Escorted small-group South Korea tour featuring expert local guides, luxury accommodations, authentic Korean cuisine…
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Seoul – Gyeongju – Busan – Jeju Island – Seoul
South Korea is famous for its high-tech industries and equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages and sub-tropical islands. We invite you to join us on an exciting journey through the Land of Morning Calm!
11-day Best of South Korea Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Departing for Seoul
Depart from any city you prefer. The tour price doesn’t include international airfare but you can count on Laurus Travel for super-competitive fare quotes.
Day 2: Arrival in Seoul
Upon arrival transfer to the centrally located hotel on your own. To cover the 50 km, taxi fare from Incheon International Airport costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but many passengers prefer the Airport Railroad Express which costs 14,800 Won ($12.50) one way per person.
Day 3: Seoul (B/L/D)
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Our full-day tour includes Gyengbokgung Palace, Myeong-dong district (fashion, market, churches) and N Seoul Tower. Tonight we enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner featuring famous Korean dishes.
Day 4: Seoul – Gyeongju (B/L)
Enjoy an excursion to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) within the village of Panmunjom. The DMZ divides North Korea and South Korea and is one of the last remnants of the Cold War. The DMZ runs across the Korean Peninsula and roughly follows the 38th parallel north (popular name given to latitude 38° N) on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. With over a million soldiers on watch each day, this stretch of land measuring 250 kilometres (160 miles) long and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide is the most fortified border in the world. Our itinerary also includes Freedom Bridge and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and observing life on the other side from the Dora Observatory.
We travel to Gyeongju by express train (2 hours, 300 km) later in the day.
Day 5: Gyeongju (B/L)
Gyeongju is a city on South Korea’s southeast coast. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the Sea of Japan.
We spend the afternoon exploring Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple – both inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1995.
Day 6: Gyeongju – Busan (B/L)
Following breakfast we drive 16 km north to Yangdong Folk Village. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
After lunch we continue on to Busan where we visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside Buddhist temple built in 1376. Busan is Korea’s second largest city. Bursting with mountains and beaches, hot springs and seafood, South Korea’s second-largest city is a rollicking port town with tonnes to offer.
Day 7: Busan (B/L)
Today we visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gujesijang market and Yongdusan Park.
Day 8: Busan – Jeju Island (B/D)
Free morning to explore on your own. We fly to Jeju Island (capital city: Jeju) in the afternoon. The 1,849 km² island in the Korea Strait is famous for beautiful beaches, volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, features hiking trails, a crater lake at the 1,950m summit and nearby Gwaneumsa Temple.
Day 9: Jeju Island (B)
Enjoy a tour of Jeju Island’s highlights including the Manjang Cave, Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongeup folk village, and Sangumburi crater.
Day 10: Jeju – Seoul (B/D)
We return to Seoul by air after a day of rest and relaxation. The air travel time from Jeju airport to Gimpo airport in Seoul takes about an hour and five minutes. We enjoy a delicious farewell dinner at a local restaurant before transfer to the hotel near Incheon International Airport.
Day 11: Seoul/Incheon International Airport – Return Home (B)
Our tour of South Korea ends today. Our hotel is located right beside Incheon International Airport with convenient shuttle service to and from the airport. Those departing in the evening may ride the Airport Railroad Express to Seoul for some self-guided exploration.
- Contact us for printer-friendly PDF version of the itinerary
- You may also be interested in the 19-day Best of Japan and South Korea
|Seoul – 1st stay||2||Lotte Hotel Seoul||luxury|
|Gyeongju||2||Hyundai Hotel Gyeongju||first class|
|Busan||2||Lotte Hotel Busan||luxury|
|Jeju Island||2||Hyatt Regency Jeju||luxury|
|Seoul – 2nd stay||1||Grand Hyatt Incheon||luxury|
- Price based on double occupancy. Payment by cheque or cash only.
- Credit card not accepted except for deposit. See Terms & Conditions for details.
|What the tour price includes:
||What the tour price excludes:
When dealing with Laurus Travel, you don’t need to worry about hidden charges because there are none!
See Terms & Conditions for more information.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A passport with at least one (1) blank visa page and six (6) months validity at the end of the tour is required.
Visa is not required of nationals from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and a host of Western countries if the stay is within 90 days or 180 days in the case of Canadians.
You are not required of any inoculation certificate to enter Korea. However, we do suggest you visit your family physician or a travel medicine clinic to determine what precautions you should take. We recommend inoculation shots for hepatitis A and suggest that you check out advice provided by the US CDC and Health Canada.
Tap water is potable but the taste of chlorine may be a bit too strong. You can get rid of the unpleasant taste by boiling the water – each hotel room is furnished with an electric kettle. When you travel to another country, stomach upset may be an issue even though the food is clean and fully cooked. This is because your stomach is still adapting to the ingredients or minerals in the local food.
Always carry a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of hand sanitizer containing more than 60% of alcohol, no matter where you go. This advice applies even if you are travelling in your own country.
A Special Note on Train Travel
Since the trip involves train travel, it’s important that you limit yourself to one suitcase and one carry-on with a combined weight of 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or less. Your suitcase should have wheels and measure 25″ by 18″ by 10″ or smaller. The carry-on should be a backpack so that you’ll have a hand free at all time. Having a hand free at all time can significantly reduce severity of injury in case of falling down. If you find our recommendation too hard to accept, please talk to us before signing up. Navigating subway and train stations means lots of walking and going up and down on narrow escalators. If you bring a heavy bag, not only will you struggle to catch up with the group but you may have a hard time finding storage space on the train.