Call to book1-866-711-2858
Tour Search

The Harz Mountains in Winter

(10 reviews)

Explore timeless towns and romantic railroads

7 daysSold out

2020 Tour code: HZW20

About the tour

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


What’s included


Day 1 - London to Cologne

We depart from St Pancras International by Eurostar to Brussels, traveling in First Class, with a light meal and drinks served on board. Our journey continues by highspeed train 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 narrow streets wind down towards the Rhine Promenade. Alternatively, perhaps visit a traditional Cologne 'brauhaus' for a 'kölsch', a lovely way to round up the day.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
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 stunningly beautiful town of Wernigerode, we are greeted by mulled wine on arrival and stay for five nights at the HKK Hotel Wernigerode. The Harz Mountain range is an area of undulating forests peppered with pretty lakes. Such terrain is ideally suited to narrow-gauge railroads and a network was built in the pioneering days of the railroad. Today the Harz Mountains system offers a wonderful public transport service and steam-hauled tourist trains with beautifully restored vintage rolling stock.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Brocken Railroad

Today we embark on a scenic rail journey on the Brocken Railroad to the summit of Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains at 3,743 feet (1,141m). 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 railroad 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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
The Brocken Railroad
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 mainly 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.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Exploring Wernigerode at leisure

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 fantasy. Constructed on the site of an old medieval fortress, it was rebuilt into it's current Neo- Romantic style in the 19th century.

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

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. Here you can 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 Railroad, whose terminus is now in Quedlinburg. The quaint railroad is arguably the region's best-kept secret. The route ascends into the Harz Mountains through a varied landscape. This metre-gauge railroad 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 Railroad, or Selketalbahn, was acquired by the Harz Mountain Railroads and the line finally extended to Quedlinburg, allowing greater tourist access to this nostalgic journey though dense forests and mountains.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - To Cologne, Brussels and London

This morning we transfer by coach to Hanover to rejoin the fantastic high-speed First Class service to Cologne, where we change trains and continue on the service to Brussels. On arrival in the Belgian capital we connect with the onward Eurostar service to London St Pancras International, where our tour concludes.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

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.

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.

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.


HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

View hotel


Brocken Railroad
Selke Valley Railroad


80% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 10 verified reviews

Powered by Feefo


Submitted Apr 26, 2019

Every thing was fine well organised hotels were good.

Mrs G Lunt

Submitted Apr 18, 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.


Submitted Apr 18, 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 Mar 05, 2018

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

Mrs L Pilfold

Submitted Mar 04, 2018

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

Mrs J Hardy

Submitted Mar 04, 2018

Well organised,comfortable travel and accommodation!no problems

The Harz Mountains in Winter

Germany's timeless towns and romantic railroads


Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
Related inspiration from our journey blog