An endless tour of the hills on a purple carpet
If you are adventurous, fit and eager to explore the purple, hilly landscape of the Heuvelrug, you should definitely consider the Eindeloze Heuvelentocht or ‘endless tour of the hills’. In the course of three days, a nature guide leads you through the hills to the most beautiful spots, which you would not normally see on your own. You will be walking some 20 kilometers every day, so hiking experience is highly recommended. Along the way, you will be able to enjoy the varied landscape with its iconic heaths and countless bird and animal species. Above all, you will appreciate the silence, which is only interrupted from time to time by a fascinating story told by a nature ranger or shepherd. They are ready to help you explore the history of the Heuvelrug region.
The Eindeloze Heuvelentocht is an annual event organized in August, when the heather is in bloom and the hills turn into a purple carpet.
Spend the night at the foot of the hill
Sallandse Heuvelrug National Park includes as many as 26 high hills or mountains, all of which came into being in the ice age when glaciers from the north pushed up sand and soil from beneath the ice. High hills were created at the front and sides of the glacier as a result. Every climb rewards you with a breathtaking view. On a clear day, you may be able to see as far away as 40 kilometers from some vantage points.
The Eindeloze Heuvelentocht lets you explore four of these mountains. The tour starts at the Lemelerberg hill, a bump nearly 80 meters high in an otherwise flat landscape. On this climb, you will travel through a varied landscape of sand flats, moorlands, juniper trees and forests, making the Lemelerberg an absolute must-see for nature lovers. The landscape is so special that Europe has designated it a protected Natura 2000 region. The hike continues via the Eelerberg to the Hellendoornseberg, ending at the foot of the Holterberg. The hill tour ends on day three at Holterberg, the top of which is 60 meters above NAP or Amsterdam Ordnance Datum. With an average incline of 5.3%, this is a fairly steep hill. Breathe in the clean air while walking along steep slopes on the moraines. You will smell the lovely scent of dark pine forests, fresh wood, and heather fields.
You will spend the nights in a tent on sober campsites, always surrounded by nature. You will only have to carry what you need for the day since the tents and other materials are conveyed to the next site for you. An adventurous hike with a comfortable touch, in other words.
If you love all this and want to go one step further, you can add a stunning two-day hike from Nijverdal or Holten to Olst, the so-called Sallandse Zandloper or ‘hourglass of Salland’.
Would you prefer a bit more variation? Buitencentrum Sallandse Heuvelrug, Wilgenweard in Nijverdal, and Outdoors in Holten organize a range of exciting and challenging bushcraft adventures for groups, from making coffee in nature to various GPS Adventures. You can also spend the night outside with a stunning view. You might even meet a red deer, roe deer, wild boar, or beaver. Are you brave enough?
The vale of age-old junipers
The landscape of this national park was largely shaped by meltwater from ice and snow. The water flowing down the hillsides also created the Rietslenk near Nijverdal. The slope of this meltwater valley is covered in centuries-old, rare juniper bushes. With their characteristic shapes, they make for an enchanting landscape. Around 1600, the juniper berries were indispensable for distillates on board the VOC ships.