Presentation of the destination
Le Coq, named De Haan in Dutch, is a municipality in West Flanders. In the heart of the Flemish Region, she is Dutch-speaking. This small seaside resort is on the North Sea coast. The municipality of Le Coq also includes the villages and hamlets of Wenduine, Klemskerke, Vosseslag, Harendijke and Vlissegem. The Rooster is one of the cities of Belgium to be located on the polders, these land spaces gained on the sea thanks to a system of dikes and pumps. Although the coastal dunes protect the city from the sea, they also form a pleasant and peaceful promenade. The Rooster is indeed renowned for the beauty and calm of the surrounding nature: protected woods and beaches are particularly popular there. The traditional face of his center is equally seductive. Multiple Anglo-Norman villas give it its smiling aspect.
Points of interests / things to see
The Rooster was once a small hamlet nestled between the two oldest villages of the region: Klemskerke, founded in 1003 and Vlissegem, whose creation dates back to 988. This hamlet was in reality © appeared anarchically, formed of small huts erected between the dunes and the heath. Workers and fishermen resided there, but the improvised village was reputed to be a shelter for thieves and thieves. The customs officers settled there in 1814 and one creates for them commits, buildings more solid than the huts. Throughout its history, Le Coq had to fight to preserve the quality of its dunes, threatened by the presence of many rabbits. Theodoor Van de Walle, chairman of the Flanders Agriculture Committee, then decided to plant combes in order to keep the dunes in state. A commission was created in 1887 to study the plantation of forests. Following the decisions and measures of this commission, tourists can today enjoy a wood of 157 hectares between Wenduine and Vosseslag. In 1886, a tramway line was built along the Belgian coast and Le Coq experienced a boom. The architect Edouard Colinet designed the plan of Le Coq as it is today, to make it a tourist place between sea and wood.
Wenduine depended on the parish of Uitkerke in the Middle Ages. The small town became independent in 1180. From its foundation, it was a great fishing center. In the 14th century, there were already 43 boats and nearly 200 fishermen. Some archives in the United Kingdom tell us that fishermen had to fight against many pirates and were attacked by warships. Fishing is losing importance in the 16th century and Wenduine falls back into oblivion. The inhabitants of the city were entertained then with the 24 taverns that were there and often had to look for work in France. It was not until the creation of the tramway line at the end of the nineteenth century that Wenduine expanded again. Tourist establishments flourish here and foreigners' coffees are proliferating there. From the beginning of the 20th century, Wenduine had become a renowned resort.
While Le Coq seduces tourists, it has also charmed the greatest names in art, politics and science. King Leopold II took a special interest in the development of the park in the heart of the dunes and stayed at the Hotel des Familles in 1901. The Empress Zita d Austria-Hungary also made long stays at Wenduine. She even signed the Golden Book of her favorite bathing station. Expressionist painter James Ensor often went to Le Coq during his spare time. It appears, in fact, on several photographs taken in various cafes of the city, including the Flying Heart. Maurice Maeterlinck, Nobel prize of literary, rebates to the Hotel du Rooster in 1889. The famous playwright and essayist wrote part of his only collection of poems. Stephan Zweig tells a story of his passage to the rooster before the outbreak of the Second World War. The city where holidaymakers of all nationalities come together becomes for the writer a symbol of harmony and peace in a world that is on the verge of conflict. Finally, Albert Einstein will For a while at Le Coq, forced to flee the Nazi regime. He lodged in the "Savoyard" villa and made several sea excursions before leaving Belgium for the United Kingdom.
The Belle-Epoque villas of the Center du Coq are reminiscent of the authentic and joyful atmosphere of this nineteenth-century balneal resort. Ornate with delicacy, the facades of these quaint houses have colonnades, turrets, verrys and skylights. The pastel shades of the buildings finally light up the rooster. In the Concession, you will find the first luxury hotel in the city and the house of Albert Einstein. This city, built according to the wishes of Leopold II, has charms that can be seen walking through its small cobblestone streets.
The Rooster prides itself on having the longest beach on the Belgian coast. Supervised bathing areas are the meeting point for families. Sandcastles, beach volleyball and entertainment characterize these warm spaces. Beach clubs, seaside cafes and water clubs run along these areas. Walkers will prefer unsupervised areas and climb the dunes to enjoy a wonderful view and enjoy some calm. Between the dunes, we discover a wood of 157 hectares which one traverses thanks to its paths of excursions and its paths of equitation. Three natural reserves are there. The Kijkuit is a dune language planted with dunes and cypresses thought. De Zandpanne includes several dunes covered with scrub, heather and moss. D'Heye is finally a little further away, in Bredene. These areas of wooded dunes can be discovered through many morning guided tours.
The villages around Le Coq have many assets. In Wenduine, the landscape is marked by the presence of an old mill that can be visited. There is also the "Spoienkop", an observation post from which you can contemplate an extraordinary panorama at 31 meters above sea level. The village of Vlissegem, founded more than a thousand years ago, is among its attractions a church listed as a Belgian architectural heritage. A bicycle ride along the polders and small farms is provided. Finally, Klemskerke includes a windmill from 1693 and an old church. In the heart of the polders, its peaceful beauty makes it a popular stop for walkers.
The golf club Koninklijke, link of the seaside, is the oldest of Belgium. King Leopold II inaugurated it in 1903. This extraordinary place will delight all golfers. Younger guests will be able to take advantage of the city's many mini-golf courses. Le Coq nautical clubs offer numerous sailing and windsurfing lessons for both beginners and experienced participants. Experts will simply be able to rent the necessary equipment and run alone. The 10-mile night running is the most entertaining and original sporting event in the city. Finally, petanque, tennis, horse riding and volleyball are among the many sports activities possible at Le Coq.
The Rooster's schedule is matched by numerous events and festivals. The blessing of the sea, in May, pays tribute to an ancient legend. In the 16th century, the cross of the Wenduine Church destroyed during a tsunami was reportedly fished by seamen. Every year, the locals unload the church cross on the beach and bring it back to the church in triumph. In July, the Fete des GÃ © ant is a fokloric carnival-style festival. A procession of Germans travels the city of Wenduine. Finally, the rural fair of Vlissegem, the festival of the mill of Wenduine and the feast of Trammelant, celebrating the Belle Epoque, constitute other traditional events.
Several theme parks are close to the rooster and will entertain families. The Sea-life center of Blankenberge is the largest aquarium in Belgium. An underwater tunnel creates an illusion for visitors to find themselves at the bottom of the ocean, among sharks, rays and congers. You can also see seals, which the center collects and heals. The Blankenberge Serpentarium is a vivarium where one discovers the way of life of the curious reptiles that populate it. Finally, in Zeebrugge, we discover Seafront, a marine theme park. We visit the Russian submarine "Foxtrot".
Vacation rentals in De haan (Flanders)
How to get there ?
By plane, we land at one of the two airports of Brussels, Charleroi Brussels South Airport, or Brussels Airport. You can also get back to Brussels by train. The journey from Paris takes less than an hour and a half. Connections are made by many buses at advantageous rates. The trip will be longer: almost four hours from Paris to reach the Belgian capital. De Haan can be reached by taxi and shuttle. Rates are high, however. It will take between 150 and 200 euros. The three stations of Brussels (North, South and Midi) include rail lines that serve Ostend. From this city, we reach De Haan thanks to the coastal tram. The rates are divided by two the summer and the journey cost so less than ten euros. This tram crisscrosses the Belgian coast from the French border to the Dutch border. It marks 68 stops along a route of just over two hours. It is thus particularly easy to visit the various cities of the Belgian coast from Le Coq. Finally, you can easily reach Le Coq by car from the north and east of France. From Paris, you have to travel 310 kilometers to get to Le Coq. The rooster can be visited on foot and the surrounding villages can be discovered during walks or bicycle rides.
De haan city hall
Hotels in De haan (Flanders)