-minute drive from Bruges and an hour from Ghent. Oostende-Brugge International Airport is 15 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Trams connect to Westende from towns and villages along the coastline while the centre of Westende is small enough to explore on foot.