Harz Mountains & Rhine Gorge
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT*
Discover two of Germany's most picturesque regions on this fantastic two-centre holiday. We explore the halftimbered villages and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railway before visiting the stunning Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell.
Our journey to Germany begins at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras, where we board the Eurostar to Brussels. Sit back in your comfortable Standard Premier Class seat and enjoy a light meal and drinks before our arrival in the Belgian capital. Our journey continues by high-speed rail in First Class to Cologne for an overnight stay.
Today we continue across Germany by high-speed rail, travelling in First Class to Hanover. Here, we meet our coach which takes us on a journey through the brooding Harz Mountains. The low-lying mountains surround a rivercarved landscape, where rushing streams wind through the rich green forests, and rugged rocky outcrops rise up towards the towering mountain peaks above.
We stop in the foothills of the mountains to visit the scenic town of Goslar, a UNESCO World Heritage destination where intricate carvings adorn the front of picturesque timbered houses. Leaving Goslar, we continue to Wernigerode, a similarly attractive town which sits nicely within the dark green scenery of the picturesque Harz region.
Wernigerode was formerly the capital of the medieval County of Wernigerode, following the Napoleonic Wars it became part of Saxony. We spend four nights at the HKK Hotel Wernigerode.
This morning we begin a full-day excursion on the narrow forests and crystal-clear lakes of the Harz Mountain region creating a terrain ideally suited to narrow-gauge railways. The terrific Brocken Railway connects the small towns and villages of the Harz region. Today's journey takes us through the vast pine forests in the foothills of the mountains, steam from the train evaporating into the tree tops. We climb steep inclines, the mighty engine straining to tackle the gradient, as we make our way to Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz region at over 3,700 feet (1,128 metres). After some free time for lunch and to enjoy the views, we return by train to Wernigerode.
Today we travel by coach to Alexisbad in order to board the excellent Selketal Railway to Gernrode. This charming train makes its way through the dense forests and past the gentle streams, granting special views of mysterious fairytale landscapes.
On arrival into Gernrode, we continue by coach to beautiful Quedlinburg, a gorgeous town with a delightful, peaceful Romanesque church and incredibly well preserved red-roofed houses that give the town the feel of a model village, as if it were created from children's toy bricks.
Burgberg - 'castle mountain' - is a 10th century stronghold that looms imposingly over the town. Quedlinburg's rambling, haphazard street plan leads you through charming streets lined with more than 1,600 timber-framed buildings. On one street, Wordgasse, there is a building reputed to be the oldest timber-framed house in Germany.
Explore Wernigerode at leisure. With elaborate halftimbered buildings, simply strolling through the steep narrow streets of the town provides a feast for the eyes, not to mention the impressive Wernigerode Castle and the charming medieval Town Hall.
Bidding farewell to the peaceful Harz mountains, take a short coach transfer to Hildesheim where we join the train in Standard Class to Frankfurt. We then continue to Boppard where we check into our hotel.
Today we take the short walk to the riverside to join a boat for the journey along the River Rhine through the prettiest and most celebrated section of the Rhine Gorge. Ancient castles peer from the top of the green banks, as we pass the imposing Lorelei Rock, a legendary rocky outcrop that soars 150 metres above the water line. Day 8 is free.
A coach excursion takes us to one of Germany's best loved cities, charming and historic Heidelberg. The town lies below its protective castle on the River Neckar and is home to the oldest university in Germany, founded in 1385. The backdrop to Sigmund Romberg's operetta, 'The Student Prince', Heidelberg was the capital of the Palatinate region for many centuries.
We enjoy a guided tour and some leisure time before returning to our hotel. Perhaps you'd like to discover Heidelberg's enchanting Altstadt or Old Town. Characterised by attractive squares where you can sit outside and people watch and a collection of different architecture, the Old Town is a joy to discover.
Alternatively you could visit Heidelberg Castle, sitting imposingly over the city the castle is an important landmark which dates back as far as 1214. Extraordinarily a lightning bolt destroyed the upper castle in 1537 and it has since been rebuilt. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner in Boppard.
We travel by coach through the Rhine Valley to Cologne. Here, we board the high speed train to Brussels, then connecting with the Eurostar service to St Pancras International.
We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.
This tour also has Standard Class departures available. For more information about these options, please call us.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour experience
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 24 verified reviews
I have already completed your written questionnaire with my comments which on the whole were very favourable so I'll pass on all these questions!. It was a good itinerary, trains comfortable and on time and hotels good. My only criticism was 40 was a big group for getting on and off trains and checkins at hotels. I shall certainly travel with Great Rail again.
The whole tour is well organised, so nice for someone else to deal with everything.
I have already filled out a questionnaire given to me by my Tour manager.
As first-timers, we loved it. Thought the pace was just right and the organised visits were fascinating.
Excellent very well organised
This was a very well organised holiday with an excellent tour manager.
Good trips, good hotels, super weather, good tour guide.
We had an extraordinarily good tour manager/guide who was able to give us interesting details about the places we visited.
Superb scenery, picturesque towns/villages. Love travelling by rail. Two excellent hotels, one less so but still quite good.
It was good. Very enjoyable but not excellent.
Germany's Mountains and heritage railways