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Harz Mountains & Rhine Gorge

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202320242025
9 days From $2,295 per person
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Explore the half-timbered villages and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railway before visiting the stunning Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: HRJ24

About the tour

Discover two of Germany's most picturesque regions on this fantastic two-center holiday. We explore the half-timbered villages and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railway 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
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
Day 3 - Quedlinburg & 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. With a free afternoon here, you may like to walk from the Old Town up the castle hill to the 10th century Quedlinburg Castle, which has superb views over the Harz Mountains and the enchanting forests all around. There is a small tourist train running through the town and the tourist office also offers guided tours for this afternoon. We return to Wernigerode and dine at our hotel this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - 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.

Please note, although the vintage steam trains handle most of the passenger services, on some days it isn't possible to travel in the original 1920s carriages; instead the service would be replaced by a regular steam train.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Afternoon Tea
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
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. 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
Day 7 - 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Assmannshausen at leisure

Today is our last day in the lovely Rhine Valley, and you are free to explore Assmannshausen or the surrounding area. The medieval village centre is remarkably well-preserved, crammed with timber-framed houses and crooked narrow streets.

A popular option for the day is to take a ride on the Niederwald cable car, which rises high above the vineyards. Or, you could visit one of the nearby wine estates, which produce some of Germany's most popular red wines, for a tasting. You could also take a chairlift or cable car gondola to charming Rüdesheim, a picture-book town, renowned for its excellent viticulture. Here, you could stroll along the cobbled street among quaint shops and wine bars, and maybe visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum, to see and hear one of the world's largest collections of self-playing instruments, or take the town's cable car up over the vineyards for wonderful views of the region.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Assmannhausen to London

We travel by coach through the Rhine Valley to Cologne. Here, we board the high speed train to Brussels, then connecting with the Eurostar service to St Pancras International. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Alte Bauernschänke, Assmannshausen

Alte Bauernschänke, Assmannshausen

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HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

HKK Hotel Wernigerode, Wernigerode

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Trains

Brocken Railway
Eurostar
ICE Train
InterCity
Selke Valley Railway
Thalys

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