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Knokke-Heist, the chic Belgian beach resort packed with activities for all ages
Make the most of a coastal escape with a trip to Knokke-Heist, the upmarket resort that is a haven of pleasure, cultural and outdoor activities. Take your pick from walking in the beautiful Zwin nature park, relaxing on the sandy beaches, strolling around the swanky boutiques, sipping a cocktail in a stylish bar or enjoying an intimate dinner in a cosy bistro or gourmet restaurant. And for the upcoming autumn season, Knokke-Heist boasts a packed agenda of events.
The First Parade: Until 11 November
The First Parade (De Eerste Parade; pictured above) transforms Canada Square into an open-air artistic experience. The exhibition is a subjective journey by some of Belgium’s prominent sculptors, from the late leading Flemish expressionist Constant Permeke to present-day artist Thomas Lerooy. Fellow contemporary sculptors include Nadia Naveau, Mark Manders, Johan Creten, Philip Van Isacker and Valérie Mannaerts. Other notable names are French modernist sculptor Eugène Dodeigne and Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine. Their demonstration of the power of human ability reveals the fragility of existence.
ART Knokke-Heist: 30 & 31 October
Confirming the town’s reputation as a beacon of visual art, the annual Open Gallery Weekend showcases a host of extraordinary works of art and creations. The event aims to make art accessible for everyone, whether amateurs, new collectors or connoisseurs. It’s an ideal opportunity to meet gallery owners, although art lovers can enjoy an artistic experience all-year-round as the town harbours more than 90 art galleries.
Knokke-Heist has plenty of public art on show, from statues to townscapes and beach art, along the waterfront and in unexpected locations. Watch the tide ebbing and flowing with Jean-Michel Folon’s giant figure in the breakwater, look out to the sea like Aurora Cañero’s Socorristas de Biarritz sculpture or stroll past Michael Flanagan’s Hospitality, a sculpture of leaping hares in the dunes of the Zwin nature park.
Light Art: 4 December-9 January
Knokke-Heist likes to put some sparkle into the festive season with Light Art, an annual event that brightens up the dark winter skies. Interactive and innovative, Light Art is a multi-sensory illuminated promenade through the city’s shopping triangle of Lippenslaan, Dumortierlaan and Kustlaan. The themed dazzling display includes a fun quest for kids.
Gault&Millau Knokke-Heist: From September
Foodie bible Gault&Millau has launched a new edition, the Gault&Millau Knokke-Heist Regional Guide, covering 148 culinary places in the region. Discover some 30 recommendations that confirm the town as the top gourmet destination on the coast. The independent gourmet guide has compiled the best addresses, including artisan bakeries, quality butchers, beer cafes, wine shops, chocolatiers, coffee bars, tea rooms, ice cream parlours, patisseries, delicatessens and fishmongers as well as gastronomic restaurants. It’s available from Tourism Knokke-Heist and local bookshops for €19,95.
Goeste: 4-14 November
The gastronomic experience week, Goeste, is the perfect occasion to (re)discover the culinary offer in multiple locations around Knokke-Heist.
Fashionable Knokke-Heist is THE shopping destination on the Belgian coast with exclusive boutiques, many selling top international brands. As you walk from the station into Lippenslaan, enjoy a spot of window shopping or more along Dumortierlaan and to the end of the Kustlaan. The town’s shops are also open on Sundays.
World Cup Cycling: 18-22 September
Knokke-Heist is among the four host cities of the UCI Road World Championships, with the seaside resort honoured to be the starting point for the event’s Time Trials. The top cycling event is celebrating its 100 anniversary and promises thrills and entertainment for young and old. Everyone’s hoping for top performances from Belgium’s national cyclists and a brilliant atmosphere to match.
Zoute Grand Prix: 6-10 October
Welcome to the world of Zoute Grand Prix, a unique car rally that’s a high-octane mix of upmarket lifestyle and art events, with a passion for automobiles taking centre stage. it proposes a diverse variety of events from rallies and GT Tours to car and art exhibitions, style competitions and sales.
SPEND THE NIGHT
Extend your visit to Knokke-heist by staying the night thanks to a wide and varied range of high-quality accommodation. From exclusive hotels to practical apartments or comfy studios, there’s a choice for all tastes and budgets. Consider spending the night or longer in a typical Zoute style lodging; houses with an original and beautiful cottage look.