South Korea Highlights

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Small group
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Feel the Seoul of South Korea on this adventure that hits all the highlights.

A melting pot of natural wonder, culinary delights and mesmerizing cityscapes, South Korea is proving itself as a destination well and truly worth adding to your travel list. Discover this fascinating, animated and tech-savvy country on a nine-day exploration of all the must-see spots. Take a tour of Korea’s Demilitarised Zone, eat ‘til you drop at an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, spend a night in a traditional Hanok house and discover the ecological beauty of Suncheon’s wetlands.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Spend a fascinating day exploring the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on a guided tour. Discover why this intriguing place has been awash with tension and political pressure since the Korean War.
  • Take a street food tour of the renowned Gwangjang markets in Seoul, feasting on bite-sized delights, and indulge in an authentic all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue experience.
  • On your day trip to seaside Sokcho, discover the island village of Abai, which is home to hundreds of North Korean refugees having settled during the War.
  • Spend a night in a traditional Hanok house in the Andong Hahoe folk village, walking past the traditional homes to imagine the country in its past life.
  • See the naturally beautiful side to South Korea on a hike up Seoraksan Mountain and explore the wetlands and national gardens of Suncheon – South Korea’s ecological capital.


Map of South Korea Highlights including Korea, Republic Of

Day 1: Seoul

Welcome to Seoul, South Korea’s vibrant capital of high-tech gadgetry, glittering skyscrapers and scrumptious eats. A modern Asian metropolis that blends bold futuristic intentions with strong links to the past, Seoul is one of Asia’s great cities. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm this afternoon. After the welcome meeting, your leader will take you to visit the renowned Gwangjang Market for a progressive dinner tour. Here, you’ll find some of Korea’s street food favourites like mayak gimbap (rice rolls), mandu (North Korean dumplings), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) and the famous kimchi. Afterwards, follow your group leader to the top of Naksan to see an awesome view of Seoul’s skyline at night.

Day 2: Seoul

After breakfast this morning, join a tour to the fascinating Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). From the South Korean side of the Zone, you’ll learn how this peninsula has been divided ever since the devastating Korean War. You’ll pay a visit to points of interest including the Third Tunnel of Aggression, Unification Bridge, Imjingak Park and the Dora Observatory. It’s truly a thought-provoking day. In the afternoon, explore the Gyeongbukgung Palace – the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, and the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village, then continue to Olympic Park, where South Korea emerged on the world stage as an economic superpower. The evening is yours to enjoy in this eclectic city.

Day 3: Gangneung

This morning, say goodbye to Seoul and head to Gangneung. Situated on the east side of the Korean Peninsula, Gangneung is known for its pine forests, beaches and thriving café culture. Once you arrive, join your group leader on a visit to Ojukheon and Seongyojang House, which have been preserved in their original form and now provide an insight into what life was like hundreds of years ago. Continue to Gyeongpo Lake, where you’ll be able to walk along the lakeside paths, which are adorned with cherry blossoms during the springtime. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to explore at your own pace. Perhaps head to the Coffee Cupper Museum if you’ve got a caffeine fascination. This museum also has an education program for youth and handicapped people.

Day 4: Sokcho/Gangneung

Head out of town this morning on a day trip to Sokcho. Take a morning hike up Korea’s most well-known mountain Seoraksan, which will take around 2.5 hours. Return to Sokcho and visit the Daepo Fish Market, where you might like to try mulhwae – a spicy raw fish soup which comes with all kinds of accompaniments. Later, duck over to Abai – a small island village which, for generations, has been a haven for refugees from North Korea by offering education and housing. Getting there is half the fun – you’ll have to work together to pull a rope on a small barge to get to the other side. In the late afternoon, return to Gangneung for a free evening.

Day 5: Andong Hahoe Folk Village

Hit the road on the way to Andong this morning, then continue to the Andong Hahoe Folk Village. This quaint traditional settlement is easy to walk around, so join your leader on a stroll visiting traditional houses, including the one that hosted Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. Later, you may like to take a ferry across the river for an easy hike up Buyongdae, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the community. Being a traditional Korean outpost, there may also be masked dancers performing in town, and to learn more about this ritual, why not visit the nearby mask museum. Staying in an authentic traditional Hanok house is guaranteed to be a special experience this evening.

Day 6: Suncheon

This morning, visit the local Confucius temple and school with your leader to learn about how this religion affects the culture and traditions in South Korea. Then you’ll leave from Andong Village to Suncheon. Suncheon holds a special place in South Korea because it’s now part of a free economic zone and considered by some as the ecological capital of South Korea. Arrive in the city in the late afternoon and join your leader for an orientation walk to get your bearings, before having a chilled-out night.
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.

Day 7: Suncheon

Get out and about in Suncheon today on a tour of its most notable sights. Your local guide will take you to visit the Suncheonman Bay Wetlands and Suncheon Bay National Gardens where you’ll wander through fields of reeds swarming with diverse birdlife. Be sure to check out Dream Bridge – an artistic installation which is decorated with more than 140,000 drawings by children from around the world. Continue on to an open film set, which consists of three villages, each representing a different era from the 1950s to the 1970s. Afterwards, head to the Nagan Fortress village, which was originally established as a fortress against the attack from Japanese pirates, and now is a rare village that has survived colonial rule, with around 300 people still considering it home.

Day 8: Seoul

After breakfast this morning, you’ll jump on a train and head back to Seoul. After checking in, the afternoon is yours to explore at leisure. Perhaps venture out and explore the Hannam and Itaewon districts, or with your free time, you might like to check out the large range of shopping Seoul has to offer. This evening, gather together with your travel pals for one final group dinner at an all-you-can-eat barbecue feast – you simply can’t have left Korea without some Korean barbecue!

Day 9: Seoul

Your South Korean adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. Check out from your accommodation is at 12 pm.



6 breakfasts, 2 dinners


Private vehicle, Train, Public bus, Metro, Taxi


Hotel (5nts), Holiday House (2nts), Hanok (1nt)

Included activities

  • Seoul – Gwangjang market
  • Seoul – Naksan night view over the city
  • Seoul – Jamsil Olympic Park
  • Seoul – Gyeongbukgung Palace
  • Seoul – North Village
  • Seoul – Demilitarized Zone (DMZ/South Korea)
  • Gangneung – Ojukheon Village
  • Gangneung – Gyeongpo Lake
  • Sokcho – Island village of Abai
  • Sokcho – Daepo Fish market
  • Sokcho – Seoraksan Mountain
  • Andong – Andong folk village
  • Andong – confucianist school and temple visit
  • Suncheon – Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
  • Suncheon – Open film set
  • Suncheon – Suncheon Bay National Garden
  • Suncheon – Nagan Fortress Village


Images courtesy of Intrepid Group