Expect to be picked up by private vehicle around 8.30 am, with your driver or personal guide waiting for you in your hotel lobby.
Youll travel directly to the Mutianyu Great Wall, a 1.5 hour drive out of the city, approximately KMs. There youll have about 2 hours to explore the site, its Watch Towers and breathtaking scenery. The Mutianyu wall is not only one of the most diverse but also one of the best preserved sections. On route your driver or guide, (Option 2) will point out some of Beijing's architecture and history.
The Wall dates back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557), then rebuilt again in the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644) to provide a protective defence barrier to guard the capital and imperial mausoleums from invaders.
There are 23 Watch Towers distributed along its more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) length. This stretch of the UNESCO listed Great Wall is known for its beautiful surroundings, including dense forests and rich pastures, as such it provides many photographic opportunities. Its also the most family friendly, being easier to navigate with young children.
While you can ascend the ramparts by foot, the path is very steep and takes about an hour. Its best to save time and energy and take one of the two quick access routes, cable car (to the northern entrance), or the chair lift, (to the south). For those choosing Option 2, tickets for the return trip, to and from the ramparts are included.
After your visit to the Wall youll have the option to have lunch at a local restaurant. One of its specialities is Kung Pao Chicken, a classic Sichuan dish, a spicy stir fry of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers.
After lunch youll travel to The Summer Palace situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing, a 1.5 hour drive from the wall. The Palace is one of the largest and most well preserved royal parks in China. Youll spend a leisurely hour strolling through the beautiful grounds, enjoying such sites as the Seventeen arch bridge, Longevity Hill, the beautiful art decorated Long Corridor, depicting some of the stories from Chinese history and the Tower of Buddhist Incense to name a few. Kunming Lake is the central lake that covers some two thirds of the grounds forming a key landscape feature of the Palace gardens.
The construction of the Summer Palace commenced in 1750 and was built as a luxurious royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain. Towards the end of the Qing Dynasty it became their main residence.
Your tour includes a boat ride on the lake, where you can relax in comfort, enjoy the vistas and see the Qing style buildings on Suzhou Street where eunuchs and concubines were once disguised as merchants so that the Emperor could enjoy shopping.
Your tour finishes with your being driven back to your hotel, or if preferred to any other centrally located spot. Please advise at the time of booking if this is a preference.