Noordwijk aan Zee, traditionally a fishing village, is now a seaside with a long coastal strip of about 13 km. from the free beach (after the beach of Katwijk) to Langevelderslag. About 3 km coastal strip is actually for the town of Noordwijk aan Zee. For years, well-heeled Dutch urbanites have enjoyed the anonymity of this laid-back coastal village less than an hour outside Amsterdam.
Noordwijk aan Zee was founded when around 1200 the first fishermen settled in the dunes of Noordwijk. Until the beginning of the 19th century is the main form of income fisheries remained.Later started the population increasingly to focus on the tourism. Probably the first inhabitants settled in Noordwijk around 2000 BC, but the first we secure evidence are dated to 1200, these probably were fishermen. The first April 1398, Duke Albert I of Bavaria, after several requests, gave Noordwijk the city privileges.
Now, Noordwijk is very dependent upon tourism. Noordwijk has one of the longest beaches of the Netherlands. Many people love to go for a walk, even on a cold and windy day. Surprisingly for the North Sea, there are some decent waves when the winds are blowing, making it good for surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing. There is plenty of space for volleyball and other beach games, and you can sign up for boat and diving trips to the some nice spots further up the coast.
Furthermore, in Noordwijk aan Zee a reformed Church (1647) with pulpit from the 17th century. Noordwijk aan Zee is currently one of the richest pieces of Netherlands; It stands on the 12th place in the list of the top 50 richest districts of Netherlands. Beer magnate Freddy Heineken there built a villa in Noordwijk aan Zeewith with the characteristic green roof.
Noordwijk is also the headquarters of scientific operations of the European Space Research and Technology Centre or ESTEC, part of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Space Expo visitor centre has a permanent exhibit on the space. Space Expo is the first and largest permanent space exhibition in Europe and also the visitors’ centre for the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlands.
The Space Train runs at weekends or during school holidays for a visit of the test facilities of satellites. Prior to the launch of almost all equipment that ESA launches is tested here. There is an information center for the International Space Station, where you can find the latest news about the Space Station.