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Welcome to the enchanting Harz region in Germany, a place where you'll find yourself immersed in fairytale landscapes and rich historical wonders. This travel guide is your ticket to an unforgettable journey through charming towns and awe inspiring natural beauty. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure that will take you to Wernigerode, Quedlinburg, Harzgerode, the majestic Brocken mountain and the mysterious Hexentanzplatz!
Upon arriving in Wernigerode, prepare to be transported into a storybook setting. The crown jewel of this town is undoubtedly Wernigerode Castle – a medieval fortress majestically perched on a hilltop overlooking the entire town. Take a leisurely stroll along the enchanting cobblestone streets of the old town, where colorful flowers adorn half timbered houses that exude charm at every corner.
Make sure not to miss out on riding the Wernigerode Schlossbahn – an iconic vintage steam train that will carry you through the breathtaking Harz Mountains while offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The lush forests and rolling hills create an awe inspiring backdrop for your exploration.
Discover Quedlinburg, another precious gem nestled within the Harz region and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This town is famous for its incredibly well preserved medieval architecture. When you wander through the cobblestone streets, you'll come across more than 1,300 half timbered houses, each one with its own unique charm.
Make sure to visit Quedlinburg Castle and climb up the castle hill to enjoy breathtaking views of the town and the surrounding Harz landscape. And don't forget to step inside the Collegiate Church of St. Servatius, an impressive Romanesque structure that has stood for over a thousand years. With its rich history and cultural heritage, Quedlinburg is a captivating destination for those who love history.
If you want to get the best out of your visit to Quedlinburg, consider taking a walking tour with a local guide. They will take you to interesting places that you probably won't find by yourself.
Harzgerode may be lesser known but it's just as captivating as any other place in the region. Tucked away amidst rolling hills and dense forests, this small town offers a peaceful and intimate experience that nature enthusiasts and hikers will adore. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque trails and you might stumble upon the enchanting ruins of Harzgerode Castle, adding an element of mystery to your journey. The tranquility and unspoiled beauty of Harzgerode make it an ideal escape from bustling crowds.
No trip to the Harz region would be complete without conquering Brocken, which is known as the highest peak in this mountain range. To reach its summit, embark on a memorable journey aboard the historic narrow gauge steam train called Brockenbahn – an experience full of atmosphere and charm.
As you make your way up, the scenery undergoes a transformation and you might find yourself surrounded by swirling mists, which is why Brocken has earned the nickname "The Witches Mountain."
Upon reaching the summit, you'll be treated to breathtaking views that stretch far beyond the Harz region. On clear days, you can even catch sight of the plains of northern Germany. The Brocken isn't just a natural marvel; it's also steeped in folklore and legends, adding an intriguing element to your mountain expedition.
Perched high above the Harz Mountains, Hexentanzplatz (also known as the Witches Dance Floor) is a place wrapped in mystique and legend. According to local tales, this rocky plateau was once believed to be where witches gathered to partake in their unholy rituals.
To reach Hexentanzplatz, you can take a cable car ride from Thale. The journey itself provides awe inspiring views of the surrounding landscape. Upon arrival, explore the Hexentanzplatz Nature Park, where you can indulge in various attractions and activities such as taking an exhilarating ride down the mountainside on the Rodelbahn – something that I personally couldn't get enough of.
For an extra touch of enchantment, pay a visit to the Hexentanzplatz Museum and delve into the region's folklore while learning about witchcraft history within the Harz area. From the plateau, you'll also get a fantastic view of the breathtaking Bode Gorge, which is a stunning natural wonder created by the Bode River.
For nature lovers and avid hikers, a visit to Harz National Park is an absolute must. Explore the dense forests, rugged cliffs and tranquil lakes as you immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this area. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this national park their home, including the elusive wildcat and magnificent red deer. Harz National Park offers a chance to reconnect with nature and witness its pristine magnificence.
Make your way to the remarkable Rübeland Caves, an underground wonderland adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The Baumannshöhle and Hermannshöhle caves are particularly famous and can be explored through guided tours. These caverns provide an otherworldly experience that will leave you in awe of nature's artistic brilliance. The interplay of light and shadow on ancient rock formations creates an ethereal atmosphere, making it a must see attraction for visitors of all ages.
While exploring the Harz region, take pleasure in sampling the local cuisine and indulging in traditional German dishes. The restaurants and charming eateries in the area serve delightful specialties, such as comforting stews, savory sausages and mouthwatering desserts like the renowned Harzer cheese.
Discovering fairytale like towns, historic castles, captivating legends and untouched natural landscapes is what makes the Harz region an unforgettable destination. So go ahead, embrace the enchantment, immerse yourself in its fascinating history and allow the beauty of the Harz to captivate your heart as you embark on this extraordinary adventure. Wishing you a joyful journey!
Germany is a country with a rich and varied culture, a strong economy, and warm and welcoming people.
Hey there! I'm Rainier and I'm the person behind Roaming with Rainier. I've always been really into traveling and photography. I've been fortunate enough to visit incredible destinations and there are still so many more on my bucket list. My plan is to explore breathtaking places around the world and share my experiences through articles and reviews.