Our 5-day itinerary in Germany’s Harz Mountains covers activities such as mountain climbing, visiting towns with fairytale castles, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, monasteries from the Middle Ages, and one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.
In the heart of Germany, buried deep in the woods, the Harz stretches about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide, belongs to three different German states, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, and Lower Saxony. The beautiful and fairytale-like Harz National Park attracts hiking and cycling fans, outdoor adventurers, and family holidaymakers. Therefore, it is easy to extend the itinerary in Germany’s Harz Mountains to one or two weeks long.
Where we stayed
We stayed in Apartment am Pulverturm located directly in the old town of Quedlinburg and near the castle. Each unit comes with a fully equipped kitchen with a dining table, flat-screen TVs, a bathroom with a shower, and a hairdryer. A microwave, a toaster, a coffee machine, and a kettle are also available. The apartment offers an outdoor pool. A barbecue and a terrace are available for guests at Apartment am Pulverturm to use.
The apartment is clean, spacious, and comfortable. We could always find free parking places on the streets. The owner of the apartment is a friendly man who lives in the same courtyard. He provided us the detailed information about the area.
During our trip, we discovered several accommodations in the old town area with very high rates on the booking platform:
Detail of the 5-Day Itinerary in Germany’s Harz Mountains
Our trip took place in the summertime when many German states have summer holidays as well. But due to the ongoing pandemic situation, there were only a few international guests. Therefore, some of the scenic areas had fewer guests than usual. This situation provided us with chances to see more places than expected.
Here is an overview of the 5-day itinerary in Germany’s Harz Mountains:
- 1st Day: Goslar Old Town, Treetop Walking (Baumwipfelpfad) in Bad Harzburg
- 2ed Day: Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) near Weddersleben, Suspension Bridge Titan-RT, Quedlinburg old town
- 3rd Day: Wernigerode old town, Quedlinburg old town
- 4th Day: Blankenburg Castle, Michaelstein Monastery, Hamburger Wappen near Timmenrode (part of the Devil’s Wall), Falkenstein Castle
- 5th Day: Quedlinburg Castle, Gegensteine near Ballenstedt (part of Devil’s Wall), Stiege Castle, Walkenried Monastery
1st Day: Goslar Old Town, Treetop Walking (Baumwipfelpfad) in Bad Harzburg
Goslar Old Town
Goslar Old Town is full of northern Germany-styled half-timbered houses. I visited the old town twice, but both in the winter. Therefore, I was longing to see the summer scenery. Within a few hours of stay, we started our round walk at the Imperial Palace of Goslar, went through the historic old town, and strolled around its charming narrow streets.
Treetop Walking (Baumwipfelpfad) in Bad Harzburg
The treetop trail in the Harz region offers insight into nature. The 1,000-metre trail starts in the spa garden of Bad Harzburg and crosses over the 26-metre depth of the valley. It is not only a simple walking path, but also has adventure stations, platforms, a glass bridge, etc., and is a perfect place for family holidaymakers.
2ed Day: Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) near Weddersleben, Suspension Bridge Titan-RT, Quedlinburg old town
Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) near Weddersleben
The Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) is a rock formation made of hard sandstones in the centre of Germany’s Harz Mountains. Rising In the middle of green plains, meadows, and fields, this wall of rocks runs from Blankenburg (Harz) via Timmenrode, Weddersleben, and Rieder to Ballenstedt. And, the entire stretch includes several sections, such as Hamburger Wappen.
Hiking trails along the rock formations link the villages in the area. Our first hiking was to the rock formation (Königstein) near Weddersleben. The striking Eagle’s Rock (Adlerfelsen) is 185 metre above sea level.
The Suspension Bridge Titan-RT
Opened in 2017, the Pedestrian Suspension Bridge Titan-RT above the Rappbode crosses the Rappbode Valley with an incredible 458.5 metres and hangs at 100 metres above the Wendefurth reservoir. It is the longest suspension bridge in Germany and one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Quedlinburg old town
In the late afternoon, we returned to Quedlinburg. The old town of Quedlinburg, with around 2,000 half-timbered buildings from several centuries, is on the UNESCO list. I have never seen so many half-timbered houses in one place!
The timber-framed houses are beautiful in their ways with the exposed beams and colourful painted walls. We wandered through the medieval old town and lost our direction several times. But the old town is not that large, and therefore it is easy enough to find the way. We spent our evening in the old town and had captured some of the best evening scenery.
3rd Day: Wernigerobe old town, Quedlinburg old town
Wernigerode old town
Most tourist attractions are within the old town with pedestrianized streets. We had a relaxing walk in the centre, popped in artisan workshops, and lost in the charming little alleys.
However, the weather turned bad, and we had to give up the visit to the Wernigerode Castle since it is about 20 minutes of walking up the hill.
Quedlinburg old town
When we were back in the old town of Quedlinburg, the sky was light again. So we decided to try the cheesecakes from the famous café shop, the Café Vincent next to Klopstock museums. The shop offers more than 100 different types of cheesecakes. We bought four cheesecakes with cherry-honey (Kirsch Honig), blueberry lime (Heidelbeer Limette), lingonberry yogurt (Preiselbeer Joghurt), and sea buckthorn cassis (Sanddorn Cassis) flavour. They are interesting combinations, aren’t they?
4th Day: Blankenburg Castle, Michaelstein Monastry, Hamburger Wappen (part of the Evil’s Wall), Falkenstein Castle
High above the city of Blankenburg with a broad view of the Harz foothills, the Baroque Blankenburg Castle is easily reachable from many places. We started our hiking from the castle garden. The garden is well maintained and has many viewpoints.
Michaelstein Monastry is only about two kilometres away from the centre of Blankenburg. In the 12th century, a group of Cistercian monks founded this monastery. The monastery gardens grow old medicinal and herbal plants as well as local fruit and vegetables. Many ponds are raising local trouts. With its natural setting, the monastery provides a tranquil and idyllic atmosphere. We had a simple lunch, the fresh grilled trout with typical German potato salad.
Hamburger Wappen (part of the Devil’s Wall)
Hamburger Wappen is another striking rock formation, which resembles the coat of arms of Hamburg. The rock itself is up to 40 metres high. It only took us 10 minutes to hike there from the parking place. We had a short rest in the sandstone cave on the slope opposite.
Falkenstein is a fortified castle that sat high above the Selke valley for many centuries. The castle site covers an area of about 310 x 90 metres. From the nearest parking place to the castle site, it took about 30 minutes of walking. Therefore, only a few tourists were there in the late afternoon.
5th Day: Quedlinburg Castle Hill, Gegensteine near Ballenstedt (part of Evil’s Wall), Stiege Castle, Walkenried Monastry
Quedlinburg castle hill
Quedlinburg castle hill is the main sight of the Quedlinburg old town. From the castle square (Schlossplatz), we passed many colourful half-timbered houses, climbed the stairs on the right side to the top of the castle hill.
On the sandstone castle hill is the Romanesque collegiate church of St. Servatii, which has rich relics and treasures. From the small castle garden, we had rooftop views of the old town.
Counter Stones (Gegensteine near Ballenstedt, part of Devil’s Wall)
From a distance, the impressive sandstone rocks with summit cross appear mystical to the viewer, as if thrown by the “devil’s hand” into the middle of the flat landscape. We followed the staircase carved into the large counter stone to the top of the sandstone rock. There is a walkway on the ridge of the rock. Walking along the rim, we marveled at the uniqueness of nature and the vegetation of the area.
On the way to the next stop, we accidentally found this place. The castle has a picturesque lake setting. We had a short walk along the lake and captured amazing scenes.
The monastery with its unique Gothic cloisters is part of the “Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar, and Upper Harz Water Management System” world heritage site. Its architecture includes such as the double-naved Gothic wing of the cloisters and the Fountain House. The museum presents the past world through modern forms of interpretation and extensive exhibitions.
We were happy with our 5-Day Itinerary in Germany’s Harz Mountains. Unknown to much of the outside world, the Harz region is a great place for family holidaymakers and adventure lovers. If we go there again, we will plan longer hiking along the Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) and go from one village to the other. Shuttle services are available for the hikers, make the hiking activities easier to plan.
While the small villages and modest resort towns are starting points for many activities, the bigger towns such as Goslar and Quedlinburg are also possible gateways for excursions. But to get around freely, it is better to rent a car.