Travelling in Europe: De Panne, an Oasis of Tranquility at The Belgian Coast
In this article, I give you all the information for a holiday or a trip to this Belgian city situated alongside the border with France.
The city of De Panne is situated on the extreme west of the Belgian coast. By way of public transport, you can reach the city by train from the national Belgian Airport of Zaventem or Brussels National Airport. The train stops in Brussels and Ghent.
By car, you can reach the city by taking the highway E40 who connects Brussels with Dunkirk in France. If you come to De Panne during the summer-holidays, it’s better to take the exit Veurne in order to avoid the queue in the direction of the amusement park of Plopsaland in Adinkerke just behind the exit of De Panne. From Veurne you take the normal road in direction of De Panne.
If you are coming from Ostend Airport, you can take the tramway to De Panne.
The city got it’s name by the form of the bowl in the dunes, which they called in Dutch “een panne”.
Around 1782, the Austrians built a settlement in the dunes which was called “Jozefsvillage”. Later on, the settlement was also called “Kerckepanne”. Fishery was the main income of the population.
In 1831, the Belgian King Leopold I set first foot on Belgian ground in De Panne. On the beach of De Panne, you can visit the monument in honour of the first Belgian King. In that period, De Panne was part of the bigger municipality of Adinkerke. In the second half of the nineteenth century, De Panne became a bath city. During the summer-holidays, the tourism flourished. Different hotels were built. You can still see remnants of those buildings today.
In 1911, De Panne became an independent municipality. The independence was celebrated in 2011 by putting old photo’s on different locations in the city so the tourists could see the change during that hundred years of history.
Attractions and activities:
By low tide, De Panne has the broadest beach of the Belgian coast. There, you can do different activities like landyachting, kitesurfing, kitebuggy, horse riding or just walking on the beach. Beside the beach, you can also walk or jog in the different dunes and forests. In the Calmeyn-forest you can also try one of the different mountainbike-routes. In the Calmeyn-forest you can visit the educational centre “De nachtegaal”. (the nightingale)
The tourist who wants to see more culture can take a walk in the famous Dumont-area. Here you can see cottages that were built in the beginning of the twentieth century. You can also visit the different churches and the Royal Chapel. At the cultural centre “De Scharbiellie” you can see a permanent exposition of oceanic art. During the year, there are also different temporary expositions.
You can also do different outdoor sports like tennis, minigolf or basketball.
For the kids, there are also different attractions. They could drive with a go-kart on the dike or play on the playground that is installed on the beach. When it’s raining, you can play bowling or pool in one of the different bars.
In Adinkerke, you can visit the amusement park Plopsaland.