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Classic South Korea

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

FROM $10,400 PER PERSON
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DURATION

9 days | 8 nights

DESTINATIONS

South Korea

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • See the largest and grandest palace in South Korea
  • Hike along one of the longest craters in the world and gaze down at the beauty of the national park below
  • Savor fresh fish from Korea’s largest fish market
  • Stand in awe at Korea’s natural beauty and mountains as you hike the country’s most beautiful peaks

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Taste the best of this fascinating country with our luxury Classic South Korea itinerary. Enjoy nine experience-packed days while you explore Gyeongju, Busan, Jeju and even a touch of Gangnam style in Seoul! Go on a shopping spree in Seoul, explore the lush countryside and marvel at the panorama of brand new skyscrapers built alongside ancient herbal medicine shops. 

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Seoul

Arrive in South Korea’s bustling capital, Seoul, and check in to one of our two recommended luxury hotels, either the Conrad Seoul or the Ritz Carlton Seoul. Visit the Gyeongbok palace, the largest and grandest of the city’s famous Five Grand Palaces. Gyeongbok translates to “greatly blessed by heaven,” and when you set eyes on its splendor, it’s easy to see why. Built in 1394 and restored after a war with Japan, this palace is in its original style.  A beautiful collection of both modern and ancient art is housed at the Leeum Samsung Museum. New and old are positioned to create a sense of harmony in the museum. The trip won’t be complete without a perusal of the traditional Korean Bangsan Market. Be sure to pick up some of the intricate pressed wrapping paper. 

DAY 2: Seoul

Today is focused around exploring a mix of new and old. Join the youth of Seoul in the Hongdae district, an area known for its contemporary art and independent music culture. Wander through some of the small, modern art galleries before you experience a more ancient culture during your visit to the Jinkwansa nun’s temple. At this monastery for Buddhist nuns you can enjoy handcrafted, delicious and traditional temple foods. Don’t forget Seoul’s own Jazz Club! The day wouldn’t be completely hip without it. Return to your luxury hotel for the night.

DAY 3: Seoul

This morning, set off to see the DMZ, or Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, which functions as a buffer between North Korea and South Korea. The line is drawn at the 38th parallel north and runs for 250 km. This border barrier has kept the peace since the end of the Korean War in 1953. During your visit to the site, you’ll also get the opportunity to see Korea’s Freedom Bridge, which runs next to, but not over, the Imjingak River. Explore the underground tunnels and learn how each side has developed strategies to defend their territory as well as prepare themselves in the event of the need for offensive force.

DAY 4: Gyeongju

Today, you’re off to Gyeongju, a coastal city with a picturesque landscape. Check into your room at the luxurious Hyundai Hotel. Nestled on the slopes of Mount Toham, the Bulguksa Temple is a must-see during your stay in Gyeongju. Wander the Seokguram grottos, and enjoy what are considered some of the best Buddhist sculptures in the entire world. Continue to the National Museum to take a look at their large collection of art and cultural relics. Take a stroll around the Anapji pond, part of Gyeongju National Park and host to over 730 artifacts. Relish the final hours of daylight while you explore South Korea's only historical national park.

DAY 5: Gyeongju

Breathe in the fresh air as you hike Namsan Park, and get some exercise while you view the wonder of South Korea’s exotic natural landscape. In the afternoon, meander through the Haeinsa Temple, one of the three jewel temples of Korea. This temple is notable for its Tripitaka Koreana, an incredibly impressive collection of more than 81,000 wooden blocks inscribed with the Buddhist scripture.

DAY 6: Busan

This morning, head to Busan, the country’s second-largest metropolis, and check into your room at the Westin Chosun. Once settled in, take some time to get acquainted with the city. Start by reveling in architectural wonder at the Beomeo-sa Temple. Located at the bottom of the iconic Geumjeong-gu Mountain, this temple was created by a monk in the 7th century. Relax at the Dongnae Hot Spring Spa and continue the peaceful pampering whilst lying on Haeundae Beach. Feel like a local at a kimchi-making class. This traditional dish is both sweet and sour and an integral part of Korea’s culinary culture.

DAY 7: Busan

Tucked away on the northeastern side of Busan Mountain, the Yonggungsa Temple is one of the few Buddhist temples located on the coast. Savor freshly-caught fish from the Jagalchi Fish Market. The market is Korea’s largest fish market and offers an astounding selection of seafood. Look for exotic birds along the Nakdong River, South Korea’s longest river. 

DAY 8: Jeju

After breakfast, you’ll be on your way to Jeju today. Jeju is an island province situated in the Korea Strait and is blessed with a temperate climate. Break out into the mountain air and stretch your legs as you climb Mount Halla. The ancient shield volcano provides incredible panoramas of the surrounding national park. Put on your hard hat as you discover the Manjanggul Lava Tube Caves. The tube is just under 25,000 feet long, one of the longest in the world. See ancient island living at it’s finest as you visit the traditional village before calling it a full day. Return to your luxury hotel, we recommend the Hyatt Regency Jeju. 

DAY 9:

For your final day of your Classic South Korea itinerary, you’ll visit a 590-foot-high volcanic crater. The Ilchulbong volcanic crater presents an incredible view and isn’t a difficult hike to the top. End your trip with one final glance of Korean culture at the Jeju Chusa Exhibition Hall. Say goodbye to South Korea as your check out of your hotel and check in for your international flight to your onwards destination.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Twitchers at the DMZ: Birdwatching near the World’s Most Dangerous Border

Twitchers at the DMZ: Birdwatching near the World’s Most Dangerous Border

Author : John McMahon
The lack of human intervention in the DMZ means that wildlife has had a chance to bounce back. For the birdwatcher, this makes for some decent sightings at the 38th parallel.
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A Closer Look at Shilla Seoul

A Closer Look at Shilla Seoul

Author : Travelogues
Seoul has no shortage of plush hotel options, but the Shilla Seoul is fast joining the likes of the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton in Korea's capital.
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Songdo, Haeundae, Gwangalli: 3 Busan Beaches for Luxury Travelers

Songdo, Haeundae, Gwangalli: 3 Busan Beaches for Luxury Travelers

Author : Ronan O'Connell
Not many cities the size of Busan can boast beaches, but it's not just a place for catching a few rays. Busan's beaches get you closer to the people of Korea.
Read More
Gyeongju: A Walk Through the Silla Kingdom in Korea’s Cultural Heart

Gyeongju: A Walk Through the Silla Kingdom in Korea’s Cultural Heart

Author : Ronan O'Connell
Seoul and Busan may have the luxury hotels, but it's Gyeongju that has the history. Travelers walk through centuries in this historic UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Read More
Let’s Talk K-Pop: Travel Advice for Lovers of Korean Pop Culture

Let’s Talk K-Pop: Travel Advice for Lovers of Korean Pop Culture

Author : Travelogues
Yeah, there's the bulgogi, the history, and the hiking, but there's also the K-pop. Travelers to Korea often want to catch a little bit of that Korean pop culture magic on their journey to Seoul.
Read More
Seoul for Art Lovers: From the Gallery to the Street

Seoul for Art Lovers: From the Gallery to the Street

Author : Travelogues
Seoul is the heart of contemporary art in South Korea, so whether you're looking for high art at SeMA or graffiti in Ihwa Mural Village, Seoul has an answer for the art lover.
Read More

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