An introduction to Korea, from thousand-year-old capitals to skyscraping modernity
- In Seoul, discover the rich past of a modern megacity
- Uncover Gyeongju’s mysteries – one of Asia’s finest temple complexes
- Step into the Hermit Kingdom at the North Korean border
- Tour the water temples and local markets of beach-city Busan
- Travel in style with private touring and transfers throughout
- 3 Nights Seoul
- 2 Nights Gyeongju
- 1 Night Busan
- 1 Night Seoul
City | History & culture
Showcase Korea’s highlights both ancient and cutting-edge modern on this independent tour. Everything from Seoul’s castle-palaces and Busan’s beach-city neon to water temples and thousand-year-old royal capitals will be brought to life by the services of a private guide throughout. For extra flavour, you’ll also enjoy a range of included extras, such as stage performances, seafood-market tastings and even a trip to the North Korea border. Along the way, you’ll travel in style, with private transfers throughout and trips on the KTX – Korea’s answer to the Japanese bullet train.
Day by day itinerary
Begin your trip in style with complimentary airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to Seoul.
Arriving into Korea’s pulsating capital, you’ll be met at the airport and brought to your central accommodation, next door to bustling Namdaemun market and the city gate. The next day, your private guide will bring you between Seoul’s neon and skyscraping steel to showcase its heritage delights. Highlights include Gyeongbokgung Palace’s spectacular tiers, Jogyesa Temple’s colourful repose and the giant watchtowers of Hwaseong Fortress. On your last day, a private tour of the Demilitarised Zone will see you step into North Korea, spotting soldiers, fabricated towns and infiltration tunnels. On return, you’ll be treated to one of Korea’s favourite stage shows – Nanta, a humorous story of four struggling chefs.
Stay: Golden Tulip Myeongdong Hotel (Superior) or Lotte Hotel Seoul (Deluxe)
In between private station transfers, you’ll make the trip south, through the countryside, to Gyeongju, travelling aboard the KTX. As the country’s ancient capital, its rich past spans thousands of years, remembered by Korea’s largest traditional village and one of Asia’s most impressive temple complexes. You’ll take it all in on private guided tours, stopping at Buddhist shrines, lakeside palaces and temples that date back to the 7th century. You’ll also take time out with the Gyeongju National Museum and Tumuli Park’s thousand-year-old burial mounds. There’s even Asia’s – and possibly the world’s – oldest surviving astronomical observatory.
Stay: The Suites Hotel (Superior) or Hilton Hotel (Deluxe)
Today you’ll be met by a private driver and brought to Busan – Korea’s second city where giant skyscrapers look down on inviting beaches. Along the way, you’ll stop at Haedong Yonggungsa, a 14th-century water temple perched precipitously on the rocky coast. You’ll then be brought into the city to taste your way through the colourful bustle of Jagalchi – the country’s most famous fish market. End the day at Dongbaek Island, looking back along Haeundae’s golden sands for spectacular views of the city’s reaching skyline. And, you’ll stay right on its beachfront, ideal for relaxing in the sun or tucking into the city’s traditional seafood.
Stay: Haeundae Grand Hotel (Superior) or Paradise Hotel Busan (Deluxe)
Private station transfers will once more bookend your KTX trip, this time seeing you back Seoul. You’ll have the last day at leisure, perhaps relaxing at your hotel’s rooftop bar to drink in citywide views or heading out to explore. Neon Hongdae welcomes with samgyeopsal barbecue joints and lively bars, while energetic markets hawk up street-food delights. For the best views, however, make for Namsan Seoul Tower, which offers 480m-high panoramas. Then, perhaps end your day with a true Korean tradition – a visit to a jimjilbang sauna.
Stay: Lotte Hotel L7 Myeongdong (Superior) or Conrad Hilton (Deluxe)
Depart for UK
After breakfast, a final private transfer will see you to the airport for your flight home.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
9-day tailor-made journey from £2,715 incl. flights
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