Harz vacation – Legendary and yet naturally beautiful. Do you love nature, do you enjoy being out in the fresh air and are you looking for your next holiday destination? Then the beautiful Harz mountains offer you everything your heart desires in every season. The famous Brocken, huge mountains, Wernigerode and much more are waiting for you! But also the myths and legends around the Harz are an appealing factor, which is always well received by tourists and especially families.
Harz: National park, landscapes & Wernigerode
Countless green forests, rippling streams and mountainous landscapes. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll, go for a hike on the many unspoilt paths or simply relax in nature – there is definitely a lot to see in the idyllic Harz Mountains, so that everyone gets their money’s worth. But apart from its picturesque landscapes, the Harz attracts with many more sights and attractions that you will encounter during your holiday in the low mountain range. From unique caves to mighty mountains, historic castles and charming little villages, the Harz Mountains offer an eventful and adventurous holiday for the whole family. So if you want to enjoy an unforgettable holiday in nature and combine amazing landscapes with adventure, relaxation and cultural input, then the highest mountains of Northern Germany are the right place for you! We have put down here what there is to know about this popular holiday destination, which highlights you must not miss and how you will have a relaxing but also exciting time with children.
The highlights that the Harz offers:
Germany - Spain - USA
- Landscape highlights and natural hiking trails
- Cultural input
- Interesting sights
- Charming cities like Wernigerode
- Family-friendly leisure activities
- Exciting legends and myths
Top attractions & Sightseeing in the Harz Mountains
The beautiful Harz Mountains are considered the top travel destination of the Germans and attract numerous visitors every year to its picturesque nature. Because of the extraordinary flora and fauna, the mountains are especially suitable for a summer holiday. But besides attractive landscapes with mountains and forests as well as fairy-tale hiking trails, the Harz convinces with interesting caves, historic castles, famous sights and much more. Here I have picked out the best highlights, which you should definitely take with you when you come here.
Landscape highlights: Teufelsmauer, nature & hikes
Not only the popular forests are among the top destinations in the Harz Mountains, but also other scenic highlights are often and gladly seen during a visit here. A natural phenomenon is quite clearly the so-called Teufelsmauer (Devil’s Wall), which is made of sandstone and located in the northern Harz foreland. The Teufelsmauer is one of the oldest nature reserves in Germany and is home to a variety of unique plants and animals. This attraction is highly recommended for a day trip. During a hike you can view the mighty rock formation and take a break at the numerous lookout points to enjoy the unique panorama over the Harz mountains.
- Devil’s Wall made of sandstone
- One of the oldest nature reserves
- Unique plant and animal world
Top excursion destination in the Harz mountains: The Brocken
Another item that should be on your travel list is the chunk. You can choose between different hiking trails with different levels of difficulty, which are between seven and 13 kilometres long and all lead you up to the summit. If the weather conditions are good, you can look over the whole valley from above and have a unique view into the Harz foreland. If you like it more comfortable, you can also take the Brockenbahn from Wernigerode and reach your destination within one and a half hours. Either way, you can expect an unforgettable and impressive view in an alpine climate, which is why a visit to the highest mountain in the Harz mountains is a must.
Natural mountain formations: Stalactite cave, Unicorn cave & Co.
A last trip in your vacation should definitely be one of the caves known for the Harz Mountains. Some of them are artificially created by mining and others are of natural origin and were formed thousands of years ago by mountain building. In the caves you can see an amazing creation of stalactites and interpret the most different forms, like animals or dwarves. Therefore the caves are especially suitable for a family excursion. The stalactite caves are among the oldest in Germany and are therefore a unique highlight which you should visit with or without children. The extraordinary unicorn cave is also a natural highlight in the northern Harz foreland. The largest visitor cave of the Harz attracts numerous tourists every year and can be explored extensively during a guided tour. Many legends and myths revolve around this natural monument, which is also the reason for its special name. Whether it is the Devil’s Wall, the Brocken or the charming caves – the diverse Harz mountains impress with their picturesque nature and historical works and make the hearts of all nature fans beat faster.
Here again the scenic highlights of the Harz:
- Devil’s wall – Nature reserve with plants, animals and rock formations
- Brocken – Hike to the highest mountain in the Harz
- Stalactite Cave / Unicorn Cave – Natural highlight with impressive stalactites
National Park Harz: Nature, Forests & Hikes
Outside the unspoilt countryside lies the approximately 250 square kilometres large Harz National Park, which with its amazing range of picturesque nature and vast forests is considered one of the largest forest national parks in Germany. The majority of the park consists of spruce and beech forests and is a special highlight for nature lovers and passionate hikers. On at least 600 kilometres of hiking trails you can arrange your day freely and individually and plan an extensive route to your heart’s content. Because of its special location and its climatically conditioned timberline, there are six vegetation zones in the Harz Mountains, from the lowlands to the Brockenkuppe. Whether a long hike or a leisurely stroll through nature – the multi-faceted national park is definitely worth a visit and should be visited on occasion during your holiday in the beautiful Harz.
- Picturesque nature
- One of the largest forest national parks
- Spruce and beech woods
- At least 600 km hiking network
Wernigerode: Cafés, colourful hotels & historic castle
The Harz Mountains not only impress with their rural beauty and paradisiacal nature, but also offer charming towns and cultural sights. So if you are in the Harz, the so-called colourful town on the Harz should not be missed to get to know the more lively side of this popular holiday resort. Wernigerode is located on the northern edge of the Harz and shines in a modern and young atmosphere. From numerous cafés, charming restaurants and lively hotels, to the romantic castle Wernigerode, the inviting town offers everything the heart desires. The historic castle can be visited on a guided tour or museum tours and visitors can marvel at over 40 originally furnished living rooms. In summer the Wernigerode Castle Festival is held, which is attended by numerous visitors from all over the world every year. But not only the castle, but Wernigerode in general always enchants many tourists with its unique atmosphere and lively charisma, so you should definitely make a stop here during your holiday.
- Lively, modern city
- Numerous cafés and restaurants
- Castle Wernigerode with museum tour
Sayings & Myths: Earthly, above and below ground
The Harz is not only beautiful to look at, but also hides numerous myths, sagas and old legends. For a myth to arise around something, it needs more than just a story. Several stories have to be formed around a theme and always a little bit changed by the constant spreading. On the one hand, parts of the story are embellished, others are completely omitted and others again and again change as an unchanging orientation. Myths reflect problems and experiences and mix past with future, creating a strange story that reflects and processes secret desires or inexplicable events. Around the Harz mountains there are several such legendary tales. A distinction is made between earthly legends, above-ground legends and underground legends.
Earthly legends: Peaceful & harmonious emperor legends
The first category of myths are the earthly ones. These earthly emperor myths describe the past time more harmonious and beautiful than it was. They revolve around Frederick Barbarossa, Henry the Vogler or Henry IV. The sunken time is portrayed so peacefully that some people wish it were topical again.
Supernatural legends: Witches, devils & Co.
On the other hand, the Harz is very much characterised by the supernatural. No other place is so famous for witches, devilish activities etc. It is said that magic lies over the mountains and especially the famous Brocken plays a central role in the myths and legendary stories around the Harz and is therefore a popular place to visit.
Underground legends: Caves & witch festivals
The last myth circling around the Harz mountains is the underground miners’ world and the stories about dwarves and mountain spirits that go along with it. Many famous poets and painters were involved in witch festivals and immortalised, for example, Walpurgis Night on the Brocken. There are also hidden sagas and legends in the mysterious depths of the numerous caves of the Harz mountains, which can be recognized by a lot of imagination even in the stalactites.
Camping: Cheap and central campsites
The Harz Mountains are the largest low mountain range in Northern Germany and offer an amazing and breathtaking nature. If you want to enjoy it to the full and switch off from the otherwise stressful everyday life, you should decide to go camping. You take everything the natural Harz Mountains have to offer and can enjoy a fairytale panorama and idyllic flair until late into the night.
During the day you are flexible in your planning, you can leave in the morning to the numerous nature highlights and sights whenever you want and come back in the evening to end the eventful day comfortably. You can sit together with your loved ones around a campfire, watch the starry sky and philosophize about the legendary legends of the Harz Mountains. Under the open sky you can fully immerse yourself in the world of myths and enjoy the peace and quiet far away from noise and technology.
The advantages and highlights of camping:
- Rest and relaxation in the idyllic nature
- Switch off from stress and everyday life
- Mystical atmosphere due to the legends and sagas
- Campfire and starry sky at night
- Family-friendly leisure activities
- Cost-effective variant
You want adventurous holidays? Go camping!
Camping is becoming more and more popular with young and old and is therefore also ideal for a family holiday. You can have a great time with your children and completely internalize the nature aspect. Most campsites are also equipped with recreational facilities so that everyone gets their money’s worth. So if you want to switch off completely and relax, you should try a slightly different kind of holiday and organise a tent, roof tent or caravan and go camping in the charming Harz Mountains. This option is also cheaper than staying in a hotel or booking a holiday apartment, for example. Even if you have to take care of your own food, for example, a nature adventure awaits you that you will remember for a long time. Here I have picked out some recommendations for centrally located and popular campsites that will help you to have an eventful and unforgettable holiday.
Campground Harz – The Kreuzeck
4.6 stars / 711 ratings
- Address: Kreuzeck 5, 38644 Goslar
- Camping site directly at the lake
- Facilities: Sanitary facilities, restaurant, laundry, children’s playground, Wlan
- Phone: 05325 2570
Harz Camping at Schierker Stern
4.3 stars / 509 ratings
- Address: At star 1, 38875 misery
- Facilities: Reception, common room, sanitary facilities, fireplace, barbecue area, sauna, Wlan
- Telephone: 039455 58817
Camping site Braunlage
4.4 stars / 387 ratings
- Address: At the campsite. 1, 38700 Braunlage
- Equipment: sanitary facilities, restaurant, bread roll delivery service
- Telephone: 05520 9996931
Camping on the Brocken
4.1 stars / 258 ratings
- Address: Schützenring 6, 38875 Elbingerode
- Camping site directly at the forest
- Equipment: sanitary facilities, cooking and washing area, kiosk, lounge
- Telephone: 039454 42589
Harz: Temperature & trend
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Holiday with children: Games, fun & leisure
A holiday in the beautiful Harz Mountains is ideal for a trip with children, simply because of its breathtaking nature and exciting stories about almost all the sights and attractions. Whether relaxation, fascinating adventures and idyllic natural highlights – the Harz Mountains offer you an unforgettable holiday with excitement, fun and action for the whole family.
From short holidays to longer stays during the holidays, the deep forests of the Harz can become an adventure playground for children of all ages. You can marvel at nature and explore special corners and sights of the mountains. As a special highlight, there is always an old myth that revolves around the attractions, which is a particularly appealing family adventure. So the Harz Mountains offer a very simple and natural way of holiday fun for the whole family. Leisure and adventure parks, for example, provide variety. But also the national park, animal parks or cultural highlights make this holiday something very special.
Here are some suggestions for further day trips that can be made with children in the Harz Mountains:
- Leisure and fairytale parks: let off steam and discover witches, dwarves and goblins
- Sport and fun activities: Summer toboggan run, climbing forest, paintball and Co.
- Fun and adventure pools: swimming in the lake, natural pool or indoor swimming pool
- Animal parks and zoos: nature reserves, bird of prey stations and wild animals
- Indoor playgrounds: An alternative in the rain
- Cultural highlights: Ruins, museums and castles: history and time travel for the little ones
Harz: Questions & answers
Where is the best place to spend a holiday in the Harz mountains?
The Harz Mountains are very diverse and offer a wide range of possibilities for a successful holiday. If you like to relax and are into wellness, you should go to Bad Harzburg. Another recommendation would be the UNESCO world cultural heritage site Goslar. In winter, Bad Sachsa is ideal for skiing, for example. Other popular places are Bad Lauterberg, Sankt Andreasberg, Wernigerode or, Osterode.
What can you do in the Harz mountains?
The most popular sights are for example the witches’ dance floor, the Barbarossa Cave or other caves, the famous Devil’s Wall, the Harz National Park or the Harz narrow-gauge railway.
Where exactly is the Brocken?
The Brocken is the highest mountain in the low mountain range Harz, in Saxony-Anhalt and in all of northern Germany. It is located in the Schierke district of the city of Wernigerode in the Harz district of Saxony-Anhalt.
How high is it in the Harz mountains?
The highest point of the mountain range is the Brocken, at 1,141 metres.