The E-9 hiker entering the Netherlands from Germany will be amazed at how rural and picturesque the densely populated Netherlands is. The first stretch through the provinces of Groningen and Friesland has a rural character. The route never loses sight of the coast and sometimes runs for kilometers along the seawall. From Zurich, the walker has the choice to take the bus over the Afsluitdijk that connects Friesland with North Holland, or to walk the 32 km themselves. In good weather, this is a spectacular trip and well worth it!
In North and South Holland there are virtually no dikes left, but dunes and beaches and an attractive hinterland with good facilities. The stretch along Haarlem, Amsterdam, The Hague and Hook of Holland also has its charm: quiet stretches through the dunes and along the sea alternate with parts through country estates and (sometimes busy) residential areas.
Finally, in the province of Zeeland, the rural character and small scale are returning. There the walker will become acquainted with the ‘Delta Works’, the large Dutch defense system against high water from the sea. Finally, in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen you cross the border with Belgium after the attractive town of Sluis.
The total E9 through the Netherlands is approximately 688 kilometers.
Bad Nieuweschans near the German border
Sluis near the Belgian border
Which cities and towns does the E-path pass through
Delfzijl, Franeker, Harlingen, Callantsoog, Bergen, Bergen aan Zee, Egmond aan Zee, Wijk an Zee, IJmuiden, Haarlem, Noordwijk aan Zee, Katwijk aan Zee, Den Haag, Hoek van Holland, Maassluis, Brielle, Goedereede, Domburg, Westkapelle, Vlissingen, Breskens Sluis.
Ground path of the E-path
Nederlands Kustpad (Dutch Coastal Path)
The path is described in three guides.
Dutch Coastal Path, part 1. Zeeland – South Holland (Sluis-Hoek van Holland, 195 km)
Dutch Coastal Path, part 2. South Holland – North Holland (Hoek van Holland-Den Oever, 233 km)
Dutch Coastal Path, part 3. Friesland – Groningen (Stavoren – Bad Nieuweschans, 260 km)
The walking guide is in Dutch, but you’ll understand enough to plan and find your way. The route can be walked in both directions.
Wandelnet – www.wandelnet.nl
∙ Dutch Coastal Path part 1, Zeeland – South Holland; ISBN: 9789071068894 | Number of pages: 152, year: 2014
∙ Dutch Coastal Path part 2, South Holland – North Holland; ISBN: 9789492641052 | number of pages: 168, year 2019
∙ Dutch Coastal Path part 3, Friesland – Groningen; ISBN: 9789071068881 | number of pages: 216, year 2013. All guides a.o. available at www.wandelnet.nl
The three walking guides (see above) contain 35, 49 and 41 strip maps respectively (1:25.000) with the route of E9.
White / red is the way sign in Netherland for long-distance paths. The route is waymarked in both directions.
Crossing other E-paths
From South to North:
– As can be seen on the schematic map above, the last part of the E11 near The Hague runs together with the E9, about 10 km from the royal palace ‘Huis ten Bosch’ to the beach of Scheveningen.
– The E8 coming from the United Kingdom (Hull) moors in Europoort; 10 km to the east, the route crosses the E9, after which the E8 walker continues eastwards along the major rivers (Rhine and Waal) to Germany.
– The route of the E2, coming from England (Harwich), runs from the start in Hook of Holland to Goedereede (approx. 65 km) together with the E9 (European Coastal Path).
The small-scale Dutch landscape has plenty of beautiful sceneries just waiting to be explored. Netherland is the most densely populated country in Europe, but this is not noticeable outside the major cities in the west of the country. In the countryside you will find accommodation, especially B&B’s, campsites and public transport mostly within walking distance. Don’t hesitate to speak to people and ask for information along the way. Most Dutch people speak some English, the elderly also German and sometimes French. The general attitude towards foreign walkers is open and friendly.
Have a look at the Walkers Welcome addresses in the back of the walking guide. At these addresses you can arrive soaked and with muddy boots. See further:
– www.vriendenopdefiets.nl/en. Literally friends on bicycles, but walkers are also very welcome. More than 5000 listed guest addresses can be found, often near hiking and biking trails. Do not expect a four-star accommodation, but do count on a clean bed and a hearty breakfast against a friendly price (max. €25 per night per person) . Once you’re registered as a Friend (€10/year) of this non-profit organization you can search online for guest addresses along the route, or use of the guest address booklet.
– www.bedandbreakfast.nl. Also available as an app in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian language. Sometimes it is easier to mail or phone directly to the wanted address. Use google.maps (the bed icon) to identify the desired B&B address; in most cases address details or a website will appear when you click on the location.
Campsites are cheap, safe and mostly comfortable, prices between € 10 and € 20. There are sometimes possibilities to camp at a farm site (cheaper). We advise to use google.maps and enter ‘camping’ in the search box. See also:
– https://mijn.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/ Camp sites in nature, about 130 addresses in NL. Website also in English, German and French.
– www.trekkershutten.nl/ Hiker’s Cabins, website also in English, German and French.
There are many campsites near the route, but it is sometimes difficult to find the right addresses. Ask local people or simply ask at the end of the day the owner of an attractive site if you could put your tent there for one night. (Wild camping is officially prohibited in NL; enforcing the ban is a problem, however.)
There is enough food for every budget. It is sometimes difficult to find simple eateries in rural villages. A ‘cafeteria’ offers a simple hot meal: French fries, a meatball and sometimes fish. Bread, vegetables and fruit are cheap in shops. For shops use google maps on your mobile phone.
Stations and bus stops are indicated on the section maps in your guide. Find your favorite public transport app to help you out.
Buses and other public transport: https://9292.nl/en
In general the rambler doesn’t need specific gear to walk the E-path in NL.
(and of course also for part 2 and 1)
– https://www.knmi.nl/nederland-nu/weer/verwachtingen (weather forecast)
– https://www.buienradar.nl/ (chance of rain)