Overview for The Harz Witches Trail
The Harz Witches Trail will take you to the Harz Mountains, a magical region located in the heart of Lower Saxony in Germany. The trail leads you from West to East, crossing the entire Harz Mountains and winding 105 kilometres on old trade routes. Along the way, you will reach the highest peak in the area – the Brocken (1141 m). During the walks, quaint medieval towns with timbered houses will make a fascinating cultural contrast to the mystic forests of the Harz Mountains.
Itinerary for The Harz Witches TrailGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival Osterode
Surrounded by the impressive city walls, the historic centre of Osterode offers a beautiful setting for a leisurely start of your holiday. Osterode is easily reachable from Hannover Airport by train or bus (90 km, 2.5/3h).
Day 2: Osterode – Clausthal-Zellerfeld
Today you start your hike uphill along the Harz Witches Trail following old trade routes, where you can see the first sections of the Oberharzer Wasserregal, an irrigation system of dykes and channels built in the 16th century and still operational. You will then reach the university town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld and can visit Germany’s biggest church, the Marktkirche zum Heiligen Geist.
Walking for the day: 16 km, 4 hours
Day 3: Clausthal-Zellerfeld – Altenau
Leaving Clausthal-Zellerfeld, you will mainly walk along on flat forest paths and narrow trails and follow the fascinating dykes and springs of this region until you reach the town of Altenau with its beautiful park.
Walking for the day: 17 km, 4-5 hours
Day 4: Altenau – Brocken – Schierke
Today is the highlight of your walking holiday, the climb to Harz’ highest mountain along the Goethe Trail (the poet who undertook many walking trips in this region), which leads you through mystical moors and forests up to the peak. If the weather permits, the magnificent view of the Harz Mountains will reward you for the demanding ascent. The Harz narrow-gauge railway with its steam engines will bring you down to Schierke.
Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours
Day 5: Schierke – Rübeland
Today you will cross the Trudenstein mountain and enjoy great views from the top. You will then hike downhill to reach the waterfall in Königshütte. Then, you follow the Bode river through Tiefenbachtal, where you can enjoy a fantastic view onto Rübeland with its stalactite caves from the viewpoint of Hoher Kleef.
Walking for the day: 21 km, 5-6 hours
Day 6: Rübeland – Treseburg
In today’s section of the Harz Witches Trail, you will wander along idyllic forest and meadow paths. You will walk along the Bode river; passing the dam in Wendefurth, you will reach the town of Treseburg.
Walking for the day: 20 km, 5-6 hours
Day 7: Treseburg – Thale/Quedlinburg
During the last day of your walking holiday, you hike through the Bodetal, a place steeped in legends. High granite rocks line along the narrow path following the meanders of the river. Your day’s destination is Thale. For a nice ending of your tour, we recommend that you visit either the fairy rings or the granite rock of Rosstrappe.
Walking for the day: 10 km, 3 hours
Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel
Hotels for The Harz Witches TrailGo to top of page
7 nights in 3-star hotels or comfortable guesthouses. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on rote, packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.
Travel for The Harz Witches TrailGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Hannover.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Osterode is easily reachable from Hannover Airport by train or bus (90 km, 2.5/3h).
Airport transfers by train are recommended for this trip, as they are less expensive and take less time than car or bus transfers.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
- In bigger towns, you will have no problems finding English speaking service in hotels or restaurants. However, we suggest carrying a dictionary or a phrasebook with you. Please be aware that only a few restaurants offer multi-lingual menus.
- The currency in Germany is the Euro (€).
- 112 enables anyone to call emergency services from anywhere in the European Union.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Germany is available here. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for The Harz Witches TrailGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate
This holiday is appropriate for walkers with a good level of fitness; there are no steep ascents and descents and walking is on average 4-5 hours per walking day (read more about difficulty grades).
The trails are very well maintained and waymarked. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from April until October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for The Harz Witches TrailGo to top of page
- Detailed road notes
- 7 nights in 3-star hotels or country inns with breakfast included
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
- Local travel bus tickets on walking days
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative
Options and Extras
- Single room supplement
- Solo traveller supplement
- Extra nights
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates.
- Flights and airport transfers
- Lunches and dinners on all days
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
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