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Harz Witches Trail

Harz Witches Trail

  • Enjoy the beautiful forests, lakes and rivers of the Harz Mountains
  • Climb to the summit of Brocken, in the footsteps of Goethe
  • Steeped in local myths and legends, discover the Witches Trail
  • Arrive in Thale via the Bode River Valley Gorge (Bodental)
  • One of the “Top Trails of Germany” famed for fairy tales
  • Explore Quedlinburg, a preserved Renaissance town




Just a short journey from Berlin, the Harz Witches Trail traverses the Harz Mountains from West to East, Osterode to Thale. The scenery is dominated by the towering dome of Brocken, the highest peak here and one which you have the opportunity to summit. This off the beaten track part of Germany has an abundance of impeccably waymarked walking trails, winding their way through enchanting forests, making it a truly awe-inspiring destination to hike in. 

Since 2012, Macs Adventure has been offering self-guided trips in the region and is always discovering more hidden gems with our German sister company's help.  Our knowledgeable team is waiting to answer any questions you may have, and some have their own experiences of walking in the Harz Mountains.

This area is famous for fairy tales and folklore, which creates a wonderful atmosphere to walk in. On the Harz Witches Trail, which is a national trail, immerse yourself in evergreen and coniferous forests, rocky canyons, towering cliffs, medieval half-timbered villages. Dotted along the trail are picturesque villages such as Quedlinburg, a UNESCO heritage site worth spending an extra night in. 

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Discover Harz Witches Trail

  • History behind the Trail

    The Harz Witches Trail passes through a magical region famed for fairy tales, witches and legends, from where the trail gets its name.

    The reason behind the name, The Witches Trail, is due to the 133 witches that were burned in Quedlinburg in 1589. These witches congregated around the Brocken, the highest peak in the area, and indeed many people say that they still do. (Queue spine-tingling music!) There is also 'evidence' of horses hooves, from giants chasing princesses and mountains where the great leaders of Germany sleep, waiting for the day Germany needs them again. When you walk through this lush green, craggy, jagged region, you can see why so many tales have sprung up about the area. It has an otherworldly, fairytale quality about it that inspires thoughts about the supernatural side of life. Aside from its obvious dislike of witches, it is a beautiful medieval town, with over 1300 examples of half-timbered houses, again adding to the fairytale appearance of this trip. Quedlinburg was the first capital city of Germany and dominating its skyline is the Abbesses' Palace and St. Servatius church, both well worth a visit.


    History behind the Trail
  • Walking Regions

    Explore some of Germany's best walking regions, with each boasting its own unique characteristics and customs. From sacred lakes, enchanting forests to the otherworldly peaks reaching for the sky, you are spoilt for choice. Walk in Bavaria, the gateway to the Alps in the south with its panoramic views of the mountains, uncover the mystical Black Forest, discover the Moselle and the Rhine river valleys, which offer relaxed walking  (and plenty of hidden vineyards calling out to be discovered) or head off the beaten track to explore the lesser-known areas, such as Saxon Switzerland. In Germany, you will find something for everyone.

    The Black Forest

    Germany’s iconic Black Forest has been the inspiration for the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tales and other German myths and legends. Located in the southwest, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, it is one of the most popular hiking locations. The area is packed with mountainous terrain, miles of breathtaking forest and dotted in between are charming little villages. Our Black Forest Gorge trip takes in the highlights of the region.


    This little town, located in the Bavarian Alps, is a hiker’s dream. The town lies near the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. It is the perfect starting point for an alpine walking tour in the Bavarian Alps. For the more adventurous, cross the Tyrolean Alps into Austria and Italy on our challenging Tyrolean Alps: Garmisch to Sterzing.

    Mosel and Rhine Valley

    Quieter and stunning regions are the Mosel and Rhine Valley. The walking is less challenging than some of our other German trips as on either; you wander between quaint villages and local vineyards. You can follow the Rhine as it cuts deeply through the Rhenish slate mountains, meandering between hillside castles and steep fields of wine-producing grapes. Choose an in Style experience and embark on our Rhine in Style trip, or discover our Mosel Valley tour, which will take you through forested hillsides, along craggy cliffs and through near-vertical terraced vineyards.

    Berchtesgaden National Park

    This mountainous landscape in Bavaria is referred to as the Eagles Nest. It has a network of trails for both newbies and experienced trekkers. Hikes in this region ensure a day well spent in the mountains. The national park is known for its impressive wildlife—especially wonderful sightings include the golden eagle and red deer. A hike to the magnificent Königssee is also recommended, all of which you can explore on our Bavarian Alps: Hiking the Salt Trail.

    Harz Mountains

    The Harz Mountains is an off the beaten track way to discover Germany as you come across the beautiful wilderness of unspoilt forests, deep valleys, wild rivers and blossoming mountain meadows. Encounter local history and culture as you follow in the footsteps of witches on our Harz Witches Trail. Think picturesque, historic half-timbered towns, countless relics from the mining era, mysterious caves, old castles, spiritual places and nostalgic steam trains.

    Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland

    Situated close to Dresden, the beauty of Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) is of mythical proportions. Ancient, fingerlike rock formations make it the perfect location for climbing and hiking. The huge national park is known for its sandstone formations and splendid valleys and waterfalls. Discover more about our Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland trip.



    Walking Regions
  • Why Choose Macs Adventure to book your walking holiday in Germany?

    Macs Adventure has been running self-guided walking holidays in Germany since 2008.  Whether you like mountains and hills, lakes, rivers, dreamy villages and well preserved medieval cities, Germany has something to offer for everyone. This abundance of wonderful places to explore led us to seek out more and more areas to help people discover Germany on foot. 

    From humble beginnings, we now send over 2000 walkers to Germany every year, each walking the route that excites them the most. We provide the freedom to choose your route, itinerary and travel companions and discover Germany at your own pace. 

    We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale and we quickly realized how important it was to have amazing partners on the ground in Germany to deal with any issues that you might come across.  We are proud to say that we work incredibly closely with all our accommodation suppliers and luggage transfer teams, and should you have the slightest issue, they will fall over themselves to help you out. 

    We offer a flexible, tailor-made hiking experience that gets you comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the unique culture, food and scenery of Germany. No hostels, no leaky tents, no heavy bags on your back just a straightforward active holiday that you can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you. 

    We want to showcase our expertise by giving you all the resources you will ever need.  We have free guides, comprehensive videos, and a host of staff with their own German experiences in the planning stage, waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping and the best maps and guidebooks to make sure you find your way.  

    We love the diversity of walking in Germany, and our main aim is to make sure that you do


    Why Choose Macs Adventure to book your walking holiday in Germany?
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