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The Harz Mountains

The spiritual heart of Germany
 
Deep-rooted legends and intriguing history await in the mystical mountains of northern Germany, where this self-guided hotel-to-hotel walk – with luggage transfers included – takes in several beautifully preserved towns and features a ride on the Brockenbahn railway.
 
The Harz Mountains . 7 nights
The Harz Mountains . 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Harz Mountains

Immortalised by Goethe as the meeting place of witches in Faust, the brooding mass of the Brocken is part of Germany’s cultural identity, its place in people’s hearts cemented by recent years of division.
Visible for miles around, it rises from the Harz uplands, whose forests, small lakes, rock formations and caves are said to be inhabited by goblins, demons and witches.
You are, however, more likely to spot signs of red deer, wild boar and lynxes as you walk from the colourful twin mining towns of Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the west to half-timbered Wernigerode in the east. Walking is relatively easy over the undulating uplands, especially given the network of nostalgic narrow-gauge railways that can be used to shorten distances. The same is true of navigation, thanks to the numerous signposted trails which crisscross this German walkers’ paradise.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 3 4 8 13 18 21 22 22 19 14 8 4
    mm 53 41 47 51 62 74 73 70 53 48 55 61
  • Arrival in Clausthal-Zellerfeld
    Night 1: at Hotel zum Harzer (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.

    The regular – and inexpensive – narrow-gauge trains are central to the identity of the Harz and a definite highlight of this holiday. Please pay locally for all rail (and bus) journeys mentioned in the itinerary other than the trip on the Brockenbahn railway. Hotel transfers at the start of walks are included in the holiday price. The distances and timings do not include train journeys or transfers.
  • Choice of walks from Clausthal-Zellerfeld: 13km to 19km

    Circular walk via UNESCO World Heritage Site: 19km, 5.5hrs
    Clausthal-Zellerfeld was once a mining village and a prominent legacy of these once-prosperous mines is the system of waterways that were built to power the lifts and pumps. So ingenious was the network, known as the Upper Harz Water Management System, that it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the first of our two suggested walks offers you the opportunity to explore part of it. Starting with a short transfer, the route takes you south of town, following water channels connecting the ‘ponds’ and then returning through the centre of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, passing the blue clapboard Marktkirche, the largest wooden church in Germany whose stark, whitewashed interior is offset by an ornate altar and pulpit.

    Circular walk via Hahnenklee: 18.5km, 5hrs; shorter option: 13km, 3.5hrs
    The second option heads north, leading through forested upland before a steep descent into the picturesque town of Wildemann. You then follow a stream through the Grumbach valley to the small resort of Hahnenklee, with its Norwegian-style stave church. Made entirely from local wood, it resembles an elaborate, multi-tiered chocolate cake. The return route takes you through forests and meadows, crossing the open heights of Bockswieser Höhe just north of Zellerfeld. For a shorter day, you can return from Hahnenklee by bus.

    Explore Clausthal-Zellerfeld
    If you prefer not to walk on your first day, you can take time to explore Clausthal-Zellerfeld, known for its brightly coloured wooden houses. Silver, tin and zinc are no longer mined here, but there are various reminders of the town’s mining roots, including a fascinating museum. There's also the option to catch a bus to the nearby town of Goslar and the Rammelsberg Mines, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
    The circular walk via Hahnenklee
  • Clausthal-Zellerfeld to Torfhaus: 18.5km, 6hrs
    Today’s route starts with a short transfer, after which you join the long-distance Harzer Hexen Stieg (Witches’ Trail) eastwards on a winding route that follows ancient waterways through forest, at one point crossing a 750-metre earthen aqueduct built in 1732. Though the route rises steadily, the ascent is almost indiscernible as the trail follows the contours of the land almost the whole way, with views opening in the final stages to the Brocken massif. You are now in the Harz National Park, and you spend the night at the Torfhaus Harzresort in Torfhaus, from where the Brocken seems so close, you could almost touch it.
    The Harzer Hexen Stieg (Witches' Trail) on the route to Torfhaus
  • Torfhaus to Mandelholz: 14km, 4.5hrs
    Today you get the opportunity to do just that – you follow the route taken by Goethe across marshland and partially forested moorland up to the summit (1,142 metres). Take time to reflect on the spiritual significance of this ‘mountain of the German people’, before catching the Brockenbahn narrow-gauge steam train for the scenic 50-minute journey (included) down to Drei Annen Hohne. From the station, a shorter, second leg of the walk takes you through mixed forest to Mandelholz and the Grüne Tanne, your base for two nights.
    Approaching Brocken summit on the route from Torfhaus to Mandelholz
  • Linear walk from Sorge to Mandelholz: 21km, 6hrs; shorter option: 9km, 2.5hrs
    You’ll need an early start today to catch the steam train from Elend to Sorge for the start of this thought-provoking walk around the former border between East and West Germany. Before leaving Sorge, take time to visit its open-air museum. Elements of the original border defences have been rebuilt to give a very authentic sense of this recent chapter in German history. From here, the route leads along the old border, now a pretty river valley, to reach the resort of Braunlage and its beautiful Kurpark. Ride in a gondola to the 971-metre summit of Wurmberg for the long descent to Elend past some of the region’s spectacular rock formations. The final leg back to Mandelholz is along a pretty river. The walk can be shortened considerably by returning from Braunlage to Elend by bus, and then on foot or with a lift from Elend.
  • Mandelholz to Wernigerode: 18km, 5.5hrs
    Your final destination is the Hotel Weisser Hirsch in Wernigerode, which perches on the edge of the Harz plateau. To reach it, you walk alongside a reservoir before crossing forest and ascending into the National Park, passing several major rock outcrops to reach a spectacularly sited hotel above waterfalls in a river gorge. You descend through the gorge to a railway station, from where it is just a 15-minute train ride into Wernigerode. The nostalgic steam train is a fitting way to arrive in this ancient town, which is famed for its rows of immaculate old houses and pretty gardens.
  • Choice of walks from Wernigerode: 15km or 19km

    Linear walk from Ilsenburg via Drübeck: 15km, 4hrs
    This first option starts by train to the pretty town of Ilsenburg, complete with a monastery, before following part of the Klosterwanderweg (Monastery Trail) through parkland and forest back to Wernigerode, via Drübeck, another town with an abbey.

    Circular walk via Schloss Wernigerode: 19km, 5hrs
    The second is a circuit from Wernigerode that winds uphill to the nearby Schloss Wernigerode, a 12th-century medieval castle built to provide protection for the German Kaisers on hunting forays into the Harz, before exploring glorious deciduous woodland unlike that seen on any of the previous walks.

    Explore Wernigerode
    Alternatively, you could spend your last day exploring Wernigerode’s delightful medieval centre – the highlight of which is the fairy tale-like town hall with its twin spires – and its impressive castle.
    Explore the medieval streets of Wernigerode
 

Accommodation

We have found some friendly, well-placed hotels for your exploration of the Harz.

Please note: most beds in German hotels are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. We refer to these as 'Austrian Twins' and they are locally regarded to serve requests for both double and twin bedded rooms. Separate twin beds or traditional double beds with one large mattress are rare and cannot be guaranteed.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

We can only accept payment in GBP, but you can use this converter to find out how much the holiday equates to in your own currency.

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  • 7 nights: 18 May - 06 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    18 May - 14 June £885 £170
    15 June - 31 August £915 £175
    1 - 29 September £885 £170
    3rd & 4th person discount -£75
    Single traveller supplement £75

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 18 May - 06 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    18 May - 14 June £1170 £170
    15 June - 31 August £1198 £175
    1 - 29 September £1170 £170
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £50

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Brussels (Eurostar), Brussels–Goslar (Thalys/ICE & regional rail), approx. duration 10h plus 0h30 taxi transfer. Home, Quedlinburg–Brussels (Thalys/ICE & regional rail), approx. duration 10h40 plus 0h05 taxi transfer.

    If you book your holiday less than 3 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the sames services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 18 May - 06 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    18 May - 14 June £940 £170
    15 June - 31 August £970 £175
    1 - 29 September £940 £170
    3rd & 4th person discount -£125
    Single traveller supplement £125

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    We also include a transfer back to the first hotel at the end of your holiday to collect your car.

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outbound travel 5-7 Apr & 19-21 Apr, and for inbound travel 21-22 Apr 2019. A supplement of £45 per car per single journey applies outbound on Fridays & Saturdays 24-25 May & 12 Jul-17 Aug 2019 inclusive, and inbound on Saturdays & Sundays 1-2 Jun & 19 Jul-2 Sep 2019 inclusive.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Weisser Hirsch
    Superior with market view: 18 May - 06 Oct 2019 £19

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel zum Harzer (B&B) Double room Single room
    18 May - 06 Oct 2019 £55 £78
    Hotel Weisser Hirsch (B&B) Double room Single room
    18 May - 06 Oct 2019 £84 £121
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Hannover, Hamburg, Berlin Tegel, Berlin Schoenefeld

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Berlin. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Berlin Tegel Flybe 
    Birmingham - Hamburg Eurowings,  Flybe 
    Birmingham - Hannover Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Berlin Tegel Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Berlin Tegel Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Berlin-Schoenefeld Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Hamburg easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Berlin Schoenefeld Ryanair 
    Glasgow - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Berlin-Schoenefeld jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Berlin Tegel British Airways 
    London City - Hamburg British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Berlin Tegel easyJet 
    Gatwick - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet,  Norwegian 
    Gatwick - Hamburg easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Berlin Tegel British Airways,  Eurowings 
    Heathrow - Hamburg British Airways,  Eurowings 
    Heathrow - Hannover British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Luton - Hamburg easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Berlin-Schoenefeld Ryanair 
    Stansted - Hannover Eurowings 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Berlin Schoenefeld Ryanair 
    Manchester - Berlin Tegel easyJet 
    Manchester - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Manchester - Hamburg easyJet,  Eurowings 
    Manchester - Hannover Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Berlin-Schoenefeld easyJet 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Berlin. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Hannover

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Hannover HB to Goslar (1h05), hotel transfer Goslar to hotel (0h30) £25 1515
    direct taxi Hannover airport to hotel (1h30) £100 1615
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Wernigerode (0h25), rail Wernigerode to Hannover HB (1h50h) £13 1430

    Connecting travel options - flying via Berlin Schoenefeld

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Berlin HB to Goslar (2h45), hotel transfer Goslar to hotel (0h30) £85 1445
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Wernigerode (0h25), rail Wernigerode to Berlin HB (3h10) £35 1445

    Connecting travel options - flying via Berlin Tegel

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Berlin HB to Goslar (2h45), hotel transfer Goslar to hotel (0h30) £85 1445
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Wernigerode (0h25), rail Wernigerode to Berlin HB (3h10) £35 1445

    Connecting travel options - flying via Hamburg

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Hamburg HB to Goslar (3h30), hotel transfer Goslar to hotel (0h30) £75 1415
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Wernigerode (0h25), rail Wernigerode to Hamburg HB (3h20) £55 1400
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 3 dinners
    4 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • ticket for the Brockenbahn
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Germany, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is German. The currency is the Euro. German time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/18/2019 5:30:34 PM