South Korea Uncovered
8 days from £2,149
Culture with a side of Kimchi
Dynamically modern but with a deeply traditional heart, South Korea is a vibrant mash up of the old and new. Futuristic skyscrapers meet ancient wooden temples, bullet trains speed past rural villages, and Buddhist monks walk streets pulsing with the K-Pop beat. Still relatively untouristed, now is the time to experience this extraordinary destination. This jam-packed trip takes you through its best bits, from the futuristic streets of Seoul to the golden beaches of Busan. You’ll spend a night in a Buddhist temple in historic Gyeongju, peek into the World’s most secretive country from the DMZ, sample sizzling street food in bustling markets and visit a Korean folk village where life hasn’t changed for the last 100 years.
Day 1: Hello Seoul
Fly into South Korea's dazzling, hyperactive capital and make your way to our hotel. This evening, meet your group and take a neon-lit tour of the futuristic city, from Cheonggyecheon Stream to bustling Myeongdong. Then get your first taste of Korea's vibrant cuisine with a shared dinner.
Day 2: Super Seoul
See the city's highlights on a private bus tour. Explore the grand pavilions of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the traditional wooden houses of Bukchon Hanok village, and the maze-like network of alleys in Insadong. This evening, sample some of Seoul's street food, from bibimbap to soondae.
Day 3: Temple Stay
Fly through the countryside to historic Gyeongiu on a bullet train. Our home for the night is a working temple where we'll watch a martial arts performance, experience the daily prayer ritual, and share dinner with the monks, before bedding down in traditional, heated ondol rooms.
Day 4: Gyeonju-si
Wake to the peaceful sound of the monks chanting, and enjoy a morning meditation, martial arts practice, and drum and bell ritual, before taking a city tour of Gyeongiu. Discover the pagodas and bronze buddhas of Bulguksa Temple, Cheomseongdae Observatory, and the Royal Tombs.
Day 5: Yangdong Folk Village
Take a bus to Busan, stopping en route at a traditional Korean folk village and the gorgeous coastal temple of Haedong Yonggungsa. Arrive in Busan and explore the golden sands of Haeundae Beach before treating yourself at a jjimjilbang spa or singing your heart out at some noraebang rooms.
Day 6: Beaches & Markets
Explore the stalls of Jagalchi and Gukjesijang markets, escape the buzz of the city in leafy Yongdusan Park, and wander the pastel-coloured streets of Gamcheon Culture Village. Take the bullet train back to Seoul before a cable car to North Seoul Tower and a visit to Korea's oldest market.
Day 7: The DMZ
Visit the infamous Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. See how nature has taken over the 4km buffer zone, and peer over the border into the world's most secretive country. Then brush up on your history in the War Memorial Hall before heading back to Seoul.
Day 8: Trip End
After breakfast, make your way to the airport or continue your travels in this fascinating Asian country. We've loved having you!
Accommodation & Meals
This trip features a selection of comfy hotels, picked for their ideal locations and great service. You’ll also spend an unforgettable night in a working temple in Gyeongiu, where you’ll stay in traditional Ondol rooms with underfloor heating and beds directly on the floor. All rooms are on a twin share basis, apart from the night in the temple which is multi-share. Single rooms may be available at an additional cost. Just speak to one of our travel advisors for more information.
Lots of our travellers are solo travellers, so when you book with us, we’ll pair you up with a like-minded roommate of the same sex. Our trips are great for couples or friends as well - just let us know you’re together, so we can be sure to put you in the same room.
7 breakfasts, and 1 dinner are included on this trip. You’ll have the freedom to eat wherever and whenever you like the rest of the time. Korean food is having a real moment right now, and with its intense, spicy flavours, we’re not surprised. From kimchi stews and hoeddeok (sweet, syrupy pancakes), to the ubiquitous bibimbap (a simple salad of rice, mixed vegetables, rice, beef, and egg), your tastebuds are in for a treat.
Dates & Prices
To get a flight quote use the buttons below or call our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037.
This trip begins on day 1 in Seoul. You’ll need to fly into Seoul Incheon International Airport (INC) and to make your own way to our starting accommodation. There are no activities planned before our welcome meeting at 6pm so arrive at a time that suits you.
The trip ends on day 8 back in Seoul. Leave any time after breakfast. You’ll need to make your own way back to the airport, but your tour guide can help you book transfers.
The maximum group size is 16.
This is an open-aged trip, designed for travellers of any age with an enjoyment of adventure. You'll have the opportunity to meet people who are outside your own age group, and from different walks of life, adding depth and diversity to your travel experience.