AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Comprehensive South Korea Tour

Comprehensive South Korea Tour

Comprehensive South Korea Tour Overview

Comprehensive South Korea Tour Immerse yourself in a comprehensive private tour of Korea.This example itinerary may be amended in any way to suit your preferred pace and interests. You may choose to travel with a guide and driver throughout or we can include some scenic rail journeys as part of your trip.

Comprehensive South Korea Tour

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive private tour of Korea. Starting in Seoul to visit Gyeongbok Palace and the beautiful Secret Garden, you will continue to Mt. Seorak National Park and enjoy the rock formations and scenic views of the mountain. Afterwards, travel overland to Andong, Gyeongju and Busan before flying to Jeju Island and see the Waterfalls and possible beach extension. As with all Eastravel's holiday itineraries, this example itinerary may be amended in any way to suit your preferred pace and interests. You may choose to travel with a guide and driver throughout or we can include some scenic rail journeys as part of your trip.

Best time to travel: March to May and September to November

Day 1: Arrival in Seoul

Arrive in Seoul at Incheon International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your downtown hotel.

Distance and journey time: 49 km, 1.30 hrs

Day 2: Seoul touring

Meet your guide in the morning for a private tour of Seoul, where old meets new in modern Korea. Seoul is a city of incredible contrasts which, despite its immense size, makes it one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It is the heart of Korea’s culture and education as well as politics and economics. The tour includes Gyeongbokgung Palace (Palace of Shining Happiness) - the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty. Pass by the Blue House (Presidential Residence) and the National Folk Museum of Korea whose collection houses complete items from every region of Korea illustrating all aspects of traditional life. Continue to N Seoul Tower on Mt. Namsan for a bird's-eye view of the metropolitan city of Seoul. In the afternoon visit the Korean Folk Village to see a superb and truly authentic display of Korean history including folk traditions, legends and the lifestyles of the nobility from the 14th-20th century. This evening there will be a dinner with a Korean folklore dance and music performance at Korea House.

Overnight in Seoul.

Day 3: DMZ and 3rd Tunnel

Today join a tour to the North Korea's 3rd Infiltration Tunnel within DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).

Overnight in Seoul

(This tour is may be cancelled at short notice)

Day 4: Journey to Mt Seoraksan

Leave with your driver to Mt. Seoraksan National Park. This northern stretch of Korea's eastern coast is rugged and mountainous with breathtaking scenery making it the Alps of Asia. Dense forests border crystal clear streams, tumbling over cataracts and dropping from precipices to form fleecy waterfalls. In the afternoon explore Gwongeumseong Fortress which is accessible by cable car. The ride on the cable car takes about 6 minutes. Walk for about 20 minutes to reach the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress. This is a rocky peak from which you can enjoy a birds’ eye view of Mt. Seoraksan.

Overnight in Mt Seoraksan.

Distance and journey time: 177 km, 3 hrs

Day 5: Explore Mt. Seoraksan

This morning explore your exploration of Mt. Seoraksan National Park with visits to Sinheungsa Temple, Cheonbuldong Valley, and Biseondae (Flying Fairy Rock) ­a wide, flat rock surface where the river rapids drain into a crystal clear pool and peaks rises majestically above the valley.

Drive to the Korean Peninsular Unification Prayer Observatory set at the edge of the demarcation line, a symbol of the Korean people's long -cherished dream for the unification of the two Koreas. Afterward, visit Daejin Harbour to explore this small exotic harbour.

Overnight in Mt Seoraksan.

Day 6: Andong and the Jirye's Artists' Colony

Travel overland to Andong, one of the last living vestiges of old Korea which is still very conservative and traditional. En route visit Boryeong Valley, the most beautiful and scenic valley in the country featuring granite and limestone cliffs, many waterfalls and crystal clear water with forests of fir and pine trees. Stop at Buseoksa Temple - established in 676 and is one of Korea's most venerated temples with the oldest wooden structure. Some of the oldest mural paintings in the country are preserved at this temple. Continue to Jirye Artists' Colony (Jirye Art Village) for your home stay programme. Jirye Artists' Colony is located near Imhaho Lake and a great place to have a unique experience of traditional Korean culture. It is also used as a traditional life study site and as a Confucianism Institute. Overnight at the Houses of the Artists Colony in Andong.

Distance and journey time: 307 km, 3.30 hrs

Day 7: Tour Hahoe Village and Haeinsa Temple

A morning tour of Andong. Visit a Korean Traditional paper-making factory and the Dosanseowon Confucian Academy­ founded by Korea's foremost Confucian scholar, Yi Toe-gye during the Joseon Dynasty. Explore Hahoe Village, ­ the best preserved traditional village of the Joseon Dynasty, where residents still live in traditional thatched and tile-roofed houses.

Continue to Haeinsa Temple which is one of the three greatest temples of Korea, established in 803 A.D., chiefly known today as the repository of the Tripitaka Koreana, a set of over 80,000 wooden printing blocks engraved with one of the most comprehensive compilations of the Buddhist scriptures in all of Asia. The Depositories and the Tripitaka Koreana Wooden Printing Blocks were added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995. Accommodation at HAEINSA HOTEL in the Temple Village.

Distance and journey times:

Andong to Hahoe Village: 25 km, 30 mins

HaHoe Village to Haeinsa: 153 km, 2 hrs

Day 8: Travel to Gyeongju

Travel by car to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty from 57 B.C. to 935 A.D. and designated by UNESCO as one of the world's ten most historically significant sites. You will have an afternoon tour visiting the Bunhwangsa Pagoda­ erected in 634, the oldest pagoda in the country, Gyeongju National Museum, which has the best collection of Silla Dynasty artefacts and Anapji Pond -constructed in 674 A.D. as a pleasure garden to commemorate the unification of the Peninsula by the Silla forces. It was used as a recreational area for the Silla royal family and banquet garden to entertain royal guests. Carry on to the Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory­ built in 634 A.D. one of the world's earliest known existing observatory. End your day's touring at the Royal Tumuli Park to see a collection of royal Silla tombs.

Overnight in Gyeongju.

Distance and journey time: 139 km, 2 hrs

Day 9: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto

Today's tour will take you to the Bulguksa Temple­ which was added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995, Seokguram Grotto, one of Asia's finest Buddhist shrine and the crowning achievement of Silla religious artistic work and the Golgulsa Cave Temple located at the foot of Mt. Hamwol. End your day at Mt. Namsan, with abundant historic relics and legends and an open-air museum.

Overnight in Gyeongju.

Day 10: Travel to Busan

Travel to Busan, the country's principal international port city and second largest city with a population of 4 million. En route, visit Tongdosa Temple which was founded in 646 A.D. to house holy relics (a piece of bone from the Buddha's skull, his robe, and begging bowl) of the Historical Buddha brought back from China by the monk Jajang. In the afternoon, tour Yongdusan Park in the heart of the city. Continue to the 120 m high Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park which dominates most of the city with spectacular views of the sea and harbour.

Visit Jagalchi Fish Market - Busan's most active fish-dealers' cooperative and the Taejongdae Seaside Cliff Park with its rugged cliffs dropping straight down to the sea.

Overnight in Busan.

Distance and journey time: 97 km, 1.20 hrs

Day 11: Fly to Jeju Island

Take a flight to Jeju Island. Jeju Island is Korea's largest island often described as Emerald Isle or Island of Gods. Enjoy an afternoon tour of Jeju city.

Overnight in Jeju.

Distance and journey time: 4 km, 10 mins

Day 12: Jeju day tour

Today, you will enjoy a full day tour of Jeju's main attractions. Visit the Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and Yeomiji Botanical Gardens and Jeongbang Waterfall.

Overnight in Jeju.

Day 13: Departure

Transfer to Jeju airport for departure.

Distance and journey time: 4 km, 10 mins

Find out more about the Comprehensive South Korea Tour