Belgium - Profile
- Situated between France and the Netherlands, Belgium has only a short coastline facing the English Channel and the North Sea. This lack of both coast and natural harbours do not make Belgium an appealing cruising destination. This is not helped by the difficulty of making landfall on the Belgian coast, which is fringed by sandbanks running parallel to the coast.
- Most foreign cruising yachts visit Belgian ports as a convenient place to stop while sailing north or south through the English Channel or are British yachts on a cross-channel trip.
- A few visiting yachts use the inland waterway system, which is connected to the extensive European canal network.
- The best facilities are concentrated in the ports of Ostend, Zeebrugge and Nieuwpoort, all of which have yacht clubs and docking facilities. Most repair facilities are available, as well as chandlery, fuel and provisions. There are also good facilities at Antwerp, where there is access to the inland waterways.
The climate is mild, humid and wet. The prevailing winds are mostly W or SW and most winter gales are from the SW. The sea often breaks over the outlying sandbanks especially when the wind blows against the tide.
Belgium Met office website www.meteo.be/meteo/view/en (in English).
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.