Great Wall Marathon

17 May 2025

Avatar Mountains

A true gem awaits in central China - the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Best known as the backdrop in the Avatar movie, the area's 3,000 karst pinnacles and spires and over 200 peaks are an incredible sight.
20-25 May | 6 days | 1 790 USD
  • 20 May: Beijing - Zhangjiajie

    In the afternoon, we will begin the next chapter of your journey through China with an evening flight from Beijing to Zhangjiajie in China’s Hunan province. Upon arrival in Zhangjiajie, we will drive directly our 4-star hotel for check-in.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • 21 May: Day of Sightseeing & National Forest

    After a good night’s sleep and an early breakfast, we will enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Also known as the first national forest park in China, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park’s unique landscape inspired the floating "Hallelujah Mountains" of Pandora in James Cameron’s award-winning movie, Avatar.

    The day’s excursion will begin with a cable car ride, which will transport us from Zhangjiajie City up into the National Forest, where you will truly capture a bird’s-eye view of the stunning scenery.

    The National Park is home to a varied landscape, including sandstone formations, limestone caves and subtropical and temperate forest. Nestled beneath the towering peaks, the numerous ravines, gorges, and caves, as well as wandering streams, waterfalls and pools provide a home for verdant, leafy vegetation and some endangered plant and animal species. Be on the lookout - you might event spot birds, salamanders and curious monkey hanging nearby!

    One of today’s highpoints (literally!) will be Zhangjiajie National Forest Park’s gigantic, rugged quartz-sandstone monoliths, which stand tall in stark contrast to the lush tufts of dense, green foliage that adorns them. These narrow peaks rise from the valley floor, creating a beautiful and mystical landscape that appears to hang suspended amid the misty clouds.  Of the thousands of pillars dotting the skyline, we’ll be sure to set our sights on the colossal 1,080-foot (3,544-foot) high “Southern Sky Column”, otherwise known as “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”. For the geologically curious, the narrow pinnacles of these unique geological formations have been shaped over eons due to erosion by the elements, changes in temperature and the growth of vegetation. 

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 

  • 22 May: Tianmen Mountain & Cave

    On day 3 of our visit in Zhangjiajie, we will be picked up from our hotel for a brief drive to Tianmen Mountain and the world’s highest naturally formed cave, Tianmen Cave. For those not afraid of heights, it is possible to book a ticket to the Glass Stack Road - a narrow path of glass floor built into the vertical cliffside of Tianmen Mountain. Talk about adrenalin rush!

    Tianmen Mountain is also famous for its unique natural wonder, Tianmen Cave, a door-like cave or “Heaven’s Gate Cave” that formed in ancient times following the collapse of a rock precipice. This area is known for its rich Chinese culture… To reach the cave, one must climb up 999 steps, known as “Heaven’s Stairway”. Surely not a coincidence, the number nine in Chinese numerology is considered a positive number because its pronunciation sounds like the word meaning “eternity” or “everlasting”. It’s a tiresome climb that will take about 30 minutes, but the views are spectacular and well-worth the effort.
    On the way back, we will stop at a local market. Following dinner, we will drive approximately 3 hours to the old town of Fenghuang, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, and will check-in to our 4-star hotel.

    “Ancient Fenghuang Town” is known for its classic architecture with antiquated stone streets, glowing rice paper lanterns, local minority people outfitted in ethnic attire beautiful riverside buildings and the traditional bridges that arch across Tuojiang River. Part of this town’s charm is the local people’s enduring relationship with the river- they live by it and rely upon it, much as they have for centuries.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • 23 May: Dehang Miao Minority Village

    We will visit the Dehang Miao Minority Village, explore its marvelous mountain scenery and learn more about one of China’s most colorful ethnic tribes. In the local language, “Dehang” means “beautiful valley” and the site of this village is precisely that – a beautiful, lush green valley situated below steep cliffs.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • 24 May: Changsa

    The morning is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Upon checking out of our hotel, we will head to the Huaihua Railway station and take the bullet train to the city of Changsa. Upon our arrival in the late afternoon, we will visit the Mawangdui Museum - also known as the "Oriental Pompeii". Afterwards, we will check-in to our 4-star hotel.

    The evening will begin with a classic Hunan Cuisine dinner, followed by a visit to the local night food market.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

  • 25 May: Beijing

    After an early breakfast, we will head to the airport for our flight to Beijing. We expect to arrive in Beijing before noon.

    If you are leaving China from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), you should not book your flight earlier than 16:00. If your flight out of China is also today, but from Beijing Daxing Airport (PKX), you should not book any flight departing earlier than 19:00.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Price information

    Shared double room: 1790 USD
    Single room supplement: 300 USD

    Glass Stack Road entry: 65 USD

  • Inclusions

    Domestic flights: Beijing-Zhangjiajie one-way and Changsa-Beijing one-way
    Second class train ticket Huaihua-Changsa one-way
    5 nights’ accommodation according to itinerary
    Sightseeing according to itinerary incl. entrance fees
    Transportation according to itinerary
    Meals according to itinerary
    Albatros Tour Leader

  • Exclusions

    Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
    Glass Stack Road entry
    Personal expenses
    Travel and health insurance
    Anything not mentioned under “Inclusions”