Route No. 5: “The Harz Mountains”


As a continuing feature we will be highlighting a selected route from our guidebook ‘Europe by Rail’ written by Nicky Gardner & Susanne Kries, every week.  Below is an extract from the book. To find out more, the guidebook can be purchased through our website for £15.99.

This week we are looking at: Route No. 5: “The Harz Mountains” which begins in Hannover, passing through the Harz mountains and ending in Magdeburg

Every day, thousands of travellers speed across northern Germany on the main rail routes from Cologne or the Ruhr region towards Berlin. The previous route in this volume describes one such journey. It covers a lot of ground at speed, but it’s hardly a great rail adventure.

Yet so often in Europe, even just a modest diversion from the main line can transform a prosaic run into something very special, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in journeys across northern Germany. You can cut off to the south of the main railways which link Hannover with Berlin to discover the glorious landscapes of the Harz Mountains, a region which boasts Europe’s finest network of narrow-gauge steam railways. Even if you are not a train buff, the scenery alone justifies an excursion into the Harz region. Moreover, the Harz steam trains always go down a treat with children and families.

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