With its complex history, soaring skyscrapers and centuries-old temples, this tour has something for everyone. From bustling cities to stunning countryside and UNESCO world heritage-listed national forests. It is a tour full of contrasts.
Our Scenic South Korea tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Explore Seoul, a dynamic and modern city which still has plenty of culture and tradition
Discover the picturesque port city Busan, which is full of character
Explore scenic Mount Seorak National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Spend time in Gyeongju, called 'the museum without walls'
Coronavirus Update for South Korea - South Korea is on the UK Government Covid Safe List meaning visitors do not need to quarantine themselves on returning home.
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Our Scenic South Korea Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
First performed on the Edinburgh Fringe in 1997, the Nanta is a showcase of Korean culture and performance art, presented as a non-verbal show, instead using music and motion and integrating a traditional Korean Samulnori rhythm.
As part of discovering traditional Korean lifestyle at Naganeupseong Fortress Village, you can try your hand at one of Korea's oldest cultural arts – handkerchief dyeing.
Embark on an informative and unusual adventure to the DMZ, the buffer zone between the Koreas. Your visit will include the Bridge of Freedom, DMZ Theatre & Exhibition Hall and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel.
Fly overnight to Seoul, the dazzling capital city of South Korea. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. This evening meet your National Escort and fellow travellers to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
A dynamic city, amongst the skyscrapers, nightlife districts and colossal shopping malls of Seoul there is an exceptional amount of culture and tradition. Start your explorations at the Gyeongbok Palace, which will include the Changing of the Guard ceremony, before exploring the National Folk Museum. Learn to cook Korean classic 'bibimbap' in a cookery class – you'll get to eat it for lunch – before strolling Insadong Antique Alley and visiting UNESCO-listed Jongmyo Royal Shrine. End the day with panoramic views over this sprawling city at the N Seoul Tower.
Travel out of Seoul to the city of Damyang where you'll discover the beauty of Soswaewon. This private garden built in the 16th century in the traditional style features essential elements to bring harmony, such as flowing water, trees and grasses. Wander the bamboo forest of Juknokwon before continuing to Gwangju, where you’ll spend some time discovering this artistic hub full of fascinating history.
Head to Boseong and visit a green tea plantation, learning all about its production and enjoying a tasting. Continue to Suncheon for a stop at the 6th-century Seonamsa Temple. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple grounds are also home to a beautiful arched stone bridge. Also visit Naganeupseong Fortress Village for a glimpse at a more traditional Korean lifestyle and a chance to take part in a handkerchief dyeing experience.
Head to Yeosu and ride the cable car over beautiful scenery and open water to Dolsan Island. Continue to Odongdo Island for more spectacular landscapes and take some time to appreciate the array of wild flowers that flourish here before travelling to the port city of Busan.
The laidback to Seoul's bustle, Busan is a city full of character and traditional features as well as mountains, beaches, temples and exquisite seafood. Start the day with a city overview from the top of Busan Tower, before browsing the wares at Gukje Market and Jagalchi Fish Market. Walk over the Oryukdo Skywalk, a glass bridge set on a seaside cliff, soak up the peaceful nature of Dongbaekseom Island, and feel the sand between your toes on Haeundae Beach. Drive to Gyeongju.
A city of cultural and historical relics, Gyeongju is called 'the museum without walls'. Capital of the Silla Kingdom for over 1,000 years the city is home to a staggering number of tombs, temples, statues and ruins. Begin at the Gyeongju National Museum before visiting Tumuli Park, a collection of royal tombs, and Anapji Pond. Then head just out of the city to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Bulguksa Temple, considered the pinnacle of Silla architecture, and Seokguram Grotto.
Travel to Sokcho stopping en route to explore the 1,300-year history of the Naksansa Temple, a seven-storey stone building overlooking the East Sea.
Mount Seorak National Park is a spectacularly scenic area of high, cloudy peaks, craggy bluffs and fragrant pine forest. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as a habitat for many rare species of plants and animals, it is one of South Korea's most dramatic natural treasures. Enjoy a short, easy hike along a beautiful valley and see the mountaintop Gwongeumseong Fortress by cable car.
Transfer to Gangneung and board a high-speed train bound for Seoul. On arrival, after lunch, there will be free time before a non-verbal performance of 'Nanta', an award-winning show which incorporates the traditional Samulnori rhythm.
Created as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea at the end of the Korean War, the DMZ is part of the most heavily militarised border in the world. Your visit will include the Bridge of Freedom, DMZ Theatre & Exhibition Hall and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel. Return to Seoul to stroll through the huge Gwangjang Market. A farewell dinner tonight is the perfect time to reflect on your adventures!
Special conditions apply to this day, please refer to your tour dossier for more information.
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Situated in the lively Myeongdong district of South Korea's capital city, the Courtyard Seoul Namdaemun is a short distance from the Seoul KTX station, offering guests great access to the rest of the city. The hotel features a 24 hour fitness centre and international dining at the hotel restaurant.
The 4-star Gwangju Holiday Inn features an indoor pool, sauna facilities and a fitness centre. It's spacious and modern guest rooms are complete with a flat screen TV and ensuite bathroom.
Perfectly placed in the centre of Suncheon, the Ecograd Hotel offers it's guests beautiful views over the city. The hotel is just a short distance from many of the city's main attractions, making it a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing.
The 4-star Crown Harbour Hotel in Busan boasts beautiful views over the harbour and surrounding city. Each of the spacious guests rooms feature a peaceful seating area with a flat screen TV and an ensuite bathroom.
The 4-star Suites Hotel Gyeongju offers guests easy access to the area's magnificent attractions and allows you to delve into the cultural heritage. The ensuite guest rooms are modern and comfortable.
A short distance from Seorak National Park, the Seorak Kensington Hotel features comfortable rooms overlooking the scenic Seorak Mountains. Savour a variety of authentic Korean dishes at the hotel restaurant.
The best time to visit South Korea is in the spring (March to May) when temperatures are pleasant and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in bloom, and autumn (September to November) when the autumn colours transform the countryside.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.