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South Korea

Vibrant temples and neon cities

South Korea tailor-made holidays


Long overshadowed by its headline-grabbing neighbours, South Korea is unfairly overlooked. But, those that do make the journey are richly rewarded with neon megacities, mountain-top temples and a truly unique cuisine that’s only just getting the attention it deserves. And, let's not forget the 'Korean Wave' of pop culture – from film to music – that's been taking the world by storm. It's all brought to life in a host of unforgettable experiences, including temple stays, wellness retreats and a nightlife that's among Asia's most vibrant.

Seoul & surrounds

Introductions are invariably made in Seoul, the country’s capital. This is where Korea pulled itself out of wartime collapse and into G20 prosperity in just 50 short years – an economic phenomenon termed the “Miracle on the Han River”. Having leapfrogged the likes of Russia and Australia, Seoul wears its riches on its sleeve, with great skyscrapers, glitzy neon streets and fine-dining restaurants all competing for your attention. It’s hard to imagine that the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea is just a day trip away.

Unique culture and cuisine

Yet, Korea hasn’t lost its roots. Even in the centre of Seoul, you’ll quickly stumble across bustling markets, Confucianist shrines and great palaces, all intricate carvings and beautiful colours. However, it’s perhaps Korean cuisine where tradition has lingered longest. Simply, there’s nowhere else in the world that does food like Korea, whether that’s the spicy tang of fermented kimchi, the impossible fluffy delight of seafood pancakes or the convivial joy of a night at a barbecue joint. It’s all washed down with gallons of soju liquor – the world’s most popular brand of booze. Koreans really do like to drink.

From countryside to coast

You would, however, be doing yourself a disservice if you limited yourself to Seoul. Second-city Busan impresses with golden beaches and waterside temples, Gyeongju is world-famous for its cherry blossom and ancient palace complex, and the country’s interior is ripe for hikes to forgotten mountain temples. However, for the true Korean holiday experience, get yourself to Jeju – a volcanic island where pristine beaches front gorgeous countryside and seafood is caught by haenyeo free divers.

Asian connections

With direct flights from the UK, South Korea is perfectly placed as a destination in its own right. But, if you want to combine it with other countries in the region, you'll find it extremely well connected. Speak to our specialists who'll help you design a South Korea holiday based on your individual requirements, whether that's a country-spanning two-week stay or a short stopover en route to Japan or a host of other Asian destinations.


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At a glance

Flying time from UK
11½ hours

Time zone
GMT +9

Won (W)


Travel advice
Check the FCDO for visa & travel advice

Special offers in South Korea

Cherry blossom season and Koriyama Castle in Nara, Japan

Japan's Cherry Blossoms with Oceania

15-day luxury ocean cruise from £7,375 pp incl. flights

cruise offer

Simply More included
Book by: 30 June 2024

Explore Japan’s most famous city sights at the height of cherry blossom season on a luxury small-ship cruise with Oceania, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You'll even hop across to Busan in South Korea.

Cherry blossoms, Kyoto, Japan

Japan's cherry blossoms on Seven Seas Explorer

16-day luxury ocean cruise from £10,965 pp incl. flights

cruise offer

Free 3-night pre- or post- cruise land programme
Book by: 31 July 2024

Join Regent Seven Seas Cruises as you explore the diverse wonders of Japan both ancient and modern, all wrapped in the vibrant colours of cherry blossom season.

Top itineraries in South Korea

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Busan

Essential South Korea

9-day tailor-made holiday from £4,320 pp incl. flights

Contrast South Korea’s neon futurism with its ancient past on this independent tour, linking Seoul’s palaces, Busan’s water temples and Gyeongju’s ancient-capital heritage with private touring and transfers throughout.

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Best of South Korea

14-day tailor-made independent tour from £7,490 pp incl. flights

This is the ultimate introduction to South Korea, moving between shrine-studded national parks and Jeju Island’s tropical paradise to Gyeongju’s ancient temples and the neon of Seoul and Busan. It’s all complemented by private touring and transfers throughout.

Where to go in South Korea

Seoraksan National Park

The word Seoraksan translates roughly as ‘snow-cragged mountains', and this protected area of pine forests and bony rock formations criss-crossed with hiking trails is, quite rightly, viewed as the country's most beautiful national park.

Jeju Island

Numerous beaches, tumbling waterfalls, volcanic crags and a warmer climate than the mainland have all helped to make Jeju Island the country's most popular holiday spot, particularly among Korean honeymooners.

Gyeongsang Province

The Gyeongsang region is made up of two provinces: Gyeongsanbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do. It was one the eight regions of Korea during the Confucian Joseon Dynasty, is full of the treasures of the Silla Kingdom's Buddhist culture, and has played a significant role in Korea's recent history.


Seoul is divided in two by the Han River, the southern half known for its business district, the northern half as a focal point for culture and history.

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South Korea articles

Trip report: South Korea

Wexas travel specialist Dave Ward reports from a recent trip to South Korea and shows you how to carve a path through this culturally rich, complex country.

Meet our South Korea experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0613

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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