Map of South Korea Highlights including Korea, Republic Of

Feel the Seoul of South Korea on this adventure that hits all the highlights.

A melting pot of natural wonder, culinary delights and mesmerizing cityscapes, South Korea is proving itself as a destination well and truly worth adding to your travel list. Discover this fascinating, animated and tech-savvy country on a nine-day exploration of all the must-see spots. Take a tour of Korea’s Demilitarised Zone, eat ‘til you drop at an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, spend a night in a traditional Hanok house and discover the ecological beauty of Suncheon’s wetlands.

Cyber Sale: Up to 25% off* 2023 trips

Save more, see more with up to 25% off* 2023 trips. Adventure is just a click away. Ends 2 Dec.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Seoul, South Korea
Finish
Seoul, South Korea
Destination
South Korea
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
CJSK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Spend a fascinating day exploring the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on a guided tour. Discover why this intriguing place has been awash with tension and political pressure since the Korean War.

  • Take a street food tour of the renowned Gwangjang markets in Seoul, feasting on bite-sized delights, and indulge in an authentic all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue experience.

  • On your day trip to seaside Sokcho, discover the island village of Abai, which is home to hundreds of North Korean refugees having settled during the War.

  • Spend a night in a traditional Hanok house in the Andong Hahoe folk village, walking past the traditional homes to imagine the country in its past life.

  • See the naturally beautiful side to South Korea on a hike up Seoraksan Mountain and explore the wetlands and national gardens of Suncheon – South Korea’s ecological capital.

Is this trip right for you?

  • A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Itinerary

Welcome to Seoul, South Korea's vibrant capital of high-tech gadgetry, glittering skyscrapers and scrumptious eats. A modern Asian metropolis that blends bold futuristic intentions with strong links to the past, Seoul is one of Asia's great cities. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm this afternoon. After the welcome meeting, your leader will take you to visit the renowned Gwangjang Market for a progressive dinner tour. Here, you’ll find some of Korea’s street food favourites like mayak gimbap (rice rolls), mandu (North Korean dumplings), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) and the famous kimchi. Afterwards, follow your group leader to the top of Naksan to see an awesome view of Seoul’s skyline at night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Gwangjang market
  • Seoul - Naksan night view over the city
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the 4pm welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
After breakfast this morning, join a tour to the fascinating Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). From the South Korean side of the Zone, you’ll learn how this peninsula has been divided ever since the devastating Korean War. You’ll pay a visit to points of interest including the Third Tunnel of Aggression, Unification Bridge, Imjingak Park and the Dora Observatory. It’s truly a thought-provoking day. In the afternoon, explore the Gyeongbukgung Palace – the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, and the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village, then continue to Olympic Park, where South Korea emerged on the world stage as an economic superpower. The evening is yours to enjoy in this eclectic city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Jamsil Olympic Park
  • Seoul - Gyeongbukgung Palace
  • Seoul - North Village
  • Seoul - Demilitarized Zone (DMZ/South Korea)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that a tour of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) can only be operated by UN designated operators in South Korea, so you will be joined by other travellers on this tour. The tour will last around five hours, and you may have the option to add on extras to the tour, like upgrading to a Joint Security Area (JSA) tour, costing around USD 50. We'll try to book on the tours that are given by North Korea refugees who may be able to give you their first-hand experience. Note that these tours are not always available due to the political situation of the region.

You will need your passport for the DMZ tour, plus drinks and some light snacks are recommended. In terms of attire, you should wear business casual, avoiding large logos, sleeveless shirts or military wear.
This morning, say goodbye to Seoul and head to Gangneung. Situated on the east side of the Korean Peninsula, Gangneung is known for its pine forests, beaches and thriving café culture. Once you arrive, join your group leader on a visit to Ojukheon and Seongyojang House, which have been preserved in their original form and now provide an insight into what life was like hundreds of years ago. Continue to Gyeongpo Lake, where you’ll be able to walk along the lakeside paths, which are adorned with cherry blossoms during the springtime. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to explore at your own pace. Perhaps head to the Coffee Cupper Museum if you’ve got a caffeine fascination. This museum also has an education program for youth and handicapped people.
Accommodation
  • holiday house (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gangneung - Ojukheon Village
  • Gangneung - Gyeongpo Lake
Optional Activities
  • Gangneung - Coffee Cupper Museum - KRW14000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the accommodation tonight will be in a holiday house. The facilities will be shared but the stay will be very comfortable. This is not a typical hotel, so your room will not be made every day.
Head out of town this morning on a day trip to Sokcho. Take a morning hike up Korea’s most well-known mountain Seoraksan, which will take around 2.5 hours. Return to Sokcho and visit the Daepo Fish Market, where you might like to try mulhwae – a spicy raw fish soup which comes with all kinds of accompaniments. Later, duck over to Abai – a small island village which, for generations, has been a haven for refugees from North Korea by offering education and housing. Getting there is half the fun – you’ll have to work together to pull a rope on a small barge to get to the other side. In the late afternoon, return to Gangneung for a free evening.
Accommodation
  • holiday house (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sokcho - Island village of Abai
  • Sokcho - Daepo Fish market
  • Sokcho - Seoraksan Mountain
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s driving time to Sokcho is approximately 2 hours each way by public bus.
Hit the road on the way to Andong this morning, then continue to the Andong Hahoe Folk Village. This quaint traditional settlement is easy to walk around, so join your leader on a stroll visiting traditional houses, including the one that hosted Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. Later, you may like to take a ferry across the river for an easy hike up Buyongdae, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the community. Being a traditional Korean outpost, there may also be masked dancers performing in town, and to learn more about this ritual, why not visit the nearby mask museum. Staying in an authentic traditional Hanok house is guaranteed to be a special experience this evening.
Accommodation
  • Hanok (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Andong - Andong folk village
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3.5 hours.

Your accommodation tonight will be a traditional Hanok in a family guesthouse. Traditionally Korean beds in Hanok comprised a futon-like mattress placed on the floor, which could be folded up and placed in the cupboard in the morning. While floor bedding can seem firm compared with standard western mattresses, the floor in these accommodations is heated and provides for a comfortable and cosy nights' sleep.
This morning, visit the local Confucius temple and school with your leader to learn about how this religion affects the culture and traditions in South Korea. Then you'll leave from Andong Village to Suncheon. Suncheon holds a special place in South Korea because it’s now part of a free economic zone and considered by some as the ecological capital of South Korea. Arrive in the city in the late afternoon and join your leader for an orientation walk to get your bearings, before having a chilled-out night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Andong - confucianist school and temple visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.
Get out and about in Suncheon today on a tour of its most notable sights. Your local guide will take you to visit the Suncheonman Bay Wetlands and Suncheon Bay National Gardens where you’ll wander through fields of reeds swarming with diverse birdlife. Be sure to check out Dream Bridge – an artistic installation which is decorated with more than 140,000 drawings by children from around the world. Continue on to an open film set, which consists of three villages, each representing a different era from the 1950s to the 1970s. Afterwards, head to the Nagan Fortress village, which was originally established as a fortress against the attack from Japanese pirates, and now is a rare village that has survived colonial rule, with around 300 people still considering it home.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suncheon - Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
  • Suncheon - Open film set
  • Suncheon - Suncheon Bay National Garden
  • Suncheon - Nagan Fortress Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You’ll be travelling on public buses between places so be sure to have a light day pack and some water to carry with you.
After breakfast this morning, you’ll jump on a train and head back to Seoul. After checking in, the afternoon is yours to explore at leisure. Perhaps venture out and explore the Hannam and Itaewon districts, or with your free time, you might like to check out the large range of shopping Seoul has to offer. This evening, gather together with your travel pals for one final group dinner at an all-you-can-eat barbecue feast – you simply can’t have left Korea without some Korean barbecue!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s train ride is approximately 2 hours.
Your South Korean adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. Check out from your accommodation is at 12 pm.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Train, Public bus, Metro, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (5nts), Holiday House (2nts), Hanok (1nt)

Included activities

  • Seoul - Gwangjang market
  • Seoul - Naksan night view over the city
  • Seoul - Jamsil Olympic Park
  • Seoul - Gyeongbukgung Palace
  • Seoul - North Village
  • Seoul - Demilitarized Zone (DMZ/South Korea)
  • Gangneung - Ojukheon Village
  • Gangneung - Gyeongpo Lake
  • Sokcho - Island village of Abai
  • Sokcho - Daepo Fish market
  • Sokcho - Seoraksan Mountain
  • Andong - Andong folk village
  • Andong - confucianist school and temple visit
  • Suncheon - Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
  • Suncheon - Open film set
  • Suncheon - Suncheon Bay National Garden
  • Suncheon - Nagan Fortress Village

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our South Korea Highlights trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. The trip will start at 4pm on Day 1
2. A single supplement is bookable for all nights except Day 5, subject to availability.
3. Although this trip starts and finishes in Seoul, we highly recommend you to spend some extra time exploring this fascinating city and its neighbouring regions. Please consult your booking agents if you would like to book additional nights.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews