Walking the Great Wall

10 days
from
£1,699
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 114 reviews >
Trip code: 
TCW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
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 portions 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.

Highlights

  • Trek alongside mountains on lesser-visited parts of the wall
  • Experience rural life first hand in little villages
  • Watch a Kung Fu show in Beijing
  • Possibility to add Terracotta Warrior extension

Key information

  • 5 nights basic hotels and 3 nights standard hotel
  • 6 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude; maximum 1044m, average 600m
  • Travel by private minibus 
  • Free transfers for any flight

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 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)
  • Chinese Visa - GBP201 with Travcour or GBP151 plus GBP18 special delivery direct with embassy
  • Vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; undualting paths, some rocky sections

Day by day breakdown
Day 35.0km/3.0miles
Day 48.0km/5.0miles
Day 55.0km/3.0miles
Day 68.0km/5.0miles
Day 714.0km/8.0miles
Day 86.0km/3.7miles

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

  • Day 2

    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.

    Dong Fang Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Drive to Huanghuacheng; afternoon trek

    This morning we leave the capital and head into the countryside to the Great Wall, a 1.5 hour journey to the north east of the city. We reach the lesser-visited section at Huanghuacheng, which has an incredibly picturesque location by a lake. The name Huanhuacheng translates as 'Yellow Flower City', as during the summer the surrounding mountains are swathed in yellow as the local wild flowers come into bloom. The walk today is relatively challenging and with uneven topography, but the views are worth every effort! We will spend the night in a guesthouse close to this section of the wall.

    Huanghuacheng Homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Trek from Mutian Yu to Jiankou

    Today we take a short drive (40 mins) to Mutian Yu. At this lesser-visited section, the Wall is an impressive sight indeed, snaking off across mountains and valleys into the distance. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutian Yu 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 trek to Jiankou where we enjoy the hospitality of a local guesthouse.

    Mr Zhao Homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Morning trek at Jiankou 'wild' wall; afternoon drive to Gubeikou

    This section of the Great Wall was built along a mountain edge and remains completely wild, with towers clinging impossibly to the steepest of ridges. Highlights of the day include the 'Nine-Eye Tower', an important command post during the ancient wars, and the 'Beijing Knot', which marks the connection with the previous section with a famous pine tree. This area is the most photographed section of the Great Wall due to the unique construction style combined with stunning scenery. We walk along this portion before transferring to Gubeikou to spend the night.

    Mr Liu's Homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Hike the Great Wall at Jinshanling Section; overnight in Gubeikou

    Today we walk the length of the Jinshanling Great Wall section (from Zhuandoukou Tower to Eastern Five Window Tower), which is renowned for being the best-preserved part of the Great Wall and dates from the Ming Dysnasty (1368-1644). This section reaches seven metres high and six metres wide and incorporates five main passes, sixty-seven watchtowers and two beacon towers as it zig-zags its way through the Big and Small Jinshan Mountains (the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers are the highlight). The construction is of huge bricks, each weighing around 12 kilograms (26 pounds) and this section features various structures which were used for an array of functions ranging from weapon stores to soldiers’ bedrooms. 

    At the end of the day, we descend to a village and transfer by road to Gubeikou for the night. 

    Mr Liu's Homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Trek Gubeikou's Palongshan section

    Today we hike along Gubeikou's Panlongshan Section. This portion keeps the original essence of the Wall and will transport us back to the time of the Tang Dynasty. We will pass many watch towers until we reach the unique 24 Window Tower (3 level tower). Once here, we will leave the wall and take a detour around the military zone and enjoy a small walk in the woods. At the end of the day, we will meet our driver and transfer back to the guesthouse (25 min. drive).

    Mr Liu's Homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Majiagou Hill circular walk via Niangniang temple; drive to Beijing

    Today you will discover the 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 Daoist temple which remains unspoiled. From here we will drive back to Beijing (approx. 3 hours)

    Dong Fang Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Beijing city tour

    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 Tian’anmen Square; the largest 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. 

    This evening, recommended activities include the amazing Beijing opera or a Kung Fu show. The leader will also arrange a farewell dinner (optional) before we leave tomorrow morning.

    Beijing is a fantastic place to explore at your own pace; if you wish to add on any additional time please speak to your sales consultant at the time of booking.

    Dong Fang Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Fly to London.

    Fly to London.

    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 here. 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.

IMPORTANT: Please note that as of the 1st November 2018, all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 will need to visit one of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centres (appointment required) where biometric data will be taken as part of the visa application process.

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.

If your trip visits Hong Kong, dengue fever is a known risk - this is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten: apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included. Food is cheap in China and you can avoid the spicier regional food if you wish. The cuisine 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 'big noses' 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

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?

This trip is classified as grade 4 - moderate/challenging.

6 days walking, with full and half-day walks with vehicle support, and low altitude throughout; maximum 1044m.

We strongly recommend that you thoroughly read the Exodus grading system as outlined in the Walking & Trekking Brochure before booking this trip. You will need to be confident in your physical ability to attempt this trek.

Walking Conditions

Daily distances are not long but some sections are narrow and overgrown and there are some sections where you will need to use your hands. The wall has deteriorated due to earthquakes and heavy rain in recent years and some parts 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 areas have very steep steps.

Parts 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 5 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 for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Shuling Wu

    Walking and Trekking the Great Wall

    It is a great experience! I am so happy to meet the new friends from UK. And the leader Jerry is very reliable to make sure everybody is safe.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking on the top of the original Wall

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He is responsible and makes everybody is safe and sound. It is appreciated to learn his comment about the popular news but it would be great he can share the information and knowledge about the sight, the history, the location and the hiking plan. Some times the group like the sheep and he is the sheep-dog and we just follow him blindly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    British Chinese, American Chinese and the similar can be the potential travelers.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Michael Cooper

    MEETING THE WALL

    Walking the great Wall of China is invariably on lots of Intrepid travellers wish lists or objectives - simply just do it. You will not regret making the decision. If you have not been to China before it is both an introduction to the country (especially Beijing) and walking one of the most documented locations in the world. The majority of the meals are inclusive but this is a bonus as it includes both restaurants in Beijing and and more authentic Chinese cuisine in the Home stays. I do not think I will not bother with a Chinese restaurant again in the UK.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually walking on the great wall and and viewing the changing scenery and especially away from the tourists and crowds. Exodus do deliver because for 90% plus of the walk you do not meet/encounter any other walkers. When you do meet the crowds it just brings it home to you how fortunate one has been in being away from the masses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was both entertaining, knowledgeable and well organised. His timings were spot on and he could be approached on any issue. A tour leader is best judged on when something goes wrong and he/she has to think on their feet or has to deal with an individuals issue. I saw evidence of Jerry responding to both of these situations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of steps both up and down and have an 'open mind' to the the home stay accommodation as it may not be what you perceive.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    David Banks

    A fabulous journey

    I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip. The scenery - the wall and the surrounding mountains - was stunning and constantly changing. The weather was perfect with mostly warm sunny days with cool evenings. Everywhere we stayed from good quality hotels to basic rural homestays provided great food and hospitality. Our group leader, Jerry, was excellent and I felt very lucky to be away with such a lovely group of fellow travellers. Finally and perhaps most importantly the Chinese people I met were warm, welcoming, interesting as well as curious about us and almost without exception delightful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sheer scale and beauty of the Great Wall and the surrounding mountains Tiananmen Square was a particular highlight in Beijing The warmth of the Chinese people everywhere

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Jerry, was excellent in all respects! His caring, thoughtful and hardworking approach was key to the success of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Do this trip and do it in autumn when everywhere is quieter and the weather is pretty much perfect for walking 2. Do the Xi'an/terracotta warriors extension! 3. Supplement the excellent guides with your own guide book 4. A little mandarin (and a big smile) goes a long way! 5. Find at least a little quiet time each day to reflect on your experience and the pleasure and privilege of being in such an amazing place 6. Do try the street food in the wonderful night market in Xi'an!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to all the exodus staff for their positive and professional approach I would happily talk to anyone considering this trip who wants to hear any of the above from someone who has actually done the trip.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    John Pethick

    Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom

    Space, and the (temporary) frontier abound provided that you go boldly, up, more up, and even more up; cast aside fears of teeming hordes, and remember, the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. At times, you become the 'attraction' - videoconferencing a chap's wife on her drive home so she could practice her English (at the top of the Wall, naturally). That was a first. High fiving hundreds of school kids, while teachers convulsed with laughter (on the wall too), in a society where physical contact is not a thing, also a first. Underpinning it all, a long past with, to quote a fellow traveller, "zero history of democracy". And the kittens really do want their fluffy tummies tickled, oh yes they do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Decades of watching China from afar, dissolving whilst sitting on some unused telegraph poles, on a country road, alone at sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pema. Well, it's always handy to have a Tibetan guide, when you bump into some Tibetan monks, looking for a group photograph with some westerners for their Instagram. Or need to explain the fire in your room. Retrieve a confiscated bank card. Discuss the geological formations under the wall and the materials in it. Get you through 'Security' painlessly. And be objective about Tibet's relationship with China.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1) the Dong Fang has a machine which converts cash banknotes (sterling, USD, canadianD, euros, and many more) into yuan, which is very handy indeed. 2) two types of ATM exist, ones that hand out cash and return the card, ones that are for account management only, and hold onto the card. Make sure you are using an international bank, and a real ATM. Worth watching what other people are doing for a few minutes. 3) Euro / US plugs sometimes work in the local sockets, but if you require mains, take a three pin Chinese adapter. Not many amps in the supply, so charging is slow. 4) Do not, repeat do not, leave electric oil radiators switched on in an empty room. And stand by for a few minutes to pull the plug out of the socket after switching on. 5) keep an eye out, and the camera hot, for feral panda spotting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Water for drinking: arrive, fill kettle, allow to boil, open lid to cool down, do something else, pour into 'tough' water bottle / bladder, refill kettle etc. Everywhere has a kettle for that purpose. Have a thermos, with local tea leaves instead / as well. Even petrol stations have hot water boilers. The journey to a plastic free world starts with the first step.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Stephen Meleady

    China Calling 🇨🇳

    What a great trip ! 6 hiking days and 2 days seeing the sights in Beijing with Pemma our Tibetan guide and our mixed bunch of 16, comprised of couples and solos making for a great trip to China. ( I didn’t book the Xian extension ) the hikes are tough as they are up and down the many ridges that the wall sought to protect and most are on the “Wild Wall” where we had the fantastic views all to ourselves, so expect some tender knees and sore calves as the days progress. Accommodation in the country is in friendly and comfortable homestays and Don Fang in Beijing is about 30 minutes walk to the Forbidden City and Tianenmen square etc. China is a real mix of old and new and the vibrant colours are a treat for the eyes. Ticking the Great Wall box with this Exodus trip was memorable and as is the case on many a trip there were only minor things that could be improved but take it from me, if you’re thinking of booking then take the leap, you’ll love it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Stairs to the Sky near Jiankou are scary, picturesque and a challenge to mind and body, but what a thrill !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pemna is a super guide, ever smiling, friendly but most importantly is putting you as his primary goal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t underestimate it’s a tough enough hiking trip with more downhill setions than most

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It’s a great trip 😃 so go for it !
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Michael Cooney

    Disappointing

    Having travelled with Exodus before, I was looking forward to this trip. However, although the scenery was spectacular and the hiking was enjoyable, Exodus was disappointing and if I went again I would do the trip with someone else. Some of the accommodation was very poor, being smelly and dirty. The leader's time management and communication was also poor, with some days having a very long period between breakfast (7am) and lunch (3pm) with no advance warning, no snacks provided and limited water provided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the wall when we were out in the wilderness.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Definitely not the best tour leader I have had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't do this trip with Exodus.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    walking the great wall of china and xian extension

    spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta army

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a great ambassador for his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to keen on the breakfast.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    walking the great wall of china and xian extension

    spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta army

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a great ambassador for his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to keen on the breakfast.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Daniel Springett

    Great Wall of China

    First time I have done something like this before but it has been one of the best trips I have done. Wish I could of been out there longer

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descending the heavenly stairway, listening to stairway to heaven on the way down

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was very knowledgeable, funny, fair and a great person in general

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's hotter than you think, make sure you have a semi decent level of fitness (hill walking especially), bring insect repellent and about £200 should cover spending (possibly a bit less).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Consider doing the add on, I wish I had done it but it will give me an excuse to go back
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Louise Donovan

    Introducing....Great Wall of China

    Fantastic jam packed trip, from trekking up long steep challenging slopes to witnessing the stunning views from the great wall. A journey well worth the undertaking. I was a first timer to trekking, and a single traveller. The trip was well planned and executed. The organisation was second to none, from co-ordinating hot savoury pancakes on the great wall for lunch, to organsing shows and Tai Chi classes everything was done with a smile, a sense of humour and professionalism. A lifetime of memories, a personal achievement and a hunger for more. If you are thinking about it- think NO MORE, just book it - you will not regret it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pushing myself to trek up the vast paths and steps, to witnessing the views making the hardwork pall into insignificance. Couldn't believe I was there on the Great Wall of China with a group of lovely people in the care of the most professional tour guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Professional, organised and funny. Jerry wears many hats as the tour guide - the historian, the nurse, the accountant, the food expert, the motivator, the teacher, the translator, pest controllor.........I could go on. He wears all these hats with humour humbleness and integrity. One thing though.......'those walls Jerry are NOT FLAT!'....!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your walking sticks, the climbs are steep and therefore the climb down is also steep. I didn't take mine, and that was an epic fail. I was loaned a walking stick from a fellow traveller and it made a huge difference to being able to keep up with the group. Before you go - hill walk for up to 5-8 km a time......making sure you can maintain a steep hill walk for up to an hour whilst carrying a back pack with around 3-4kg in it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Simply - brilliant. I'll be back!

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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