The Harz Mountains
No Solo Supplement*
Travel through the Harz Mountains, the highest range in northern Germany by train, experiencing scenic journeys on the Brocken Railway, and discover historic cities on guided tours.
Meet at our Departure Office in London St Pancras before taking the Eurostar to Brussels. Continue, via Cologne, to Hanover by high-speed rail, before transferring by coach. Wernigerode is picturesquely situated on the north slopes of the Harz Mountains, with the Holtemme River flowing right through it. Many refer to Wernigerode as the 'pearl of the Harz'.
Embark on a guided tour today, seeing the towering Wernigerode Castle sat on a forested hill high above the town. Though originally built as a fort for emperors in the Middle Ages, Wernigerode Castle was later remodelled in the Baroque style of architecture. Discover the town's history before taking time at leisure. Perhaps take a ride on the Harz Narrow-Gauge Railway, a section of the longest narrow-gauge railway in the country. You may also be interested in the Museum für Luftfahrt und Technik, a very popular aviation museum housing about 45 aircraft and more than 1,000 aerospace-related exhibits.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of Goslar on Day 3, a historic city which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to 1,500 buildings dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Goslar boasts the Kaiserpfalz, also known as the Imperial Palace of Goslar. Built at the beginning of the 11th century, after silver had been discovered in the area, the grand Kaiserpfalz is a delight to explore. The impressive building, designed primarily as a summer residence, is now the largest Romanesque palace in all of Europe.
You will also visit the Rammelsberg Mining Museum, which provides a fascinating look into the industrial history of Goslar. The mine here was in operation for over 1000 years. At its peak, the operation had one of the largest deposits of copper, lead, and zinc in the world. The energy for this vast mining system was provided by the Upper Harz water management system, impressively first constructed in the Middle Ages by Cistercian monks.
This afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps sample some classic German cuisine in one of the many traditional cafés that line the Marktplatz. The Martkbrunnen fountain here is exceptionally old; its lower basin is from the 12th century, and was the largest piece of bronze cast anywhere at that time. On the south side of the market square is the arcaded Kaiserworth guildhall, dating back to 1484 and decorated with statues of Holy Roman Emperors.
Today, board a steam-hauled train for a trip on the Brocken Railway to the summit of Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains at 3,743 feet. Appreciate the scenery on offer as the engine slowly climbs to the top, rising higher above a landscape of pretty forests and rushing streams. Enjoy panoramic views of the Upper Harz National Park as the steamhauled service slowly climbs up to the terminus, Brockenbahnhof, the highest narrow-gauge railway station in Germany. The fantastic vantage point at the summit allows for some glorious views across the mountains below.
Your excursion today is to the beautifully-preserved town of Quedlinburg. On arrival, embark upon a guided tour of this old German town. Historically, it enjoyed a very important position, being the place where King Heinrich I was crowned king in 919 AD. Quedlinburg was then ruled by women for about 800 years. Aristocratic women, known as Princess Abbesses, were in charge until the beginning of the 19th century.
With its cobbled streets, 100s of half-timbered buildings, and Romanesque architecture, this alluring town is a UNESCO World Heritage site considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval and Renaissance towns in Europe. It offers a wealth of history and culture, whilst also exhibiting some modern flair and fabulous examples of Art Nouveau architecture. Quedlinburg Abbey, with its twin spires and arched courtyard, was the seat of power for the Abbesses since its foundation in 936 AD by Saint Mathilde, the widow of Heinrich I.
After the tour, you are free to explore at your own pace.
Today you take a coach to Hanover, where you join the high-speed train, via Cologne, to Brussels. Here, connect with the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Experience a one of a kind rail holiday