Highlights of South Korea - Unique Small Group
- Visit the top attractions in South Korea on this small group holiday.
- Uncover the best sights of Seoul, including Gyeongbokgung Palace.
- Learn more about South Korean culture with visits to Gyeongju & Suwon.
- Discover Busan, including the mountainous setting of Haedong Yonggungsa & Gamcheon Culture Village.
- Take a tour of DMZ, the demilitarised zone on the border between North & South Korea.
- Includes 10 nights on a half board basis, dinner is included each night in local restaurants.
Book Your Trip From €6028pp
Book Your Trip From €5149pp
Your Guided Small Group Holiday to South Korea
Join on this remarkable holiday to uncover the top highlights of South Korea, a country with a captivating blend of ancient traditions and cutting edge wonders. Our small group tour will begin in the country’s capital of Seoul, where towering skyscrapers coexist with centuries-old palaces and temples. We’ll visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jogyesa Temple, Hanok Village of Bukchon and a traditional tea house. Other highlights include taking a full day tour of Suwon which is best known for the Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and exploring Gyeongju, often referred to as the ‘museum without walls’. We’ll travel to the coastal city of Busan to savour fresh seafood in Jagalchi Fish Market, stroll through the colourful Gamcheon Culture Village and see the Buddhist temple of Haedong Yonggungsa. Returning to our base in Seoul, via the KTX high speed train, we’ll learn more about the Korean War with excursions to the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the Dora Observatory, which offers a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of North Korea. This holiday is ideal for those looking to immerse themselves with the culture, cuisine and history of South Korea.
Activity Level: Busy
Travel to Seoul - South Korea
Depart for South Korea
Depart for your holiday to Seoul, South Korea.
We have arrived in Seoul.
Transfer to Hotel and Relax
On arrival in Seoul airport, we meet our guide and transfer to our hotel, where we will spend the next two nights, check in for our hotels are from 3pm.
Enjoy some time at leisure to relax and further explore your surroundings.
Join Us for a Korean Welcome Dinner
Let’s get together this evening and savour our first taste of Korean food at a local restaurant.
A light dinner is included throughout our ten-night stay in South Korea, featuring local restaurants each evening. These included meals provide an opportunity to experience local dishes, traditional flavours, and appreciate the culinary preparations found across South Korea. Our dinners are set meals, that typically include rice, Kimchi, fresh vegetables, meat, and other dishes.
Discover the Highlights of Seoul
Guided Tour of Seoul
Let’s uncover Seoul’s rich history on a guided tour of the South Korean capital and experience ancient temples, palaces vibrant streets and more during this tour.
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Gyeongbokgung Palace, a 14th-century architectural masterpiece from the Choson Dynasty (closed on Tuesdays). Explore the serene Jogyesa Temple, a vital hub of the Jogyejong Buddhist Order and one of the city's most significant landmarks. Join us to unravel the secrets of ancient temples, royal palaces, and vibrant streets, discovering the soul of Seoul in a uniquely enriching experience.
Hanok Village, Vibrant Insadong Street and Teahouse visit
We enjoy some free time for lunch (not included) before we embark on an afternoon stroll through Bukchon's Hanok village, also known as the "North Village." This charming area boasts over 900 traditional Korean houses, providing a unique glimpse into ancient Korean times.
Time to savour a cup of refreshing tea! Let's venture into a traditional teahouse, where we can partake in the timeless custom of tea, unwind, and truly soak up the moment.
As the day winds down, we take a leisurely walk through the lively Insadong street. Bursting with energy, this bustling thoroughfare is adorned with various shops offering traditional goods and art galleries, providing a perfect end to our enriching journey.
Next, we delve into Korean flavours at a local restaurant for dinner.
We return to our hotel and enjoy the evening to relax and unwind after discovering some of the highlights of Seoul.
Experience Suwon and Andong
Discover Hwaseong Fortress - Suwon
This morning, we set off from Seoul by coach to explore Andong. Along the way, our journey includes a stop in Suwon, where we'll visit the remarkable Hwaseong Fortress. This incredible fortress stands as one of Korea’s most vital historical treasures, serving as the sole remaining walled fortress in the country and now proudly recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit Dosan Confucian Academy Andong
The day isn't over just yet! There's more to uncover as we pay a visit to the Dosan Confucian Academy, a true masterpiece of Korean Confucian architecture dating back to 1574, nestled in present-day Andong. Let's explore this serene haven before we head to our hotel.
Uncover Andong – Hahoe Village
Discover Hahoe Village, Hanji Factory
Get ready to experience one of Korea's truly unique villages! Our day kicks off with a coach journey to Andong's Hahoe traditional village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This village is renowned as one of Korea's most famous folk villages and is home to the descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan, constituting seventy percent of the current inhabitants. With numerous preserved original structures, the village is a valuable testament to Korean culture. It has welcomed distinguished visitors, from presidents to royalty, solidifying its status as a national treasure and a must-see destination on any trip to South Korea!
Andong Hanji Factory
Next, we explore the Andong Hanji Factory, the hub of traditional Korean paper production. With over 60 different types of hanji crafted for various purposes, this factory offers a fascinating glimpse into a cherished Korean tradition. Embark on a factory tour with us, where we delve into the intricate process of hanji-making. Witness the captivating array of colours and textures that characterise this beautiful paper, unravelling the essence of a time-honoured Korean custom.
See More - Woryeonggyo Bridge
Get ready for a stroll! Join us as we step it up and traverse the longest wooden pedestrian overpass bridge in Korea, stretching over 387 meters and boasting a width of 3.6 meters. Along the way, we delve into the poignant, yet beautiful legend associated with the bridge, all while immersing ourselves in the breath-taking natural surroundings.
Following our dinner, we head back to our hotel to unwind and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Excursion to Yangong Village
Transfer to Gyeongju by Coach
This morning, we depart Andong for Gyeongju by a scenic two-hour coach ride. Our next stop is Yangdong Village, one of Korea's largest traditional villages, offering a glimpse into the culture of the Joseon dynasty. Tucked in a valley with houses over 500 years old, including fifty-four homes preserved in their original state for over two centuries, the village presents a captivating sight with Seolchangsan Mountain in the backdrop.
After lunch (not included), we explore Tumuli Park, featuring 23 tombs of the Shilla Kingdom's sovereigns, followed by a visit to the grave of the "Heavenly Horse."
We enjoy another fusion of Korean flavours for dinner and then make our way to our hotel for the night.
Bulguksa Temple & Busan
Transfer to Busan by coach
Leaving our Gyeongju hotel, our day commences with a visit to the exquisite Bulguksa Temple, the principal temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, celebrated as a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East. Established in 528BC during the 15th year of King Beop-heung’s reign, the temple's wooden paintings and architecture hold the essence of ancient treasures from the Shilla Kingdom.
Our journey continues to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Seokuram Grotto on Mt Toham at the ancient Silla capital Geumseong. Here, a large Buddha statue resides within a circular chamber beneath a stone hemispherical dome, marking a significant masterpiece of Buddhist art and a national treasure of South Korea.
After a roughly one-hour road transfer, we check into our hotel in the evening before enjoying dinner.
Busan and Surroundings
Haedong Yonggungsa, and Jagalchi Asias Biggest Fish Markets
This morning, our coach takes us on a captivating full day guided excursion to visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Set in a stunning location overlooking the East Sea, it's a unique coastal temple, a departure from the more mountainous locations of most Korean temples. Enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, cliffs, and coastline, accessible by descending over 100 steps. For those opting out of the steps, a beautiful view of the temple from a distance awaits.
Next, we head to Jagalchi, one of Asia's largest fish markets, where a walking tour unfolds the fascinating variety of seafood in different shapes and sizes. Capture great photo opportunities if the locals are willing. Our journey continues to the international market, offering a diverse perspective on everyday life in Busan with its wide array of goods.
Experience Gamcheon Culture Village Visit
Let’s see more as we uncover the colourful place of Gamcheon Culture village. It was once a slum and now one of Busan’s top tourist attractions, with its decorative art and colourful houses, painted murals, shops, cafes, and winding alleys! Cameras ready this is the place for Insta action! # Gamcheon
Songdo Sky walk.
Immerse yourself in the crisp sea breeze as we leisurely stroll along the Songdo Skywalk, absorbing the beauty of the sea and its surroundings. Extending approximately 365 meters from the Songdo Beach area, the skywalk gracefully hangs over Turtle Island. Feel the gentle breeze envelop you as you soak in the serene atmosphere!
After a bustling day exploring the Busan area, we return to our hotel to freshen up before heading out for dinner.
KTX Train to Seoul
Seoul and Cooking Class
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast before bidding farewell to Busan. All aboard the KTX high-speed train for an exhilarating journey from Busan to Seoul, taking approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Upon arrival in Seoul, we proceed to our hotel for check-in (starting at 2 pm).
Time for Kimchi! Join us for a delightful afternoon as we partake in a cooking class to master the art of crafting this South Korean national favourite. After enjoying the flavours and aromas, take home a newfound culinary skill.
Later, return to our hotel to unwind before our evening meal.
Experience the DMZ Zone
Experience the DMZ Zone
We have an early morning start today for our journey from Seoul for a half-day excursion to the DMZ, a historic border established in 1953 during the end of the war through the signing of the Panmunjom's Armistice, effectively separating North and South Korea.
Prepare for a unique experience as we arrive and head to Dora's Observatory, offering a glimpse into North Korean territory through binoculars from the 304-square-feet, 500-person capacity observatory. Our exploration continues at Dorasan Railway Station, once connecting North and South Korea.
To delve further into the history of the Korean War, we then visit Imjingak Park, adorned with statues and monuments commemorating this significant period.
Important: Please note the DMZ tour is under control of the army, and you must strictly adhere to their regulations. There is a possibility that the tour may be closed without prior notice which is beyond our control.
Following our exploration of the DMZ zone, we head back to Seoul and have the remainder of the day to leisurely enjoy, offering an ideal opportunity to pick up any last-minute souvenirs.
Later in the evening, we gather for a final dinner at a local restaurant.
Return Home from Seoul
Today our Highlights of Korea journey finishes, we say farewell to South Korea and newfound friends. Transfer by coach to Seoul Airport.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.