South Korea tour – premium small-group vacation.
… This was a very special trip with two great guides in Korea. I hope this tour proves to be a big success for Laurus Travel.
Seoul – Jeju Island – Busan – Gyeongju – Seoul
The 35-year Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula ended in August 1945 with Japan’s surrender to the Allies. The Korean War (Jun 25, 1950 – Jul 27, 1953) divided the peninsula into two countries along the 38th parallel. The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, rose from the ashes of war to become one of the leading economies in the world.
Besides its famous high-tech industries, South Korea is well known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples. The country’s coastal fishing villages and sub-tropical islands are also attractive to international visitors. The Land of Morning Calm is beckoning. Talk to one of our Korea experts today to learn more about this fascinating tour.
- Expert local guide.
- Small group size – 20 maximum.
- First class accommodations.
- Quality and authentic local cuisine with lots of seafood.
- Tips for local guides and drivers included.
- No forced shopping stops of any kind.
- and so much more.
Scroll down for dates, prices and hotel list.
Extensions to Japan and China available on request.
12-day Best of South Korea Tour Itinerary
Day 1/Mon: Departing for Seoul
Your South Korea vacation begins with international flight departing from a city of your choice. The tour price doesn’t include international airfare.
Day 2/Tue: 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 to Seoul Station which costs 9,000 Won ($8 USD) one way per person. Taxi from Seoul Station to the hotel costs only a few dollars.
Day 3/Wed: Seoul (B/L)
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 sightseeing today includes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeong-dong district (fashion, market, churches) and N Seoul Tower.
Day 4/Thu: Seoul – Jeju Island (B)
Morning flight to Jeju City, capital of Jeju Island. 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.
Enjoy a half-day sightseeing that includes the Manjang Cave, Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongeup folk village, and Sangumburi crater.
Day 5/Fri: Jeju Island (B)
Free day to relax or explore on your own.
Day 6/Sat: Jeju – Busan (B/D)
Free morning. Transfer to the airport for noon or early afternoon flight to Busan (1 hr 10 min). Transfer to the hotel on arrival.
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. Later today we visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside Buddhist temple built in 1376.
Tonight we enjoy a delicious Korean seafood hotpot dinner.
Day 7/Sun: Busan (B/L)
Today we visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gujesijang market and Yongdusan Park.
Day 8/Mon – Busan – Gyeongju (B/L)
Following breakfast we drive 100 kilometres northeast to Gyeongju. After dropping off bags at the hotel, we drive another 16km northbound to Yangdong Folk Village – a UNESCO World Heritage site from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
Day 9/Tue: 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 morning exploring Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple – both inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1995. In the afternoon, we will visit Tumuli Park, Cheonmachong, the National Gyeongju Museum and Anapji Pond.
Day 10/Wed: Gyeongju – Seoul (B/L)
We travel to Seoul by express train (2 hours, 300 km) this morning.
Free afternoon to explore on your own.
Day 11/Thu: Seoul – DMZ – Seoul (B/L/D)
Today we go on a full-day 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.
Our farewell dinner featuring famous Korean dishes is at a restaurant within walking distance from the hotel.
Day 12/Fri: Seoul – Home City (B)
Your memorable South Korea tour ends this morning. Transfer to Incheon International Airport, 50km west of Seoul, on your own. Taxi costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but most travellers prefer the Airport Railroad Express which costs 9,000 Won ($8 USD) one way per person. The guide will escort you to the train station and help you buy ticket.
Pre- or post-tour extension to Japan or China is available on request.
- 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||Novotel Ambassador Dongdaemun||Premium/5 stars|
|Jeju Island||2||The Suites Hotel Jeju||Premium/5 stars|
|Busan||2||Lotte Hotel Busan||Premium/5 stars|
|Gyeongju||2||The Suites Hotel Gyeongju||First Class/4 stars|
|Seoul – 2nd stay||2||Novotel Ambassador Dongdaemun||Premium/5 stars|
Dates & Prices
- 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.