Great Wall of China walking tour

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01 Apr 2021
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15 Apr 2021
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06 May 2021
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20 May 2021
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05 Aug 2021
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02 Sep 2021
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09 Sep 2021
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16 Sep 2021
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07 Oct 2021
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14 Oct 2021
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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The way we operate this trip helps to minimise the purchase and waste caused by single-use plastic as much as we can. Before travelling to China, we advise our customers to take reusable water bottles, preferably with an inbuilt filter, and reusable lunch boxes such as tupperware to use for picnic lunches whilst trekking. From 1st September 2019 China implemented new laws regarding the sorting and recyling of waste. Our local Chinese leaders brief and actively encourage everyone to follow these and also to refill their reusable water bottles.

On this walking trip much of our exploration of China's villages and countryside is on foot, thus minimising the carbon footprint of our travel.

Our hikes include both completely unrestored and remote sections of China's Great Wall which see very few visitors and other places where preservation work has taken place and which see a greater numbers of tourists. These latter protected areas charge an entry fee, our visit thus assisting in the conservation of these special places.

As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.

The Impacts of this Trip

The majority of time on this trip is spent in rural China including less affluent places far away from the standard tourist trail where any money we spend on food, drink or souvenirs helps support local communities. We only include breakfast at our hotels on this trip; in the evenings the tour leader facilitates dining out at family-run and locally owned restaurants providing an experience of authentic Chinese cuisine.

Our Chinese Tour Leaders are passionate about Responsible Tourism and brief each group on arrival. They are also on hand throughout the trip to offer advice on how to get the best from each location without causing any damage or offence, and by contributing to the economy. In a country where English is not widely spoken, they help to bridge the gap between travellers and locals, ensuring that both parties benefit from the interaction. An example of this is near Gubeikou, where we walk through a small village of local farm houses, a great opportunity to see life in rural China up close.

As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.


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