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Ultimate South Korea

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Group Size: Max. 22

Trip code: OLSK

Duration: 10 or 13 Days

26 activities included
Authentic cultural experience
6 South Korean destinations

With amazing street food, a rich history, and K-pop culture, South Korea hitting the top of our travel wishlist. This awesome group trip takes you through its best bits over 10 or 13 days. Kick-off in Seoul with palace visits, K-pop dance lessons, and a visit to the atmospheric DMZ. Up your zen levels with a night in a working temple, explore historic sites and learn taekwondo in Gyeongju, and go full Korea with a karaoke session in Busan! Travellers on the 13 day trip get to experience the volcanic wonderland of Jeju Island too, with hikes, lava tubes, and waterfalls. South Korea is calling!

Trip Highlights

  • Make your own K-pop video at the HiKR and learn how to dance to the K-beat with a professional choreographer
  • Chat with a defector from the world’s most secretive country in the Demilitarised Zone
  • Spend a night in a working Buddhist temple, joining meditations and taking tea with a monk
  • Take a bike tour of historic Gyeongju, AKA the ‘Museum Without Walls’
  • Sample Korea’s best street food on a tasting tour through Gwangjang Market
  • Hike through volcanic landscapes and swim under waterfalls on Jeju Island (13-day tour only)
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  • 9 or 12 nights’ accommodation
  • Some meals
  • Tour guide
  • All on-trip transport
  • Welcome dinner
  • Namsan Mountain by night
  • Hongdae, Hapjeong, & Itaewon districts
  • K-pop dance class
  • HiKR visit and make your own K-pop video
  • DMZ visit
  • Q&A session with North Korean defector
  • Changing of the guard viewing
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace visit
  • Hanok Village visit
  • Insadong visit
  • Gwangjang Market street food tour
  • Overnight temple stay
  • Singing bowl meditation session
  • Evening & morning chanting
  • Tea with a monk
  • Hanok village walk
  • Makgoli tasting session
  • Guided bike tour
  • Historical sites visit
  • Anapji Pond at night
  • Visit to Bulguksa Temple
  • Taekwondo class
  • Market visit
  • Songdo cable car
  • Karaoke room
  • Flight to Jeju Island *
  • Olle Trail guided hike *
  • Jeongbang Waterfall visit *
  • 24-hour emergency support

*13 day tour only

Day 1: Seoul. Touchdown in South Korea’s dynamic capital and make your way to our hostel in Myeongdong, Seoul’s most famous shopping district. Meet the gang, then head out for a Korean feast before taking in the spectacular views of the city from Namsan Mountain.

Day 2: K-pop in Seoul. We’re off to the cool neighbourhood of Hapjeong for a K-pop dance lesson led by a professional choreographer! Next up it’s Hongdae district for a pop around the shops and then we’ll create our own K-pop video at the HiKR in Cheonggyecheon. This evening, head to the cosmopolitan Itaewon district for dinner and drinks.

Day 3: The DMZ. Catch a glimpse of life in the world’s most secretive country in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). Explore the tunnels dug by North Korea, hear tales of the Korean War, and speak with a North Korean defector. Head back for another fun night in Seoul.

Day 4: Traditional Seoul. Start the day with a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace. Watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony before heading to the Hanok Village and Insadong Art Street. This evening, take a street food-tasting tour through Gwangjang Market. Don’t miss the Tteokbokki!

Day 5: Temple stay. We’ll up our zen levels today with an overnight stay in a working temple in the mountains. Join in the monks’ daily rituals including a singing bowl meditation, and prayer chanting. This evening, chat about the meaning of life with a monk over tea.

Day 6: Jeonju. Start your day with some chanting and a Buddhist breakfast, before heading to Jeonju. Check into our wooden Hanok guesthouse before exploring the city’s artisan workshops and teahouses and enjoying a makgoli (rice wine) tasting session.

Day 7: Gyeongju. Hop on the bus to Gyeongju, AKA the ‘Museum Without Walls’. We’ll drop our bags before jumping on bikes and exploring the historic highlights on two wheels.  As the sun dips down, head over to the Anapji Pond for the perfect photo moment!

Day 8: Temples & Taekwondo. Pay a visit to one of the most important temples in the country; Bulguksa. Wander its pagodas, soaking up the air of spirituality, before switching it up as we visit a dojang (martial arts training hall), where we’ll learn the art of Taekwondo!

Day 9: Busan. Travel to Busan today. We’ll head straight out to Jagalchi seafood market, before jumping on the Songdo cable car for breathtaking views of the city. Explore at your own pace this afternoon before spending tonight in one of the city’s famous karaoke rooms!

Day 10: Jeju Island or trip end. If you’re on the 10 day tour your trip ends here. If you’re with us for 13 days, we’re flying to Jeju Island! Check out your local surroundings, find somewhere for dinner, and enjoy some free time this evening.

Day 11: Volcanic hikes. Head to the spectacular Manjangul Lava Tubes, followed by Seongsan Ilchulbong, and the Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs. This afternoon you’ll have the option to visit one of Jeju’s beaches or waterfalls before visiting The Cliff Café.

Day 12: Olle Trail and Jeongbang Waterfall.  This morning we will hit the Olle Trail. We’ll stop at the most famous waterfall on Jeju, Jeongbang, and cool off below the falls before spending the afternoon exploring. We’ve lined up a big farewell dinner tonight.

Day 13: Trip end. After breakfast it’s time to pack our bags and say our goodbyes. See you next time!

Trip reviews

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5 average rating
Facebook Group Discussion

Hi! I've just booked Best of South Korea November 8th! Will be the first time travelling solo 😊 Anyone else booked?

Hi, is anyone going on the Ultimate South Korea trip September?

Hey. I’m booked for the Japan & Korean discovery trip on September 29th? Anyone else heading at that time? 🏯🎏

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Your trip starts on day 1 in Seoul. Fly into Incheon International Airport (ICN) and make your own way from the airport to our starting accommodation. Korea has one of the best rail systems in the world and we will give you clear instructions on how to get from the airport to your starting accommodation.  If you’d prefer to take a taxi, transfers take around 45 minutes and can be picked up at the airport taxi stand.

If you’re on the 10 day trip, your tour ends after breakfast on day 10 in Busan. You can either take the train from Busan back to Seoul Station (2.5 – 3.5 hours), or fly back from Gimhae Airport (PUS), which is a 15-minute taxi ride away. If you’re on the 13 day tour, we’ll part ways on Jeju Island. International flights are available from Jeju Airport (CJU), or you can fly back to Seoul and transfer to your flight home from there.

9 or 12 nights of accommodation are included on this trip in a mix of single-sex multi-share and twin accommodation (single upgrades may be available at an additional cost). Let us know if you’re travelling with a partner or friend and we can make sure you’re placed together.

6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners are included on the 10 day trip, and 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners on the 13 day trip. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

This trip is recommended for those aged 18-45.

If you have a British Citizen passport you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. Depending on your nationality and when you travel to Korea, you may need to apply for an online electronic travel authority called a K-ETA. You must also have an onward or return ticket. Your passport should be valid for six months from your date of arrival.

Visa rules are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling.

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