This is when your adventure begins, meeting the group at the airport and taking an overnight flight to Beijing.
Arrive in Beijing
On arrival, you will meet your wonderful tour guides and head over to our hotel. This afternoon you are free to explore this fascinating city, try the local cuisine and relax after the flight.
At dinner you will be able to get know your fellow trekkers and learn more about the exciting trek ahead of you.
Approx 3-4 hours walking
We'll drive you to Gubeikou at the border of the Hebei Province where today's trek begins. Once you leave Beijing, the countryside starts unrolling in front of you setting a stunning backdrop for your drive, and giving you a taste of what's to come.
After lunch you will explore a section of the Wall on a high ridge above the town. The trail snakes and continues to ascend to several prominent towers with great views. You then descend down the other side to a temple and onwards to the campsite. You'll be greeted to afternoon tea once you've reached camp, followed by dinner in the evening.
Approx 7 hours walking
Today you get to explore a spectacular section of the Wall above the Gubeikou valley. This section of the wall is seldom visited and offers unique views of a wild landscape. The terrain today will be very uneven with lots of loose Wall stones, narrow sections and some steep drops.
The first part of the day is spent at the Ming Dyanasty Wall. You will then descend on a local trail to camp, where your crew prepare fresh local dishes for you to enjoy under the night's sky.
Gubeikou - Jinshanling
Approx 7-8 hours walking
You have a stunning day's trek ahead of you as we trek in a remote area with fabulous views of the Wall unveiling before you. We set off early today, trekking through farm land and Gubeikou village, before ascending a short but steep trail to access the Wall. Once on the Wall, you will soon notice you are well off the beaten track. With broad sweeping views, it is easy to see how the Wall resembles a dragon's back weaving its way across this beautiful golden land.
There are some steep drops but the Wall is wide, allowing for plenty of space to walk. Tonight our campsite is in the Hebei province.
Jinshanling - Simatai
Approx 7-8 hours walking
Breaking camp in Hebei Province, you will climb onto the Great Wall following a steep forest path. Today you will walk towards a restored section, which was built in the 15th century. You will pass through the famous watchtowers, ascend and descend many sets of stairs and winding trails.
The Great Wall was built by over one million people. As you trek this ancient section of crumbling Wall, you can imagine the hard work and structural genius that went into creating what is now a national treasure in modern day China.
The final part of the walk descends on a winding trail. We'll be transferred to our final camp by Simatai Reservoir.
Beijing Tower and Beijing
Approx 4 hours walking
An early start today as we trek to the summit of Beijing Tower, sitting high above the Great Wall. Today's walk is challenging, with some scrambling sections and a rugged climb to the summit. The ascent is through a rich forest, and your efforts are well worth it as you are rewarded with stunning vistas and awe inspiring views back across to Hebei.
After lunch, you'll be transferred back to Beijing where a hot shower and clean clothes await you!
Today you have a full day in Beijing to explore some of the most majestic and historically significant sites of this immense city. Starting with Tiananmen Square, your guide will explain the history and significance of this area. You will then visit the "Forbidden City"; this area 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.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant before a visit to the Lake area. You can then spend the afternoon however you like; perhaps barter for a bargain in the colourful silk markets or do as the locals do and hire a bike for spin through the bustling back roads of this vibrant city.
Tonight you will meet for a celebration dinner of traiditonal Peking Duck.
The time has come to say farewell. You'll catch a flight back to London, taking back wonderful memories of your challenge.
This itinerary is subject to change with any change in Community regulations as well as Governmental changes and natural circumstances beyond our control.
This itinerary is complex and subject to change.
How the money you raise helps
£180 pays for someone with a terminal illness to attend the day therapy unit at the hospice.
£400 pays for someone to stay in a Marie Curie Hospice for 24 hours, so that they can receive the hands-on care they need in their final days.
£1,250 pays for a portable oxygen system that will relieve distressing symptoms, so a person doesn’t have to be confined to bed.
Frequently asked questions
Who can take part?
Anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for a challenge is able to take part. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives. This event will be tough and exhilarating, but it will be fantastically rewarding and is suitable for anyone with a bit of grit, determination and willingness to work as part of a team.
How fit do I need to be?
This trek is challenging. All our trekking challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part – the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure. We walk approximately 12-18 kilometres (5-7 hours) per day.
Will I need specialist kit?
We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.
What’s not included?
- Registration fee
- Travel insurance
- Recommended vaccinations
- Tips and gratuities
- Chinese visa £60 - £90
- Personal spending money.
What will we eat and drink?
All the water on the trek will be boiled and safe to drink. Breakfast will consist of cereals, local breads and eggs. A typical lunch will include salads, cold meats, eggs, rice, bread and cheese with fruit and biscuits. In the evening there will be a hot meal, normally three courses, comprising soup, main meal and dessert. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements and feel free to bring any of your favourite snacks.
What about vaccinations?
As a guide, Typhoid, Diptheria and Hepatitis A vaccinations are advisable, Tetanus and Polio vaccinations should be up to date. You are advised to seek professional medical advice from your GP.
How will I be supported?
Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other trekkers and hear more about the challenge.
During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a qualified doctor and trek leader, as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported to each night’s camp.
Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?
We ask you to raise a minimum of £3,800. A minimum of £2,210 will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0800 716 146 for further information.
What will the weather be like?
The weather should be mild and warm with the possibility of showers. The nights can be cold. The weather can change without warning so it’s best to be prepared.
Passports and visas
Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK. Everyone travelling from the UK will require a Chinese tourist visa. We will send further details nearer the time.
Can I extend my stay?
Anyone wanting to stay on after the trek can arrange to do so through World Expeditions at an additional cost and subject to availability. Please note that you may need to buy a separate visa if you are extending your trip.
Do overseas challenges damage the environment?
Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, World Expeditions, which employs local staff and suppliers, creates minimal environmental impact and positively contributes to conservation, working with local environmental groups as well as bringing in revenue through tourism to remote areas of China.
This challenge is organised through World Expeditions. World Expeditions has been pioneering trips since 1975. Their itineraries give you the best travel experience, designed by people with incredible local knowledge who share a vision of authentic exchange and real exploration with a responsible tourism approach.