The Great Wall of China, which is 4,000 miles long and, at its widest 30 feet wide, is one of the true wonders of the world. The mostly-brick-and-stone series of walls, the oldest of which date to the 5th century, runs through forests, villages, roads, national parks and even the Ordos Desert. Not surprisingly, the panoramic views from the Great Wall leads dozens of tour companies to offer guided bike tours (for all skill levels) of the historic wall each spring and fall.
Cycle China’s Day Tour of the Great Wall
For visitors who want only a brief ride along the Great Wall, Cycle China offers flexible day trips that feature two or three hours of cycling to Huairou County, north of Beijing. This paved road tour is appropriate for families, and alternatives are offered to advanced cyclists. A van spots the bikers throughout the trip, offering rest and assistance as needed, and participants stop for lunch. Participants, who are brought to and from Beijing, should bring hiking shoes, energy bars and water. Fees, which include mountain bike rental, English-speaking guide, entrance fees and lunch with a local family start at about $100 per person for two people, $71 per person for three people and $65 per person for four cyclists. (These fees were current as of July 2010 and are subject to change a any time.) Tips are extra. Cycle China No. 12 Jingshan East St. Dongcheng District Beijing, China 86-10-6402-5653 cyclechina.com
Cycle China’s Two-Day Self-Guided Cycle Tour
Cycle China also has a two-day self-guided cycle trip of the Great Wall for those who prefer to travel on their own. Offered April through mid-October, the self-guided trip includes six or seven hours of biking and two or three hours of hiking. Participants are taken by van from Beijing to the starting point of the tour and guided to a low traffic, unrestored section of the wall, Yellow Flower Great Wall, where they can later hike down to a village for an overnight stay. On the second day, bikers cycle to the Ming Tombs and then on to Changling, the oldest of the tombs. Later that day, they are picked up and taken back to Beijing. As of July 2010, rates were $168 per person for two people. Rates decrease with the number of participants. Cycle China No. 12 Jingshan East St. Dongcheng District Beijing, China 86-10-6402-5653 cyclechina.com
- the great wall of china image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com