Explore the metropolitan city life of Seoul where you will visit the National Museum, the Changdeok Palace and the secret garden of Huwon. Amaze yourself with the bird’s eye view from the N Seoul Tower on Mount Namsan and visit a local market to experience the life of the locals.
Explore the traditional temples of South Korea and have the ultimate and unique experience of having an overnight stay at a Korean temple where you will get to wear a suitable uniform and witness the ceremony of Bell-Beating, Chanting Mass and participate in a Meditation course.
Visit the World Heritage Sites South Korea has to offer, pay a visit to the relics of the Joseon Dynasty and impress yourself by the Cheomseongdae Astronomic Observatory.
South Korea has plenty of historical sites, culinary markets and eye-catching scenery to offer, so amaze yourself during this 11-day itinerary in a small group tour.
Day 1: Arrival in Seoul
At your arrival in Seoul, you will be met by your driver who will transfer you to your hotel where you are able to relax. You have the full day at your own disposal allowing you to wonder through the streets in the surroundings, eat in local restaurants and experience the city life in South-Korea before your journey starts.
Day 2: Seoul
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and get ready for a city tour where you will pay a visit to the National Museum of Korea. This new museum was build in 2005 and is boasting its fantastic collection of Korean arts and relics; it would take a whole day to see everything in the museum.
However, there are some other sightseeings planned such as the Changdeok Palace and the secret garden of Huwon which is designated as World Heritage by UNESCO. You will proceed to the N Seoul Tower on Mt Namsan for a bird’s eye view of the Metropolitan city of Seoul after which you will continue onwards to the last visit at the Gwangjang Market.
Day 3: Seoul – Daegu
After your breakfast at the hotel, you will check-out of the hotel and head to the Korean Folk Village just outside the city where people are living in old traditional styled houses of the 18th-19th century. Proceed to the Songnisan Nat’l Park to visit the Beopjusa Temple, also a UNESCO World Hertiage, where the talles Buddha Statue in Korea is located. The forest park in its surroundings is an ideal place for a walk.
In the afternoon, you will continue your journey to Daegu where you will have your overnight stay.
Day 4: Daegu – Gyeongju
Today, there will be a visit planned to the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine, the Yangnyeongsi Market which has been a popular Herbal medicine market ever since it first opened in the 17th century where you can experience a feet bathing session in herb medicine, and the Seomun market. The Seomun market of Daegu is steeped in history as it is one of the three main markets during the Joseon dynasty.
After exploring Daegu, you will head onwards to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla kingdom from 57BC – 935AD. It is known as the “Museum without walls” as there are 52 designated sites within this city. Visit the Cheomseongdae Astronomic Observatory and the Royal Tumuli Park with its Royal tumbs. You will have the chance to enter one of the excavated tombs to see the construction and process behind the Roya; Kings burial chambers.
Day 5: Gyeongju
You will start your day with breakfast at the hotel after which you will have a day tour through Tyeongju where you will visit the Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram Grotto (UNSECO World Heritage Sites). The Serokguram Grotto was established in the 8th century on the sloped of Mount Toham and contains a monumental statue of a sitting Buddha looking out over the sea and it is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East.
Continue onwards to the 4 Faces Buddha, the Gwaeneung Royal Tomb and enjoy the scenic drive tour to Guryongpo Port where you will drive along the sea for the beautiful coastal area of South-Korea.
Day 6: Gyeongju – Busan
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and continue your journey onwards to the Unmoonsa Temple, also known as the ‘Buddhist Nun’s temple’. After this spiritual visit, you will proceed to Busan which is the second largest city of South Korea. Upon arrival, a city tour awaits you bringing you to the Busan Tower on Yongdusan Park with its observation deck offering studding views of the city and beyond. Visit the Jagalchi Fishery Market where roadside vendors sell various kind of fish and the Nampodong Shopping Street to get some souvenirs to remind you of the trip.
Day 7: Busan - Andong – Chungju
Today, a visit to the Mount Gayasan National Park awaits where you will explore the Haeinsa Temple from the inside. The Haeinsa Temple has a world famous Korean cultural treasure called ‘Tripikata Koreana’ which was made during the Goryo dynasty to protect the country from the invasion of Mongolian troops by Buddha’s power. This is designated as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Continue onwards to Andong to visit the Andong Hahoe Village, the best-preserved village with its traditional style noble houses. In 1999, Queen Elisabeth II visited Hahoe Village and was welcomed with a birthday party table decorated in a traditional Korean way. This village is famous for its own mask dance.
In the afternoon, you will proceed to the Chunju Lake where you will have your overnight stay.
Day 8: Chungju
After breakfast, it is time to explore Chungju and take a ride on the sightseeing boat to float through the lakeside scenery. Proceed to the Woljeongsa Temple or the Samhwasa temple to experience a unique temple stay. Upon arrival at the temple, there will be time to change your clothes into a traditional temple uniform prepared by the temple. An orientation will follow elaborating on the various things you need to know for your stay at the temple regarding its regulations and schedules.
In the afternoon, attend the ceremony of Bell-Beating, Chanting Mass and Meditation course. During your stay here, you will not have a phone and TV in your traditional styled room. The showers and toilets are shared in common use and the shared rooms will be arranged as male or female rooms. It is optional to upgrade your room to a private room, but an additional fee applies. During your stay, alcohol is not permitted.
Day 9: Gangneung
Optional: Rise early at 3am for the morning worship.
After breakfast, you will say goodbye to the temple and head to the DMZ unification observatory at the demarcation line at East Coast for a very close view of North Korea. Return to the Mount Seorak National park for a cable ride to the Gwongeumseong Fortress and visit the Sinheungsa Temple after which you will continue onwards to the Pine City Gangneung.
In the afternoon, visit the Chamsori Gramophone and Audie Museum which boasts itself with incredible collections of the 19th Century regarding gramophones and 1st generation audio systems.
Day 10: Gangneung – Gapyeong – Seoul
Today, you will drive from Gangneung to Gapyeong to visit the Garden of Morning Calm Flower and Tree Park displaying unique Korean wild flowers and trees in a garden located in a mountain valley. Experience this precious and magnificent scenery and flora of South-Korea to round off your journey. Afterwards, you will head back to Seoul.
Day 11: Departure Seoul
After your breakfast at the hotel, it is time to say goodbye to South-Korea and head down to the airport to go back home.