About Great Wall
An enduring symbol of Chinese civilisation and genius, the UNESCO protected Great Wall was built as a defensive structure to protect China against marauding invaders from the north. Although the present wall dates mainly from the Ming dynasty, some 20 states and dynasties were involved in its immense construction over a period of 2,000 years and followed different routes and building extensions as required. Snaking some 6,700km across barren hills, deserts, mountains and plateaus, the now partially ruinous Great Wall stretches east to west in northern China. At one time perhaps nearly 9,700km long, the wall was garrisoned by nearly 1 million soldiers and featured over 1,000 fortified passes and 10,000 beacon towers. A modern-day visit offers a healthy, if steep and vertiginous walk with breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside.
Great Wall Tours
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Great Wall. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Great Wall on a bespoke touring itinerary to China, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.