The positive news: by planning your trip to an impressive close-by destination within Germany, you have already taken a big step towards sustainability, instead of starting your trip with a more polluting flight. Nevertheless, there are other points to make the vacation even more sustainable even on such a trip.
In the following list we give you tips and inspiration for an environmentally friendly Harz vacation.
Have you once planned to travel to the Harz Mountains by car? Maybe we can change your mind. Because, in our region there are two train stations that can be easily reached by train from all directions:
From there you can use the extensive bus network of the Harz district as well as selected lines in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, Göttingen and Goslar. Once you have paid the visitor's tax to your host, you can even use it free of charge during your stay. Information and timetables can be found here:
In addition to the diverse range of sights, our holiday region offers ideal conditions, especially for outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling. We have compiled extensive information on cycling and hiking trails in the region for you here.
There are options for renting bicycles in the area, e.g. in Wernigerode and Ilsenburg.
Regardless of whether it is a hotel or individual accommodation in a holiday home, there are numerous ways to reduce the environmental impact when it comes to staying overnight:
- Do not have to change your laundry every day or maybe even bring your own laundry with you.
- If possible, leave the air conditioning off.
- Save water and electricity when using the devices in the hotel.
- Save water and electricity when using the devices.
- Keep the windows closed when heating is on.
- Separate the waste.
There are many options for a sustainable and sensible use of groceries and the like when it comes to food.
Our tips for self-sufficient travellers:
- Buy products that come directly from your holiday region.
- Pay attention on origin and quality when buying food, escpecially when it comes to animal products
- If you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet you would like to use your vacation to simply try something new, you will find contact points here to buy your food on a vegetarian or vegan basis, many of them directly from the region:
- Biothek Wernigerode
- Biomarkt Naturata Wernigerode
- Biomarkt Am Gänsebrunnen Derenburg
- Weekly markets at the market place in Wernigerode on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in Blankenburg on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
- Regional producers and farm shops:
- Brockenbauer Thielecke in Tanne
- Sophienhof Ziegenalm in Harztor
- Harzer Baumkuchen Wernigerode
If you want to ditch the cooking pot, you will find a variety of restaurants both Up in the Harz and in the surrounding towns that work with regional products and / or offer vegetarian and vegan dishes:
- Goldener Adler Elbingerode
- Kartoffelkate Elbingerode
- Asia-Imbiss Elbingerode
- Restaurant Lotus in Hasselfelde
- Gaststätte Tannengrund in Rübeland
- Restaurant Zur Krone in Hasselfelde
- Garden of India Wernigerode with a wide choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes
- Casa Vita with vegetarian and vegan options
- Biothek Wernigerode with a daily changing lunch menu (usually vegetarian)
- Breite Acht Wernigerode Bowlbar – vegan and vegetarian dishes plus sustainable packaging
- Pizza delivery service Freddy Fresh in Wernigerode with also vegan pizza
- Komplizen Café with vegan breakfast options
Of course, you keep your ecological footprint the least when you explore our region on foot while hiking. The Upper Harz is the ideal travel destination for this.
BUT: Our region has a multitude of attractive excursion destinations to offer as well; for families with children in particular, variety is right and important to keep the holiday exciting.
Here we would like to give you a few tips to make your visit as sustainable as possible:
- Travel by public transport
- Use the waste containers provided for disposing of rubbish
- When visiting natural excursion destinations (e.g. the dripstone caves of Rübeland) or excursion destinations in nature itself, adhere to the instructions and regulations for the protection of animals and / or nature and the environment. These are usually communicated directly on site via signs and / or can be found in the house and visitor regulations
- Avoid peak times and crowds of visitors!
Here we have a number of other suggestions for you that you can take to heart on your travels and also in everyday life:
- The less luggage you carry in your vehicle, the lower the fuel consumption and thus the impact on the environment.
- Avoid plastic as much as possible and primarily use reusable products.
- Separate your garbage and use all recycling options.
- Don't wasteelectricity or water.
- If possible, do not print out your travel confirmations, tickets, etc.
- Avoid seasonal times and ideally travel in the off-season. Nice side effect: the prices are often significantly cheaper.
- If you have planned a short trip, consider spending a few more days at the chosen vacation spot instead. That way you can let the impressions work on you in peace and quiet and at the same time the environmental pollution that the journey brings with it is relativized a little.
Then you have the opportunity to support projects to protect the environment and nature on site, including here in the Harz Mountains. As you may have heard from the media or seen yourself on site, the Harz forests are in transition. Numerous forest areas have disappeared due to man-made climate change and the resulting bark beetle infestation. In order to counteract this, there are now some possibilities and initiatives that actively carry on the afforestation of the Harz forests. You can support financially as well as take action yourself in the following projects: