Comprehensive South Korea Tour

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive private tour of Korea. Starting in Seoul to visit Gyeongbok Palace and the beautiful Secret Garden, you will continue to Mt. Seorak National Park and enjoy the rock formations and scenic views of the mountain. Afterwards, travel overland to Andong, Gyeongju and Busan before flying to Jeju Island and see the Waterfalls and possible beach extension. As with all Eastravel's holiday itineraries, this example itinerary may be amended in any way to suit your preferred pace and interests. You may choose to travel with a guide and driver throughout or we can include some scenic rail journeys as part of your trip.

Best time to travel: April to Jun and September to November

Private touring

Prices are seasonal, twin-sharing and include accommodation, breakfast, transfers and touring with professional English speaking guide.

Starts from:

GBP 2399 per person, Standard Class Hotels

International and domestic airfares are additional

Comprehensive South Korea Tour at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival in Seoul
  • Day 2: Seoul touring
  • Day 3: Suwon Fortress and Korean Folk Village
  • Day 4: DMZ and 3rd Tunnel
  • Day 5: Journey to Mt Seoraksan
  • Day 6: Explore Mt Seoraksan
  • Day 7: Andong and HaHoe Village
  • Day 8: Mt Gayasan National Park and Haeinsa Temple
  • Day 9: Travel to Gyeongju, Museum without Walls
  • Day 10: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto
  • Day 11: Travel to Busan. Afternoon tour of Busan
  • Day 12: Fly to Jeju Island
  • Day 13: Jeju day tour
  • Day 14: Departure or extension stay in Jeju
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Day 1: Arrival in Seoul

Arrive in Seoul at Incheon International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your downtown hotel.

Distance and journey time: 49 km, 1.30 hrs

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Day 2: Seoul touring

Meet your guide in the morning for a private tour of Seoul, where old meets new in modern Korea. Seoul is a city of incredible contrasts which, despite its immense size, makes it one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It is the heart of Korea’s culture and education as well as politics and economics.

Start your tour of Seoul with a visit to the Gyeongbok Palace (Palace of Shining Happiness) - the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty. Visit the National Folk Museum within the palace grounds, whose collection houses complete items from every region of Korea illustrating all aspects of traditional life.

Continue to Changdeokgung Palace, best known for its Secret Garden, one of the UNESCO world cultural heritage sites. Visit the Hanok village near Mt Namsan, partake in a tea ceremony at Jogyesa Temple before heading to Insadong Antique Street for some shopping time.

Why not join a class to learn to make Kimchi-the basic side dish served at every Korean meal?

In the evening, we recommend a visit to Chongdong Theatre for a Korean traditional music and dance performance.

Overnight in Seoul.

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Day 3: Full day tour of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village

You will be collected by your guide for a full day tour.  Located in Suwon, the impressive Hwaseong Fortress was planned by the 22nd Joseon King to honour hid deceased father. 

In the afternoon visit the Korean Folk Village to see a superb and truly authentic display of Korean history including folk traditions, legends and the lifestyles of the nobility from the 14th-20th century.

Overnight in Seoul.

Day 4: DMZ and the 3rd Tunnel

Join a group tour to visit the Korean DMZ. 

Take a ride through Freedom road to Imjingak, the northernmost point bordering North Korea. At Imjingak, visit the Mangbaedan Memorial Ritual Altar, walk over the Freedom Bridge where over 12, 000 Korean war prisoners walked to freedom to South Korea in 1953. Board a tour bus which will take you to the DMZ.passing through check points and military camps.

Explore the Third Tunnel, which was apparently designed for a surprise attack on Seoul. Take a short walk to the lower platform where the Military Demarcation Line is visible. .

The last stop is at Dora Observatory where you can view the whole expanse of the Demilitarized Zone and the North Korean propaganda village Gijeong-dong.

Overnight in Seoul

 

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Day 5: Journey to Mt Seoraksan

Leave with your driver to Mt. Seoraksan National Park. This northern stretch of Korea's eastern coast is rugged and mountainous with breathtaking scenery making it the Alps of Asia. Dense forests border crystal clear streams, tumbling over cataracts and dropping from precipices to form fleecy waterfalls.

In the afternoon, explore Gwongeumseong Fortress which is accessible by cable car. The ride on the cable car takes about 6 minutes. Walk for about 20 minutes to reach the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress. This is a rocky peak from which you can enjoy a birds’ eye view of Mt. Seoraksan.

Overnight in Mt Seoraksan.

Distance and journey time: 177 km, 3 hrs

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Day 6: Explore Mt Seoraksan

This morning explore your exploration of Mt. Seoraksan National Park with visits to Sinheungsa Temple, Cheonbuldong Valley, and Biseondae (Flying Fairy Rock) ­a wide, flat rock surface where the river rapids drain into a crystal clear pool and peaks rises majestically above the valley.

Drive to the Korean Peninsular Unification Prayer Observatory set at the edge of the demarcation line, a symbol of the Korean people's long -cherished dream for the unification of the two Koreas. Afterward, visit Daejin Harbour to explore this small exotic harbour.

Overnight in Mt Seoraksan.

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Day 7: Andong and HaHoe Folk Village

Travel overland to Andong, one of the last living vestiges of old Korea which is still very conservative and traditional.

En route visit Boryeong Valley, the most beautiful and scenic valley in the country featuring granite and limestone cliffs, many waterfalls and crystal clear water with forests of fir and pine trees.

Stop at Buseoksa Temple - established in 676 and is one of Korea's most venerated temples with the oldest wooden structure. Some of the oldest mural paintings in the country are preserved at this temple.

At Andong, visit a Korean Traditional paper-making factory and the Dosanseowon Confucian Academy­ founded by Korea's foremost Confucian scholar, Yi Toe-gye during the Joseon Dynasty.

Continue to  HaHoe for overnight..

Distance and journey time: 307 km, 3.30 hrs

Andong to Hahoe Village: 25 km, 30 mins

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Day 8: Tour Hahoe Village, Mt Gayasan National Park and Haeinsa Temple

Explore Hahoe Village, ­ the best preserved traditional village of the Joseon Dynasty, where residents still live in traditional thatched and tile-roofed houses.

Continue to Haeinsa Temple which is one of the three greatest temples of Korea, established in 803 A.D., chiefly known today as the repository of the Tripitaka Koreana, a set of over 80,000 wooden printing blocks engraved with one of the most comprehensive compilations of the Buddhist scriptures in all of Asia. The Depositories and the Tripitaka Koreana Wooden Printing Blocks were added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995.

Suggested accommodation: Temple stay or overnight in Daegu .

Distance and journey times:: 

HaHoe Village to Haeinsa: 153 km, 2 hrs

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Day 9: Travel to Gyeongju, Museum without Walls

Travel to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty from 57 B.C. to 935 A.D. and designated by UNESCO as one of the world's ten most historically significant sites with numerous relics of that era and is called the Museum Without Walls.

This afernoon, you will have a tour visiting the Bunhwangsa Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the country and along with Cheomseongdae, remains as one of the country's oldest stone structures.

Gyeongju National Museum, which has the best collection of Silla Dynasty artifacts with more than 100,000 pieces.

Anapji Pond -constructed in 674 A.D. as a pleasure garden to commemorate the unification of the Peninsula by the Silla forces and was used as a recreational area for the Silla royal family and banquet garden to entertain royal guests.

Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory­built in 634 A.D., is considered the world's earliest known existing observatory and admired by archaeologists worldwide.

Royal Tumuli Park ­a collection of royal Silla tombs located in the middle of Gyeongju with 20 tombs of which Cheonmachong (Flying Horse Tomb) is the most famous with its excavation which yielded more than 10,000 treasure-artifactsand the 15th century built Family Choi's House.

Overnight in Gyeongju.

Distance and journey time: 139 km, 2 hrs

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Day 10: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto

Experience a Taekowndo programme in the morning.

Start your tour with a visit to the Bulguksa Temple­, the most frequented and best-known temple in Korea which was added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995.

Seokguram Grotto ­ one of Asia's finest Buddhist shrine and the crowning achievement of Silla religio-artistic work.

Golgulsa Temple located at the foot of Mt. Hamwol is the only temple cave in Korea. .

Mt. Namsan - every mountain in Gyeongju area holds abundant historic relics and legends but Mt. Namsan (South Mountain) is a treasure house of them and an open-air museum unique in the world. 

Overnight in Gyeongju.

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Day 11: Travel to Busan

Travel to Busan, the country's principal international port city and second largest city with a population of 4 million. En route, visit Tongdosa Temple which was founded in 646 A.D. to house holy relics (a piece of bone from the Buddha's skull, his robe, and begging bowl) of the Historical Buddha brought back from China by the monk Jajang.

In the afternoon, tour Yongdusan Park in the heart of the city. Continue to the 120 m high Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park which dominates most of the city with spectacular views of the sea and harbour.

Visit Jagalchi Fish Market - Busan's most active fish-dealers' cooperative and the Taejongdae Seaside Cliff Park with its rugged cliffs dropping straight down to the sea.

Overnight in Busan.

Distance and journey time: 97 km, 1.20 hrs

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Day 12: Fly to Jeju Island

Take a domestic flight to Jejudo Island. Jejudo Island is Korea's largest Island which is often described as Emerald Isle, is one of Korea's premier tourist regions.

An afternoon tour of Jeju city, capital and hub of Jejudo Province, includes Mokseokwon­a public park which contains naturally sculpted rocks and dried tree roots imaginatively representing various animal and human forms and figures.

Jeju Folklore & Natural History Museum ­ has a huge exhibition room decorated with black volcanic rocks and a large collection of folkcrafts, as well as exhibits of geology, flora and fauna of the island.

Overnight in Jeju.

Distance and journey time: 4 km, 10 mins

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Day 13: Jeju day tour

Today, you will enjoy a full day tour of Jeju's main attractions. 

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall - which cascades down a cliff 22 metres high and 12 metres wide into a natural tropical pond inhabited by eels and surrounded by lush vegetation.

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and Yeomiji Botanical Gardens.

Jeongbang Waterfall - this 23-metre-high waterfall is the only one in Asia to plunge straight into the sea. tural monument of Jejudo Island.

End the day with a visit to Mt Halla National Park.

Overnight in Jeju.

Day 14: Departure

Transfer to Jeju airport for departure.

Distance and journey time: 4 km, 10 mins

Highlights

Andong Mask Dance Festival

Set within a picturesque rural landscape, and dating from the Joseon era Andong is rich in culture and history, celebrated in particular for its spiritualism, and the amazing spectacle of the Andong Mask Dance Festival.

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Busan, beaches, mountains and temples

Busan is a city – Korea’s second biggest – of dazzling scenic and cultural contrasts: of mountains and temples; cafes and festivals; traditional hawker markets and 21st Century shopping experiences; colourful bustling fish markets and luxury resort hotels.

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Gyeongju, the museum without walls

Located on South Korea’s spectacular southeast coast the city was for almost 1000 years the capital of the Silla dynasty and is celebrated for its rich built heritage, and stunning sunrises over the Sea of Japan.

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Hahoe Folk Village

Andong Hahoe folk village is a rare and wonderfully preserved fragment of Joseon-period architecture, reflected in its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. What makes it doubly significant are the folk traditions maintained by its residual clan-based population and the books, furniture and artefacts that have survived through generations to the present day.

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Jeju-do, Island of the Gods

Jeju-do lies off Korea’s southernmost tip and is an island of culture, contrast and outstanding natural beauty.

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Seoraksan National Park

Both wonderfully scenic and at the same time iconic, the park offers stunning year-round vistas and is listed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Protection site.

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Seoul: modern skyscrapers meet Buddhist temples

The modern capital is a joyous assault on the senses – of neon and karaoke and the aromas of deliciously spicy street cuisine. It is also for both resident and traveller a famously safe city, steeped in tradition and rich in history and culture. Local people are famously welcoming, and the public transport system both world-class and cheap.

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Accommodation

HaHoe Folk Village, Andong, Traditional
Rak ko jae Hanok Hotel

Staying at Takkojae Hanok is a unique opportunity to experience traditional Korean life in the setting of Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Andong, First Class
Andong Richell Hotel

This relaxing and unpretentious hotel is set conveniently for Andong Folk Museum, Andong Soju Museum and the celebrated Moonlight Bridge.

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Gyeongju, Superior Class
The Suites Hotel Gyeongju

Set against a serene backdrop of low hills on a shore of stunning Lake Bomunho this modern boutique hotel is ideally located for the main attractions of Gyeongju

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Seoul, Superior Class
Imperial Palace Boutique Hotel

Located in the fashionable district of Itaewon, and conveniently placed for Seoul Tower and Namdaemun Market, this stunning boutique property is both modern and stylish.

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