The Harz Mountains
Save up to £30pp when booking on or before 31/10/2018.
Save up to £30pp when booking on or before 31/10/2018.
Travel the Harz Mountains, the highest range in northern Germany, by train on the Brocken and Selketal Railways for scenic journeys through spruce woodland and narrow valleys.
Your journey begins at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International, where you meet your UK Tour Manager. From here, you take the Eurostar to Brussels, continuing via Cologne to Hanover by high-speed rail, before transferring by coach to Goslar. Your hotel for the next 5 nights is the superbly located Hotel Der Achtermann.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of Goslar today, a medieval town in Lower Saxony. Primarily established as a mining town, silver was discovered here in the 10th century, with Goslar becoming known as 'the treasure chest of the Holy Roman Empire'. The town soon became a favourite summer residence of the German Emperors. In the later Middle Ages both lead and zinc were discovered in the vicinity. With this further boost to the local economy, Goslar was soon ranked as one of the most prosperous communities in Europe. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Goslar is home to almost 1,500 buildings dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. After the revealing guided tour, you have some free time to further explore this fascinating historic area before returning to your hotel for dinner.
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you have today to spend at leisure. The hotel's prime location near the heart of the town of Goslar provides a fantastic base from which to explore the area. Enjoy some classic German cuisine in one of the many traditional cafés that line the town squares, or perhaps take some time to relax and enjoy the hotel's excellent leisure facilities.
You could choose to visit the Kaiserpfalz, also known as the Imperial Palace of Goslar. 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.
Today you 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 (1,141m). You first take a coach to Wernigerode, where you board a steam-hauled train for a trip on the Brocken Railway. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Upper Harz National Park as the steam-hauled service slowly climbs up the mountain to the terminus, Brockenbahnhof, the highest narrow-gauge railway station in Germany. The fantastic viewpoint at the Brocken summit allows for some glorious views across the mountains below.
Your excursion today is to the beautifully preserved town of Quedlinburg. You begin with a journey on the Selketal narrow-gauge railway, which is operated by steam and diesel engines and takes you through the beautiful, varied scenery of the Harz Mountains. This quaint railway is arguably the region's bestkept 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.
On arrival in Quedlinburg, you are free to explore this beautifully preserved town at your own pace. Here you can discover the cobbled streets, passing a fine collection of medieval timber-framed 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.
After enjoying a final breakfast at your hotel, you begin your journey home. You travel by coach to Hanover, where you join the high-speed train via Cologne to Brussels. In Brussels, you connect with the Eurostar service which takes you to London St Pancras, where your journey comes to an end.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 10 verified reviews
Very enjoyable holiday; lived up to what we expected.
Whole holiday was brilliant my problem was the evening meal at the hotel was very poor I couldn't eat the same food every night so I had to go out for my meals otherwise brilliant
Overcrowding and delays on German trains and Eurostar delay marred the holiday
We had a very good holiday in an area that we had Not visited before.Very nice people on the tour.
Well organised and very well managed during the trip.
Our first trip with Rail Discoveries. Great time well managed!! Looking forward to our next!
Nothing ever goes completely to plan.
The weather was a excellent. The hotel was very good, and the medieval towns of Goslar and Quedlinburg were very attractive. The highlights for me ere the visits to the Brocken and Selketal lines.
Nice hotel & good food. Interesting trips
Meal on arrival very late and disorganised Tour manager shluld have let them know our choices Limited evening meal main course choices No option to pay for a la carte Coach driver driving one handed and arm behind head! No bath anti slip mat or hand grips to get out of bath Limited information from Tour guide , no maps for the towns we visited We had to find tourist offices and some people found the walking difficult
Experience a one of a kind rail holiday