Walking the Great Wall

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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 96 reviews >
Trip code: 
TCW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Walk one of the seven wonders of the world

Stepping out across the peaceful semi-ruin of a section of the Great Wall is like walking in the footsteps of the past. Far from the tourist crowds we are able to get a great sense of the scale and majesty of this remarkable piece of engineering without rushing through in a big group. We trek along various contrasting sections of the wall, both dilapidated and rebuilt stretches. The old sections have a romantic feel, but the new ones may look odd to people who are used to seeing their ancient monuments in a poor state, though since the wall was constructed over a 2000 year period, the new sections are just a continuation of that process. We will get closer to day-to-day life in rural China before returning to Beijing, a city steeped in history yet plunging headlong into modernity.

Please note: the 2018 itinerary has changed. To view, please click through to the new itinerary from the dates and prices tab.

Highlights

  • Walk one of the seven wonders of the world
  • See rural life first hand
  • 2 full days to explore Beijing
  • Possibility to add Terracotta Warrior extension
  • Free transfers for any flight

Key information

5 days point-to-point walking with full porterage

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request from GBP175 - 6 nights only)
  • Chinese Visa - GBP201 with Travcour or GBP151 plus GBP18 special delivery direct with embassy
  • Vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Pace:

Moderate: 5-6km/3-4miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; undualting paths, some rocky sections

Day by day breakdown
Day 28.0km/4.0miles
Day 35.0km/3.0miles
Day 45.0km/3.0miles
Day 517.0km/10.0miles
Day 67.0km/4.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Beijing
to
Beijing
  • Day 1

    Arrive Beijing; free afternoon and Beijing duck dinner.

    After arriving into Beijing the afternoon is free to relax after the overnight flight. There is a welcome dinner organised for the group allowing us to sample one of the cities most famous dishes: Beijing duck.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning visit to Summer Palace; transfer to Jiankou; trek past watchtowers to Mutianyu before transferring back to Jiankou.

    This morning we visit the Summer Palace. Once the playground of emperors and their concubines; the Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens & palaces, and is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. After the visit we leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, a 3 hour journey to the north east of the city. From Jiankou we trek to the less visited section at Mutianyu where the Wall is an impressive sight, snaking off across mountains and valleys into the distance. As one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. There are 22 watchtowers on this 2,250-metre-long section. We transfer back to Jiankou where we stay at a guesthouse/homestay.

    Walk approx. 8km/5-6 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning trek around Jiankou with its steep mountains and beautiful scenery; transfer to Gubeikou.

    Today we trek to a section of the wall constructed of large white rocks, very noticeable from a distance, built in 1368 during the Ming dynasty. Due to its steep mountains and beautiful scenery Jiankou is a photographers dream, and is where most photos of the Wall are taken. This part of the Wall is unpreserved and wild and we will walk for approx. 2-4 hours on a few sections of the Wall; we will bypass a few sections, as they are steep and difficult underfoot. In the afternoon we return to the road and are picked up by our vehicle and transferred to Gubeikou, approx. 2.5 hours drive away, where we spend the night.

    In Gubeikou there will be the option to walk to a nearby section of the wall for sunset.

    Walk approx. 5km/2-4 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Walk along the Great Wall of Crouching Tiger near Gubeikou.

    This section of the Wall stretches for more than 25 miles. There are 14 beacon towers, 143 watchtowers, 16 strategic passes and 3 citadels. Gubeikou has long been a town of military significance. We walk along this section before transferring back to spend the night at Gubeikou.

    Walk approx. 5km/3-5 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Discover the Majiagou section of the Great Wall

    Today you will discover a part of Gubeikou's Great Wall known as, Majiagou Hill. Gubeikou's GW was first built in the 6th century and has not been reconstructed since 1644. It is somewhat dilapidated but it still retains its original beauty. Your steep ascent will start from the northern gate and once you reach the top watch tower you will enjoy some great views as you are stepping on 1500 years of history. On the way down, this lesser-known path will give you the opportunity to see the Niangniang Buddhist temple which remains unspoiled. From here you will continue your way back to the Gubeikou guesthouse.

    Walk approx. 17km/4-6 hours.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Jinshanling circular walk; drive to Beijing via Olympic Park.

    The Wall here was rebuilt in 1572, during the Ming dynasty, and has been restored but is still reasonably quiet if we start early; it is the starting point for our walk. There are many watchtowers on this stretch looking out across the gullies and ravines of the rugged landscape. The Wall is steep in places and its condition worsens in the middle section - you need to be happy walking on uneven and stony surfaces with some drops off to the side. The views here are excellent, watching the Wall stretch away across the rugged hills. After lunch we transfer back to Beijing; there is a chance to see the spectacular Birds' Nest stadium at the Olympic Park on the way to our accommodation.

    Walk approx 7km/3-5 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Beijing City tour visiting hutongs, Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City.

    We take a morning walking tour of the city's hutongs (narrow alleys) to see what is left of old Beijing and its traditions. We also visit Tianamen Square, the largest square in the world and able to hold over a million people. Later in the day we visit the Forbidden City with its innumerable courtyards and temples.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day in Beijing.

    Today is a full day of free time for you to explore the amazing Beijing as you wish. Get up early to visit Temple of Heaven, and admire the incredible history and architecture of this royal complex of 600 years. Don’t be shy to join the locals in their morning exercise, like Taiji, fan dancing, playing badminton or try your hand at the mop calligraphy. Or go to Lama temple and learn about Buddhism and its importance to Chinese people. For a different taste of Beijing, visit the 798 art district, which gives a modern vibe in this modified loft zone, full of quirky modern art and architecture. Otherwise, hire a bike and dive into the vibrant Beijing streets and hutongs like a local!
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Beijing

    Our trips ends today in Beijing after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Xian extension

Code: XCW
Price per person: £399.00
Mandatory Single Supplement: £274.00

Extend your adventure with our perfectly designed Xian extension.

 The ancient city of Xi'an is best known for the Terracotta Warriors; an international symbol of China's long and storied history. Whilst the historical ruins, museums and cultural relics are major draws for the many tourists that visit Xi'an, the city also offers some excellent cuisine, vibrant night markets and the chance to cycle along the imposing city walls.

This extension offers an opportunity to see it all. You will take an overnight train from Beijing and enjoy 2 full days in Xi'an, with plenty of time to see the major sights. You will be met off your overnight train from Beijing by a local guide, who will accompany you on the Terracotta Warrior visit and city tour. In the evening you will have free time to relax, or explore Xi'an's exciting night markets and sample the delicious local cuisine. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

China

Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter China, which must be obtained prior to departure. The Chinese authorities now require a letter from Exodus, confirming all your accommodation details. Along with this, you need to supply a copy of your flight details, which are on your invoice if you have booked directly through Exodus. For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/China.pdf
It is also essential that we have a clear copy of the details page of your passport. This is required to book certain ground services in China and we cannot confirm your details with our local partners until it has been received. This must be emailed as an electronic scan to [email protected] a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your trip.

Vaccinations

China

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included.

Food is cheap in China and you can avoid the spicier regional food if you wish. The food on this trip is fantastically varied with lots of new flavours and 'things' to try. Gastronomically the trip can be divided into two parts: 'tourist hotels' and 'local hotels'. In tourist hotels the breakfast is normally a buffet, with a huge spread of Chinese and western food, including coffee, juice, breads, cakes, fruit, eggs, bacon and a wide variety of noodle and stir fried dishes. Dinners are normally taken in the hotel or local restaurants, serving rice with assorted vegetables, pork, fish, chicken and duck dishes with flavours roughly approximating those you would find in a Chinese restaurant in the UK.

In the local hotels, breakfast includes rice porridge, dumplings, eggs, noodles, etc, however, we tend to augment this with fruit and cakes where available. Dinners are taken in local restaurants where the food is heavily flavoured with ginger, garlic bamboo shoots and chilli. Lunches are taken in local village restaurants and will normally consist of noodle soup or stir fried vegetable noodles. Expect an audience most lunches as the locals crowd around to watch the foreigners trying to master the use of chopsticks!

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in China the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home. Strict vegetarians may find the diet rather limited to stir fried vegetables and eggs as all the soups are made with meat stock.

Weather

Beijing & the north of China has warm (25 deg C), quite humid summers, and cold dry winters. If you travel between June and August, it will be hot more or less everywhere, except in the mountains. Some rain must be expected, possibly heavy. If you travel in September/October, you will probably get less rain and the temperatures will be fairly warm (around 20 deg C) everywhere. The winter months in China are cold, so if travelling in March/April be prepared for temperatures to drop, below (10 deg C), at night, but with almost guaranteed dry sightseeing.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level:  Grade 4 - Moderate/Challenging.

5 days walking, with some days half-day walks with vehicle support, and low altitude throughout, maximum 1044m.

 You will need to be confident in your physical ability to attempt this trek.

Daily distances are not long but some sections are narrow and overgrown and there are some scrambling sections where you will need to use your hands. The wall has deteriorated due to earthquakes and heavy rain in recent years and some sections may vary from trek to trek. There are a couple of hilly days and most days will involve some up and down. Some of the restored sections have very steep steps.

Parts of the sections of the wall we walk on are generally in good condition, between about 5 and 7 metres high and approx. 4 to 5 metres wide but a lot of sections can be steep, and are in poor condition with loose rocks and flagstones.

Accommodation

We spend 4 nights in varying basic hotels and in basic guesthouses/homestays, as the sections of wall we visit are well away from tourist style hotels. You should be prepared for these conditions and bad roads on this trip in order to get away from the usual crowds in China.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Guesthouses

You will spend 3 nights in comfortable hotels, and 5 nights in basic guesthouses. In Beijing you will stay in well located tourist class hotel. Outside of Beijing the accommodation is more basic and hot water is sometimes erratic.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

, Antarctica, Arctic, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Dolomites, Germany, Greece, Iceland, North America, Norway, Patagonia, Russia, Spitsbergen, USA
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Joseph Carraway

    Great Wall, great tour

    Walking the Great Wall is a great tour with a good mix of activities. I go on theses trips to do some good trekking, but it is also nice to see the important tourist sites in Beijing. What is nice about this itinerary is that you do Beijing, spend time away and then finish in Beijing giving you a nice balance and not spending too much time in the big city. The guesthouses are a unique experience and are run by the nicest people I have ever come across. I highly recommend the Xi'an extension as the Terracotta Warriors are a must see, and Xi'an itself is very different with a lot of charm and character.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Overall I enjoyed the day with the spider wall the best but really the highlight for me was any day away from the touristy, restored parts of the wall. That combined with a really great group made the trip exactly what I wanted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry is one of the best leaders you could possibly ask for. He is very knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor to keep things interesting. We had many issues with our itinerary due to the Silk Road Conference, but he handled all the changes well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the weather before you go to ensure you are prepared. I would recommend some electrolyte supplements for those extremely hot days.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Ferenc Suhai

    Walking the great wall

    Before going on the trip the highlight was for me of course the wall and the scenic views but this all changed and the whole experience was the people I was travelling with the teamwork and friendships I made.. has left a positive impact on me and at the moment all I can think about is the next trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement personally and of the group when reaching a high point and then getting photos of the views stretched out below.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great.. an original genuine character made the trip an enjoyable experience for me

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read trip notes I did and used blister plasters at early stage and managed to keep feet from getting any worse than just a bit sore.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My own feelings of trip it gave me more than I expected it was always going to be taking on a section of the wall and then being rewarded with amazing views but the group I was with were just amazing. I would love to meet them all again at some other challenging great location they have left their mark on my mind my memories and in my heart.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Michelle Madrigga

    Great experience!

    A very enjoyable itinerary to see sections of the Great Wall that are free from the tourist crowds. As stated in the Trip Notes, there are a number of sections where you need to be careful walking and/or which may be unpleasant for those suffering from vertigo. However, in a few (not all) situations it was possible to detour around certain sections. The trip also included visits to some of the restored sections of the Wall. The section near Gubeikou (last two days) had spectacular views and few other tourists. I also did the Xi'an Extension, which was a quick but enjoyable trip to Xi'an, mainly to see the Terracotta Warriors. It would have been nice to have an extra day in Xi'an so something worth considering. I enjoyed the food throughout the trip but it is worthwhile to note that most of the meals (particularly at the guest houses) is served communal style with a number of different dishes served to the table - meals are not ordered individually and the dishes served are to be shared amongst the group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending the last two days near Gubeikou walking along the wall and seeing the stretch completed and the stretch ahead - definitely very scenic. Also the cycling tour in Beijing was a wonderful experience. I was a bit apprehensive at first about cycling in the busy streets but it, surprisingly, felt safer than cycling the streets at home!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was great - very organized and informative. He had a great sense of humour and was passionate about his country and its history. He was always concerned about the welfare of the group and went out of his way to ensure that everyone had a great time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As mentioned above, all of the group meals, including all meals in the homestays, are served communal style and individual meal choices are not available. As stated in the trip notes, vegetarian options are limited. Therefore, people with restricted diets or food preferences may want to consider either bringing their own food or considering another destination if they are not open to trying things they may not eat at home. Also, chopsticks are often the only utensils provided so if you are uncomfortable to use chopsticks you may want to consider packing some cutlery. Walking poles were a definite plus. There were a lot of steep up and down sections and the poles proved very useful, particularly in the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip and a wonderful experience - would definitely recommend it!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Lucy Potter

    Walking the Great Wall

    Great trip with some stunning sights however, various aspects were not up the the usual excellent Exodus standard. Safety in various places on the wall could have been improved by having another guide at the back of the group. A member of the party was asked to do this which was unfair, this was a position for Exodus to fill. Fortunately, we had a fantastic group and no one was left behind on their own. Goodness only knows what would have happened in the event of a mishap, having only one guide who was ahead and seldom waited for people to catch up. Also, the itinerary was changed, which Exodus reserves the right to do, but we were given no explanation and very vague information on the following days walks. The city tour was a huge disappointment as our guide gave us very little time to take pictures and did not wait for the whole group before giving information or issuing instructions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing unrestored parts of the wall and having it all to ourselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nice chap but fairly unenthusiastic and very vague. Overall not up to Exodus usual excellent standard.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're reasonably fit as there are plenty of steep climbs. Vegetarian food it quite hard to come by but what there is, is delicious.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The views of and from the wall were amazing with many brilliant photo opportunities. Beijing is a vibrant and engaging city with many parks and places of interest to visit.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Brenda Hernandez

    Walking The Great Wall

    My first Exodus trip into a country I didn't know and with people I didn't know. - I am already looking to book my next one. The Great Wall was amazing, with spectacular and breathtaking views. The walking was great, well planned and everyone done it at there own pace, no harassment to hurry, although there was some steep and challenging sections, I am not a seasoned walker and I managed them without too much effort. Our group of 15 got along great, fun-loving, witty, sociable with interesting lives, this group of people helped make this trip unforgettable. The hotels were all good and the food second to none, except maybe the sandwich for the one packed breakfast we had (don't believe the stories of being offered dog and scorpions).The Xian extension was really worthwhile, not only to see the terracotta warriors, but also to experience the sights and sounds of this lovely city and the food market also overnight train from Beijing to Xian.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many - The first steps on the Wall, and the realisation of its vast scale, the third or fourth day of trekking when you looked around and saw nothing but green mountains, with the Great Wall stretching away as far as the eye could see, with no one else but our small group in sight. the Great Wall stretching away as far as the eye could see. Not forgetting the first sight of the warriors.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kevin was absolutely superb, we could not have wished for a better group leader, He shared his considerable knowledge of Chinese history,culture with us with passion and good humour. Even before and after the actual trip Kevin took care of us, taking us out on our first and last night in Beijing for Food and a trip to a theatre. Exodus should be honoured to have Kevin as a Group Leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some physically challenging sections, scrambling up or down steep and uneven slopes. I took trekking poles and was very glad of the extra support. If you are afraid of heights some sections will be uncomfortable. Our group was of mixed ages and abilities - from students to retirees, from occasional day hikers to multiple marathon runners - all managed the walk. What i wasn't prepared for was the actual walks to reach the wall some days - I stupidly thought, after reading the itinerary that we got dropped off on one end and picked up the other - not quite like that but still all great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a great holiday, obviously the experience of the great wall and our excellent Group Leader Kevin. Just as important were my fellow trekkers - it was a really nice group of people. This was my first Exodus experience, so maybe I just got lucky. So I'll have to book another Exodus trip to test whether all Exodus trekkers are as sociable and good-humoured as this bunch! I also think Kevin will have set a very high standard for any future Group Leaders - Uganda her I come.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Jonathan Howard

    Walking the Great Wall

    Was my first ever solo trip and I can't wait to book my next one. If you're in two minds about doing it STOP! Book now. You won't regret it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day 5. Sun rising over the horizon and the Great Wall stretching away as far as the eye could see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was amazing. Knowledgeable, approachable and very funny. Would love him to be my guide on every trip!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some warm clothes for on a night and if the food doesn't agree, take some protein bars and some rehydration tablets just in case.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please book this trip!! You will not regret it. Unbelievable experience. Thank me later.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Caroline Arnold

    Walking the Great Wall

    A brilliant trip. The Great Wall was amazing, with spectacular and breathtaking views. The trekking was great, being well paced, as well as having some steep and challenging sections. The Xian extension was really worthwhile, not only to see the teracotta warriors, but also to experience the sights and sounds of this lovely city.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first steps on the Wall, and the realisation of its vast scale. The sunset at Jinshanling. Tai Chi at the temple. First sight of the warriors. The food market in Xian.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Jay was superb. He was informative, helpful, patient, funny, professional, indispensable, and we miss him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Leave space for souvenirs, and do the Xian extension if you can.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip. Great guide. Great Wall.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    David Shelton

    Well guided trip

    This is a well organised trip - as is always the case with Exodus everything worked, all the arrangements were good and the guide excellent. Also, the trip notes manage expectations around the trekking, hotels and food really well - the experience will be as promised - including the chicken's feet!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking parts of the wall which are remote, quiet and unpreserved. They give some idea of the work and "engineering" that created the wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jay was excellent. He set exactly the right pace, gave clear directions and exactly the right amount of information each day. He obviously cared that we enjoyed the trip and he could not be faulted. His standard was as good as all the other Exodus guides I have had the pleasure of travelling with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is obvious, but be prepared for slopes and steps up and down. These are hard to practice for in the UK but this is why the trip can be quite demanding in places, balancing out the short distances on some days. However, a few of us could have walked further on the shorter days so if you are reasonably fit you will be able to cope with this. Take note of the trip notes description of basic hotels and manage your expectations, not everything works sometimes which makes the hotel in Beijing on the final night seem like a palace! You will be served authentic Chinese food with chopsticks for every meal so the diet is very different. However, everyone on our trip was fine, no illness and no sore feet!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great way to see a variety of sections of the Great Wall and rural China, so different from the cities. It is a great experience and if you are fit you will cope easily.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Aloisia Oldland

    Walking the Great Wall

    What a truly unique experience to walk various sections of the wall and see rural China, as well as Beijing city and Xi'an.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Apart from seeing the Great Wall in all its splendour I would say meeting the Chinese people and experiencing their culture first hand. Doing Tai Chi just before sunset was a highlight too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Jerry Wu and I feel very privileged to have met this most interesting and engaging young gentleman, and a real gentleman he is too. He's a very colourful character (in a good way!) and his command of the English language is first rate. He looked after us so well and nothing was too much trouble. He gave tips on what we could do in our free time and always put our best interests first. He also has a wonderful sense of humour which makes his commentary all the more interesting. He was so much fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled in October. It was fresh in the mornings and evenings so, if you're nesh like me, take plenty of layers and warm pyjamas too, especially for the basic guest houses.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Xi'an extension is highly recommended, not only to see the Terracotta Warriors, but to see the beautiful walled city of Xi'an. In fact, I would recommend all the optional activities.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Nicholas Sutton

    Great Wall of China

    An amazing 10 day trip that was full of inspirational moments - breathtaking scenery and a varied itinerary meant that the time flew by too quickly! The group size at 9 was ideal, meaning we all fitted around one table and were able to discuss the days proceedings! Really great set of people too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the first "Spider Wall" with no hesitation and being overwhelmed with the views!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group Leader Jerry was very organised and "full to the brim" with local knowledge and history! He was very passionate about China which came across in his group chats. He looked after the whole group ensuring we were all fed and "watered" to our satisfaction at all times, and constantly checking that we were drinking enough water etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you work on your leg fitness before you go to get the full enjoyment out of the holiday, also worth the investment in decent walking boots! Take a camera with plenty of memory - you'll be taking loads of pictures.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Exodus 2017 brochure arrived the day after I returned from China now looking forward to planning my next rip with Exodus!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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