Route: Seoul Sokcho Gyeongju Busan Jeju Island
Transport: Public transports, including an overnight Ferry.
Dates: Range of departures throughout the year
Summary: With our 12 days trip to South Korea, you’ll discover 4 destinations, from buzzing Seoul to the Seoraksan National Park and the vibrant city of Sokcho. You’ll venture south to the city of Gyeongju and explore UNESCO World Cultural site Bulguksa Temple! Journey to the laid back waterfront city of Busan in the south of the country and spend time scuba diving, the volcano cliffs and relaxing on the beaches of Jeju Island.
Welcome to South Korea! After landing in Seoul you’ll meet your tour leader and the rest of your group before sitting down to a feast of Korean BBQ! With a full belly and a smile on your face, you’ll head to the Namsam Mountain to enjoy an amazing night view of Seoul. Stroll along Seoul’s most popular spot for couples and maybe even leave a “padlock of love” in front of the Seoul N Tower. Like the one in Paris, it symbolises visitor’s endless love.
Make your way to your accommodation in Hongdae using public transport. Explore this cool area or go to bed early to be fully rested before your first full day tomorrow!
Are you ready for your trip to the Korean Demilitarised Zone? Hop on a bus to Imjingak to have some breakfast. Then, head to Dorasan Station, the northernmost train stop in South Korea (which was once supposed to make a connection with North Korea). You can even buy a train ticket as a souvenir!
With the help of binoculars at the Dora Observatory, you will be able to see the nearest North Korean Villages. You can then visit the 3rd Tunnel made by North Koreans which will lead you up to 170m away from North Korea!
Then, head back to Seoul with the opportunity of talking to a North Korean defector on the bus. Back in the capital, enjoy lunch in Myeongdong with your group. Whilst you’re there, why not visit a cathedral or a cat café?
That evening is completely up to you- if you are looking for some entertainment, why not watch a Nanta Show (a non-verbal comedy cooking performance)?, or eat at Itaewon with its numerous restaurants and bars or even visit the fancy Gangnam District.
Wakey Wakey! It’s time to explore the old Seoul. Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung Palace and watch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony before visiting the Palace. You will then head to Bukchon Hanok Village, making a stop by the Blue House, otherwise known as the ‘White House of South Korea’. Afterwards, experience a walk in the historic village dressed in a hanbok, traditional Korean clothing. After a busy morning, have some lunch with your group at Tongin Market.
Tired of the buzzing city centre? Have a walk down the Cheonggyechon stream, which is a calm area, perfect for relaxing. Then, have a look at the amazing Insadong Art Street and try some kimchi at an optional tasting session at Kimchikan Museum.
Explore Seoul a little more in the evening with some free time. Surround yourself with the local life in Ikseon-dong Hanok Street where you can have a group dinner at pojangmacha – soju drinking tents with amazing food – you can also go for a pub crawl or a night out in Hongdae Street!
On your fourth day you’ll go on a day-trip day trip to Sokcho, situated in the North-East of South Korea. Once there, you will go to Seoraksan National Park and visit Singheungsa Temple. get ready for a hike to Ulsanbawi Rock and enjoy amazing views of the national park. If you would like a less challenging hike, you can explore the waterfall trail and take a cable car to another peak.
Have some food at the entrance of the park before hopping on the bus to Sokcho Town. Cross the river Abai on a gatbae , where you will find a small village of North Korean refugees. There are no motors on these boats which travel by cable pulleys, so be prepared for a little bit of work! Wander around the historic village before heading to the Lighthouse Observatory for breathtaking views of Seoraksan Mountain, the East Sea and Sokcho.
Then, have dinner with your group at the local fish markets. We recommend Manseok, one of the most famous Korean fried chicken restaurants there. This place is famous for its sticky sweet and sour chicken! Go back to Seoul and check into your accommodation, a jjimjilbamg, which is a traditional Korean bath and sleeping house with gender-segregated onsen baths, meditation rooms, saunas, ice rooms, and an entertainment floor!
After a relaxing and rejuvenating night, leave your accommodation and travel to Seoul Station ready to head to Gyeongju.
Be prepared for an afternoon exploring Gyeonguju by bike! First, ride to the Cheonmachong Ancient Tombs which are part of the Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Tumuli Park. Next, head to Cheomseongdae, East Asia’s oldest existing astronomical observatory. Then, Gyerim Forest awaits you. Here, you can pay a visit to Hyanggyo Confucious School there. Feeling thirsty? Have a cup of tea in the closeby 300-year old tea house.
If you want to have a taste of authentic Korean food, have dinner at Dosol Maeul, a local restaurant that serves traditional Korean set meals in an authentic and traditional environment! Later on, take your camera with you and wander around Anapji Pond to experience some amazing night time views of the Palace.
Wake up early and visit Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Cultural Asset or you can relax and sleep in. Have lunch downtown before going to Golgulsa Temple, where you will be able to stay and experience a night in a temple.
Once you arrive there, check out the temple and take part in some activities such as a meditation class. For a little more action, you can try archery, horse riding or even physical training classes. After an eventful day, watch an impressive traditional arts performance and Sunmudo demonstration before helping out with some of the temple’s communal duties.
Experience a humble Buddhist dinner composed of vegetables, rice and fruits with other visitors of the temple and members. Join the evening chanting service and meditation before experiencing firsthand the basics of Sunmudo! Afterwards, head to bed to be ready for an early start tomorrow.
Catch a glimpse of the sunrise and join in the morning chanting and meditation before having a traditional breakfast! You will then be able to have tea and talk with a monk.
End your morning with your final Sunmudo training lesson to master your skills. Have lunch before heading back to the city by bus. Busan awaits you, so you better head to Gyeongju Station! You will arrive late in the afternoon to check into your accommodation.
Take your time to settle in before going out to have dinner. At the beachfront, you will be able to taste some fresh seafood and the famous Korean dish of chicken and rice. If you’re after buzzing nightlife, Haeundae beachfront is the place to be!
Start your discovery of Busan by heading to the biggest seafood market in the country, Jagalchi Market! The independent stalls filled with fresh catch will make for a perfect picture of the local lifestyle. Have brunch before visiting BIIF Square in Nampo-dong, which is the home to the annual Busan International Film Festival, making this district the movie district!
Experience something out of this world by taking part in the state of the art Virtual Reality gaming experience! Or, you could also have a bite of the Busan-style hotteok from a street vendor. A hotteok is a fried pancake filled with brown sugar and several seeds.
Have a look at the impressive views of the shore and city from the Marine Cable Car at Songdo Beach.
After that, hop on the subway to Gwangan Beach for a dinner with your travel buddies! Have a taste of jokbal or try the best New York-style pizza in the area at Slice of Life. After the sun to sets, experience the light show on Gwangan Bridge before going out at the beachfront.
Take the morning to wander around Busan alone or join some of the suggested activities. Cook your favourite Korean dish during a cooking class, or explore Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a Buddhist Temple in the shoreline’s cliffs, visit Gamcheon Culture Village, or stroll along the Igdae Coastal Walk and Oryukdo Skywalk.
Need to relax? Go to Spa Land located in the Centum City (Busan’s biggest shopping complex)! The high-quality jjimjilbang will make you want to stay for the saunas, cold rooms and jacuzzis.
Pack your bags and hop on the overnight ferry to Jeju Island and have a look at the city from your ferry when sailing away. The lounge area will allow you to hang out with your travel buddies before going to bed.
Rise and shine early with a breakfast on the ferry before arriving in Jeju. Haenyeo Divers Experience is waiting for you to explore the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage women divers of Jeju. You can then learn the way of catching fish while holding your breath with a knife in hand.
Once the fishing is done, have some lunch before joining in a traditional liquor experience where you will discover the making process and even get to taste a sip of different variety of liquor! Afterwards, climb Seongsan Ilchulbong to reach the beautiful Sunrise Peak. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its rock formation was formed 5 000 years ago by hydro-volcanic eruptions!
Admire a performance by the beach from the Haenyeo Divers on your way back to your accommodation. Spend your free time as want, but we would recommend Seopjikoji Viewpoint at sunset if you want to witness an impressive view.
Start your day with a day trip to Jeongbang Waterfall with a private transfer. This waterfall is unique in Asia since it flows directly into the ocean. Now it is time for a day-long trek along the Jeju Olle Trail. Have lunch in Seogwipo city before getting back on the trail to Oedolgae Rock. The natural landscape on the way will take your breath away with its volcanic cliffs and the bright yellow canola fields.
Go back to your accommodation to chill out for the rest of the afternoon. Rest at the beach or at the hostel right before your last night’s celebrations. If you are not too tired why not try some surfing or stand up paddle-board?
A BBQ party on the beach will be ready for you in the evening! Feast on tasteful food, admire the sunset and party by the seashore through the night. Enjoy your travel buddies’ company since you’ll say goodbye in the morning.
This is where your trip through South Korea ends! You can go back to Seoul, wander around Jeju Island some more or get on travelling somewhere else!