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Great Wall Marathon 2016 (7 Days)

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Great Wall Marathon 2016 (7 Days)

The Great Wall Marathon 7-day package also includes an incredible tour of the cosmopolitan hub of Beijing. Combine one of the world's most challenging marathons with a great holiday!

This 7-day / 6-night itinerary is one of the two ways to participate in one of the world's most amazing

marathon experiences, The Great Wall Marathon. This itinerary is primarily aimed at runners who 

want to participate in the marathon, but friends and family are also welcome to accompany runners. 

This tour consists of seeing Beijing and taking part in The Great Wall Marathon. Since all nights are 

spent in Beijing, there is more time to explore the capital of China. A fluent English-speaking guide will 

escort the group throughout the sightseeing tours.

Beijing China
Beijing China

Trip highlights

  • Run the Great Wall Marathon, one of the most spectacular adventure marathon challenges in the world!
  • Visit the historical highlights of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven
  • Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and try the local cuisine


Day 1: Welcome to China, 17th May

Welcome to amazing China and the city Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. You arrive in a modern and bustling airport that reflects the energy of contemporary China. Arrival transfer to hotel is not included in the package price. After checking in, check the hotel notice board to get your tour guide’s name and phone number. Great Wall Marathon information packs will be handed out by your tour guide, call the guide if you can’t see him/her. The rest of the day is at your own leisure.

Meals: No meals on this day.

Day 2: Explore Beijing, 18th May

We begin our tour with a stop at Tian An Men Square, the largest public plaza in the world.

Located in the heart of modern Beijing, Tiananmen Square was first built during the Ming Dynasty. Covering an area of 44 hectares, the enormous square is the main entrance to the Forbidden City. From there we continue north through The Forbidden City. Over the central arched gateway is the famous portrait of Mao. This magnificent complex with its many palaces and halls is the largest imperial palace ever built in the world, featuring more than 800 buildings with over 9,000 rooms, resplendent golden-glazed roofs, red lacquered pillars and vermilion walls.

Most of themorning will be spent exploring the Forbidden City. At lunch you will enjoy an outstanding dish of authentic roasted Beijing Duck. After lunch, sightseeing continues at the beautiful Temple of Heaven in the southern part of Beijing. 

This was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for abundant harvests. The complex consists of the 125 feet (38 meter high) Hall of Prayer for Bounteous Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven with a gilded cupola, the three-tier Circular Altar, Echo Wall and the Thrice-Echoing Stone. Occupying an area of 270 hectares makes this the largest temple and altar complex in China.

We complete the afternoon with a visit to a silk exhibition hall where you will have the chance to see the reeling of silk from cocoons. There is a large variety of silk products can be purchased here such as silk dresses, blouses, skirts, pajamas, silk floss quilts, beddings, hats etc. 

Meals: Breakfast ,lunch and dinner are included on this day.

Day 3: Great Wall Marathon Route Inspection, 19th May

Today we will be heading for The Great Wall of China. Your dream of climbing the Great Wall will come true. We will leave Beijing at 06:45 am (breakfast box prepared by the hotel will be handed out by your guide if the hotel can’t serve buffet breakfast this early) and head northeast to "our section" of the enormous Great Wall at Huangyaguan. 

Very few tourists find their way up to this remote place, despite the rich range of possibilities here. All runners must walk the 3.5 km of the wall that is part of the Great Wall Marathon course to familiarize themselves with the route. 

Non-runners are also welcome to partake in this walk, though good physical condition is required. A sandwich lunch will be served and after lunch we will return to Beijing where we expect to arrive at around 5 pm.

After a dinner inspired by typical Beijing dishes, you will be at your leisure for the rest of the evening. You may choose to go for the Optional Tour - Acrobatics Show. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included on this day.

Day 4: Cloisonné Factory, Sacred Road & Chang Tomb of the Ming Tombs Area, 20th May

We will start today’s tour with a visit to a Cloisonné Factory. In the factory you will get into the workshops to see all the six steps to make cloisonné. The earliest and existing cloisonnéis the product in Yuan dynasty, which we know it has nearly thousands-year history already. During the course of Jingtai period of Ming that is between 1450 and 1456 craftsmen found a blue glaze in navy-blue color that is elegant and decent of the artworks. That is the cloisonnéwe are using now. 

The Ming tombs lie in a broad valley to the south of Tianshou (Longevity of Heaven) Mountain in Changping County, about 50 kilometers northwest of Beijing proper. Thirteen out of the 16 Ming emperors are buried in this peaceful valley. The Great Red Gate marks the beginning of the 7-kilometer-long Sacred Way (Shendao), which leads to the entrance of the Changling, the tomb of Emperor Yongle (reigned 1403-1424).

Continuing on is the famous Avenue of the Animals, where pairs of lions, elephants, camels, horses and a number of mythological beasts line the road. There are 24 stone creatures in all. These beasts are followed in turn by a group of 12 stone human figures, which represent the funeral cortege of the deceased emperors. Carved in 1540, this group is made up of military, civil and meritorious officials. 

Continuing north to the Changling, compared to the other 12 tombs the Changling is the largest and best preserved. The dimensions of the Hall of Eminent Favor (67 x 29 meters) closely match the dimensions of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City, which makes it one of the largest wooden buildings in China. Four giant wooden columns and 28 smaller pillars support this structure, The four large columns are 14.3 meters high and 1.17 meters in diameter, and are extraordinary for the fact that they are each a single trunk of Phoebe nanmu.

At night, a dinner will be held for everybody.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included this day.

Day 5: Race Day, 21st May

Today is the big day. Breakfast box prepared by the hotel will be handed out by your guide, and we will leave Beijing at 03:30 am to head for Huangyaguan and the 7:30 am start of the 2015 Great Wall Marathon. The reason we start early is to avoid the daytime heat and humidity. Running in the early hours of the morning is much nicer, and will definitely improve your running time.

The Great Wall Marathon is an official international marathon timed by the Bib-Chip system. All participants who complete the race within 8 hours receive a medal. However, it should be emphasized once again that the main aim of this challenge is to have fun and finish the race. Times are of minor importance and there are no prizes to be won.

Sandwich lunches are provided for everyone. Between 12 am and 4:30 pm, shuttle busses will take runners back to Beijing as they fill. 

20 minutes massage on site is included after race.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch are included on this day.

Day 6: Beijing at Leisure with Tour Option and Celebration Dinner, 22nd May

Today is for runners to sleep in, recover and take it easy. A day program is not included so today is a good day to explore Beijing and its markets on your own. You can shop at Silk Alley, or fill your senses with sights and sounds of Beijing, the street vendors, the crowds, the bicycles or the colorful banners. Don't forget to take a package of matches or a business card from the hotel, so you can show it to a taxi driver to get back in case you get lost. 

However, for people who prefer more planned activities, there is a choice of participating in an optional tour of Beijing and in this way exploring the most famous attractions in Beijing.

Optional Tour: City of People, includes Lunch.

At 6:30 pm, all participants - runners and non-runners alike - are picked up from the hotel and taken tothe banquet prepared to celebrate your triumph run over the Great Wall. Shuttle busses will be serving all hotels between 9:30 pm. and 10 pm. For the very fit who do not want to spend this celebratory night in bed, one of Beijing's great nightclubs will be awaiting us with dance music and colorful cocktails until the break of dawn. Dress code for the evening: No shorts or sandals! 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included on this day. Lunch only included in Optional Tour.

Day 7: Farewell Beijing, 23rd May

Bags packed with sweaty running gear and unforgettable memories, we are ready to return home. 

Depending on your departure time, you will have the day for shopping or a final visit to one of the many sights of Beijing. You need to check out before 12:00 noon. Departure transfer to airport / railway station is not included in the package price.

Meals: Breakfast is included on this day.


Price includes:

  • 6 nights accommodation, including service charge and taxes 
  • Meals as written, where breakfast is American buffet style, when possible. Meals in Jixian offered 
  • according to program
  • Sightseeing and excursions as listed (Optional tours must be purchased separately) 
  • All expenses related to the Great Wall Marathon 
  • Marathon medical team of specialized physicians and nurses. This service is offered on race day
  • only. 
  • Comprehensive information packet with documents

Price excludes:

  • International air tickets, air fees and airport taxes 
  • Passport fee (every participant must have a passport valid past December 01st
  • Visa for China 
  • Transfer to hotel and transfer to the airport (can be booked through your national GWM sales agent).
  • Optional Tours which must be booked in advance.
  • Insurance

General price and booking information: 

  • All prices are per person based on double occupancy (minimum 2 persons traveling together).
  • Single accommodation is available upon request for a supplementary fee. 
  • Price reduction of $50 per person if booking and deposit are made before December 1st 2015. 
  • Late entry fee of $50 per person will be applied for participants who book and register after March 21st, 2016. 
  • Last possible date to book and register with The Great Wall Marathon 2016 is April 21st 2016.

How to get there

Getting there:

Fly in to Beijing International Airport. 

Practical information

Room Options

If you are a single traveller and choose a shared double room when booking, we will pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own room, choose single room. A single supplement will apply.

Visa Information

Almost all non-Chinese nationals will need a visa to enter China. There are different categories and you will most likely need a tourist visa (L). Please contact your local Chinese embassy or consulate for more information. The procedure normally requires submitting a visa application form, paying a fee and providing the Chinese authorities with an authorised itinerary from Albatros Adventure. A few months before departure, you will receive a service voucher which you can use for acquiring a visa. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after entry.


3 star - The main hotels will be Dangfang Hotel in Beijing. After this Hotel is filled to capacity, participants will be accommodated at Ping'anfu Hotel or similar standard hotel.


4 star - Participants will stay at Qianmen Hotel / Jinglun Hotel in Beijing. After these hotels are filled, participants will be accommodated at Tailong Plaza / Park PLaza West or similar standard hotel.


5 star - Participants will stay at the Beijing Hotel / JW Marriot Hotel (only 50 rooms). After these hotels are filled, participants will be accommodated at similar standard hotel.

Please Note
  • It is the responsibility of each participant to have a valid passport and to obtain a valid visa before traveling into China. 

  • Participation is purely at your own risk. All extra costs incurred, no matter what the cause, will under no circumstances be the responsibility of the Great Wall Marathon Company. 

  • Concerning medical risks - all active participants must declare that they are in good health and have their own insurance that covers their stay in China. The Great Wall Marathon brings its own team of specialized physicians and nurses to assure that every injured participant receives suitable treatment.