Great Wall of China Trek | Earth's Edge
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Great Wall of China Trek

Location: Beijing
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Season: Autumn
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Region: Asia
  • Type: Trekking
Spaces left: Available
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Season: Autumn
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Region: Asia
  • Type: Trekking
About The Great Wall of China Trek

Our Great Wall of China trek is designed to take in the best sights of the Great Wall and also to experience some of the more remote and unique sections.

The 11 day expedition includes six days of trekking and a day of sightseeing in Beijing. The route has both steep and gentle sections as we pass towers, forts, barracks and enjoy stunning scenery throughout. We visit the more famous sections such as Jinshanling and Mutianyu as well as experiencing the more remote and less travelled sections of ‘wild’ wall.

The Great Wall of China is arguably the most impressive man-made structure in the World. Construction of the 6000km long wall began in the 5th century and finished in the 16th century.

The wall formed the front line defence of Imperial China which was under attack from nomadic tribes. Trekking the Great Wall of China is truly an experience of a lifetime. On a clear day one gets a fantastic view of the wall winding through and over the beautiful mountains that once formed China’s northern border.

As well as walking along the wall we visit nearby villages meeting friendly locals and getting a great sense of rural life in China.

After the Great Wall of China trek, we enjoy a full days sightseeing in Beijing including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Enjoy the amazing food of Beijing which for some people is a greater experience than seeing the wall!

Why trek The Great Wall of China with Earth's Edge

What our clients say...

"I felt free to enjoy the whole experience, just to breathe in and out carry my few bits and walk, climb , scramble, face my fear of heights and have the reassurance from a good leader that I was well able for the challenge. Overall a challenging trek, well organised, professionally executed and with a little bit of Chinese culture in the mix. I have already started my next trek fund, I would go to the edge of the earth with you guys" - Ann Maher, Co. Kildare.

More testimonials


100% Financial Protection – Earth’s Edge is Ireland’s only fully licensed (TA:0711) and financially bonded adventure travel company.

All our Great Wall of China treks are led by an experienced Irish guide and doctor who travel with the group from Dublin.

Our packages are inclusive of flights from Dublin, in-country transport, a full local guiding & support team, accommodation, all meals on the trek,  trekking permits, a celebratory meal & an Earth's Edge softshell jacket.

Our 11 day itinerary includes 6 days trekking & time to explore Beijing.

We use excellent local guides, cooks and support staff. We have a strict Responsible Travel Policy and ensure our local partners are treated fairly.

Training Weekend – Meet an Earth's Edge expedition leader, an Earth's Edge expedition doctor and your fellow Great Wall of China trekkers two months before departure. Our training weekend consists of a full brief and two training hikes in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

We have a strict Leave No Trace policy and do everything we can to ensure we leave the trail as we found it. 

Our Great Wall of China Itinerary & Costs

Day 1: Dublin to Beijing.
Depart Dublin on an overnight flight to Beijing.

Day 2: Beijing to Jinshanling.
Arrive in Beijing in the afternoon. Drive for three hours directly to the Great Wall at Jinshanling. Overnight hotel.

Day 3: Gubeikou to Jinshanling, 5 hrs trekking.
We drive to Gubeikou and then trek for five hours back to Jinshanling. This section along a steep mountain is a Chinese architectural masterpiece. Overnight hotel.

Day 4: Jinshanling to West Simatai to Jainkou, 5 hrs trekking.
After breakfast, we will walk from Jinshanling to West Simatai, another stunning section of the wall. After finishing this section, we drive to Jainkou. Overnight hotel.

Day 5: Jiankou Wild Wall, 5 hrs trekking.
Today we ascend to a section of the wild wall completely untouched by tourism. After lunch on the wall we descend back to Jiankou. Overnight guest house.

Day 6: Jiankou to Mutianyu, 5 hrs trekking.
From the trail head, it is a steep walk up to reach the wall where we will be treated to great views of the surrounding landscape. From Jiankou we cross over to Mutianyu which has been restored to its original glory and is very impressive. Overnight guest house.

Day 7: Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu, 4 hrs trekking.
Today's route takes us to Xishuiyu located on the beautiful Xiaoxihu Lake.  We are treated to great views of the lake and high mountains throughout the day. The wall here has not been restored since its construction and is quite rustic. Overnight guest house.

Day 8: Badaling to Shixiaguan to Beijing, 5 hrs trekking.
Our last day of trekking is on the ruined Badaling Great Wall, this section of wall is relatively intact because of its strategic location to Beijing. Enjoy a celebratory meal in Beijing that evening! Overnight hotel.

Day 9: Beijing Sightseeing.
We spend the day visiting Beijing’s best sites, new and old. The tour will include a selection of the following sites; Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Olympic village, the Birds Nest and the Water Cube. Overnight hotel.

Day 10: Free day Beijing.
A free day in Beijing to explore as you wish. Transfer to the airport in the evening. Overnight flight.

Day 11: Dublin
Arrive back in Dublin. Expedition ends.

EXPEDITION COSTS

€399 deposit at the time of booking & €2,600 balance payment at least two months prior to departure – Total €2,999.  Read our best price guarantee.

*If you would like to book this expedition excluding international flights, please contact us for a land only price.

Costs include international flights to Beijing, an expedition leader & doctor travelling with the group from Dublin, all transport in China, all meals on the trek, all accommodation based on twin sharing in hotels & guest houses, local support team and an Earth’s Edge softshell jacket & bandana.

*Prices were set on November 8th, 2016.

Interesting Facts about The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world.

The wall is a discontinuous network of wall segments built by various dynasties for protection against attacks and invasions from the north.

The earliest extensive walls were built by Qin Shi Huang (260-210 B.C.) of the Qin dynasty, who first unified China and is most famous for the standing terra cotta army left to guard his tomb. It is from the Qin (pronounced “chin”) dynasty which the modern word “China” is derived.

The first parts of the wall were built over 2000 years ago and were made from stone, wood and compacted earth. Major rebuilding of the Great Wall took place during the Ming Dynasty that began in the 14th century. Construction during this time was strong due to the use of stone and brick. What survives today are the stone and brick walls predominately from the Ming dynasty.

Because the Great Wall was discontinuous, Mongol invaders led by Genghis Khan had no problem going around the wall and they subsequently conquered most of Northern China between A.D. 1211 and 1223. They ruled all of China until 1368 when the Ming defeated the Mongols.

The Great Wall of China stretches around 6,300 kilometres in length. If you measure the length of all the different sections of wall, the distance is more like 22,000 kilometres.

While some parts of the wall have been preserved or renovated, other parts have been vandalised or destroyed to make way for construction.

The manpower to build the Great Wall came from frontier guards, peasants, unemployed intellectuals, disgraced noblemen, and convicts. In fact, there existed a special penalty during the Qin and Han dynasties under which convicted criminals were made to work on the Wall.

During its construction, the Great Wall was called “the longest cemetery on earth” because so many people died building it. Reportedly, it cost the lives of more than one million people.

At one time, family members of those who died working on the Great Wall would carry a coffin on top of a caged white rooster. The rooster's crowing was supposed to keep the spirit of the dead person awake until they crossed the Wall; otherwise, the family feared the spirit would escape and wander forever along the Wall.

Rumours that astronauts can see the Great Wall of China from the Moon with the naked eye are false!

The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow and used it extensively in building the Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China supposedly follows the tracks of a helpful dragon. According to legend, a helpful dragon traced out the course of the Great Wall for the workforce. The builders subsequently followed the tracks of the dragon. In China, the dragon is a protective divinity and is synonymous with springtime and vital energy.

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