Korea boasts an enormous range of stunning sites, including dramatic geological formations, ancient cities, awe-inspiring places of worship and some of the world's most beautiful gardens. This 10-day tour takes in the very best of these fascinating locations, giving you a real insight into its history, landscapes and people.
You'll be met on arrival at Incheon International Airport and transfer to Seoul, where you have the rest of the day at leisure to relax and begin exploring.
After breakfast, you'll join a half-day tour of Seoul's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). At the extensive museum here you'll learn more about the area's often-troubled history, as well as its ecological diversity. You'll visit the Bridge of No Return, which crosses the Military Demarcation Line between North and South Korea, and Imjingak Park, filled with statues and monuments commemorating the Korean War, before returning to the city centre, where you'll visit the Ginseng Centre and have some time at leisure before heading back to your hotel.
Seoul to Jeju
After an early breakfast this morning you'll transfer to the airport at around 0720 for your flight to Jeju. You'll be met at the airport by your tour guide and then head out to Yongduam (Dragon Head) Rock to admire the stunning rock formations and deep-blue waters. From here you'll continue to Halla Arboretum, spectacular home to 909 species of native trees and subtropical plants, before lunch at local restaurant. Afterwards, you may like to take an optional trip to Pacific Land to catch a show by the performing animals, which include monkeys, sealions and dolphins, before continuing to the Yakchunsa Temple, home to an astonishing 30,000 Buddha statues.
You'll enjoy a full day of sightseeing today. First stop is the breathtaking Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, also known as the Pond of God, before you continue on to taste the fresh produce at Gyulimseong tangerine farm. Next there's the chance to take an optional scenic cruise aboard the Seogwipo Pleasure Boat, before lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards you'll visit Spirited Garden, believed by many to be the most beautiful garden in the world, before a pre-dinner stroll along Yongmeori Beach.
Jeju to Busan
After breakfast this morning you'll head to picturesque Seopjikoji to admire the rugged cliffs and trek on the Olle path. You'll continue on to the stunning Seongsan Ilchulbong, or Sunrise Peak, a UNESCO World Heritage site often said to resemble a huge ancient castle. Next, you'll step back in time as you explore the Seongeup Folk Village and learn more about the Korean traditions preserved there, including Confucian shrines and schools, before lunch at local restaurant. If time permits, you'll visit the Museum of Natural History and stop off at a store selling amethyst jewellery before heading back to Jeju airport to catch your flight to Busan, Korea's second-largest city, where you'll be met by your guide and transfer to your hotel.
Busan to Daegu
This morning's first stop is the coastal city of Gyeongju. This was the capital of the Shilla Dynasty for 1,000 years, beginning in 57 BC, and is a vast treasure trove of fascinating historical sites – it's no surprise that it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Here you'll visit Gyeongju National Museum, Cheomgseongdae Astronomical Observatory and Seokguram Grotto, a stone temple on the eastern peak of Mount Toham filled with stunning statues. From here you'll continue to Daegu, where you'll stay overnight.
Daegu to Sokcho
This morning you'll head out to Haeinsa Temple, located in Gayasan National Park, to admire its famous treasure, the Tripitaka Koreana, a collection of Buddhist scriptures carved onto 81,341 printing blocks in the 13th century. From here you'll travel on to Andong Hahoe Folk Village, where the architecture of the Joseon Dynasty has been perfectly preserved. Afterwards you'll transfer to the port town of Sokcho, where you'll spend the night.
Sokcho to Seoul
This morning you'll head for Seoraksan National Park, Korea’s most famous national park, which has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preservation District. Here you can admire the breathtaking views of rugged peaks breaking through the clouds. You'll visit the seventh-century Sinheungsa Temple, and perhaps take an optional cable-car trip to Gwongeumseong, a collection of castle ruins located on the steep Dol Mountain. Finally, you'll continue on to Seoul, where you'll check in to your centrally located hotel.
After breakfast today you'll enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Seoul, taking in Gyeongbokgung Palace, the changing of the Royal Guard, the National Folk Museum and the Korean Ginseng Centre. After lunch, you'll move on to Korean Folk Village to experience the culture of the late Joseon Dynasty, before returning to Seoul.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, when you'll transfer to the airport for your onward flight.