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About the tour
Discover 2 of Germany's most picturesque regions on this fantastic vacation. We explore the half-timbered houses and stunning peaks of the Harz Mountains by heritage railroad before visiting the stunning Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell.
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.
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.
Breakfast & Dinner
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.
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.
Winding up from the old town is a road which leads to Quedlinburg castle. From this vantage point, the distant Harz Mountains can be seen peeking out over green meadows and dusky forests.
Breakfast & Dinner
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.
Bidding farewell to the peaceful Harz mountains, we take a short coach transfer to Hildesheim where we join the train to Frankfurt (Standard Class). 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.
Breakfast & Dinner
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.
Day 8 is at leisure. There are a number of sights and attractions you may wish to visit. For the best views and unique experience, you may wish to take a ride on the Sesselbahn, a chairlift which scales the foothills and valley walls, rising high above the threadlike vineyards.
Today we visit charming Rüdesheim, famous for its excellent viticulture, for a visit to a winery which includes tastings.
Breakfast & Dinner
On Day 10 after transferring to Cologne by coach, where we travel back by rail to Brussels
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