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Harz Mountains Christmas Markets

6 days From £1,195 per person
4.2 stars(20 reviews)
Small Group

Experience traditional German Christmas Markets throughout the Harz region.

Mobility Rating 3

2023 Tour code: HZM24

About the tour

The Harz Mountains' timeless towns and landscapes are perfect for soaking up the traditions of Advent in Germany. Join us as we visit Christmas markets, UNESCO-listed Old Towns and enjoy an exhilarating steam train ride through timeless winter wonderland landscapes.


What’s included


Day 1 - London and Wernigerode

We meet at London St Pancras and depart on the Eurostar to Brussels. Continuing to Hanover via Cologne, here we board a coach for the final leg of our journey to Wernigerode. A charming town with elaborate half-timbered buildings, Wernigerode dates back to the 9th century and is overlooked by its stunning castle. At this time of year, it's brilliantly illuminated and adorned with festive decorations.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Wernigerode and the Brocken Railway

We experience one of the highlights of our holiday today, a wintry journey aboard the Brocken Railway through snowy forests to the summit of Brocken Mountain, part of the Harz Mountain range. Travelling through magical landscapes of chocolate-box scenery, the Brocken Railway carves a snaking route through the Harz National Park up to the summit of the indomitable Brocken. Along the way, we enjoy panoramic views of Brothers Grimm style forests, old-fashioned station houses and glittering frozen rivers. Gaping valleys vie for our attention, competing against a sublime painting of distant peaks, dusted with sugar-icing snow.

As well as being the Harz's tallest peak, Brocken Mountain is also home to Germany's highest narrow-gauge railway station, our arrival point following our journey. After some free time at the summit to drink in the views, we return to Wernigerode to explore its traditional Christmas market. Situated in front of the Town Hall, set in the shadow of a mighty Christmas tree, here you can buy a range of hand-made crafts, food and drink from the illuminated wooden stalls.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Quedlinburg and its Christmas Market

Our rail excursion today takes us to Quedlinburg, one of Germany's best kept secrets where we enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town. Quedlinburg's Old Town has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, due to having one of the best-preserved collections of medieval buildings in Germany, including a wonderful Romanesque church. Considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, Quedlinburg offers a wealth of history and culture, matched by a modern flair and fabulous examples of Art Nouveau architecture. At this time of year though, the main focus is the town's authentic German Christmas market, held in the Rathaus square, or Marktplatz. After the tour, we have some free time to explore independently, where you can enjoy lunch or a mug of hot spiced wine or brandy punch as you immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and stock up on gifts for loved ones.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Exploring Wernigerode

You are free today to explore Wernigerode. You may wish to take a ride on the Harzquerbahn narrow-gauge railway, stroll up to the impressive Wernigerode Castle, one of the most striking pieces of neo-Gothic architecture in the area, or visit the nearby aircraft museum. Alternatively, you could take the train back to Quedlinburg, where you can join the Selketal Railway for a seasonal journey through the frost-bitten scenery of the Selke Valley.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Exploring Goslar

Today takes us to Goslar, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Adorned with more than 1,500 half-timbered houses, it makes a superb setting for one of the most charming Christmas markets in Germany. Nestled at the foot of the Harz Mountains and older than Berlin, this former Free Imperial city is crammed full of fantastic, historic architecture, some of which dates back to the early 16th century. We set out on a walking tour, discovering some fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture with our local guide. After the tour, we enjoy some free time to explore the Christmas market at leisure. The market is beautifully framed by a man-made forest of Christmas trees and sells a variety of local products including baked treats and festive drinks.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Wernigerode and London

Taking the train to Hanover this morning, we travel by rail firstly to Cologne, then Brussels. Here, we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 20 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Susan Rose

5 stars

Submitted 15/Jan

The 3 towns you visit are all full of charm and character with real Christmas Markets that have a wonderful olde worlde atmosphere which can onky truly be apprecuated after dark. Excellent Tour Manager, Graham, who together with Abbey back at GRJ York, managed to still get us back to London on alternative trains due to German train drivers calling in sick (strangely, on World Cup Final Day!!!) which meant we missed our Eurostar so new tickets had to be booked and issued in Brussels.

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4 stars

Submitted 3/Jan

A memorable , special Birthday treat. Excellent hotel and food , very good Guide and friendly group. Outward journey too long, better with a night in Cologne.

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4 stars

Submitted 29 Dec 2022

Interesting journey, well organised and capable guide. The Christmas markets where all rather similar (hence 4 stars) but the towns visited were hugely interesting. The Brocken was brilliant and Magdeburg very much worth visiting. Very good lead-up to the Christmas season. Lack of snow for markets and return journey delays were of course not the responsibility of GRJ.

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Mrs Marit Jones

4 stars

Submitted 25 Dec 2022

Very well organised with an excellent tour manager (Graham). Friendly group. Long journeys to and from Wernigerode (12-14 hours). Hotel somewhat disappointing as huge and catering almost exclusively to tour groups - lacked atmosphere and food uninspired. Trip up the Brocken excellent. Christmas markets good but all 3 visited quite similar. I would certainly travel with Great Rail again as communication and staff excellent.

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A Woods

4 stars

Submitted 25 Dec 2022

The railway up-to the harz mountains is very good ,our tour was too long getting there and returning unfortunately.

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5 stars

Submitted 21 Dec 2022

Snow on the Broken. Sun next day. Train amendments handled superbly. Excellent Tour Manager.

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