Extending across parts of Lower-Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany.
The name derives from the Middle High German word ‘Hardt’ or ‘Hart’ meaning mountain forest. With a height of 1,142 metres the Brocken is the highest peak.
The magnificent landscape of the Harz with wide plateaus of 600 metres and more in altitude, mountain lakes, high moorlands, a central highland region with rocky peaks forming bizarre shapes, deep ravine-like valleys, waterfalls and large water reservoirs has a lot to offer not only for walkers.
Especially the Oker valley is famous for its fascinating rock formations and the Romkerhall waterfalls cascading from a great height and being one of the most photographed attractions in the Oker valley.
Walkers will find an extensive network of walking trails and in recent years the Harz has also developed into a very good mountain bike region with many routes suitable for every level. On several reservoirs a variety of water sports is permitted and the rivers offer opportunities for canoeing or kayaking.
Even famous people such as Martin Luther, Heine and Goethe were fond of the Harz Mountains.
Explore the nature with its fir and beech woods and lots of animals such as wild cat, lynx, black stork, pygmy owl, black woodpecker and many more and walk along the ‘Harzer Hexenstieg’ (Witches’ Way), located in the centre of the Harz. It runs from Osterode in the West over the Brocken, which is rich in local legends, to Thale in the East.
But you should also visit the UNESCO world heritage cities of Quedlinburg and Goslar, see the cathedral treasure in Halberstadt, Wernigerode with its castle and city hall and Lutherstadt Eisleben, the place to commemorate Martin Luther. Walking through the narrow lanes of these medieval cities is like stepping back in time and you can discover countless reminders of the past.
Steam railway enthusiasts will certainly enjoy a ride on the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways operating on over 132 kilometres of track.
You can easily get to the Harz by rail or road, the nearest airport is Hanover. The Harz offers a wide range of accommodation styles with something for every taste.