Hiking in the Harz Mountains

After spending a few days in Copenhagen, we wanted to take some time getting back to nature and decided to spend a few days hiking in the Harz Mountains in Northern Germany. The Harz Mountains are the birthplace of many much loved fairytales such as; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and The Frog Prince. As a lover of fairytales and aspiring writer, the Harz Mountains were an absolute must visit during our trip.

Hiking in the Harz Mountains, Northern Germany



There are a lot of picturesque villages in the region, but we decided to stay a little off the beaten track in Thale. Thale is a beautiful village that is known for its witches and its mythical tale of Princess Brunhilde. We stayed at Ferienwohungen Wotan, where we had the mountain view apartment. The hosts were unbelievably welcoming and they had a toy lawnmower and football net in the garden for the boys to play with. If you are visiting the region with little ones, I really recommend staying here.


Mythology – The tale of Rostrappe

One of the reasons we decided to stay in Thale was because after hearing the legend of Princess Brunhilde, we wanted to do the Rostrappe hike. The legend tells the story of a brave princess who fled from the giant Bodo on her white stallion after he tried to force her into marry him against her will. Bodo pursued her through the mountains where she came to a deep ravine. Princess Brunhilde and her stallion leapt over the ravine and landed on the other side, but she lost her crown. Bodo didn’t make the jump and instead fell into the ravine, where he is destined to search for Princess Brunhilde’s crown forevermore.


The ‘hoof print’ of Princess Brunhilde’s horse is imprinted into the rock today and can be viewed on the Rostrappe hike.


The legend of Rostrappe - Hiking in the Harz Mountains, Northern Germany


The Hike

A few people have said we are ‘brave’ to go hiking with little ones, but the trail itself was incredibly easy to hike. It isn’t suitable for pushchairs because of the jagged rocks and steps, but we took Monkey in the carrier and Bear did a mixture of walking and riding on Mr. C’s back. There is a car park at the top of mountain, but we opted for the cable car. Going up the side of a mountain in a cable car was quite scary to be honest because the only thing securing people into the seat is a metal bar. For older children this is great, but for the entire ride to the top and back down again, I was worried Monkey would decide he wanted to get out. He didn’t and had a great time, but for my own sanity I would either hike or drive if we were to do this trip again. However if you are with older children or going on your own, the cable car is definitely worth doing for the amazing views over Thale.

Hiking in the Harz Mountains, Northern Germany

Hiking in the Harz Mountains, Northern Germany

Hiking in the Harz Mountains, Northern Germany


There are a lot of much easier trails in the region that are completely flat and pushchair friendly, so even if you don’t have a carrier, it is a beautiful place to visit.


I would love to go back to the Harz Mountains for a longer period of time and see some more of the towns and villages in the area. It really is an interesting place to visit, with a variety of different things to see and do. I’d really like to take the steam train up the mountain and take a walk along some of the different hiking trails in the region if we were to go again.


Have you ever been to the Harz Mountains in Northern Germany? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

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58 thoughts on “Hiking in the Harz Mountains

  1. Oh this is right up my alley. The fairytale legends, the view, the villages and the hiking are exactly what I would love! I actually wrote in my new blog post about taking a three day hiking trip and I think I found it! This would be perfect! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. This sounds like an amazing place to hike and explore, so much heritage! Love all the fairytales etc, that must have made it all the more magical. Beautiful views as well, we are heading over to Germany for the Christmas markets this year as my other half is half German, so he has promised to show me around some beautiful places while we are there.

    1. I’d never considered exploring Germany before to be honest with you, but it was such a wonderful place to visit and would definitely go back to explore different regions.

  3. What a brilliant way to explore somewhere new – I also prefer to stay off the beaten track a bit. That’s where you find hidden treasures 🙂

  4. This looks like an amazing place to visit. I love fairytales and hiking so this would be a dream for me, and I’ve been looking at the place you stayed and it looks amazing too. I’ve never been to Germany before but I’d love to visit.

  5. This looks like a great place to get out and enjoy nature with the kids! I think we would opt for an easier trail as we would have the buggy when mrs arrives!

    1. We did wonder how our eldest would cope with the hike, but he did amazingly well and loved exploring. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

    1. I’d never considered visiting Germany before, but so glad we did! There are some really beautiful regions, I can see us returning to see different parts in the future.

  6. We’ve never been to Germany, but these mountains look stunning. And nice to hear the hike is doable with younger kids. It’s always my worry with our son whether we could do hikes or walks!

    1. It was such a wonderful place to visit and the views were amazing. Copenhagen was our favourite city to visit with the little ones. I hope you have a great trip!

    1. Germany was a surprise to us because we had never thought of visiting before. The Harz Mountains are just stunning and a beautiful region to visit.

    1. It was such an amazing trip and has definitely given us the travel bug. I’d really recommend visiting the Harz Mountains, it’s a really beautiful region.

  7. What a lovely idea to visit places famous for their fairytale settings! I’ve always wanted to holiday in the mountains in the summer – usually we ski them instead, but it must be lovely to see them in the sun.

  8. Hi, looks amazing and we are going to visit it next week 🙂

    could you please share the exact path you took? pictures look amazing.

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