South Korea Unspoiled natural beauty and ancient temples contrast with sleek, modern cities View All South Korea Holidays

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Stefanie Studley
South Korea Travel Specialist

Welcome to the Land of the Morning Calm – where even the nickname resonates serenity. Dubbed by an emperor of the Ming dynasty of China, the attractive southern half of the Korean peninsula is a country deeply rooted in ancient Buddhism. South Korea is a land of craggy mountains, national parks carpeted in thick forest and an unspoiled countryside sprinkled with rustic wooden ‘hanock’ houses.

South Korea is a paradoxical country. Visitors often begin by soaking up the lively atmosphere in pulsating Seoul, where neon signs compete with exquisite temples and palaces and the best views are afforded from the iconic Seoul Tower. This couldn’t contrast more with what awaits travellers in the countryside; beautiful and mountainous, the regions beyond the city are filled with thousands of ornate temples, home to the country’s Buddhist monks.

There’s plenty to enchant culture seekers. Temple-hop in the former Silla Kingdom capital of Gyeongju, admire the 80,000 beautifully-preserved wooden printing blocks at Gayasan National Park’s Haeinsa Temple, discover the port towns brimming with seafood markets dotted along the dramatic coastline or opt to visit Jeju Island, the volcanic province situated off the southern coast, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. 

Holiday Types


Group Tours
Group Tours
Join a small group of like-minded travellers and travel on a fully-guided group tour.
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Tailor-Made
Let us know your travel requirements and we will individually design your perfect trip.
Map

Seoul
Top Destination
Seoul
Modern Seoul has risen out of the ashes of the war to become a diverse and  modern metropolis, where skyscrapers and 12-lane motorways stand side-by-side with ancient palaces and pagodas. Navigating the city is easy with an extensive underground network that will take you from Gangnam to Dongdaemun where the gimchi on sale at the market stretches as far as the eye can see.
Panmunjeon / DMZ
Top Destination
Panmunjeon / DMZ
Known as the Joint Security Area, Panmunjeon is the only place that you can visit the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea. Here you will be escorted by a military guide who will talk to you about the history of the war and the armistice talks which took place in 1953. On your tour there may be a chance to visit one of the halls where the talks took place stepping, technically, into North Korea.
Gyeongju
Top Destination
Gyeongju
In the Eastern part of the country the city of Gyeongju has a rich cultural heritage and was capital of the Silla dynasty for nearly 1,000 years. It is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Seokguram grotto, Bulguksa temple and the Yangdong Folk Village.
Busan
Stefanie Studley's Recommendation
Busan
Busan is South Korea’s largest port situated on the South-Eastern tip of the country. The city is broken up by a number of mountain ridges which coupled with its port status give it a distinctive and cosmopolitan feel, and includes a large hot spring right in the centre of the city, with a huge bathhouse, and a visit to the Jagalchi Fish Market is not to be missed.
Jeju Island
Stefanie Studley's Recommendation
Jeju Island
To get away from it all Koreans visit Jeju Island, a volcanic island off the South coast of the country. As well as several impressive beaches there are beautiful waterfalls, rare lava-tube caves and Hallasan, the now extinct volcano which rises to 2,000 metres in the centre of the island.

Popular Destinations in South Korea

1
   Seoul
2
   Panmunjeon / DMZ
3
   Gyeongju



Specialist Recommendations

1
   Busan
2
   Jeju Island


Regent South Korea Specialist


Stefanie Studley
Travellers keen to get under the skin of this country and explore the great outdoors should consider adding a few days in Jeju Island to their trip. Recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, alongside Table Mountain and the Amazon rainforest, Jeju Island boasts outstanding beauty from its rugged shores to its lush meadows. The island is also home to the extraordinary Haenyo women; divers who scour the ocean floor for marine products.

Stefanie's Tips
1
Try beef bulgogi, one of South Korea's most famous side-dishes, tender strips of marinated beef are cooked over a fire.
2
South Korea's service stations are one of the best places to stop and get authentic food - look out for jeon (savoury pancakes).
3
On a trip to the DMZ, watch North Korean people going about their lives across the hostile border through binoculars.




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