Beijing Great Wall, 9-day Tour

Beijing Great Wall, 9-day Tour

Difficulty Level:

This easy-to-moderate cycle tour begins and ends in China’s capital city of Beijing, located at the north tip of the North China Plain. This tour is intended for those with basic cycle-touring experience and will utilize vehicle transport to access some of the more remote areas where we can then cycle and explore at a leisurely pace. The tour will be supported, meaning there will be a guide and support vehicle with the group at all times.

This tour can also be modified to satisfy those looking for more of a challenge and include greater daily cycling distances with more challenging terrain. It will also satisfy those interested in either historical/cultural or geographic/scenic interests and can be tailored as such.

The tour begins in historic Beijing city, known as much for its modern architecture as for its 3 millennia history. After getting picked up from the airport we’ll head to the centrally located, quaint hotel right amidst the traditional ‘hutong’ neighbourhoods inside Beijing’s 2nd Ring Road. The following morning we’ll explore these famous “small alleyways” by bicycle before visiting some of the historic and imperial sites within the city. The group will have the opportunity to choose a few sites among the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum, Drum and Bell Tower, or Jingshan Park.

On the second full day we’ll leave the hotel early by vehicle and visit the imperial garden called the Summer Palace, dating back to the 12th century. The Summer Palace is best known for its impressive landscape design including Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. In the afternoon we’ll loop northeast through pleasant countryside areas of Beijing urban outskirts before arriving in Changping. The following morning includes the Ming Reservoir and Changling tomb, one of 13 of the tombs built for Ming Dynasty emperors. In the late morning we’ll then begin ascending into the Jundu mountains of Changping District where we’ll follow the general path of the eastern portion of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. As we cycle, we’ll pass multiple sections of the Great Wall, sometimes riding right through it, as it loops north-eastward into Hebei Province, finally ending at the Old Dragon Head in the Bohai Sea.

Along the way we’ll pass the breathtaking Miyun Reservoir and spend the night at the restored Simatai Great Wall near the ancient village of Gubeikou. The following day includes a chance to hike this portion of the Wall before we begin cycling to the Summer Mountain Resort in Chengde, Hebei Province.

Days 6 & 7 are full of more picturesque riding among rolling hills, rivers, reservoirs, and a 20+km descent as we cycle down towards the coast. Day 8 will be the final big day of riding with more descending, only interrupted by a few flat sections, as we arrive at famous Shanhai Pass. At Shanhaiguan, as it’s better known in Mandarin, we’ll visit the “First Pass Under Heaven” and the famous Old Dragon Head where the Great Wall juts into the sea. This is also the famous gate where the Manchus were given passage to help defeat the short-lived Shun Emperor and subsequently conquered the Ming Dynasty, seized Beijing, and established rule under the Qing Dynasty.

On the final day of the tour we’ll enjoy more of the sites in Shanhaiguan and take a short ride along the coast before driving back to Beijing.  Arrival back in Beijing will be the end of the tour.

*(Note: daily distances may be supplemented with vehicle transport)

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Beijing Great Wall, 9-day Tour Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Arrive in Beijing

    Cycling Distance

    Total Distance

  • Day
    2

    Changping

    Cycling Distance

    230m elev.

    Total Distance

    85km

    biking
  • Day
    4

    Liulimiao

    Cycling Distance

    450m elev.

    Total Distance

    60km

    biking
  • Day
    5

    Simatai Great Wall

    Cycling Distance

    240m elev.

    Total Distance

    80km

    biking
  • Day
    7

    Qinglong

    Cycling Distance

    300m elev.

    Total Distance

    130km

    biking
  • Day
    9

    Shanhaiguan

    Cycling Distance

    300m elev.

    Total Distance

    100km

    biking
  • Day
    10

    Return to Beijing

    Cycling Distance

    150m elev.

    Total Distance

    30km

    biking