The Ultimate Guide to the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is arguably the most recognisable landmark on Earth and on a China Holiday is the first thing travellers want to tick off their list.

Over 13,000 miles long and covering an incredible variety of landscapes, there’s so many different places and ways to enjoy the wall. But what part of the Great Wall should you visit? Let us show you the different ways you can experience this wonder of the world.



“Best Great Wall for the first-time visitor”

Draped over a great mountain pass, Juyongguan is one of the closest sections to Beijing – just 31 miles. This popular section was built during the Ming Dynasty over the 5th century ruins of a previous wall. Due to its important strategic location, it has been restored frequently over the years. Traversing a huge valley, the wall is easily accessible by most people as it does not require any step-climbing – just simply walk on and walk as far as you like!

The Juyongguan Great Wall features on most of our Classic Group Tours including our hugely popular Wonders of China tour. China is a land of many wonders – ancient and modern, natural and man-made and this hugely popular tour is a comprehensive journey through the country’s most iconic sights

Gubeikou to Jinshanling


“Best Great Wall for the hikers and adventurers”

In this section, travellers can put themselves into the shoes of those who walked this incredible structure hundreds of years ago as they hike for approximately six hours from the Gubeikou to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. This trek follows stretches of restored and unrestored parts of the wall, giving guests the chance to breathe in the dramatic landscapes along the way.


Discover the Jinshanling Section on our China Adventure Tour. Spend more time hiking on the Great Wall and through the beautiful Rice Terraces of Longji on this active tour of China. Soak up the simple rural beauty of Yangshuo, the history of Xian, the majesty of Beijing and the fast pace of dazzling Shanghai.


huanghuacheng great wall

“Best Great Wall for nature lovers”

For those looking for something different, you can witness the Great Wall emerging from a lake! Huanghuacheng snakes through the hills about 40 miles from Beijing and is known to be particularly picturesque due to the lake below. Built in 1575 and just partially restored today, this is the perfect place to get an idea of the wall’s original structure. Climbs can be steep, but conquering a pass not only instills a great feeling of pride, it also gives wonderful views over the surrounding landscapes.

You can explore this part of the wall in our Land of the Dragon Tour. Take a relaxed journey through the great sights of China, walking on the Great Wall, admiring the Terracotta Warriors and visiting the Giant Pandas, while also having plenty of free time and optional excursions to make the holiday your very own.



“Best Great Wall for the avid photographer”

Those looking for a luxurious way to visit the Great Wall can enjoy the chance to sip Champagne on the beautiful Mutianyu section with Wendy Wu Tours. Travellers can take a cable car to the top where they can admire the views of the wall as it snakes over craggy peaks and breathtaking woodland. This is one of the best preserved sections of the wall and is renowned for the classic watchtowers that dot the landscape.

Enjoy the Mutianyu section with a glass of champagne in hand on our Legends of China tour. Wind your way from Beijing to Shanghai in style, discovering China’s natural grandeur and imperial wonders en route – see the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors before cruising down the Li and Yangtze Rivers.



“Best Great Wall for those looking for something a little bit special”

Taking a 2 hours to drive to from Beijing, Simatai is more than worth it for its incredible sunsets. Reached by cable car followed by a short walk on the wall itself, Simatai affords incredible views as it snakes north through dramatic valleys and ridges to Jinshanling. Part-renovated, the wall offers a challenging climb further up the mountain. For those wishing to just take it easy and enjoy the sunset, the walk is easier.

You can can enjoy the magnificent sunsets at Simatai on our China Explorer Tour. Pairing the classical sights with a Yangtze cruise, visits to the atmospheric ancient towns and a hike on the Great Wall as it weaves on undulating alien landscapes; this itinerary will bring you closer to the authentic charm of China.

Hike different sections of the Great Wall on your tour

We can add an extended three day hike along the Great Wall to any of our Group Tours finishing in Beijing. The short tour includes

  • Trips to three Great Wall sections: Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai
  • A six-hour hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling with expert hiking guides
  • Chance to watch the sunrise at the Simatai Great Wall section
  • One night in Beijing and one night at Gubei Watertown (at the foot of Simatai Great Wall)
  • Private transfers from and to Beijing
  • Two breakfasts and two lunches

Just call us for details.

We offer over 70 group and private tours to china and can also tailormake you a bespoke tour to your exact requirements. As the UK’s No.1 Tour Operator to China for over 20 years, there’s no-one better to discover this incredible country with.

Order your China Brochure

for the lowdown on the best time to go, take a look at our Best Time to Visit China page.

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to the Great Wall of China

    • Hi Chris – we can offer this as an extension to any of our tours, especially our Chinese New Year tour. Our tailormade team can also add Harbin to an itinerary for you.

Leave a Comment