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 (Sat 30th September 2017): London - Beijing
Depart London on an overnight flight to Beijing.
Day 2 (Sun 1st October 2017): Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and check into your hotel before a group dinner and briefing on the trek ahead. If time permits, why not explore the maze of alleys hutongs) where you will find traditional houses, small local shops and other wonders. Meals: Dinner.
Day 3 (Mon 2nd October 2017): Beijing – Gubeikou
Today we transfer by bus out of Beijing towards the Great Wall (approx. 3 hours / 150km north of Beijing) stopping for lunch en route. After lunch we start the trek at a leisurely pace to gently familiarise ourselves with the challenging ups and downs of the days ahead, before reaching our first campsite at Gubeikou after approx. 3-4 hours walking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 4 (Tue 3rd October 2017): Gubeikou
This morning we ascend to explore a spectacular section of the wall, framed by distant mountains. The Gubeikou section 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. To the west we can see the Wohu Mountain, which means ‘mountain resembling crouching tigers’. It is named as such because it looks like two tigers; one laying on its back and the other on its stomach. We return to the Gubeikou camp tonight (approx. 7 hours walking). Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 5 (Wed 4th October 2017): Gubeikou - Jinshanling
We set off early today to trek through cornfields, farmland and fields full of produce and flowers, for a taste of true rural China. Later we explore a section of the wall known locally as the ‘dragon standing on the beautiful golden mountain’. With broad sweeping views, it’s easy to see how the wall resembles a dragon’s back weaving its way across the land. The views are stunning and you will have hundreds of great photographic opportunities. This evening we camp in the Hebei Province (approx. 7 hours walking). Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 6 (Thu 5th October 2017): Jin Shan Ling - Si Ma Tai
Today’s trek takes us along a restored section of the wall, originally built in the 15th century. In contrast to the unrestored wall from the previous days, you really get a feeling for how the wall looked just after it was built hundreds of years ago. The further we walk the more you will see of the original wall. Many of the stairs and turrets have crumbled away to leave steep stone slopes between each watch tower and you can see the signs of past battles that have been fought here. We descend on a winding trail into the Miyun county of Beijing, and camp near the village of Daweihao (approx. 7-8 hours walking). Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 7 (Fri 6th October 2017): Si Ma Tai - Beijing
After breakfast we head off for an exhilarating half-day trek along the Simatai section at the foot of a small mountain, taking in small villages with stunning views of the surroundings. Unlike other sections of the wall, this area has seen little restoration and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch we transfer back to Beijing (approx. 4-5 hours walking / 2 hours’ drive). Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 8 (Sat 7th October 2017): Beijing
Today you will have a day to explore Beijing, with visits to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square before enjoying a special farewell dinner tonight. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 9 (Sun 8th October 2017): Beijing - London
Transfer to the airport for the flight to London (may arrive following day, depending on flight schedules). Meals: Breakfast.
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 London
- Airline taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in China
- 3* hotels, and guesthouses on the trek
- Porters and English-speaking local guides
- Different Travel UK tour escort
- All meals as per itinerary
- Trek permits
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
- Spending money (tips and gratuities, souvenirs)
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Personal trek kit
- Travel insurance
- China visa (approx £180)
- Carbon emission offsetting
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30th Sept - 8th October 2017
Registration Fee: £330
This trip is graded as Moderate to Challenging
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