The incredible diversity of the Harz Mountains Nature Park, which has also been named a UNESCO Global Geopark, is what gives it that extra-special charm. Situated in Germany's northernmost highlands, it is a hiker's paradise with a long-standing tradition of mining.
Relics paying testament to the earth's turbulent history and the tradition of mining can be spotted at every turn in the Harz Mountains, with examples including Rammelsberg Mine and the Upper Harz Water Management System, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Deciduous forests and river valleys shape the Lower Harz, as described by Heinrich Heine in his travel report called "The Harz Journey". Castles, palaces and churches reflect the changing faces of the local inhabitants over more than 1,000 years. There are plenty of activities on offer here, including a trip on the Harz narrow-gauge railway and hikes on the network of trails spanning some 8,000 kilometres. Family groups can look forward to the nature park adventure trails and the Nature 2000 information centre at Stolberg Castle.