Stretching over 5,500 miles the Great Wall of China is a remarkable feat of construction and architecture with a history spanning more than 2000 years. The wall, the longest human-made structure on the planet, is located in the North of China and crosses vast deserts, barren plains and snow-capped mountains. The Wall was built as a fortification against invasions from the north, and was of great strategic importance. Our trek takes the Gubeikou to Simatai route, which features some of the most stunning views of the wall and the surrounding rolling hills. There are so few other people around you feel as if you are stepping back in time. You will also trek through remote villages and towns and meet local people along the way. This trek gives you the opportunity to hike on and next to one of the most iconic structures in the world. Finish your adventure with a visit to the famous Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.
Day 1: London - Beijing
Depart London on an overnight flight to Beijing.
Day 2: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and check into a central 3* hotel in time for a group dinner and a briefing on the week ahead.
Day 3: Beijing - Gubeikou
Today we transfer by bus to the Great Wall (approx. 3 hours). After lunch we enjoy an introductory trek to familiarise ourselves with the terrain of the days ahead. We wind our way uphill and reach the Great Wall at the top, from where you will enjoy views of the wall stretching across the countryside. We descend next to the wall then through a forest to a small town and to our first guesthouse at Gubeikou. Trekking approx. 3-4 hours. Overnight at guesthouse (2 nights)
Day 4: Gubeikou
This morning we transfer from our guesthouse to explore the Gubeikou section. This area dates from the Ming Dynasty and is completely original, quite challenging and one of the lesser visited sections. It is believed to have seen more battles than any other part of the Great Wall and has long been a place of military significance and an important passage to the capital city. The start of the walk today is up a part of the wall which is almost completely worn away. We return to the guesthouse tonight. Trekking approx. 7 hours.
Day 5: Gubeikou - Jinshanling
We set off early today to transfer to the start of our trek. Today we will trek up to a section of the wall known locally as the 'dragon standing on the beautiful golden mountain'. It's easy to see how the wall resembles a dragon as it weaves across the land. The views are stunning and you will have hundreds of great photographic opportunities. Unlike other sections of the wall, this area has seen little restoration and many of the stairs and turrets have crumbled away to leave steep stone slopes between each watch tower. We descend through forests and past farmland before transferring to our guesthouse in Simatai. Trekking approx. 6-7 hours. Overnight at guesthouse (2 nights).
Day 6: Jinshanling - Simatai
Today's trek takes us along a restored section of the wall originally built in the 15th century. In contrast to the unrestored sections of the previous days, here you can see how the wall looked when it was built centuries ago. Here you will gain an appreciation of not only the incredible effort in building the wall, but the meticulous attention to detail, tactical wisdom and also subtle beauty in its construction. We descend through the forest and transfer to our guesthouse in Simatai. Trekking approx. 7-8 hours.
Day 7: Simatai - Beijing
After breakfast we transfer to the start of our exhilarating half-day trek up to a remote and rarely visited watch tower at the top of a small mountain. After enjoying the views from the top we descend on a winding trail through the forest and past fruit farms before transferring back to the guesthouse for lunch and a final farewell to our team. After lunch we transfer back to Beijing. Trekking approx. 4-5 hours. Overnight at hotel (2 nights).
Day 8: Beijing
Today you will have guided visits to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square before some free time and a special farewell dinner tonight. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Beijing - London
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to London. Depending on flight schedules you may arrive into London the next day.
N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK
- Airline taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in China
- All acccommodation as per itinerary
- English-speaking local guides
- Local support staff
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Spending money (tips, drinks, souvenirs)
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Travel insurance
- Personal kit and clothing
- China visa
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