The Harz Mountains' timeless towns and landscapes are perfect for a taste of Advent tradition in Germany. Our tour visits three Christmas markets, two UNESCO-listed Old Towns and enjoys an exhilarating steam train ride.
This morning we experience one of the highlights of our tour - a wintry journey on the stunning Brocken Railway through the snowy forests to the summit of the Brocken Mountain.
As well as being the Harz's tallest peak, the Brocken Mountain is the host of Germany's highest narrow-gauge railway station. Later we descend back into Wernigerode, and enjoy time to explore its wonderful traditional Christmas Market, in front of the Town Hall. Wernigerode is a charming town, with elaborate half-timbered buildings overlooked by a stunning castle, and is brilliantly illuminated and decorated at this time of year.
Our rail excursion takes us to Quedlinburg, one of Germany's best kept secrets. The Old Town has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and is home to one of the best preserved collections of medieval buildings in Germany, with its wonderful Romanesque Collegiate Church. The town is the perfect place to sample the true atmosphere of German Christmas Market tradition.
You are free on Day 4 to explore Wernigerode. You may perhaps wish to take a ride on the spectacular Harzquerbahn narrow-gauge railway or visit the impressive Wernigerode Castle,. On Day 5 we head to Goslar, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Adorned with over 1,500 half-timbered houses, a superb setting for one of the most charming Christmas Markets in Germany, we enjoy a guided tour here before time at leisure.
We transfer to Hanover to join our train, travelling first to Cologne and then to Brussels. Here we join the connecting Eurostar service to London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The Brocken is the highest peak in the Harz Mountain range located in central Germany. A branch railway line connecting the Brocken to the Harz Mountains' existing narrow-gauge railway was proposed in 1869, but it was not until 1899 that the eighty-kilometre track was declared operational.
Damaged as a result of bombing and mortar fire in the Second World War, the Brocken Railway was reopened following repair in 1949, but during the subsequent division of Germany into East and West the Brocken became a military base, its railway used only for the transportation of supplies.
It was only after the historic reunification of Germany in 1990 that the train was returned to public use, and since 1992 passengers have once again able to make the spectacular rail journey, hauled by steam locomotive, to the summit of Brocken where they are rewarded with breath-taking panoramic views of the Harz Mountains National Park before them.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.
In Wernigerode we stay at the 4-Star HKK Hotel Wernigerode, located close to the railway station and within walking distance of the quaint Old Town and marketplace. From here the narrow-gauge railway network, Harzer Schmalspurbahnen is just a short walk away. The hotel's facilities include a restaurant, bistro, three bars, sauna, steam room, whirlpool and fitness equipment. The modern rooms feature a telephone, television, radio and a hairdryer.
The HKK Hotel Wernigerode is very popular with Great Rail Journeys' customers and won awards for Food in 2010 and 2012, and our Gold Award for its outstanding customer service in 2011, as well as a Bronze Award for overall best hotel in Germany in 2013.
Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:
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
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
Your holiday begins the moment you meet your Tour Manager at St Pancras International and board the Eurostar train for mainland Europe. If you wish to get your holiday off to an extra special start, why not consider upgrading your on-board accommodation from Standard Class to Standard Premier Class?
As well as all the amenities enjoyed in Standard Class, Standard Premier travellers benefit from extra spacious, comfortable seats, complimentary newspapers and magazines and a light snack with drinks served at your seat during the journey. Before 11am, the light snack comprises breakfast pastries, yoghurt, fruit juice and tea or coffee. After 11am there is a choice of 2 main dishes and a dessert, accompanied by soft drinks, wine or beer and tea or coffee.
Prices for an upgrade from £85 each way. Please call us for more details.
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Room Rate From Price|
|The Ambassador Hotel||From £65 per person|
|Pullman London St Pancras||From £110 per person|
|Studios2Let, Cartright Gardens||From £55 per person|
Above prices are approximate, subject
to availability, and per room per night based on two people
sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the
hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805.
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.
Whether as an added luxury, or essential to your enjoyment of the tour, door-to-door luggage collection and delivery services can really enhance your holiday experience. Travelling across Europe by train is so much more relaxing without the burden of your suitcase, and we can help arrange for your case to be collected from home prior to the holiday and for it to be waiting for you at your first main hotel in Europe.
We are pleased to provide the services of the GRJ Luggage Concierge Service - supported by our partner The Baggage Man, offering luggage transport from as little as £100 for one suitcase and £200 for two suitcases.
Please contact us for details of this service.