Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland or De Hoek, literally "The Corner") is a small town on the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal near the North Sea coast in Rijnmond. It is well connected to the nearby regional hub, Rotterdam. Most notable for travellers is Hook's ferry port, which has had services to the East of England since 1893.
The Hook of Holland is not an autonomous municipality, but part of the municipality of Rotterdam, although there is an advisory council for local affairs. The settlement came into existence when the Nieuwe Waterweg was dug to create a better waterway from the harbor of Rotterdam to the sea.
- Stena Lines runs both daily and daily overnight between Hook of Holland and Harwich in Essex (England). (8hr; €48 one-way foot passenger not including bunk/cabin.)
- P&O Ferries runs daily overnight from Hull (England) to the Maasvlakte part of the Port of Rotterdam. (10hr; €88+ one-way foot passenger not including bunk/cabin.) Then, a local ferry operated by RET links Hook of Holland with Maasvlakte, where the ferry from Hull arrives.
RET Fast Ferry
Coming by bike (or maybe on foot) from Europoort, Rozenburg (landtong) or Maasvlakte a very attractive way to enter the town is the Fast Ferry service from RET (Rotterdam public transport).
By public transit
The municipality can be reached by Rotterdam Metro line. There used to be a railway line from Rotterdam to Hoek van Holland, the former Hoekse Lijn; train service stopped in spring 2017. A lightrail service was supposed to take over in autumn 2017, but the project got delayed several times, mainly due to problems with security software, and the extensions only opened in September 2019. Trains run underground in the centre of Rotterdam, like a subway, but in the outskirts of Rotterdam trains run either on bridges, or at street level, like a rapid tramway.
For the second phase of train service between Rotterdam and Hoek van Holland, the railway line will be extended to the beach. The old railway line ends with a station called 'Hoek van Holland Strand' (Hook van Holland Beach), but that station is about 1,2 km away from the beach. Moving this last station from it's current location towards the actual beach, involves building a railway crossing. Many people in the local community consider a level railway crossing dangerous and/or fear traffic jams from summer beach tourism, so law suits are still underway, as an attempt to force authorities to build a tunnel instead of a level railway crossing.
Trains stop at Hoek van Holland Haven (port), next to Stena Lines. There is also bus service, which was implemented during construction of the new rapid transit link, but during rush hours these buses can be overcrowded or stuck in commuter road traffic. Lines to Hook of Holland are line 35 from Den Haag Leyenburg and lines 711 and 713 to Schiedam Centrum, which is connected to lines , and of the metro system. Upon completion, Hook of Holland will be served by a foot passenger ferry service, Waterbus 1 near the Ferry terminal and 2 , which will be moved to the beachfront.
Expect to buy tickets from a ticket machine and plan for some extra time to do that. To travel by public transport in the Netherlands means you will soon need to buy the OV-chipkaart, a digital card. An empty card costs €7,50 to purchase. After that, you need to charge about €10 (minimum €4 to open the boarding gates) for metro travels or €30 (minimum €20 to open the boarding gates) for train travels. You have to check in before boarding the train and you have to check out before you leave the bus or train station. Only upon checking out, the real fare is registered, so if you forget to check out, you lose your €4 or €20 entrance fee.
The Hook of Holland is a hub in the network of European long distance footpaths. It is served by E2 (GR 5), E8 and E9.
Similarly it can be reached by bicycle in about 1 hour from The Hague or Delft, and 1.5 hours from Rotterdam. The route is flat, but strong wind near the coast can make the ride more difficult. You might pass some of the largest greenhouses in the world; the greenhouses in this area of the Netherlands produce enormous amounts of fruit, vegetables and flowers for domestic use and export.
There are different networks especially for touristic/recreational cyclers, see for more information the page of the whole region.
The town itself is small and easily walkable. However most of the draws for visitors are 2–4 km (30–50 min walking) from town—not all in the same direction—so a bike or car is helpful if you're hoping to fit a lot into your day.
- 1 Maeslant Barrier (Maeslantkering), Havennummer 882, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–F 10:00–16:00, Sa Su hols 11:00–17:00. Storm surge barrier that is one of the largest moving structures in the world. The Maeslantkering is one of a series of surge barriers, locks, and dikes in the Netherlands, further described in the Delta Works article. The visitors' center (het Keringhuis, €2 per person) explains the history of Maeslantkering as well as the wider context of Dutch water management, but exhibits are in Dutch only. Several times per day, guided tours are provided for €4 per person (most are in Dutch, some in English); check the website for time and reservations. It's also possible to get a good, free view of the barrier from the top of the dune next to the visitors center. Once a year (usually in September), the barrier is closed and re-opened for testing. On that day, the place will be relatively crowded.
- Europoort — The largest port in the world (by some measures) sits on a series of islands facing the Hook of Holland. You can drive or bicycle here on your own, or take Rondvaart Europoort's harbour tour departing from the mainland:
- You can get to the port on foot or bicycle via the RET Fast Ferry from Hoek van Holland Haven, departing hourly from 06:06 to 19:06. (You'll probably want a bike to get around upon arriving at the sprawling Europoort.) Round-trip ferry tickets €5.60.
- FutureLand visitor center & tours, Europaweg 902, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–F 10:00–17:00, Su 11:00–17:00, sometimes Sat. The Port Authority offers 60- and 90-minute catamaran tours and 60-minute bus tours (€9–11 for the boat or bus tour, €15 combo for both), departing from the visitor center (i.e. you must get to the port on your own).
- Rondvaart Europoort (Europoort Roundtrip) (Departs just east of Maeslantkering, a bit outside Hook of Holland), ☏ . see website for sailing schedule. Harbor cruise tour of the port. Reservations recommended. €17.50 adults for 1½ hour tour, €21–€25 for 2½–3½ hour tours..
- Driving to the port is possible, but you'll have to go almost all the way to Rotterdam to get to the tunnel.
- 2 Atlantikwall Museum, Widerstandsnest 17. open a few days a month (see website). A bunker-turned-museum about the strategic importance of Netherlands' Atlantic coast in World War II. Hook of Holland was one of the most important places for the Germans to hold in the war because of the harbour. Not in English. €2.50, cash only.
- 3 Kustverlichtingsmuseum (Coastal lighting museum), Willem van Houtenstraat 102, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Fort 1881, Stationsweg 80 – 82, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Over 12 years old: €6, between 4 and 12: €4.50, under 4 years of age: Free..
- 1 Beach (30-min walk from the west edge of Hook of Holland [even shorter from Hoek van Holland Strand train station], or there's a parking lot on Badweg). The 18 km long sand beach is one of the nicest in the Netherlands. Some affordable restaurants and clubs stretch out from the access roads, or you can find a tranquil spot by walking a bit farther along the beach. Free.
- Bike or hike in the dunes. Separating Hook of Holland from the beach are some lightly forested sand dunes with great bike/hiking/dogwalking paths. Good birdwatching too. Free.
- 1 De Boulevard, Badweg 8, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 2 La Porte Salute, Paviljoensweg 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Unicum Waterweg, Koningin Emmaboulevard 5, ☏ .
- 4 Vispaleis, Koningin Emmaboulevard 1, ☏ . 11:00 - 20:00.
- 5 Jutter, Koningin Emmaboulevard 4, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 6 Ocean City, Rietdijkstraat 104, ☏ .
- 7 SAAM, Prins Hendrikstraat 287, ☏ . Tu - Su: 11:00-20:30.
- 8 L'americain, Rietdijkstraat 96, ☏ .
- 1 MIJN Torpedoloods, Stationsweg 43, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Three star hotel situated in a former torpedo storage facility. €87.
- 2 [dead link] Hotel Amerika, Rietdijkstraat 96, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. €88.
- 3 Hotel Kuiperduin, Prins Hendrikstraat 193, ☏ , ✉ Hotelkuiperduin@gmail.com. Hotel situated in the former vicarage of Hoek. €70.
- 4 Hotel Noordzee, Dirk van den Burgweg 69, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €80.
- Rotterdam — Major multicultural city known for its modern architecture.
- Delft — Arguably the country's most picturesque canal-lined town. Home of the famous Delft Blue pottery (or Delftware), and the home of Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.
- The Hague — The seat of the Dutch parliament and government, and home to Scheveningen, the most popular seaside resort of the Netherlands.
- East of England by ferry
|Routes through Hook of Holland|
|Cork ← London ←||W E||→ Berlin → Omsk|
|END ←||W E||→ Vlaardingen → Rotterdam|
|END ←||W E||→ Vlaardingen → Schiedam → Rotterdam|
|Harwich ←||UK NL||→ END|