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Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Best of South Korea

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


Short description

City glitz, natural splendour and ancient heritage


  • Taking in Seoul and Busan’s megacity glitz
  • Stepping back in time with folk villages, historic markets and Gyeongju’s ancient temples
  • Summiting Mt. Seoraksan for sweeping national-park views
  • Discovering Jeju’s tropical island idyll
  • Travelling in style, with private touring and transfers throughout

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Seoul
  • 1 Night Seoraksan
  • 1 Night Andong
  • 2 Nights Gyeongju
  • 2 Nights Busan
  • 2 Nights Jeju Island
  • 2 Nights Seoul


Recommended for:
Best of holidays | History & culture | Natural world

From great neon cities to paradise islands, this comprehensive itinerary showcases all of South Korea’s highlights. You’ll take in Gyeongju’s ancient past, Seoraksan National Park’s fortress-capped mountain, Jeju’s tropical island paradise and the technicolour of Busan and Seoul. Along the way, it will all be brought to life by private touring, ranging from dance performances, visits to local markets and a stay in a traditional guesthouse to lake cruises, volcano hikes and a trip to the North Korean border. Lastly, travel in comfort, with included flight hops and private transfers throughout. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

After enjoying complimentary airport lounge access, you’ll board your overnight flight to the Korean capital.

Days 2-3

On arrival in Seoul, you’ll be met at the airport by a private driver and brought to your central accommodation. You’ll have the first day at leisure, settling in to sample the city’s neon energy, skyscraping sights and moreish barbecue joints. The next day, your private guided tour will showcase this futuristic city’s rich past, beginning with a visit to the Yongin Folk Village, a living museum that recreates 19th-century rural life in everything from dance performances to horseback martial arts. You’ll also visit the 18th-century Hwaseong Fortress, its 6km-long walls studded with imposing gates, pavilions and hidden entrances.  

Stay: Gracery Hotel Seoul (Superior) or Lotte Hotel Seoul (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 4
Mt. Seoraksan

Today’s private tour will see you strike east out of Seoul, driving through the countryside to reach Daepohang, a thriving port town. Here, you’ll visit its fish market, where all sorts of exotic seafood are hawked from live aquariums. Then, you’ll continue past golden sands to Naskana, a pretty temple of sweeping curves and giant statues that sits right on a cragged cliff face. Then, it’s on to the emerald pine forests and stunning rock formations of Mt. Seoraksan, showcased on a cable-car ride to the mountain-wide views of Gwonkeumsansung Fortress and Sinheungsa, thought to be the oldest Zen temple in the world.

Stay: Maremons Sokcho Hotel (Superior) or Lotte Resort Sokcho (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 5

Your private touring today will see you to Danyang where rushing rivers are backdropped by majestic mountain ranges. You’ll take it in with a lake boat cruise, bringing you to Dodam Sambong – a miniature island that houses a 14th-century pavilion hidden among spindling rocks. You’ll then continue to Andon where you’ll stay right among its tiered temples in a 130-year-old hanok guesthouse. It’s not a luxurious experience, but truly authentic, complete with antique furniture, jade flooring, sleeping mats and hinoki wooden baths. You’ll be welcomed with green tea brewed by the owner before settling in to relax in the bamboo-lined garden or firewood-heated sauna.

Stay: Rakkojae Hanok Guesthouse or similar

Meals: B

Days 6-7

As your private driver brings you south, you’ll pause at Andong Hahoe – the best-preserved Joseon village in Korea. Among its thatched-roof houses, you’ll take in a performance of the Byeolsingut Exorcism – a mythical play where masked dancers drive out evil spirits. You’ll then arrive at Gyeongju. Often termed the ‘Museum without Walls’, it’s the ancient capital of the 7th-century Silla kingdom. And, on your private tour, you’ll take in all of its heritage highlights, from parks dotted with great, curved burial grounds to Anapji – a thousand-year-old royal palace ringed by mountains and flowered gardens roamed by exotic animals. You’ll also take in Gyeongju National Museum and Cheomseongdae – Asia’s oldest still-standing observatory.

Stay: Commodore Hotel Gyeongju (Superior) or Lahan Select Hotel (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 8-9

Begin today with further private touring in Gyeongju, taking in sacred Buddha images in ethereally lit grottos and Bulguksa, one of the finest Buddhist shrines in Asia. Your private driver will then see you south to Busan, Korea’s second city where giant skyscrapers look down on pretty beaches. Here, you’ll be taken out to Haedong Yonggungsa, a 14th-century temple perched dramatically on cragged sea shores. You’ll also visit the bustle of Jagalchi Fish Market, before enjoying some time free to relax on Haeundae Beach’s golden sweep or get lost in Busan’s neon mazes.

Stay: ASTI Hotel Busan Station (Superior) or Paradise Hotel Busan (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 10-11
Jeju Island

After bookending your included flight hop with private transfers, you’ll start exploring with a hike up Seongsan Ilchulbong. This impossibly verdant volcanic crater – Jeju’s largest – offers sweeping island views. Then, at Seongeup Folk Village’s lava-stone houses, Confucian shrines and fortress ruins you’ll sample native food and watch the local craftsmen at work. A boat ride will then take you out to Udo Island, a volcanic jut where great peaks look down on both black and white sand beaches. The next day, you’ll be treated to yet more of Jeju’s natural beauty, trekking through nutmeg forests to great volcano views. End at Yeomiji Botanical Gardens, its exotic verdure framed by a rushing waterfall.

Stay: Ocean Suites Hotel (Superior) or Lotte Hotel Jeju (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 12-13

Your last internal flight, again sandwiched by private transfers, will see you to an exclusive tour of the Korean capital. You’ll start with Changdeokgung, a 15th-century palace ringed by picturesque gardens where ornate pavilions dot shimmering lakes. You’ll also visit the antique tumble of artsy Insadong and Bukchon – a folk village comprising hundreds of traditional Korean houses. The next day, to peer right into North Korea, your private touring will see you to the infiltration tunnels and observatories of the Demilitarised Zone. Lastly, returning to Seoul, you’ll visit Namdaemun’s open-air market to take in its steaming street food and energetic bustle. Alternatively, you could choose a our of Paju city and Imjingak Park, including a visit to the Bridge of Freedom. Then take a Gondola to Odusan Unification Observatory.

Stay: Gracery Hotel Seoul (Superior) or Lotte Hotel Seoul (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 14

After breakfast, a final private transfer will see you to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

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


Low Season

from £7,490 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £7,990 pp. incl. flights


  • Return scheduled international flights
  • Complimentary UK airport VIP lounge access (subject to airport and departure terminal)
  • Accommodation in mainly Superior (typically 4 to 4.5-star) standard hotels
  • Transportation and touring with English-speaking guide as specified

Please note: additional surcharges may apply for travel during the Golden Week holidays, cherry blossom season, Christmas and New Year and certain summer peak season travel dates. Please call for more details.

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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