24 March 2017
Following its miraculous development over the past 50 years, Korea has become a modernised vibrant nation, but one that still maintains its traditional and colourful culture. And on this fascinating and comprehensive 10 day tour, which begins and ends in the buzzing capital city of Seoul, you will get to see so many of the stunning highlights.
Your adventure begins when you are picked up from your hotel in the capital city for the journey to Gongju. Here you visit the Tomb of King Muryeong and Gongsanseong Fortress. Travel on to Buyeo, an ancient capital, and stop at a palace, castle and cultural hall. Then visit Goransa Temple and Nakhwaam bluff by boat where 3,000 court ladies plunged into the river to avoid being captured on the last day of the Kingdom. Carry on to Jeonju and stop at a village to see traditional Korean houses called Hanok. Then drive to Gwangju where you stay tonight.
Today after breakfast you are taken on a tour of Gwangju, a city at the centre of Asian culture, and visit the fascinating museum. Then drive on stopping for a refreshing cuppa at the Bosung Green Tea Plantation before reaching Suncheon where you visit the temple and ecological park. Your final destinations today is Yeosu, but before checking into your hotel there is a visit to the local fish market.
This morning visit Jinsuseong Castle, which is historically linked to the Japanese invasion in 1592. Then travel to Gimhae airport to catch a short flight to Jeju where you are met and taken to explore Jeju-do volcanic island which has been declared a UNESCO world natural heritage site. This is the premier tourist destination in Korea because of its stunning scenery and great tourist amenities. See scenic beaches, waterfalls, cliffs and caves and enjoy the mild climate. Overnight on the island.
After breakfast you are taken on a full day sightseeing tour of this beautiful island. Stop at the Cheonjeyeon Falls (The Pond of God), and a tangerine farm before being taken on a scenic cruise. Lunch is at a local restaurant then visit the Spirited Garden, often voted the most beautiful garden in the world. Finish the day with a walk along the shores of Yongmeori Beach and see Sangbanggulsa cave before returning to your hotel.
Today visit Seopjikoji, one of the most mysterious sights on the island, where huge cliffs and a dark blue ocean provide a great spectacle and take a trek on the Olle path to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, another World Heritage site. Next, step back in time as you explore the Seongeup Folk Village, renowned for perfectly preserving Korean traditions. Then stop at a Jewellery and Amethyst store before going to the airport to catch a flight to Busan, the second largest city in Korea, where you are met and taken to your hotel.
Today you are met by a guide and taken to Gyeongju, a museum without walls, which was once the capital of the Shilla Dynasty and remained so for about 1,000 years. Gyeongju preserves a vast amount of significant and fascinating historical heritage. Along with Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, its historical district is another World Heritage site. The grotto is an artificial stone temple made of granite, on the eastern peak of Mt. Toham and Bulguksa Temple has awesome stone relics. Move to Daegu city for an overnight stay.
After breakfast today you visit the Haeinsa Temple in Gavasan National Park. This temple was founded by King Ae-Jang of the Shilla Dynasty in 802 and is famous for its treasured Tripitaka Koreana - 81,341 printed woodblocks made to repulse the invading Mongolian army. Continue to Andong Hahoe village which was visited by our Queen Elizabeth some years ago. Your day ends at the small port of Sokcho, where you spend tonight.
Today you move on to Seoraksan National Park, where peaks break through the clouds and jade-like water flows through the valleys, creating breathtaking views and making it Korea’s most famous national park. Visit Sinheungsa-temple located on Mt. Seorak which is an ancient temple with deep historical significance. After sightseeing in the park travel back to the capital city Seoul for your stay at a centrally located hotel.
After breakfast you are picked up from your hotel for a half day sightseeing tour featuring the Gyeongbokgung Palace, The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony, National Folk Museum and Korean Ginseng Centre. After lunch you drive to the Korean Folk Village just outside the city where you experience the culture of the late Joseon Dynasty. This huge village has about 260 different types of house from each province. Return to Seoul for your final night of the tour.
Today your wonderful Best of Korea tour comes to an end. But make time to explore more of this exotic capital and do some last minute souvenir shopping before travelling to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home having had a great insight into one of the world's exciting emerging nations.
Standard fr £2279pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated