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.
1 outbound overnight stay in Cologne, and 5 nights at the 4-Star HKK Hotel Wernigerode in Wernigerode
Inclusive luggage transfers throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) - prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking.
Excursions & Entertainment
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Food & Drinks
10 meals including 6 breakfasts and 4 dinners
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every thing was fine well organised hotels were good.
Mrs G Lunt
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.
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
Organised guided tours were to long and too fact based. The very cold temperatures were not taken into account.
Mrs L Pilfold
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
Well organised,comfortable travel and accommodation!no problems