Highlights Of A Road Trip Through The Harz Mountains
Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History, Dining, General Travel Info
[ source: Wikipedia]
Famous for its silver mines, the Harz is a low mountain range running for sixty miles from north to south, with a width of twenty miles. This provides ample opportunity to explore its wild interior, including the granite peaks of Brocken and Wurmberg. A good way to travel through the Harz is by car, as this allows you to stop and admire the numerous panoramic vistas along the way. To get in, there are several motorways to choose from. The B6 is a dual carriageway running along the northern end of the Harz, while the A7 connects the range to Hanover in the north.
This range is divided into two main regions: the Upper Harz and Lower Harz. The Upper Harz includes the Brocken and is cold, damp, and bare at the mountain's summit. By contrast, the Lower Harz has a mild climate and you'll find a number of farms and villages in this pastoral landscape. Although roads are generally well-tended, you may want to look at SUV reviews on motoring.com.au to find a suitable rental if you plan to explore the more remote areas of the Upper Harz.
No trip to the Harz would be complete without a stop at Falkenstein Castle, a well-preserved medieval settlement overlooking the Selke Valley. Currently a museum, you can enjoy the castle's falconry, gourmet restaurant, and impressive views. The castle also comes alive with its annual singing tournament, drawing contestants from throughout Europe.
One of the most beautiful valleys in the Harz, the Oker Valley features the impressive Romkerhall Falls and stunning rock formations. The River Oker runs through the valley, crossing through deep ravines and forming a number of waterfalls. You can stop here for camping, hiking, and wildlife spotting or take your car for a spin through the valley to enjoy the pristine scenery.
This quaint village makes an idyllic stopping point on any road trip through the Harz. The old town and castle mount of Quedlinburg are listed UNESCO World Heritage Sights, with the village being one of Germany's best preserved medieval towns. Renaissance architecture abounds in the village as well. Visitors can learn more about the town's history and culture in its multiple museums and galleries, or simply enjoy a beer in a picturesque setting straight out of a fairy tale.
Beginning on the Brocken's eastern side, the Bode Gorge is an important nature reserve within the Harz. You can drive up to it but can only access the gorge by foot. Rafting and all other forms of transport are banned to preserve this spectacular natural beauty site.
Part of the Upper Harz region, Rubeland is a particularly popular destination during the holidays, when its Christmas market springs to life with lights, music, and dancing. Visitors can park here and hop on the Rubeland Railway for a festive train journey on a traditional steam locomotive. The village also provides an ideal location for exploring the nearby hiking trails or viewing the landscape from the Schornsteinberg point of interest. From fairy tale castles to rugged trails, there is no shortage of interesting stops to enjoy on your road trip through the Harz.
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Bettina Kraft likes to write Germany related travel articles on Live Like a German - a site for exploring Germany, to learn more about its culture / language, and to find a great Germany vacation rental or holiday apartment when going on a Germany vacation. Bettina likes to help visitors from all over the world to experience Germany in a different, more personal way, and make it easy for them to do so by providing detailed travel tips and advise.
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