IJmuiden, on the west coast of the Netherlands, is the water gateway to Amsterdam. Cruise ships, cargo vessels and pleasure yachts pass through its busy locks every day while the IJmuiden marina provides an excellent shelter from the North Sea storms. IJmuiden offers a wide, sandy beach that is popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. Behind the dunes you’ll find a small nature reserve, perfect for a hike or a run. IJmuiden’s restaurants serve fresh fish, straight from the local market.
Leixoes is a port town in northern Portugal, only 10 km out of Porto. It's one of Portugal's major seaports located near the estuary of the Douro River. Take a walk to the old fortifications, dine in one of the many seafood restaurants and then relax on a sandy beach. If you have more time and would like to explore, take a trip to nearby Porto, famous for its architecture - and wine!