Excursion destinations and sights you'll never forget
Harz excursion destinations can be found in abundance for every occasion. But which excursion destinations in the Harz Mountains are really worthwhile and which ones should definitely not be missed? You can find all the information about the various Harz excursion destinations here.
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Germany has one of the most colourful and harrowing histories in all of Europe. From ancient medieval royalty to today's cosmopolitan and artsy cities, Germany is one of the best places for any kind of travel. The largest low mountain range in Germany is the Harz, covering 2,226 square kilometres. Along with the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest in southern Germany, the Harz Mountains in northern Germany offer some of the country's most amazing natural beauty. The extraordinary flora and fauna attract over a million tourists to this area every year. To make your stay in this region even more enjoyable, here are a few of the most beautiful excursion destinations in the Harz Mountains.
Recreation in the Harz Mountains
The Harz Mountains are located at the intersection of Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Thuringia. The districts of Nordhausen in the south, Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz in the north and east and Goslar and Göttingen in the west are all part of the Harz region. Together with its foothills, the Harz is part of the old cultural area of Lower Saxony. The region is known as a hiker's paradise and enchants its visitors with mountains and cliffs, beautiful valleys, species-rich forests and, last but not least, destinations steeped in legend.
The Harz region offers its visitors - and of course its residents - a total of 1,622 excursion destinations and attractions to explore and discover. Over 550 castles, fortresses and castle ruins, museums, parks and gardens, as well as countless exciting caves are waiting to be visited. Both because of the liveliness and because of the many stories, a special fascination has emanated from almost all of the excursion destinations in the Harz for centuries . No other region in Germany has produced as many myths and legends as the Harz.
It is a region full of history, with a rich cultural heritage, embedded in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. Here you can spend an unforgettable time with family and friends. Especially in summer, the Harz Mountains are a great place for a short holiday. Some people can recharge their batteries so well here that they even come here more often at weekends for short excursions. Most of the excursion destinations are suitable for all age groups, whether young or old, or including dog or cat.
Popular excursion destinations in the Harz Mountains
Excursion destinations in the Harz Mountains are plentiful, both scenic and historically and culturally relevant. There is much to marvel at and discover on exploratory trips in the Harz. Shy wild animals, impressive mountain peaks, historic mining sites, passable tunnels and unique natural monuments, castles, palaces and many other sights are worth a visit during a Harz holiday. In the following, four of the most beautiful excursion destinations are presented that should not be missed.
On a hill (Agnesberg), about 100 metres above the town of Wernigerode in Saxony-Anhalt, a fairytale castle from a bygone era sits enthroned as the town's landmark. Nowadays, the neo-Gothic castle is called the pearl of German castles and is compared to Royal Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Originally, the castle was a medieval fortress and secured the way of the German emperors during their hunting trips. The estate got its modern appearance at the end of the 19th century after a large-scale reconstruction. It became a leading building of northern German historicism.
Until 1929, the castle was the residence of the Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode family. Afterwards, the castle was partially opened to the public. The interior now houses a museum, especially for 19th century art and cultural history, and a branch of the Saxony-Anhalt Cultural Heritage Fund. Two museum tours lead guests through originally furnished living rooms of the German high nobility. You should definitely plan a visit to the high-quality special exhibitions.
Tip: The miniature park: on 15 hectares - that's about 21 football fields - you can see 70 detailed objects from the Harz region.
The Brocken in the middle of nature in the national park is one of the most popular excursion destinations in the Harz mountains. The Brocken is also popularly known as Blocksberg or Hexentanzplatz . It is located in the Schierke district of the town of Wernigerode. On the Brocken, an old saying comes true: "Many roads lead to Rome." Almost countless paths lead to the 1142-metre-high summit of the Brocken, and you'll find plenty of great hiking trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty in this area. The mountain and its nature attract visitors and tourists from all over Germany every year, who enjoy their leisure time or holiday there with varied activities. And rightly so, because the breathtaking view of the rocky landscape enchants children and adults alike.
Those who are not so good on foot can also get to the top with the nostalgic Brocken Railway, which runs idyllically through the middle of the Harz National Park. On the first of May each year, Walpurgis Night, the Witches' Dance takes place on the Harz summit. A particularly beautiful Harz hiking trail leads along the Ilse, a wild and romantic mountain stream. The poet Heinrich Heine loved to hike along this path. Perhaps because the mountain is mentioned in so many legends.
In the north of the Harz Mountains lies the medieval town of Quedlinburg. The town dates back to the 9th century and is rich in Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Charming half-timbered houses characterise the image of this typically German town with a long history. Quedlinburg avoided the considerable damage suffered by many other towns in Europe during the Second World War, creating one of the best-preserved medieval towns. Quedlinburg can be reached by train or bus, and the journey on the Trans-Harz railway is particularly delightful.
The old town and Quedlinburg Castle are on the Unesco World Heritage List and have extremely well preserved medieval and Renaissance houses and buildings. The narrow streets, where hardly a single small car fits, are charming whether you are there in the warm summer months or in the snowy winter. Visit the centuries-old cathedral or the museums, or simply stroll through the streets and stop at one of the cafés or shops in the town square. The large castle towers over the town and is also a must-see among the Harz sights.
The VITAMAR in Bad Lauterberg is a fun and damp destination in the Harz Mountains. With its white-water canal, wave pool and several adventure slides, the adventure park is made for action fans. But also little water rats experience a huge adventure with the fun playground equipment. The wellness area with its inviting sauna landscape invites you to linger.
With the nearby Oder reservoir, the town is also one of the most beautiful holiday resorts in the Harz Mountains. The former mining town is located in the south of Lower Saxony in the district of Göttingen. Today, about 10,000 inhabitants live in the state-recognised spa town, which has also developed into a modern and well-visited holiday resort due to the rushing rivers and the quiet mountain lakes in the surrounding area. On the sunny side of the Harz mountains, there is fresh mountain air in abundance.