On arrival in Beijing you will be met and transfered to the group hotel. The afternoon is free for sightseeing in the central city district. Perhaps barter for a bargain in the colorful silk markets or do as the locals do and hire a bike for a spin through the bustling back roads of this vibrant city. This evening we will meet in the hotel lobby at approximately 6.30pm (please check with reception to confirm this time) for a group meeting before we head out to enjoy our first meal together.
This morning we depart Beijing and will drive 350kms from Beijing to the Great Wall Shanhaiguan, where the Great Wall reaches the Bohai Sea. Our exploration of the 1200 year old Great Wall begins! We will fit our bikes and have a warm up bike ride of 20 km. This afternoon we visit Shanhaiguan City Gate and Dragon's Head. The Great Wall was built by over 1 million people who largely were soldiers, peasants, prisoners and soldiers. Thousands of them died in the process. Today as we walk along the wall, we can imagine the hard work and structural genius that went into creating what is now a national treasure in modern day China.
Cycle distance: 20kms approx.
Overnight: Shanhaiguan hotel.
This morning we check out of our hotel and begin with a morning cycling 5km to Jiaoshan Great Wall for hiking. Hiking distance 3.6 km, elevation gain: 310 meters (some parts are quite steep and frequent stops to catch your breath is required). There is a gondola here in service, one trip is US$3.00, round trip US$5.00. The first half of the wall is well repaired, but the part on the hilltop and beyond is a wild wall. Depending on your pace, you can explore more of that if you feel comfortable with the steep climb. Next we drive to Qianxi. The total distance is 218km. We will pick a most peaceful and quiet rural country road for our bike ride of about 60km
Cycle distance: 65kms approx
Overnight Quanxi Hotel
Today begins with a morning bike ride of 20km to Panjiakou, for our boat ride on Panjiakou Lake to visit two parts of the Great Wall under water. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving 40km to the Eastern Qing Tombs where the tombs of the Qing Dynasty Royal Family are located. We continue on to Huangyaguan and overnight in a peaceful Chinese style courtyard hotel.
Cycle distance: 20 kms approx.
Hiking distance today 2.43 km to Village Ganjiayu, Elevation gain: 369 meters
This morning after breakfast we will hike on the Great Wall Huangyaguan starting from Taiping Zhai (approx 3 hrs).
Hiking distance: 3.41km
Hiking height gain: 271 meters.
After lunch we will spend the afternoon cycling 60-100km to the lovely folk village of Gubeikou. Tonight we will enjoy a comfortable home stay experience in the village of Simatai Gubeikou. You will experience a welcoming interaction with friendly local villagers.
Cycle distance: 60-100 kms approx
Today we have a full day of hiking on the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling. There is time on the walk, as elsewhere, to explore and photograph this section of the original and unrestored wall. We will note the wall's intriguing design features that gave the defenders a military advantage against the nomads. Tonight we stay in a Jinshanling hotel.
Hike distance approx: 20kms
We begin with an early morning hike for 4 hours (approx 15kms) on the Great Wall to Erchu. This afternoon we transfer back to Beijing. We will have time in Beijing to explore some of the most majestic and historically significant sites of this immense city. We start with Tiananmen Square and the "Forbidden City" so called as it was off limits to the general public for over 500 years. Its ancient buildings served as the imperial palace for two dynasties, the Ming and Qing. We will check into our hotel and tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner of roast Peking duck to celebrate a successful trip.
Please note: should the Forbidden City be closed for an official visit (which happens often and suddenly) your tour leader will adjust your daily itinerary accordingly to ensure a visitation without losing any listed activities
After breakfast our trip concludes in Beijing with a transfer to the airport.