Winding its way across the north of China, from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s most impressive architectural accomplishments.

As part of this adventure, you’ll travel through history to the very heart of China’s ancient culture. Over five days, you’ll trek between mist-covered mountains, into local villages, across rolling farmlands and through dense forest.

Swapping the majesty of the Great Wall for the hustle and bustle of Beijing, you will then discover the ancient history of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, and experience the poignancy of Tiananmen Square.

Experience the Great Wall of China

Fast Facts

  • Recommended fundraising target: $3,000 (excludes travel)
  • Registration fee & travel cost: On request (subject to change)
  • Trip duration: 9 days
  • Challenge duration: 5 days
  • Challenge grade: 3/5
  • Accommodation: Twin-share in 3-star hotels and homestays
  • Minimum age: 18 (younger ages considered on application)
  • Departure months: March to May, September to October

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

The adventure of a lifetime begins! On your descent into Beijing, you are treated to a birds-eye view of this ever-expanding city. Upon arrival, please make your own way to the hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free at leisure for you to relax after your long-haul flight or to explore this bustling city.

Day 2: Beijing – Tai Chi Class, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Hutong Tour

This morning after breakfast, we transfer to Jingshan Park for morning Tai Chi—the perfect immersion into traditional Chinese culture. We will then set off to discover Beijing’s ancient sites. First, we visit the Forbidden City, a great complex that served as the Chinese Imperial Palace for 600 years during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. After an enjoyable lunch together, we then explore Tiananmen Square, a public plaza in central Beijing, and China’s capital. The Tiananmen City was originally built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420 and was named after the Tiananmen (“Gate of Heavenly Peace”). We will then embark on a Hutong Tour (optional: by rickshaw) in the afternoon. In the evening, we will gather together for our first group dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Great Wall – Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan

Today, skyscrapers make way for fields and farmlands, as we bid farewell to Beijing and head to the Great Wall at Taipingzhai Gate. En route, we will stop at the Eastern Qing Tombs, an imperial mausoleum complex. The tombs in the complex are the largest, most complete and best preserved in China. The final resting place for multiple Qing emperors, empresses and concubines, the complex itself is testament to China’s renowned attention to detail and symbolism. After an early lunch together, it’s time to begin our trek! From Taipingzhai Gate, we follow the winding back of the Great Wall to Huangyaguan. One of the most strategically important sections of the wall, Huangyaguan is almost entirely unrestored. We will trek slowly, paying close attention to every step, especially when we reach Eight Diagram Street, a maze- like structure originally designed to confuse and eventually capture invading armies. This evening, we will enjoy dinner together and an early night after our first day on the Wall.

Trekking Distance: 3.5 kilometres

Transfer Time: 2.5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Great Wall – Gubeikou Great Wall

This morning we wake to the Great Wall towering high above us. After breakfast, we will then transfer to our starting point at Gubeikou, the most invasion-prone section of the wall during the Ming Dynasty. Originally built in 1378, Gubeikou was designed to assist in repelling the Mongols from the north. We begin our trek amidst the Woho (Crouching Tiger) and Panlong (Hidden Dragon) mountains and pass numerous watchtowers and garrisons, before making a diversion through dense forest to bypass a military area. When we get to Gubeikou, we will start hiking right from the village next to the main road, before hiking on the trail up to the Great Wall, which is quite fading. We walk east along the wall to the direction of Jinshanling, where we see improvements to the construction of the Great Wall. After 2-3 hours hiking along the wall, we will descend down steps to a peaceful village where we will be staying.

Trekking Distance: 3-5 kilometres

Transfer Time: 2.5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Great Wall – Jinshanling Great Wall

Today we return to where we left the wall yesterday and follow one of the best-preserved sections along a high mountain ridge. As we trek, we are treated to spectacular views of charming villages below and mighty mountains in the distance, and can admire the several watchtowers that dot the undulating path. We then climb a steep section of the wall known as Sky Ladder, once again appreciating the incredible views. When we reach the eastern end of Jinshanling, we leave the wall and descend the mountainside to meet our private vehicle transfer to Huairou.

Trekking Distance: 6-8 kilometres

Transfer Time: 1 hour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Great Wall – Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall is about 120km away from Beijing and has remained one of the most important sections from when it was built in Ming Dynasty about 600 years ago. It encompasses 35 watchtowers and spans 5.4km in length, east to Jinshanling Great Wall and across the valley. Simatai Great Wall is renowned for its breathtaking steep steps, and for being different to other sections. Nowadays, visitors must walk through the Gubei water town to get to Simatai Great Wall, and then hike back downhill the same way. Upon arrival in Gubei ancient water town, we will enjoy some leisure time before we board our bus and drive to Shuangyang hotel in Huairou County, where we will rest in preparation for the Mutianyu Great Wall hike tomorrow.

Trekking Distance: 3-4 kilometres

Transfer Time: 1.5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Great Wall – Mutianyu Great Wall

This morning after a delicious breakfast, we will head up to Mutianyu Great Wall, taking the 1000+ steps up to the Great Wall of Mutianyu. We will then head west towards the higher watchtowers and to the very western end. Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall, and shows different charm in every season. We will then hike back to the trailhead and descend downhill to the cable car* station. Here, we will take an exciting ride over the valleys and forest surrounding the Great Wall to our waiting vehicles. We will then board our awaiting vehicle and transfer back to Beijing. The evening is free at leisure for you to relax or discover Beijing’s tantalising cuisine. Aside from the city’s numerous attractions, Beijing is also a culinary capital offering many delicious delicacies to try.

Trekking Distance: 4-6 kilometres

Transfer Time: 1.5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

*Cable car fee is not included in the trip cost

Day 8: Beijing – Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

This morning after a delicious breakfast, we will set off to discover the Temple of Heaven, where emperors of old conducted prayer ceremonies to the heavens for good harvests. Here we will have the very special opportunity to experience a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony before visiting the Summer Palace. In the late afternoon, we go to Hongqiao Market for some final shopping and to enjoy some free time. In the evening, we will gather together to feast on Peking duck and celebrate our amazing Great Wall adventure.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Depart Beijing

This morning after breakfast is free at leisure for you to further explore the bustling city of Beijing or relax until your flight back home. As the runway comes into view, you will be filled with the memories and moments that have made this adventure one you will never forget.

Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary is indicative and subject to change

"A true discovery of self, others and the greatest wall in history. You won't be anything but awe-inspired by this ancient wonder, which will leave you breathless in every possible way."

Lisa Dobrin, SANE Australia's Great Wall Challenge 2016

Package Inclusions

  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Twin-share accommodation in 3-Star hotels and homestays
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Water on trekking days
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary


Package Exclusions

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Visas
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities

"Breathtaking, wonderful, unique. The world truly is a wonderful place that offers extraordinary experiences and beautiful memories."

Jena Barcelon, BCNA: Steps for Support China Challenge 2016

Updated November 2020 © Inspired Adventures.