Highlights of Germany

Monday 28th January to Thursday 7th February 2019
11 - Days


Prices from: £1775


Saxony, Harz Mountains and Baltic Coast. Fairy-tale castles, snow-capped hills and romantic steam trains encapsulate the charm and culture of Eastern Germany on this stunning winter tour.


Departure Date: 28-Jan-2019
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Starting in historic Leipzig, you’ll linger in medieval Erfurt and the colourful Harz towns of Wernigerode and Quedlinburg, before finishing your tour in the attractive Hanseatic ports of Rostock and Stralsund. In between you’ll ride on the famed ‘little trains’ that travel the narrow-gauge networks of Saxony, the Harz Mountains and along the Baltic Coast. Experience as well the very best of famous German ‘Plandampf’ and enjoy the spectacular sounds and sights of mighty steam trains in the deep snow, in iconic locations such as Drei Annen Hohne and Mount Brocken. With the emphasis on elegant hotels, savoury buffet meals and lots of photo opportunity run pasts, you’re sure to delight in the diverse cultural and scenic adventures to be had on this fantastic winter steam railway tour.

Monday 28th January
London to Leipzig
You travel to Leipzig from London St Pancras via Brussels and Frankfurt on Eurostar, Thalys and ICE high-speed services. In Leipzig, you check into your 4-star city centre hotel, near the railway station and all the major attractions.

Tuesday 29th January
Steam on the Döllnitzbahn and a visit to Colditz Castle
Today you visit the narrow-gauge ‘Wild Robert’ Döllnitz Railway. A charmingly temperamental, four-cylinder Meyer-type steam locomotive hauls your chartered train from Oschatz to the villages of Glossen and Kemmlitz. You’ll experience street running in Oschatz, before stopping at one of Germany’s largest narrow-gauge yards in Mügeln. Dramatic run pasts will be staged, and you’ll enjoy lunch at a typical German country inn before continuing to Colditz Castle, famous as the supposedly escape-proof prison for Allied officers during the Second World War. On returning to Leipzig in late afternoon, you enjoy a group dinner at the magnificent 1842 Bayerischer Bahnhof, one of the oldest preserved stations in Germany. (B L D)

Wednesday 30th January
Trams, trains, cathedrals and castles in Naumburg and along the River Unstrut
This morning you visit the medieval town of Naumburg, famed for its four-spired cathedral and dinky 3 km long vintage tramway. Step back in time as you enjoy a private sightseeing city tour on a 1928 heritage tram car. You continue on another private charter of vintage rolling stock on the idyllic Unstrutbahn secondary line, 55 km long and broadly following its namesake river. It meanders through Germany’s northernmost wine-growing region, with breath-taking views framed by hilltop castles and pretty churches. In the majestic castle town of Freyburg you stop for lunch before continuing to Artern, then via the main line to mediaeval Erfurt. You arrive in the early evening and check into your centrally located hotel for the next two nights. (B L D)

Thursday 31st January
Mountain magnificence at the Oberweissbach Railway
Today you visit one of Germany’s best kept secrets, the Oberweissbach Bergbahn mountain railway, a unique combination of standard gauge branch line, broad gauge funicular and electric mountain railway. You make a round trip on its entire length, through the rolling hills and vast forests of the Thüringen Highlands, on privately chartered vintage stock for the 24-km-long valley section between Rottenbach and Katzhütte, before changing onto the unique broad-gauge funicular at Obstfelderschmiede. Eventually you reach the summit terminus at Cursdorf, where a satisfying lunch will be served. You return to Erfurt in the late afternoon, with more leisure time to explore this historic city, especially its ancient Old Town. (B L)

Friday 1st February
Steam from Norhausen to the Brocken and Wernigerode
Today you experience the best of legendary German ‘Plandampf’ on the large Harz narrow-gauge network. You depart Nordhausen steam-hauled north to the junction station of Drei Annen Hohne. A different steam locomotive then takes over for the ascent up Mount Brocken. As you storm up the spiralling line through snow-doused pine forests, you listen to the 2-10-2 tank engine battle the gradients to Northern Germany’s highest point. After refreshments and photo opportunities at the summit, you descend back to Drei Annen Hohne. You carry on to Wernigerode, having completed 80 km behind steam over the largest part of the Harz network. The next two nights are spent at a centrally located hotel in Wernigerode, well known for its colourful timber-framed houses. Dinner is served at your hotel this evening. (B D)

Saturday 2nd February
Steam in the Selke Valley with a black Mallet locomotive; Culture in Quedlinburg
This morning, you’ll visit historic Quedlinburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, travelling by private charter with a rake of green heritage coaches, hauled by a black Mallet steam locomotive. Your train travels via Gernrode to the junction at Alexisbad, before branching off to Harzgerode, running along open fields to finish in the eastern Harz Mountains. Your locomotive climbs countless inclines to reach Harzgerode, a steam-hauled feat no longer possible on normal service trains. You stop for lunch at the impressive cellar restaurant of the local medieval castle, before returning to Quedlinburg, with several scenic run pasts staged. On arrival, there’ll be plenty of time left for sightseeing, with two expansive town squares and the castle mount basilica of particular note. There’s a group dinner at a local restaurant to follow before you return to your hotel in Wernigerode. (B L D)

Sunday 3rd February
On to Rostock and a Baltic Dinner Cruise
After breakfast you have time to watch or film the first two steam train departures from Wernigerode station before taking a sightseeing stroll through the Old Town. In the late morning you transfer by coach to nearby Braunschweig, before travelling by ICE and RE trains via Berlin to Rostock. You arrive in this attractive Hanseatic port city in late afternoon and check into your centrally located hotel. In the evening a privately chartered dinner cruise is scheduled in the harbours of Rostock and Warnemünde. (B D)

Monday 4th February
Steam at the Molli Railway
Today you visit another of the iconic steam railways of Northern Germany, the 15.4-km-long resort railway ‘Molli’. Famous for its street running section in Bad Doberan, this 900 metre gauge railway boasts lots of rugged German tank engines. You’ll have reserved seats for the northbound journey to Kühlingsborn on the Baltic Coast, where you can see the seaside and beaches and return to Bad Doberan on any service train of your choice, using your complementary rover ticket issued for the day. Enjoy the railway at your own pace, focusing either on travelling on as many trains as possible or taking time to take pictures along the lineside, especially within the tight streets of Bad Doberan. In the evening you return to Rostock by DB service train. (B)

Tuesday 5th February
Steam on the Island of Rügen
After breakfast you transfer by rail to one of Germany’s most famous tourist railways, the ‘Racing Roland’ on the country’s largest island, Rügen. This 750 mm gauge line runs 24 km from Lauterbach Mole to the seaside resort of Göhren. On a privately chartered steam train you’ll be hauled by the hard-to-get, green 0-8-0 tank engine Nr. 53 from 1925. As you race over the island in traditional half open balcony coaches and enjoy the superb scenery, photo stops will be staged before lunch is taken in Göhren. In the afternoon you return to Lauterbach behind Nr. 53, before returning to the German mainland on a DB service train in late afternoon, spending the last two nights of your tour in a centrally located hotel in the beautiful port city of Stralsund. (B L D)

Wednesday 6th February
At leisure in Stralsund and on Rügen
After several active days, today you relax in Stralsund, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Framed by red brick buildings and Gothic churches, the old town and historic port offer much to see. Alternately, you can take the DB service train back over the bridge to Rügen and spend another day on the island, exploring both the standard and narrow-gauge lines in greater detail. The choice is yours and your tour manager will be happy to advise. For ease of mobility you’ll be issued with a day rover rail ticket for both the DB service trains and the steam railway. (B)

Thursday 7th February
Return to London
This morning you say Auf Wiedersehen to Northern Germany as you travel by ICE trains from Stralsund via Berlin to Cologne, before continuing on connecting high speed services to Brussels and London. (B)


Details

Price

  • First Class £2275
  • Standard Class £1975
  • Single supplement £295
  • Ground only (Leipzig – Stralsund) £1775

All prices shown are per person.

Price Includes

  • High Speed train travel from London to Leipzig and from Stralsund to London
  • 10 nights accommodation in 5 different locations with breakfast
  • 6 dinners and 5 Lunches
  • All specially chartered steam trains, rail journeys and boat cruises as detailed in the itinerary
  • All seat reservations and transfers
  • Public transport rover tickets
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!