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South Korea - Ancient and Modern

15 days from £3985 per person

Often overlooked, South Korea is a hidden treasure with a strong culture, proud traditions and a wonderful array of historic sites. A unique combination of the very old and the very modern, this itinerary aims to introduce the traveller to both sides of this welcoming country. Starting the tour in Seoul, where highlights in the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, fly to subtropical Jeju Island – home to some of South Korea’s finest scenery. From Jeju visit the ancient Shilla remains at Gyeongju, second city Busan and then return to Seoul for an unforgettable visit to the DMZ.

Route: Seoul – Jeju Island – Gyeongju – Busan – Seoul

Itinerary Highlights

Seoul is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, subways and neon lights meet ancient temples, palaces, parks and markets. An excellent city for fantastic street food.

Jejudo or Jeju Island, off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, was formed through volcanic processes and has many strange lava formations and spectacular caves.

Busan is a busy port city with beaches, nightlife, parks and temples. The city is overlooked by Geumjeong Mountain, which is an excellent spot for hiking.

Itinerary: South Korea - Ancient and Modern

Today depart the UK on the Asiana Airlines flight non-stop to Seoul. (N)
Arrive into Seoul-Incheon Airport where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax after your journey. (N)
Accommodation in Seoul: JW Marriott Hotel (or similar)
Today explore Seoul starting at the residence of the President of South Korea, Cheongwadae, and the spectacular Gyeongbokgung Palace. After visiting the Amethyst-Jogye Temple, explore the atmospheric district of Insadong with its cobbled streets, small restaurants and traditional teashops. Later in the evening head back into the city to Namdaemun – once the Great South Gate of the Seoul Market – and today the site of a vast night market selling everything from traditional snacks to clothes. (B)
Accommodation in Seoul: JW Marriott Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Seoul and fly to Jeju Island. A beautiful subtropical island located to the southwest of Korea, Jeju is dotted with beaches, waterfalls, dramatic volcanic rock formations and dense forest. Later visit Yongduam Rock, the Mysterious Road and the bizarre hexagonal rock columns at Jusangjolli. (B)
Accommodation in Jeju Island: Hyatt Regency Jeju (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Shilla Jeju (or similar)
Today further explore Jeju Island visiting Seogeopo, Sunrise Park, the Seong-eup Folk Village, Manjangul – the world’s largest system of lava tube caves – and Dongmun Traditional Market. (B)
Accommodation in Jeju Island: Hyatt Regency Jeju (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Shilla Jeju (or similar)
At leisure – no car, driver or guide (B)
Accommodation in Jeju Island: Hyatt Regency Jeju (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Shilla Jeju (or similar)
This morning leave your hotel and transfer to Jeju Airport for your onward flight to Daegu. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to Gyeongju. Made capital of the Shilla Kingdom in 57 BC, Gyeongju remained so for nearly 1,000 years and today is resplendent with tombs, temples, pagodas, palace, gardens and temples. Later, visit the Millennium Park with your guide. (B)
Accommodation in Gyeongju: Hilton Gyeongju Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast, explore Gyeongju with your guide. Places of interest include the Gyeongju National Museum, Anapji Pond – a pleasure garden constructed in 674 AD – and Tumuli Park. Also visit the Far East’s oldest astrological observatory at Cheomseongdae, the large pagoda of Bunhwangsa and the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Seokguram Grotto. (B)
Accommodation in Gyeongju: Hilton Gyeongju Hotel (or similar)
Today leave your hotel and start the morning at Golgulsa Temple which is famed for its cliff-side carved Buddha and the teaching of sunmudo, a Korean martial art. From here continue to Daewangam Rock to enjoy the coastal scenery before ending the day at Homigot close to Pohang. (B)
Accommodation in Gyeongju: Hilton Gyeongju Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Gyeongju and drive south to Busan stopping en-route in Yangsan to visit Tongdosa Temple which houses one of the world’s largest collections of Buddhist temple paintings. Afterwards, continue onto Busan and your accommodation, close to the sweeping Haeundae beach. (B)
Accommodation in Busan: Westin Chosun Busan Hotel (or similar)
Today explore this vibrant city with your guide. Places of interest include the magnificent Buddhist temple at Beomeosa, the atmospheric Jagalchi Fish Market and Yongdusan Park where the panoramic views of the city from the 118 metre Busan Tower provide a sense of the size of what is the world’s fourth busiest container port. (B)
Accommodation in Busan: Westin Chosun Busan Hotel (or similar)
At leisure – no car, driver or guide (B)
Accommodation in Busan: Westin Chosun Busan Hotel (or similar)
This morning take the high-speed KTX train to Seoul – a memorable journey through the heart of the country. Later visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changdeokgung Palace which was constructed at the start of the 15th century before ending the day at the Seoul N Tower, which is located atop Mount Namsan, to enjoy the wonderful views of the capital city. (B)
Accommodation in Seoul: JW Marriott Hotel (or similar)
Following breakfast leave Seoul for the drive north to the DMZ which separates North and South Korea. Once inside the DMZ visit the Dora Observatory with its views into the DPRK, the Third Tunnel which was built by North Korean soldiers and discovered in 1978, the Peace Village and eerie, modern, Dorasan Station built by the South in preparation for reunification. Later return to Seoul and end your day with a visit to the beautiful Deoksugung Park known for its colourful traditional changing of the guard ceremony. (B)
Accommodation in Seoul: JW Marriott Hotel (or similar)
This morning transfer back to the airport to catch the Asiana Airlines flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

China, Mongolia, South Korea, Central Asia, Nepal and Bhutan Holiday Review

I was lucky enough to be given a three month career break and wanted to do some extensive travelling in Asia. I emailed a number of travel companies with a request to prepare a tailor made tour across certain specific dates. Pettitts were the first to reply and from that moment on provided a superb service. Initially there were a number of changes requested to the itinerary, but they were able to accommodate all changes and flex the programme according to our needs. The countries visited were China, Mongolia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Nepal and Bhutan. Pettitts have clearly identified high quality international partners given that we were impressed with all travel guides in each country.

Pettitts assisted with all questions we had during the planning of the trip and were very quick to get in touch with us on the one occasion they needed to during the trip. Pettitts were excellent and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their service was first class and I would be more than happy to use their services again.

SG - China, Mongolia, South Korea, Central Asia, Nepal and Bhutan - July 2018

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For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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