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.
Porto, located on the Costa Verde, is Portugal’s second-largest city and a busy port town. Porto’s long and varied history has left many beautiful old buildings that you can discover by walking around the ‘Ribeira’ – the old city centre that is a World Heritage site. City walks can be demanding as Porto is built in the coastal hills, but that also means that each corner offers a new, exciting vista! And you can always cool your heels on Porto’s rustic terraces and vibrant street side cafés.