Discover winter in the Harz Mountains
Discover winter in the Harz Mountains from your base in the charming old town of Goslar. Enjoy journeys on two magnificent railway lines as they pass through postcard winter landscapes of deep forests and frosty mountains.
Meet your Tour Manager today at our dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras International. Here, you board the Eurostar service to Brussels where you travel by rail to Hanover via Cologne, before continuing to Goslar by coach. On arrival check in to your hotel, the 4* Der Achtermann.
This morning, after enjoying a breakfast at the hotel, you take a fascinating guided tour of the medieval town of Goslar. Nestled at the foot of the Harz Mountains and older than Berlin, this former Free Imperial city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is crammed full of fantastic, historic architecture, including half-timbered houses dating back to the early 16th century. You take a guided tour of the picturesque town, discovering some fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
After the tour, your afternoon is free for you to continue exploring the area as you wish. You can take time to further marvel at the magnificent architecture and beauty of the area, which at this time of year is transformed into a stunning winter wonderland, with various seasonal markets and events taking place across the town. Alternatively, why not make a visit to one of Goslar's impressive 47 churches, chapels and monasteries?
Today you are free to explore the town of Goslar independently. Perhaps make a visit to the Kaiserpfalz, the Imperial Palace of Goslar located at the foot of Rammelsberg Hill. 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.
Alternatively, you could visit the Rammelsberg Mining Museum, which provides a fascinating look into the industrial history of Goslar. The mine here was in operation for an unbroken period of over 1000 years. At its height the operation had 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. This impressive system was first constructed in the Middle Ages by Cistercian monks and later dramatically expanded. The entire area now has UNESCO World Heritage status, and showcases the industrial heritage of this region of Germany in superb fashion.
Today you board the steam-hauled, narrow-gauge Brocken Railway. This delightful old train takes you through some superb scenery of wintry pine forests and frosty meadows as you make your way up the summit of Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains at 3,743 feet (1,141m). You enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Upper Harz National Park as the train winds its way up the mountain to the terminus, Brockenbahnhof, the highest narrow-gauge railway station in Germany.
Later, make a visit to the small town of Wernigerode where you have some free time to explore the area at leisure. Perhaps visit the Rathaus, Wernigerode's impressive Gothic 16th Century town hall on the main town square.
Today you embark on a wonderfully scenic journey on the historic Selketal Railway. This excellent train runs through the crisp winter countryside, tracking through the Selke Valley. The railway is arguably the region's best-kept secret. The route ascends into the Harz Mountains through a varied landscape. This metre-gauge railway was dismantled by the Soviets at the end of World War II, but was then subsequently rebuilt as far as Gernrode in the post-war years. With reunification the Selke Valley Railway, or Selketalbahn, was acquired by the Harz Mountain Railways and the line finally extended to Quedlinburg, allowing greater tourist access to this nostalgic journey though dense forests and past mountains.
Quedlinburg is your destination today, and you have the opportunity to explore this beautifully preserved town at your own pace. Here you can discover the traditional cobbled streets, passing a fine collection of medieval timber-framed buildings and Romanesque architecture in the Old Town, which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1994. Considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval and Renaissance towns in Europe, it offers a wealth of history and culture, whilst also having a modern flair and fabulous examples of Art Nouveau architecture.
After a final breakfast at your hotel you bid a fond farewell to Germany, first returning to Hanover via coach before the journey to Brussels via Cologne by rail. Here, you connect with the Eurostar service 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.
Discover winter in the Harz Mountains