Vacation in the Harz Mountains: Sights & real insider tips
You are planning a vacation in the Harz Mountains and are looking for real insider tips? Then you’ve come to the right place, because in this article I’ll introduce you not only to some of the most popular sights, but also to some rather unknown places off the beaten track.
In addition to hikes and viewpoints, you’ll find plenty of tips for enjoyment, a super cheap alternative to the crowded Brockenbahn and the first climate-neutral hotel in central Germany.
Let’s start with a lesser-known vantage point, which is located high above the Rappbode reservoir and offers a brilliant far-reaching view over the so-called fjord of the Upper Harz all the way to the Brocken summit. The starting point for the two-kilometer hike to Rotestein is the parking lot in front of the Harzköhlerei Stemberghaus.
If you wish, you can extend the hike from the lookout point and hike back to the starting point via part of the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg. Autumn transforms the forests around the Rappbode Reservoir into a red and yellow riot of color. It is really worthwhile to hike here.
- Start & Finish: Stemberghaus 1 | 38899 Hasselfelde
- Length: 2 km to the lookout point
Delightful tip: Harzköhlerei Stemberghaus
After the hike, the Harzköhlerei Stemberghaus is a great place to stop for a bite to eat. During the summer months you can take a seat in the beer garden. In the cold season, the rustic wooden hut with open fireplace invites you to warm up.
Served are charcoal tea from Harz herbs, coffee and cake, apple strudel and waffles, warming soups and lots of hearty food. For vegetarians, the choice is unfortunately quite limited. At least there are potato pancakes with apple sauce and fried potatoes with fried eggs. However, you have to order the bacon separately.
Afterwards, it’s worth taking a look at the charcoal-maker’s museum, where you can take a look behind the scenes of one of Germany’s last charcoal kilns and learn interesting facts about the traditional charcoal-making trade.
Titan RT Suspension Bridge
Over a length of almost 460 meters, the suspension bridge with the strange name Titan RT spans the reservoir of the Rappboden valley. You should bring along a little bit of courage to walk on the grating at a height of 100 meters above the treetops and the deep blue water.
Admittedly, the structure wobbles quite a bit, but a little thrill is part of your vacation in the Harz Mountains and the view from the bridge is truly magnificent.
Note: Due to the Corona Pandemic, the suspension bridge can currently only be walked in one direction. The general AHA rules also apply.
- Address: Rappbode Dam | 38889 town of Oberharz am Brocken.
- Opening hours: Year-round daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Costs: 6 Euro
Extra tip: If you want to learn more about the Rappbode Dam afterwards, you can visit the info point of the Harzer Urania, right next to the entrance to the bridge. Here you will not only learn interesting facts about Germany’s highest dam, but also about the entire dam system, which is used for power generation and drinking water supply.
An experience you can’t miss during your vacation in the Harz Mountains.A visit to the former Rabensteiner Stollen coal mine is a must. Equipped with a safety helmet, you first travel by mine train into a dark, fascinating world underground.
Then you follow your guide on foot through the narrow passages in which hard coal was once mined under the harshest conditions, even though the coal was completely worthless. With an ash content of up to 80%, it hardly provided any heating power. Industry could do nothing with the coal and no one else wanted it either.
However, when the much more valuable firewood became scarce and correspondingly expensive at the beginning of the 18th century, the people in need had no choice but to mine the worthless hard coal. After all, outside temperatures of minus 20 degrees prevailed in the Harz mountains at that time.
While you listen to the exciting stories of the guide, you can experience for yourself how terrible it must have been in the Rabenstein mine. With little oxygen and in complete darkness (most people didn’t even have an oil lamp), the coal was often only found by knocking and groping. Backbreaking work that probably no one can imagine today.
The Rabensteiner Stollen is open daily except Mondays during the summer season and daily except Mondays and Fridays during the winter season. Guided tours are offered up to five times a day. Since it is consistently eight degrees in the Stollen, you should bring a warm jacket at all times of the year.
- Address: Netzkater 8 | 99768 Harztor
- Costs: 13,50 Euro
Extra tip: Directly from the Rabensteiner Stollen you can take the nostalgic Harzquerbahn to my next tip, the Ziegenalm Sophienhof. Timetables can be found here.
Goat pasture Sophienhof
The Sophienhof goat pasture is home to 120 Harz goats, which provide milk for the farm’s own cheese dairy. The traditional farm also includes a small flock of sheep, as well as cows, pigs, fallow deer and 220 chickens, which live in species-appropriate conditions and are visibly happy about curious visitors.
With a view of the goat enclosure, you can take a seat on the terrace and enjoy food and drinks made from the farm’s own products as well as freshly baked cakes. Right next to it is a small farm store where you can buy goat cheese, organic eggs, sausages and ice cream made from goat milk.
Ziegenalm Sophienhof is a member of Slow Food Germany, a non-profit organization that promotes a sustainable food system. Here it is not only about the preservation of rural agriculture, but also about species-appropriate animal husbandry, fair remuneration for producers and the appreciation of food. You can find more members of Slow Food in the Harz here.
Extra tip: If you want to extend your vacation in the Harz Mountains and have always wanted to spend a vacation on a farm, you can even spend the night at the Ziegenalm. Around the farm are simply furnished vacation apartments for two to 15 people.
- Address: Dorfstraße 44 | 99768 Harztor
The small town of Stolberg in the southern Harz region, with its 1,097 inhabitants, boasts an incredible density of beautiful, well-preserved half-timbered houses and, compared to the far better-known Harz half-timbered houses, is a little less crowded than the other half-timbered towns.The town of Stolberg is a real insider’s tip for your vacation in the Harz Mountains.
There is a lot to see in Stolberg: for example, the old post office, which was once used by stagecoaches, the hospital chapel, where the sick were cared for, the Stolberg town hall on the market square, which has several floors, but no stairs and the ascent is only possible from the outside, and the Mint Museum, where you can see the history of coinage in a vivid way. The beautiful baroque castle, which towers over the city on a hill, is also absolutely worth seeing.
If you want to learn more about the sights and the exciting history of the city, I can recommend a guided tour with the lovely Elke Franke. Info and registration at the tourist information in the Niedergasse.
If you don’t feel like sightseeing, just stroll through the pretty alleys and marvel at the historic buildings that have led to Stolberg being voted the most beautiful village in Germany by Travelbook readers in 2019.
In between, grab a raisin rusk baked to a traditional recipe at the more than 125-year-old Friedrich Wilhelm Keksfabrik (Friwi for short).
You can get a great view of Stolberg and the castle from the Lutherbuche, a lookout point above Stubengasse. It was named after Martin Luther because he came to Stolberg in the spring of 1525 to preach a sermon in St. Martin’s Church.
Afterwards, he took a walk on the surrounding ridges and rested at the beech tree. If you like, you can follow in Luther’s footsteps and walk around the beautiful half-timbered town on the upper ribbon path. You can find a hiking map for the 10.8 kilometer route here.
Delightful tip: Café Alt
In the heart of Stolberg is the small Café Alt. Believe me, if you like my café tips, you will love this café with its charming ambiance. The interior is very tasteful and the service is top notch.
There is Fairtrade coffee from the sieve machine, homemade cakes and small sandwiches with vegan spreads. Also be sure to try the hot drinking chocolates, which come in countless flavors.
About seven minutes by car from Stolberg is the 580-meter-high Auerberg, on whose summit the Josephskreuz, an iron, accessible double cross, is enthroned. It is 200 steps to the viewing platform, from which you can enjoy a great view in good weather. You can reach the Josephskreuz via a 15-minute walk that takes you from the parking lot at Forsthaus Auerberg through the forest.
Attention, the Josephskreuz can only be climbed during opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday (in summer from 10 am to 6 pm and in winter from 11 am to 4 pm). Accordingly, an ascent at sunrise or sunset is unfortunately not possible.
- Address: Großer Auerberg | 06536 Südharz OT Stolberg
- Costs: 3,50 Euro
Hohnstein Castle Ruin
A place steeped in history as well as a great sunset photo spot is the ruins of Hohnstein Castle, located near Neustadt.
Since it fell victim to the 30-year war and was completely demolished
burned down, only the remains of the once magnificent castle can be seen today. Via a spiral staircase you can reach the remains of a tower that lets you look far over the Harz Mountains to the Kyffhäuser Mountains.
- Address: Hohnstein Castle Ruin | 99762 Neustadt
visiting the castle ruins, it is worthwhile to stop at the rustic Burggasthof Hohnstein, which is located in a beautifully restored half-timbered house just below the
In addition to hearty main dishes, you’ll find delicious soups and snacks for in between. I can recommend the shepherd’s vesper: baked sheep’s cheese with olives, onions, tomatoes and toasted farmhouse bread.
largest karst caves in Germany, whose gigantic dimensions are still unknown, awaits you near Uftrungen in the
Continue reading: https://globusliebe.com/urlaub-im-harz/