Overijssel literally means over the river IJssel. Not very well-known outside Holland but a real hidden treasure.
Where is it?
On the map below you see the province Overijssel in red. It is somewhere in the middle of the country. In the west bordered by the river IJssel, which is one of the delta branches of the Rhine. In the east you find the German border.
If you travel from west to east, first you will see the river IJssel, with its River landscape.Along the river IJssel you will find the richer towns of the province. In the 13th to 17th century they were part of the Hanseatic League, and played an important role in the trade along the North Sea coast.
When you leave the river, you will see the landscape change quickly to a small scaled friendly area with small towns, farms and woods. The farmland is less open than in the west of the country. Because this part is above sea level, the soil is essentially sand and not clay. This soil is much less fertile than the clay grounds in the west and north of the country. So the farmers were poor people, having a mixed farm with both cattle and grains. The western part of Overijssel is called Salland, Half this changes in a part called Twente. Twente was an even more poor region than Salland. In the 19th century, traveling salesmen offered the farmers some extra income by weaving and spinning raw cotton. During the industrial revolution, textile factories emerged. This resulted in towns like Enschede and Almelo. Als they found salt in the bottom, resulting in some chemical industry. Later also machine factories were built, especially in Hengelo. This resulted in a large difference between Hengelo and Enschede. Hengelo clearly a much richer town.
The landscape in Twente is not so much different from Salland. Also some woods, agriculture, and bushes that were used to get wood for fuel and construction. The whole province is an excellent area for hikers and bikers.You will find many sand roads, with small separate bike paths of excellent quality. It is nice, quiet and friendly. Really our country side.
In the North-West corner you will find a very special landscape, the nature reserve Weerribben. This again is the border of land and water. In some areas there are meadows floating on the water, so if you jump it feels like a soft bed. If you jump too hard, you get wet feet.
Zwolle, Deventer and Kampen are Hanseatic cities. All old and beautiful.
Hengelo and Almelo are typical industrial towns. You probably will not like them very much.
Enschede is also originally an industrial town, but in the late sixties of the last century most industry disappeared. The town is not very old, but has more and more the character of a University town, with pubs, restaurants etcetera. It also has a very large market on Saturday, attracting many German visitors to buy cheese and cigarettes.
Extremely nice is Ootmarsum. It still has the atmosphere of the old Twente. You will find there old houses, many art galleries and an old Farmhouse where you can see how farmers used to live.
Other towns worth visiting for a while are Ommen, Dalfsen, Goor and Haaksbergen. Delden has a nice castle.
On this page, you can obtain more information about other hiking routes in Overijssel.
Reggepad is a hiking route with a total length of 85 km along the river Regge, which is a small river on the border between the two major regions of Overijssel, Salland (west region) and Twente (east region). The route starts in Ommen, which is a very nice small townd and ends in the village Diepenheim. Note, Ommen has a green camping and a railway station.
You can buy route descriptions at the tourist offices in the Twente region.
The markings look like this:
You can download the GPS file for the route (GPX format)
This route has a length of 77 km along the river Dinkel, which separates roughly the region Twente from Germany. It runs between the Gronau (in Germany) and Lattrop. You may start in Glanerbrug as well, which you easily can reach from the station in Enschede by bus. Gronau has a train service with Enschede. The route description is available at the tourist offices in the region.
The route markings look like this:
You can download GPS (GPX format)
More information, including a map is is in Dutch.
Buurse "De Meene"
Phone +31 535 696 220
The camping is somewhere between the nodes 81 and 78 on the edge of a small nature reserve called "Witteveen"' The street address is "Markslagweg". It may be a bit difficult to find the location.
The site is partly a normal camping site. A small part is reserved as a Nature camping. It also has a home for groups of young people. Facilities are good, but the places for tents are not, because there is not much grass. Surrounding is really beautiful with woods, moors, brooks. Nearest shops are about 2 km from the camping site (direction Alstätte, just before the German border you find a large supermarket).
Wesepe "De Marsbelte"
Phone +31 570 531 733
Route: From Wijhe nodes 35-36-57. Between 36 and 57 turn left Velsweg. Camping is at your left hand. From Wesepe: Follow node 57, at the Velsweg the node directs you to the left, continue following Velsweg instead. Camping at your right hand at Velsweg nr 14.
A very good camping, south of the road Wijhe-Raalte. Good grass, caravans and campers are allowed. Facilities for bad weather, freeze. Suitable for a longer stay. Take some time for check-in, the owner likes a good chat! You may need ear plugs, there are many birds at the camping site, making a lot of noise at dawn. Shopping in Wijhe (4 km).
Vollenhove "Landgoed Oldenhof"
Phone +31 527 241 252
Route: Along the road N331 from Zwartsluis to Vollenhove. At the green hectometre sign turn left (coming from Zwartsluis). The entrance of the estate is about 100 m to the right at a white gate. There are no signs indicating there is a camping site there. Follow the road a the grounds of the estate. At a farm turn right and follow the road. You see a grass area to the right. You can report at the estate house (ring the upper bell), between 17:00 and 18:00. Please note, the toilet building may be locked. You get a key when you report!.
Sample hectometre sign
The camping is a grass field in the small park belonging to the estate. The grass is of moderate quality. Only facilities are a van with toilet, shower and clean water. You can bring garbage to the estate house and leave it there in the morning.
It's a nice site, but only for a short time. You may like to visit the nearby nature reserves "De Wieden" and "Weerribben". Supermarket is in Vollenhove.
Starts in Wijhe, ends in Heino (Wijhe is between Deventer and Zwolle).
Length 15-18 km
Starts in Nijverdal, ends in Holten
Length 14 km
Popular route over a hill that was formed during the ice age. Moors and woods.
Starts in Rijssen, ends in Holten
Length 16-18 km
Starts in Deventer, ends in Twello or Deventer
Length 11-18 km
Comments on this route were not very positive. People say there is too much noise from highways.
Note: htis route is withdranw in 2012, but you still can downlaod the route description and map.
Starts and ends in Oldenzaal.
Length 11-17 km
With this route you enjoy the typicla landscape of Twente, with bushes, meadows, farmhouses and estates showing something of the very rich textile manufacturers, that ruled the region between 1850 and 1970.