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Harz Mountains & Rhine Gorge

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Germany's Mountains and heritage railroads

10 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: HRJ20

About the tour

Discover 2 of Germany's most picturesque regions on this fantastic vacation. We explore the half-timbered houses and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railroad before visiting the stunning Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Eurostar and First Class rail to Germany

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.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Cologne
Day 2 - The Harz Mountains

Today we continue across Germany by high-speed rail, traveling 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Goslar
Day 3 - Brocken Railroad

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 railroads. The terrific Brocken Railroad 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Brocken Railroad
Day 4 - Quedlinburg and the Selketal Railroad

Today we travel by coach to Alexisbad in order to board the excellent Selketal Railroad 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.

Winding up from the old town is a road which leads to Quedlinburg castle. From this vantage point, the distant Harz Mountains can be seen peeking out over green meadows and dusky forests.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Quedlinburg
Day 5 - At leisure in Wernigerode

Explore Wernigerode at leisure. There are various attractions here, unique to the region, including a beautiful 'schloss' on a forested hill high above the town. Built on the ruins of older buildings, Wernigerode's castle today bares a similarity to the other fairytale castles of Bavaria and Germany, including Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The town hall is also worth visiting, with its attractive half-timbered façade looking out at the colorful townhouses which line the cobbles of Wernigerode's main square.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Wernigerode
Day 6 - Wernigerode to Assmannhausen

Bidding farewell to the peaceful Harz mountains, we take a short coach transfer to Hildesheim where we join the train to Frankfurt (Standard Class). We then continue to Assmannshausen where we stay for the rest of our vacation. A picture-postcard town nestled among the vineyards of the Rhine's valley walls, Assmannshausen is a charming base for us to explore this verdant region.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Assmannhausen
Days 7-8 - Romantic Rhine Gorge

We enjoy a short walk to the river, boarding a boat for the journey along the Rhine. We sail through the prettiest and most celebrated section of the Rhine Gorge, where ancient castles peer from the top of the green banks. We pass the imposing Lorelei Rock, a legendary rocky outcrop that soars 492 feet above the water line. The timeless natural beauty and cultural importance of the Rhine Gorge has granted this destination UNESCO World Heritage status, and our time here gives us a glimpse of just what makes this gorgeous and peaceful valley so special.

We arrive in the attractive riverside resort of Boppard, where we enjoy free time and a chance to sample the fantastic local wines. Rejoining the boat further upstream, we cruise back to Assmannshausen.

Day 8 is at leisure. There are a number of sights and attractions you may wish to visit. For the best views and unique experience, you may wish to take a ride on the Sesselbahn, a chairlift which scales the foothills and valley walls, rising high above the threadlike vineyards.

Includes
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Breakfast
Rhine Gorge
Days 9-10 - Rüdesheim and home

Today we visit charming Rüdesheim, famous for its excellent viticulture, for a visit to a winery which includes tastings. On Day 10 after transferring to Cologne by coach, where we travel back by rail to London via Brussels.

Includes
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Eurostar Meal
Rüdesheim

Additional information

Please note

The following departures are guaranteed to operate:

  • HRJ1802f
Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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.

Hotels

Alte Bauernschänke, Assmannshausen

Alte Bauernschänke, Assmannshausen

View hotel

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

View hotel

Trains

Brocken Railroad
Eurostar
ICE Train
InterCity
Selke Valley Railroad
Thalys

Reviews

91% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 55 verified reviews

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Martin Biswell

Submitted 1 week ago

Brilliant vacation great places visited but would have preferred to stay in the Herz mountains for whole vacation

Mr K Williams

Submitted 1 week ago

Well organised; great trips out by steam train, coach, boat, and chairlift; travel competently rescheduled at short notice to cope with changes to Covid restrictions.

Mr P Troutman

Submitted Nov 04, 2019

This was our first trip to Europe. Our experience was beyond expectations. The tour director, the accomodations, the fellowship of the group all combined to make it memorable.

Anonymous

Submitted Nov 03, 2019

We only did the Harz mountains leg, but it all went well as usual.

Anonymous

Submitted Nov 03, 2019

Very well organised, friendly staff, great tour manager. Varied days, good selection of tours.

Mrs B Herridge

Submitted Oct 13, 2019

Great vacation in a lovely area. The hotel in Boppard was beautiful but it would have been nice to have a more varied choice of menu for the evening meal.

Europe, UK & Cruising by Rail 2019

Europe, UK & Cruising by Rail 2019

The definitive guide to our 2019 rail tours to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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