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South Korea: Land of the Morning Calm

Experience more with so much included

  • Discover and explore Seoul, a modern power house with a mixture of ancient palaces and contemporary culture
  • Visit five fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Stay eleven nights in Seoul, Seoraksan National Park, Andong, Gyeongju and Busan
  • Witness the famous Gyeongbok Palace’s Changing of the Guard ceremony
  • Visit the unique Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) including the Goseong Unification Observatory and DMZ Museum, the stark reality and immense tragedy of a divided Korea
  • Explore the vast limestone cave of Hwanseongul
  • Discover the traditional Korean ‘living village’ of Hahoe and learn about the ancient craft of mulberry papermaking
  • Be inspired by the scenic Seoraksan National Park and the coastal city of Sokcho
  • Create your own Korean supper with a culinary cooking class experience
  • Visit the ancient capital of Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage city, known for its extensive historical and archaeological sites
  • See the modern city of Busan, famed in Asia for its annual international film festival
  • See one of the world’s largest car plants
  • Travel at 190mph on the KTX high-speed train
  • Enjoy a traditional Korean dinner in Andong
  • Visit Korea’s most famous historic place of education and commemoration, the neo-Confucian Academy of Dosan Seowan, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Return direct scheduled flights with premium economy and Business upgrades available at a supplement
  • Stay in hand-picked three and four-star accommodation, with daily breakfast and five meals
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Selected departures available from March to September 2020

 
At a Glance
NEW TOUR FOR 2020
Return flights & transfers
11 nights in 3 to 4-star accommodation
16 meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners
Daily visits & tours
Travel on the KTX high speed train
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Welcome to the Land Of The Morning Calm. On this tour of South Korea, explore historic landmarks, lush green landscapes and learn about ancient traditions from the welcoming locals. In contrast, discover the bustling modern cities of Seoul and Busan, as well as embracing the culinary delicacies of the region. Korea has a middle latitude temperate climate with four distinct seasons; we visit during spring, early summer and autumn.

We first head to the capital and modern powerhouse of Seoul. With a population of more than 10 million; Seoul has been the nation’s capital for more than 600 years. Although a fast-changing and trendy city, Seoul has well preserved its precious history of the Joseon Dynasty when it was once called ‘Hanyang’. 

The DMZ, known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, cuts through the middle of the Korean peninsula, famously dividing North and South Korea. When the 1953 armistice was signed, a truce line was set from the mouth of the Imjingang river on the west coast to Goseong-gun, in the Gangwon-do Province on the east coast. DMZ is a zone over a mile away from the truce line both northward and southward and military presence or deployment of arsenals is prohibited in the zone.  Along the truce line, a demilitarized zone on the Yellow Sea was formed, thus taking up 350 square miles of land area that accounts for just a mere 0.5% of the Korean Peninsula. Although a highly guarded region for more than 65 years, it boasts one of the finest, unspoiled ecosystems. DMZ is a symbol of peace, communication and coexistence and its clean and pristine nature is proof that there is hope. 

Our journey takes us to the scenic north east of Seoraksan and south to the historic  Gyeongju. For almost 1000 years, Gyeongju held power over the Korean Penisula as the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57BC-935AD), and along with Baekje and Goguryeo formed the three  kingdoms of Korea. This area is filled with cultural relics and assets that were influential in the development of Korean architecture and Buddhism at the time. An incredible five districts of Gyeongju have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Korea is actually home to a total of thirteen UNESCO World Heritage sites, of which we visit a selection of them on this captivating tour.

These sites demonstrate the country’s unique culture and distinct beauty. Traces of Korea’s 5000-year history and heritage can be seen throughout the country; including the serene Buddhist mountain monasteries, Dosan Seowan Neo-Confucian-shrine academy and the fascinating Hahoe village. From contemporary Seoul and the thought-provoking DMZ to the ancient history and calming Buddhist culture, this tour of South Korea really is an sensory adventure for the mind, body and soul.

On the other hand is the ancient village of Hahoe, hugged by the Nakdonggang River, which is listed as a historical relic in its own right. Founded in the Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910), Hahoe is one of the most representative historic clan villages in Korea; with thatched roof houses, houses of the upper class and charming pavilions. Confucian academies and other traditional structures in the village are of great cultural and historic value.  

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a room. Single rooms are subject to availability, at the relevant supplement. The price includes:

  • Return scheduled flights
  • Checked luggage (as per airline's allowance)
  • Overseas transfers
  • Eleven nights accommodation in three and four-star hotels
  • Daily breakfast
  • Three lunches and two dinners
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Journey on KTX speed train
  • Local accommodation taxes
  • Coach travel as mentioned in the itinerary
  • The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

Not included: hotel and train porterage services in South Korea are not customary and will not be available throughout your journey.

Personalise Your Holiday

Make it Your Own

Hwaeseong Fortress
 

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress - from £75 per person

Venture south of Seoul for the morning to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress with a Korean archery experience.

Temple Life Experience - from £125 per person

Experience a calming day of meditation, prayer bead making, a temple lunch and tea with a Monk at Jeondeungsa Temple on Ganghwa Island.

Please contact us to add either of these experiences to your booking.

Useful Information

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: South Korean won
  • Deposit: £200 per person
  • Flight Time: Approx. 11 hrs
  • Language: Korean
  • Time Zone: GMT+9
  • Country: South Korea

Good to know

On Day 11 of our itinerary, a hand luggage-sized case will be needed per person for one night stay, as our larger cases will be travelling separately to meet us at the hotel in Gyeongju

During our journey on the KTX high-speed train from Busan to Seoul, we take carry-on/hand luggage only.  Our main luggage to be transported by a separate vehicle from our hotel in Busan to our hotel in Seoul.

During our visit to the DMZ, please take your passport with you for this day and dress conservatively making sure your shoulders and knees are covered.  The DMZ is United Nations controlled and as such the security is high. The DMZ (demilitarized zone) area visited is to  Panmunjeom and the JSA (joint security area); if for reasons beyond control this area is not possible to visit then the DMZ visit it to the 3rd Tunnel which includes the area of Imjingak (Freedom bridge), Dora Observatory, and Dorasan Station.

Visa Information

No visa is required for British citizens visiting South Korea, however you should ensure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the return date to the UK. Other nationalities should contact their local embassy.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in requirements after this time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to travel.

Transfer times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Incheon International Airport  Seoul 1 hr 15 mins Seoul Incheon International Airport  1 hr 15 mins


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