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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation, 2...

Great Wall of China

Walking & Trekking

China | Walking & Trekking

Great Wall of China
  • Grade:
    • ?
      Gentle / Moderate

      Gentle: Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

      Moderate: Suitable for anyone who enjoys hill walking.

      Find out more...

    Gentle / Moderate

  • Duration: 10 days from the UK
  • Walks on: 6 days
  • Private Departures Available

Flight inclusive from £2845, Land only from £1945

Walk back in time along little visited sections of the Great Wall, explore Beijing’s cultural highlights and stay in hotels and guesthouses.


  • Mountain, sea and city – the Great Wall in all its splendour
  • Hotel and guesthouse accommodation
  • The cultural highlights of Beijing
  • Optional extension to see the magnificent Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an


Our guide was wonderful, nothing was a bother and he was very knowledgeable on the history of the wall.

Ms McC, South Shields


An amazing taste of China, with Beijing, sea and mountains. Our tailor made holiday was everything we wanted and more.

Mrs E J, West Yorkshire (Private Itinerary)


What we enjoyed was walking on remote sections of the wall that were not crowded with tourists.

Mr & Mrs D, Bristol


Everything was superb; the guide went out of his way to see that every little matter was dealt with. Everything in the itinerary went without any hitches or delays. Thank you Mountain Kingdoms it was all wonderful.

Ms H, Bedfordshire


This trip packs in great deal of historic and scenic interest both in Beijing and out in the country. The walks on the Great Wall were surprisingly varied and it was fascinating to see China transforming, seemingly before our eyes. The extension to Xi'an was also excellent - we saw so much in just two days but didn't feel rushed.

Mr & Mrs P, Gloucestershire


An amazing taste of China, with Beijing, sea and mountains. Our tailor made holiday was everything we wanted and more

Mrs Elizabeth Jessop - Private Itinerary Jessop & Friends - Great Wall of China


A very interesting and varied tour led by an excellent and understanding guide. I would definitely recommend the experience.

Mr B


What we enjoyed was walking on remote sections of the wall that is not crowded with tourists.

Mr & Ms D


Small group tour. Excellent local guide.

Mr & Mrs B


Excellent guide who explained everything. Organised meals etc. very well.

Mr J


View All

A short action-packed trip which combines the sights and sounds of Beijing with varied walks on the Great Wall of China focusing on sections of the Great Wall which few visitors ever set foot on.

Travelling east, from the point where the sea meets the Great Wall of China, we trek in comfort – staying in good quality hotels en route with good facilities. We walk along sections of the Great Wall of China that few visitors see, chosen for their scenic splendour and historic interest. In some places the ancient wall has crumbled into little more than earthen banks whilst in others it zigzags into the distance across high peaked mountain ridges blanketed with spring blossom or autumnal hues.

We break our walking days with a visit to the Qing tombs – the fascinating burial site of the emperors of the Qing Dynasty. We use a combination of comfortable hotel accommodation and simple guesthouses throughout, rather than camping or village homes.

In addition to walking the Great Wall, we have included time in Beijing with tours of the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the traditional Hutong district and, if you want to see China’s other great cultural attraction, there is an optional extension to Xi’an to view the magnificent Terracotta Warriors.

This is an exciting time to visit China as it undergoes rapid economic and social transformation. In fact, it’s the perfect time to see firsthand how its greatest ancient monument has become a symbol of its modern day dynamism. If you want to see the best sights that the country has to offer in less than a fortnight, the Great Wall of China Trek is perfect for you – call us today on 01453 844 400 to book a fantastic trek to this mysterious country.

Private Departures

Kirsty and Adam on Kala Pattar close up 800x750

Great Wall of China - Private Departures

If you would prefer to travel just with your partner, friends or family, we can arrange a private departure of this holiday. You follow the same itinerary, but travel on dates that suit you. Alternatively we can include elements of this holiday in a bespoke Tailor Made itinerary. Contact our friendly team for details and prices, and to make a booking.

At a glance


Gentle / Moderate

Duration: 10 days from the UK

Walks on: 6 days

Max. Altitude: Approximately 1,000m, Jiankou, Day 9

Private Departures Available

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Accommodation types: Hotels, Guesthouses

Meal arrangements: All meals included from lunch on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 10.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1-3 Fly to Beijing, city sightseeing including Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City.
4-5 Drive to Laolongtou and visit the Dragon’s Head. Drive to Dongjiakou - short walks on the wall. Drive to Zunhua.
6 Visit the Qing Tombs. Drive to Huangyaguan, walk a mountain section of the wall. Overnight at guesthouse in Qianganjian Village.
7-9 Drive to Gubeiko and walk to Jinshanling. Walk a section of the Simatai Great Wall. Walk from Jiankou to Mutianyu. Drive to Beijing.
10 Transfer to the airport and fly to London. Or, take our extension to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors.
Leader: Local leader, China

James is one of our english speaking local leaders - he is very knowledgeable about the Great Wall and in his company you will certainly gain an insight into the way of life, traditions and culture of China. If James is unavailable we will use another certified/registered guide.

Local leader, China

Holiday Itinerary

Download a detailed itinerary
Day 1 - Fly London to Beijing

Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Beijing.

Overnight icon Overnight: In flight

Day 2 - Arrive in Beijing. Group transfer to hotel. Visit the Temple of Heaven.

Upon arrival in the morning you are transferred to your hotel in the city centre.

In the afternoon you will visit the Temple of Heaven complex where emperors once prayed for good harvests, making offerings of grain, silk and animals.Constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it is acknowledged as a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests was built without a single nail. Surrounding the Temple is a park where local people, mainly the older generation, come to participate in a range of games and activities. It is quite impressive and great fun to watch them doing their T'ai Chi, playing ball games, dancing with ribbons and singing traditional Chinese songs. Dinner will be in a local restaurant where you will begin to explore the delights of Chinese cuisine.

Overnight icon Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel Or Similar, Beijing

Day 3 - Tour of Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the traditional Hutongs.

In the morning, you will visit Tian'anmen Square followed by a tour of the Forbidden City. For 500 years the Forbidden City was the Imperial Palace for Ming and Qing dynasty emperors. The biggest and best preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China, this monumental complex, once strictly out of bounds to the general Chinese public, houses up to 800 buildings and, reputedly, 9,000 chambers. Highlights of the Forbidden City include the Clock Museum and Treasure Hall.

In the afternoon, you will explore the traditional neighbourhoods called Hutongs (literally alleyways) on a guided walking tour, where you will get an idea of what the entire city once looked like.

Overnight icon Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel Or Similar, Beijing

Day 4 - Drive from Beijing to Laolongtou - 4-5 hours. Walk to Shanhaiguan - 1½ hours.

After breakfast you will drive northeast of Beijing (315 km) to Laolongtou. Known as the Old Dragon's Head, this is the eastern starting point of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall and it extends about 20 metres into the Bohai Sea like a dragon drinking water, hence its name. On arrival you will have lunch in a local restaurant before visiting the Dragon's Head, the adjacent temple and the various museum exhibits.

You will then take your first steps along the Wall, walking for approximately 6 km into the modern city of Shanhaiguan. This gentle introductory walk provides an excellent illustration of what happens to the wall when it is left to the elements and the passing of time, becoming little more than an earthen bank topped with vegetation. The contrast you'll see with other restored sections of the wall you will see during your trip is considerable.

On reaching Shanhaiguan you will visit the strategically important First Pass Under Heaven and walk along the restored garrison walls. The impressive walls of the pass are 14 metres high, 7 metres wide and 4 km around. There are 6 gates into the pass topped with 5 watchtowers from which you can look down onto the entire fortress and the Great Wall stretching away into the nearby mountains and down to the sea.

Finally, you will drive to your hotel at Laolongtou.

Overnight icon Overnight: Haisheng Garden Hotel Or Similar

Day 5 - Drive to Dongjiakou - 2 hours. Dongjiakou Great Wall walk - 3-4 hours. Drive to Zunhua - 4 hours.

After breakfast, a 2 hour drive (80 km) will take you to Dongjiakou where there are three sections of the Great Wall open to walkers. En route, you will have a short stop at Jiumenkou Great Wall to take photos of the picturesque point at which the Wall crosses the Jiujiang River. On reaching Dongjiakou you will follow a good path uphill for 20-30 minutes before you step onto the Great Wall itself. This section, although short, is the perfect contrast to your walk from yesterday as here you can see the wall in its full glory, rising and falling along the ridges of Damao Mountain. The Dongjiakou Wall was initially built in 1381 and, despite its age, it remains one of the best-preserved sections of the Ming Dynasty wall. Largely in its original condition, any restoration work has been carried out by the local villagers, rather than the government, many of whom are descendants of the original wall builders and guards. As you walk along the wall you will also see elegant carvings above some watchtower entrances and an original carved stone tablet bearing the names of the original wall builders - all unique features.

The first section ends where the mountain acts as a natural barrier and a path takes you back down to your starting point. From here you move on to the next section where a path again takes you uphill to join the wall. This section is approximately twice the length of the first and, although undergoing greater reconstruction, still enables you to appreciate the engineering genius of the wall's creators. There may also be an opportunity to walk the third section of the Dongjiankou Wall - making a total of 9 km. You will take lunch at a local village restaurant between walking sections of the wall.

After you have completed your walk, you drive to Zunhua (approx 4 hours, 210 km) where your hotel awaits.

Overnight icon Overnight: Zunhua Soluxe Yishui Grand Hotel or Similar

Day 6 - Drive to the Eastern Qing Tombs - 1 hour. Tour of Eastern Qing Tombs. Drive to Huangyaguan - 1 hour. Walk Huangyaguan Wall to Qianganjian Village - 4 hours.

This morning you will have a drive of one hour (40 km) to reach the Eastern Qing Tombs where you will explore the splendid imperial mausoleums of the Qing Dynasty including the underground burial chamber of Emperor Qianlong and the exquisite tomb of Empress Dowager Cixi.

The Eastern Qing Tombs are considered the grandest, best-preserved and most complete of all the imperial burial sites in China. Building started in the 18th year of the reign of Shunzhi (1661) in the Qing Dynasty. Altogether 161 members of the imperial family including five emperors and 15 empresses were buried here together with their concubines. The last burial was of an imperial concubine in 1935. Entrance to the site is along the impressive Sacred Way where statues of guardian animals and other figures protect the route to the tombs.

Having completed a tour of the Qing Tombs you will drive for a further hour to the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall, famous as the starting point of the annual Great Wall Marathon. Following lunch, the initial part of the walk takes you up the many steps of the Huangyaguan Wall which was renovated in 1987. Eventually, you climb a steep stairway known as the Skyladder after which the wall is replaced by mountain trails with delightful views. Your path contours around the mountainside and along ridge lines and you will encounter sections of the Great Wall built during the North Qi Dynasty - approximately 1500 years ago. This is the oldest wall you walk on throughout the entire trip. After around three hours you will descend to the village of Qianganjian where you will stay the night at a local guesthouse.

Overnight icon Overnight: Mr Kong's Guesthouse, Qianganjian Village

Day 7 - Drive to Gubeikou - 1 hour. Walk to Jinshanling - 5-6 hours.

Gubeiko village lies approximately one hour's drive from Miyun and is the starting point for a very interesting day's walk. Initially, you will see the wall in an extremely dilapidated condition, little more than a large earthen embankment with no recognisable features. This is indicative of its pre-Ming Dynasty age as well as the stone looting that has taken place over the years. Gradually, as your walk progresses, more regular features appear and you will see the remains of watchtowers and ramparts. In places though, it is so overgrown with vegetation that you will need to take an alternative path through the countryside. As you get nearer to Jinshanling the views get more expansive and the wall takes on its more classic nature, snaking over the surrounding mountains. By the time you reach Jinshanling you will be walking on one of the better preserved sections of the original Great Wall, which has undergone little reconstruction work and has protected status. You will leave the wall and transfer to your hotel in a nearby mountain village.

Overnight icon Overnight: Ye Shu Fang Guesthouse

Day 8 - Optional sunrise excursion. Day hike from Jinshanling towards Simatai - 4 hours.

Today you have the option of an early start to see the sunrise from one of the watchtowers at Jinshanling (payable locally). In the near silence of the morning, this is truly an unforgettable experience.

Extensive restoration work on the Jinshanling to Simatai section of the Great Wall means that your walk today will go from Jinshanling towards Simatai and then return to your starting point. Unfortunately, access through to Simatai isn't presently possible. However, the sheer beauty of the both the wall itself and the surrounding countryside still make this a very worthwhile exercise. In fact, it is desirable to see as much of this section as possible before it is restored and its original qualities, are perhaps, lost forever. The slightly ruined nature of the wall here is much of its appeal and, though you may find yourself stepping carefully over plants and loose bricks, you can still appreciate its astonishing beauty and impressive construction. The watchtowers were built to a range of designs giving each in turn a different look whilst the mountainous nature of the countryside required steeply rising and plunging parapets and other special features such as perpendicular obstacle walls to aid defence.

Having walked as far as you can, and no doubt taken many photos, you will return to Jinshanling where your driver will be waiting to whisk you away to your hotel in Beijing.

Overnight icon Overnight: CFGC Grand Hotel, Beijing or Similar

Day 9 - Drive to Jiankou - 1 hour. Walk from Jiankou to Mutianyu - 4-5 hours. Drive to Beijing - 2 hours.

In the morning there is a one hour's drive (40 km) to the foot of the Jiankou Great Wall. This section of the wall was built in 1368 during the Ming Dynasty and is named after its shape (like a bended bow). It is famous for its unique beauty and many photographers arrive in the early hours to capture sunrise here. You will initially walk up through trees for around 30 minutes to get to the Zhenbei watchtower. Standing on top, 1,000m high, there are beautiful views of the entire expanse of the Jiankou Great Wall and surrounding mountains.

Today's walk takes you along one of the most magnificent and virtually deserted sections of the Great Wall. The Jiankou section is largely in its original condition therefore you will need to tread carefully in places where the bricks are loose and crumbling and the vegetation is taking over. You may need to bypass the wall on a nearby path, but you will regain it shortly afterwards. After about four hours you will get to a section of restored Great Wall known as Mutianyu which, by way of total contrast to the peace and quiet of the previous few hours, may be inundated with Chinese tourists. When you finish your walk you can either stroll down or take the option of a cable car ride, or even a toboggan run (both options payable locally). At the bottom of the wall you will be assaulted by a teeming melee of stallholders selling all manner of tourist wares. It's a good place to barter for a bargain and buy your 'I climbed the Great Wall' t-shirt.

Leaving the wall behind, you will enjoy lunch in a nearby restaurant where you can celebrate your adventure. A two hour drive (90 km) will take you back to Beijing and a farewell evening meal.

Overnight icon Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel Or Similar, Beijing

Day 10 - Group transfer to the airport. Fly to London.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to London.


Map Key

  • Airport Airport
  • Point of interest Point of interest
  • Mountain Peak Mountain Peak
  • Day walk in this area Day walk in this area
  • Flights Flights
  • Internal Transfers Internal Transfers
  • Trek Trek


Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on +44 (0) 1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

Optional supplements
  • Single room supplement
    From £350
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

Booking your holiday
  • Deposit
    From £400.00

For the majority of our holidays, a deposit payment of £400.00 per person is required to secure your place(s), however a small number of holidays require a higher deposit - please refer to the holiday itinerary for more details. If the holiday departs within 60 days, a deposit of £1,000.00 per person is required.

Book now!
  1. Book your small group holiday securely online – click the ‘Book’ button next to your chosen departure or visit our How to Book page
  2. Complete and return a Booking Form available to download here.
  3. Call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 and one of our travel specialists will talk you through the booking process.

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation, 2 nights village guesthouses
  • All meals included, and tea with meals
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offset for clients taking our flight-inclusive option
  • Carbon offsetting with the Ecoan Tree Planting Project (for clients taking our flight inclusive option)
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes, excepting UK Departure Tax, where applicable
  • Tips
  • Optional early morning walk at Jinshaling on day 8 (payable locally)
  • Optional cable car/toboggan run on day 9 (payable locally)

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 10 reviews)

Great Wall of China - Private Itinerary          

An amazing taste of China, with Beijing, sea and mountains. Our tailor made holiday was everything we wanted and more

Varied tour          

A very interesting and varied tour led by an excellent and understanding guide. I would definitely recommend the experience.

Great Wall of China          

What we enjoyed was walking on remote sections of the wall that is not crowded with tourists.

Ideal group size          

Small group tour. Excellent local guide.

Excellent leader          

Excellent guide who explained everything. Organised meals etc. very well.

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