Harz Mountains Belle - Itinerary

Day 1 – Tuesday 13 May 2025

Cologne to Frankfurt by Diesel and Frankfurt to Nuremberg by Steam

The Harz Mountains Belle departs diesel hauled from the stunning city centre station next to the beautiful Cathedral immediately crossing the Rhine, setting off along the Rhine Valley to Frankfurt. Our remaining passengers join us here and we are then steam hauled on the scenic trip through Bavaria to Nuremberg. Our 3 and 4 Star Hotels are adjacent to the station by the city walls allowing passengers to walk, while our 5 Star passengers will have a short coach trip to the Karl August Hotel in the heart of Nuremberg Old Town (or beautiful 15 minute walk).

Day 2 – Wednesday 14th May 2025

Day at leisure in Nuremberg

With the Hotels adjacent to or inside the medieval city walls, Nuremberg is a very simple place to look around but there is plenty to see. Impressive, exciting, colorful and tragic: Nuremberg has reflected German history since the Middle Ages. Belle Trains will also be organizing excursions to places of interest which may include a walking tour of the Old Town, visiting the Imperial Castle, visiting the Museum Tucherschloss as well as more recent history with the famous Memorium Nuremberg Trials at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice and Courtroom 600.

Day 3 – Thursday 15th May 2025

Nuremberg to Dresden by Steam

After a full breakfast in our hotels, passengers will rejoin the train again with steam power doing the work. Heading ever eastwards, it’s not long before we cross the now invisible border into the old German Democratic Republic and the sense of recent history intensifies. After a relaxed day of more beautiful scenery, we arrive in Dresden with a short coach transfer to our hotels.

Day 4 – Friday 16th May 2025

Day at leisure in Dresden

Dresden is a remarkable City full of old, new and restored life amongst its many historic buildings. Those who choose to spend their day wandering around the city will not tire of the many hidden secrets and lovely vistas they will come across. There will be organized excursions which may include a walking tour of the Old Town, river boat cruise to Pillnitz Palace and Park and a coach trip to Meissen and Moritzburg Castle. For steam enthusiasts, there will be an excursion to travel on both the very different narrow gauge Railways in the Dresden outskirts – the Weisseritz Valley and Radebeul Railways.

Day 5 – Saturday 17th May 2025

Dresden to the Harz Mountains by Steam

The Harz Mountains Belle heads West and we enjoy a break in the Cathedral City of Leipzig, home to Europe’s biggest railway station. Soon after leaving Leipzig, we have views of the distant Harz Mountains towering over the surrounding plains. Soon, we will be arriving at our destinations of the pretty market towns Ilsenburg and Wernigerode where passengers will be staying for their three nights, here in the Harz Mountains.

Day 6 – Sunday 18th May 2025

Steaming through the Harz and up the Brocken!

Undoubtedly, this will be a day to savour and remember as passengers explore much of the Harz Mountains Railway, culminating in arguably the most exciting steam trip in the modern world, climbing to the summit of the highest mountain, the Brocken.

Starting from the World Heritage town of Quedlinburg, the train climbs steadily into the foothills to the south before reversing to climb north to the busy junction at Drei Annen Hohne. From here, it’s a mighty effort for our steam loco hauling our private Harz Mountains Belle to the summit of the Brocken. Here we are just a couple of miles inside the old East German Border, with views of old watch towers from the Cold War and much more beside. All of this is explained in the museum which our passengers can visit at leisure before we return down the mountain to Wernigerode, 3000 ft below. Passengers will be able to opt for a later departure from Wernigerode if they wish.

Harz Mountains Railway Excursion

On the Harz Mountains trains there are no catering facilities. The Freundeskreis Selketalbahn e. V Club will be providing hot and cold drinks plus a variety of snacks throughout the day on-board the train for purchase, as well as the opportunity
for drinks to be bought on the summit of the Brocken.

Watch the Harder Schmalspur Bahnen video below:

Day 7 – Monday 19th May 2025

Day at Leisure – Explore or enjoy more Steam!

Today will see the opportunity for passengers to enjoy a day at leisure or joining one of our coach excursions to some of the many fascinating towns and tourist attractions dotted around the mountains like Quedlinburg and the mining town of Goslar with its Imperial Palace. For those that wish to maximize their steam experience on this unique network, Belle Trains has organized availability of Rover Tickets as well as the opportunity to visit the new Steam Locomotive Workshop in Wernigerode.

Day 8 – Tuesday 20th May 2025

Steam from the Harz to the Rhine Valley

Once again, we return to our mainline steam hauled train heading back towards the Rhine Valley at Wiesbaden. Passengers will by now be familiar with the delightful German countryside and pretty market towns and as we leave Wernigerode we will have an excellent view of the retreating Harz range. We arrive in the evening at Wiesbaden, a lovely city just outside Frankfurt which lies adjacent to the Rhine Valley – in proximity and cultural resonance, rather like London and Windsor!

Day 9 – Wednesday 21st May 2025

All good things come to an end … !

After our fascinating tour of both modern and historic Germany, the Harz Mountains Belle draws to a close. For those passengers not joining us on our optional overland trip to London, there is the opportunity to enjoy breakfast, explore Wiesbaden for an hour or two and check out of your hotel at leisure. For those transferring to Frankfurt Airport or Frankfurt Station in the City Centre, it is approximately 35 minutes by frequent trains.