Our By Mölle studio in Dalfsen is located near the Vecht. A 167 kilometer long rain river with an ancient history, beautiful nature and great spots. If you want to discover the beauty of the Vechtdal in Overijssel, the Vechtdal walking path is a must. You start in Zwolle and for four days you follow the meandering river Vecht through idyllic vIllawarra such as Dalfsen, Ommen, Vilsteren, Mariënberg, Hardenberg and Gramsbergen. This walk takes you to the border with Germany in about 80 kilometers. The route is beautiful and varied with paths through the forest, climbs over old river dunes, past stately castles and vast meadows interspersed with picturesque villages. You can also enjoy sand drifts, heathland and fens full of blooming water lilies. And who knows, you might spot the Vechtanjer. This rare pink flower only grows along the Overijsselse Vecht in July and you will not find it anywhere else in the Netherlands.
The Vecht has it’s source in Germany and is called Vechte there. A legend tells us that the name comes from a German prince Vechten who drowned in the river around AD 400. The Vecht used to be important for the trade of local products. Because the river was difficult to navigate in the summer due to the low water level, the Vechtzomp was built. A small flat-bottomed ship in which skippers transported local products such as linen, rye, eggs, buckwheat and trees. At low water levels, the skippers sailed in convoy. The water was raised with temporary dams, so that all cargo ships could sail a little further. It was called "sailing where there is no water". Due to the many bends in the Vecht, the sailing time from Nordhorn to Zwolle took about six days. While - for comparison - a skipper at that time sailed from Amsterdam to Zwolle in two days. Bentheimer sandstone was also taken from Germany, with which the Dom of Utrecht, the Waag in Deventer and the Palace on Dam Square were built. In some places of the Vechtdalpad you can still see pieces of Bentheimer sandstone as remnants of former wells and farms.
"The river Vecht used to be important for the local trade of products such as linen, rye, hams, eggs, trees, buckwheat, hemp seed, oil, oxen, wine, wool, sajet, clogs, wheat, peas, beans, oats, linseed , salt, syrup, tar, chickens, coffee, stockfish, tobacco, petroleum, gin, charcoal, butter and spring water."
The four Vechtdal stages in the Netherlands
Would you like to walk the Vechdalpad yourself and enjoy the beautiful nature, hospitality and pleasant Vechtdal atmosphere? Download the route here. The starting point is the Stationsplein in Zwolle. You can recognize the Vechtdalpad by the white-blue marking on the poles of the hiking network. You are actually walking against the flow of the river. If you want to walk one stage, that is also possible. There are railway stations in the villages where you can take the train. Nice detail: all these station buildings were designed around 1900 by the architect Eduard Cuypers, the nephew of Pierre Cuypers, architect of the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station.
Stage 1: from Zwolle to Dalfsen 22 km
The first day you walk from Zwolle to Dalfsen. After a walk through the picturesque city center of Zwolle with its many historic buildings, you walk through a vast river landscape with wide floodplains and small nature reserves along the Vecht to Dalfsen, in former times a real skipper's village. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Vecht, peace and space and a few nice restaurants like the Sukerieje or De Fabriek.
You are most welcome in the By Mölle studio at Koesteeg 9 in Dalfsen. Tip to stay is our own cottage 't Witte Huis Buitenplaats de Horte. If this is already booked, Hotel Mooirivier is recommended. You stay in a thatched farm with an amazing view over the Vecht. Here you will find a fine cosy atmosphere and By Mölle linen quilts on the beds. We work together regularly and enjoy coming here.
Stage 2: from Dalfsen to Ommen 14 km
The second part of the walk takes you past estates and hamlets from Dalfsen to Ommen. This route consists of a varied landscape of forests, meadows, ash trees and river dunes. Vilsteren is a gem in the middle of the Vechtdal. The village, with restaurant Herberg de Klomp where you can have a nice break, originated around the castle Vilsteren on the estate of 1,000 ha. From there you walk to Ommen, which is hidden between the woods and on the banks of the Vecht. The charming village with cosy restaurants and terraces has a rich history and is one of the oldest Hanseatic cities in Overijssel.
Stage 3: from Ommen to Mariënberg 17 km
The third stage is from Ommen to Mariënberg. A beautiful landscape with forests, heathland, sand drifts and a few climbs. Due to the variation in the landscape, juniper, small cranberry, heather and valley herbs grow here and you can spot birds such as the raven and black woodpecker. You climb and descend through forests of heathland and sand dunes to the esdorp Beerze, which used to be a resting place for Vechtschippers. To prevent the drifting of fertile fields, the sand was held back with trees and sticks, thus creating the steep hills. Beerze is a protected townscape. The restored Saxon farmhouses have blue-white-black shutters and rye wickerwork on the walls. From here you walk through a varied landscape with forest, heath and fields to Mariënberg. Just before Beerze the trails passes the Junne estate where you can have a relaxing break at tea garden Junners.Stage 4: from Mariënberg to Gramsbergen 18 km
The fourth stage from Mariënberg to Gramsbergen leads through an open landscape of meadows and fields. Here you will experience agriculture in all its glory. Rheeze is a beautifully preserved esdorp with a protected townscape. On the authentic village green in Rheeze you will find Bed & Breakfast De Rheezer Kamer (here you sleep under By Mölle linen) with a tea garden and a panoramic view towards the Vecht. Then somewhere halfway through the tour is Hardenberg, a cosy and lively town that is definitely worth a visit. Gramsbergen is also an old Vecht town with a protected cityscape and its own brewery Mommeriete. The brewery owes its name to the former wetland area near Gramsbergen and is located in the old skipper's café on the bridge. Nice to taste a beer here on the terrace, on the Vecht. Throughout the year, 14 different types of beer are brewed here in the copper kettles, which regularly win international prizes. This is also the end of the Vechtdalpad in the Netherlands. After Gramsbergen you can follow the German part of the Vecht for another three days to the source of the river in the region Münsterland.
Download the route here. In the walking guide 'Het Vechtdalpad. On foot along the Overijsselse Vecht' you will find detailed topographical maps of the stages. For sale at the tourist information offices of the Overijssel Vechtdal.
Two days Vechtdal path
Do you want a short break? With the Vechtdal route of Wandelnet you walk two days of the Vechtdalpad.