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The Harz Mountains in Winter

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Explore timeless towns and romantic railways

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
7 days From £1,445 £1,245 per person
Booking Offer

Save up to £200pp on selected Winter 2021 holidays when you book on or before 31st October 2020.

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Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st October and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: HZW21

About the tour

Join us as we ride on vintage steam trains through wild landscapes and gorges to discover towns with timber-framed houses and cobbled lanes. Wernigerode, a beautiful town amidst the mountains, provides an excellent base for this rail holiday.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Cologne

We depart from our Departure Office in London St Pancras by Eurostar to Brussels, travelling with a light meal and drinks served on board. Our journey continues to Cologne for an overnight stay. After dinner in the hotel, perhaps take a stroll through Cologne's Old Town, which has been lovingly and carefully restored to its pre-war appearance. You can admire the pretty pastel-coloured houses, as the you stroll through narrow streets that wind down towards the Rhine Promenade. Alternatively, perhaps visit a traditional Cologne 'brauhaus' for a 'kölsch' (beer), a lovely way to round up the day.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Cologne
Day 2 - Cologne to Wernigerode

After breakfast we join the train across northern Germany to Hanover. Here, we meet our coach which takes us through the Harz Mountains. We continue through the magnificent landscape of the Harz region to the beautiful town of Wernigerode. The Harz Mountain range is an area of undulating forests peppered with pretty lakes. Such terrain is ideally suited to narrow-gauge railways and a network was built in the pioneering days of the railway. Today the Harz Mountains system offers a wonderful public transport service and steam-hauled tourist trains with beautifully restored vintage rolling stock.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Wernigerode
Day 3 - The Brocken Railway

Today we embark on a scenic rail journey on the Brocken Railway to the summit of Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains at 3,743 feet. We enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Upper Harz National Park as we wind our way up the mountain to the terminus, Brockenbahnhof, the highest narrow-gauge railway station in Germany. This towering summit has long been associated with dark forces, perhaps most famously in Goethe's Faust, and during the Cold War Brocken was a military base used for border surveillance. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mountain was off limits to all but the Soviet army. Given its altitude, Brocken Mountain was the perfect location for the world's first television antennae and today it offers one of Europe's most spectacular lookout points, commanding wonderful views of the sloping treelined hillsides below.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
The Brocken Railway
Day 4 - Guided tour of Goslar

This morning we travel by Standard Class rail to medieval Goslar, nestled at the foot of the Harz Mountains. 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. We take a guided tour of the picturesque town, discovering some fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. After the tour, you have some free time to continue exploring independently; perhaps visit the Kaiserpfalz. 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Goslar
Day 5 - Exploring Wernigerode

You are free to explore Wernigerode today. A particular highlight of this beautiful town is the grand Wernigerode Castle. Sat upon a hill, this is a building straight from the pages of a fairytale. Constructed on the site of an old medieval fortress, it was rebuilt into its current Neo-Romantic style in the 19th century.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Wernigerode Castle
Day 6 - Quedlinburg and the Selke Valley Railway

Our excursion today is to the beautifully preserved town of Quedlinburg. Here we take a guided walking tour, following which we have the opportunity to explore at our own pace. Discover the cobbled streets, passing a fine collection of medieval timberframed buildings and Romanesque architecture in the Old Town, which has UNESCO World Heritage status. 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. The Burgberg "castle mountain", an imperial stronghold dating from as early as the 10th century, and the Romanesque Collegiate Church are also both well worth a visit.

This afternoon we embark on a wonderfully scenic journey on the historic Selke Valley Railway, whose terminus is now in Quedlinburg. The quaint 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 through dense forests and mountains.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Quedlinburg
Day 7 - Wernigerode and London

We leave Wernigerode today, transferring to Hanover by coach where we join the First Class rail service to Cologne. Here we connect with the Eurostar service to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal
Eurostar

Additional information

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.

Hotel

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

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Trains

Brocken Railway
Eurostar
Selke Valley Railway

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Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Brussels
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

80% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 10 verified reviews

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Anonymous

Submitted 26/04/2019

Every thing was fine well organised hotels were good.

Mrs G Lunt

Submitted 18/04/2019

We thoroughly enjoyed the excursions and being based in Wernigerode. The hotel was very clean and comfortable but there was little fresh bread at breakfast and the food at the evening buffets was of variable quality.

Anonymous

Submitted 18/04/2019

All as expected other than the description of the harz 'mountains'. The description led us to believe the region was mountainous. It wasn't.

Mr G MacDougall

Submitted 05/03/2018

Organised guided tours were to long and too fact based. The very cold temperatures were not taken into account.

Mrs L Pilfold

Submitted 04/03/2018

We really enjoyed the holiday. The hotel was good and well situated. The food was good too. All the trips out were good too.

Mrs J Hardy

Submitted 04/03/2018

Well organised,comfortable travel and accommodation!no problems

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The Harz Mountains in Winter

Explore timeless towns and romantic railways

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Luke Simpson
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Lynne
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