Hike along unrestored sections of the Great Wall, with magnificent views of the Wall winding along mountain ridges, maybe even all to ourselves!. Glimpse how country life is evolving near Beijing with a bike ride through nearby villages and orchards.. Pedal to the Ming tombs to learn the myths and legends of the Ming dynasty emperors laid to rest here.. Maximise time spend on the Great Wall by staying at family-run local guesthouses nearby our hikes where we can sit down to delicious home-cooked meals after long days of trekking.
This active adventure takes you straight to some of China’s most enduring symbols. Spend three days hiking the Great Wall, including time spent traversing an unrestored section. Less known than other parts, stroll this iconic path and take in jaw-dropping views, often without another traveller in sight! Change gears and swap your walking shoes for the saddle of a bike for a scenic bike ride through villages and countryside. Tour the tombs of Ming dynasty emperors, then restore your Zen with a lesson in kung fu from a local master.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 4 Dinner Included: 4
Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing has quickly shed its historical face in favour of modernity. However, there are still plenty of places that give an insight into the nation's ancient past, as well as sights that showcase China's contemporary culture. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your tour guide and fellow travellers. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Settle into your hotel and then maybe head out to explore the Beijing streets – with your hotel located centrally, a walk in any direction will unveil all sorts of wonderful surprises.
Today you’ll have some free time in the morning to explore Beijing before taking a private bus to a lesser-known section of the Great Wall – Gubeikou (approximately 3-hour drive) in the afternoon. An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6000 km/3730 miles westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. Originally constructed to protect empires from invaders from the north, and even though the Great Wall it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements. Take you first steps along the iconic barrier today, then head to a family-run village guesthouse where you’ll learn the art of dumpling-making with a demonstration from your hospitable hosts this evening.
Great Wall hiking
Today you’ll rise early and trek from the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. You will walk over some steep, remote terrain for approximately 5 - 6 hours. Some parts of the wall are un-restored so you'll need to concentrate hard to keep your footing, while in other parts the trail takes you off the wall to walk alongside it through the countryside. You’ll often feel like you have the whole wall to yourself as you take your time strolling along the wall, which snakes through the hills almost endlessly into the distance. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. After the trekking, you'll stay at a different guesthouse by the foot of the Wall. Put your feet up, have a few beers or maybe learn how to play mahjong in the evening.
Great Wall hiking
This morning, we’ll drive back to where we got off yesterday to continue our trek along the Great Wall. This portion of Jinshanling winds through stark hills and mountain ridges. Steep stretches make parts of today's 3 to 4-hour trek challenging, but also largely devoid of other travellers. This stretch is also known for its unusual Barrier Walls, or walls within the Wall, and inscribed watchtowers. Today will be your last day walking the Great Wall, so make the most of it.
Ming Tombs cycling - Miyun
Change gears today as you say goodbye to the Great Wall and drive to Miyun, a mountainous region of lush forest and intermittent farmland, for a day of exploration by bike. A stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of nearby Beijing, pass villages and orchards as you pedal through land where the tombs of 13 emperors from the Ming dynasty are located. Only three of the Ming tombs are open to the public. You’ll visit Dingling, often called the Underground Palace. After a leisurely, 13 kilometre/8 mile ride through the countryside, drop off your bike and drive to a lovely courtyard guesthouse and kung-fu retreat for the night.
Miyun kung fu - Beijing
Start the day with a lesson in kung-fu. Learn basic principles, common misconceptions and how this ancient practice relates to Zen tradition as an instructor guides you through simple moves. Wrap up an enlightening morning with a vegetarian lunch, just like a Shaolin monk, then depart your meditative retreat and return to the chaos of Beijing. The rest of the day is yours to spend how you please. Perhaps see some of the sights you missed at the beginning of the trip or hit up the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping. In the evening, why not toast to your active adventure with your new mates and leader at an optional final dinner – you deserve it!
Your trip ends after breakfast. There are no planned activities today and you are free to depart at any time.