Expect to be picked up by private vehicle at 7 am (Summer time), a little later (in winter) in your hotel lobby, which is when youll meet your driver (Option 1) or your English speaking guide, (Option 2). If due to the early start breakfast has not been offered by your hotel, a short stop at a Starbucks is possible.
Youll travel to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, a 1.5 hour drive out of the city, where youll have about two hours to explore the site, view its Watch Towers and breathtaking scenery. As most people arrive at the wall around 10:30 am youll enjoy a visit that is less touristy than if arriving later in the day. The Mutianyu section of the wall is not only considered to be more diverse but one of the best preserved sections of the wall. Its also considered to be the most family friendly, a section thats easier for those with young children to navigate.
The Great Wall dates back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). Then again it was rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty, (1368 -1644) to provide a protective defence barrier to guard the capital and imperial mausoleums from invaders.
You can see 23 Watch Towers distributed along its more than 2 kilometers (1.2 mile) length. This stretch of the UNESCO listed Great Wall is known for its beautiful surroundings, including dense forests and rich pastures. On arrival your tickets will be purchased and youll be taken to the main entrance.
While you can ascend the ramparts on foot, the path is steep and takes about an hour to ascend. Its best to save time and energy and mount the ramparts by one of the two approaches available. The cable car takes you to the northern entrance and alights at Watch Tower #14. The other takes you by chair lift to the southern entrance and alights at Watch Tower # 6. Once on top of the ramparts your sightseeing experience commences.
The fully inclusive tour, as the name suggests includes return tickets by cable car, chair lift or the alternative combination route of chair lift up /toboggan ride down.
After your visit to the Great Wall youll be driven back to the city where you have the option of being drop off at any centrally located spot to continue your sightseeing at your leisure. Expect to be back in the city around noon. Possible and popular options are The Summer Palace, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Beijing airport to catch a flight out. The drop off option is a flexible one so any centrally located spot in Beijing city can be accommodated. For those who prefer to be taken back to their hotel that too is an option.
Please note you do need to provide your preferred drop off location in advance.