Korea tour – luxury small-group trip to South Korea conducted by expert guides.
Seoul – Gyeongju – Busan – Jeju Island – Seoul
South Korea is famous for its high-tech industries and equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages and sub-tropical islands. We invite you to join us on an exciting journey through the Land of Morning Calm!
11-day Best of South Korea Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Departing for Seoul
Your South Korea tour begins with international flight departing from a city of your choice. The tour price doesn’t include international airfare.
Day 2: Arrival in Seoul
Upon arrival transfer to the centrally located hotel on your own. To cover the 50 km, taxi fare from Incheon International Airport costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but many passengers prefer the Airport Railroad Express which costs 14,800 Won ($12.50) one way per person.
Day 3: Seoul (B/L/D)
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Our full-day tour includes Gyengbokgung Palace, Myeong-dong district (fashion, market, churches) and N Seoul Tower. Tonight we enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner featuring famous Korean dishes.
Day 4: Seoul – Gyeongju (B/L)
Enjoy an excursion to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) within the village of Panmunjom. The DMZ divides North Korea and South Korea and is one of the last remnants of the Cold War. The DMZ runs across the Korean Peninsula and roughly follows the 38th parallel north (popular name given to latitude 38° N) on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. With over a million soldiers on watch each day, this stretch of land measuring 250 kilometres (160 miles) long and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide is the most fortified border in the world. Our itinerary also includes Freedom Bridge and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and observing life on the other side from the Dora Observatory.
We travel to Gyeongju by express train (2 hours, 300 km) later in the day.
Day 5: Gyeongju (B/L)
Gyeongju is a city on South Korea’s southeast coast. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the Sea of Japan.
We spend the afternoon exploring Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple – both inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1995.
Day 6: Gyeongju – Busan (B/L)
Following breakfast we drive 16 km north to Yangdong Folk Village. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
After lunch we continue on to Busan where we visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside Buddhist temple built in 1376. Busan is Korea’s second largest city. Bursting with mountains and beaches, hot springs and seafood, South Korea’s second-largest city is a rollicking port town with tonnes to offer.
Day 7: Busan (B/L)
Today we visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gujesijang market and Yongdusan Park.
Day 8: Busan – Jeju Island (B/D)
Free morning to explore on your own. We fly to Jeju Island (capital city: Jeju) in the afternoon. The 1,849 km² island in the Korea Strait is famous for beautiful beaches, volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, features hiking trails, a crater lake at the 1,950m summit and nearby Gwaneumsa Temple.
Day 9: Jeju Island (B)
Enjoy a tour of Jeju Island’s highlights including the Manjang Cave, Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongeup folk village, and Sangumburi crater.
Day 10: Jeju – Seoul (B/D)
We return to Seoul by air after a day of rest and relaxation. The air travel time from Jeju airport to Gimpo airport in Seoul takes about an hour and five minutes. We enjoy a delicious farewell dinner at a local restaurant before transfer to the hotel near Incheon International Airport.
Day 11: Seoul/Incheon International Airport – Return Home (B)
Your memorable Korea tour ends today. The hotel is located right beside Incheon International Airport with convenient shuttle service to and from the airport. Those departing in the evening may ride the Airport Railroad Express to Seoul for some self-guided exploration.