The little village of Thale, nestling in the lap of the dramatic Bode Valley in the Harz Mountains, has found its way into the works of several legendary German poets. This strikingly beautiful hamlet is also known for its legends of witches and pagan Germanic worship, which add another layer of unique charm. Let’s find out why Thale should be part of your Harz Mountain holiday itinerary.
There is no better way to fully appreciate the stunning beauty of Thale than by cable car. It takes visitors on a panoramic ride across the breathtaking Bode Valley all the way to Hexentanzplatz. En route, you can catch views of the imposing Harz Mountains, endless greenery, craggy rocks, and gushing streams. Some of the gondolas (the light-green ones) have glass floors, providing uninterrupted views of the deep valley, but are probably not a good choice for the fainthearted.
Seilbahnen Thale, Goetheweg 1, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 03947-2500
Once you reach Hexentanzplatz (meaning ‘dance floor of the witches’), a plateau perched high up on the Bode Gorge, you are spoiled with an endless array of fun activities. One of the most popular attractions here is the zoo. Several species of exotic birds and animals live in this beautiful oak-and-beech forest unimpeded by cages and bars, giving visitors a chance to observe them in their natural habitat.
Hexentanzpl. 4, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 03947 7768070
Roßtrappe is a 1,322-foot (403-meter) granite crag above the Bode Gorge, accessible from Thale by road, foot, or chair lift. Local myth has it that a giant named Bode tried to force Princess Brunhilde into marrying him, and pursued her as she fled on horseback. The horse, Ross, gracefully leaped over a deep ravine, while the giant fell to its death. The supposed hoof mark of the stallion is today a wishing well. Roßtrappe is known for its hiking trails and gorgeous views over the Harz Mountains.
Rosstrappe 1, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 03947 2597
Hiking the Bode Valley
The Bode Valley is steeped in natural wonders and features some of the most scenic hiking trails in the country. The six-mile (10-kilometer) route from Thale to Treseburg is immensely popular with hikers. It meanders through the deep Bode Valley gorge, meadows of colorful blooms, and thick forests, passing by gurgling streams and granite boulders, and ends at the ruins of a castle in Treseburg. From Thale, you can also hike to Hexentanzplatz or Roßtrappe.
Bodetal Therme awaits with the promise of a day of relaxation, rejuvenation, and fun. Unwind at the spa or the sauna, or take a refreshing dip in the warm thermal pool. You can also treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage or beauty treatment. Top it off with a hearty meal at their restaurant and it’s sure to go down as a day well spent.
Parkstraße 4, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 03947 778450
Hexenhaus (‘witch’s house’), an upside-down house, is a must-stop when you are in Hexentanzplatz. You will learn all about how a spell gone wrong turned everything topsy-turvy in this house!
Hexentanzplatz 2, 06502, Thale, Germany, +49 03947 7756868
When the weather does not cooperate, no worries: Tollhaus ensures that the fun continues uninterrupted. This indoor play area has ball pools, slides, bouncy castles, small merry-go-rounds, and a lot of activities to make little hearts beat faster.
Walpurgis Hall (‘Witch Hall’) is a unique Germanic-style museum in Hexentanzplatz and a fitting addition to a land steeped in legends about witches. The museum houses five huge murals depicting scenes of the Walpurgis Night from Goethe’s Faust. At the entrance you will see a big sacrificial stone, adding to the creepy aura of the place.
Hexentanzpl. 3, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 3947 2324
Funpark, true to its name, promises a heap of fun for children and children-at-heart. It has bumper cars, rollercoasters, a steam train, a nautical jet, trampolines, mini cars, and climbing walls – in short, everything that spells fun!
Goetheweg 1, 06502 Thale (Harz), Germany, +49 03947 2500
Kletterwald, an exciting climbing park, is a great choice for sporty families. This park, in the wilderness of Bodetal valley, offers eight courses of varying difficulty and thrill, suitable for ages five and up. Some of the courses take adrenaline-seekers right over the river and offer amazing views of the valley.
Goetheweg, 06502 Thale, Germany, +49 0176 96609538
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.