- Explore the grandeur of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
- Walk through ginkgo and redwood groves on Nami Island
- Hike to South Korea's highest peak, Mount Seoraksan
- Feel the tranquility at Shinheungsa Buddhist Temple
|Day 1||Arrive in Seoul||Seoul|
|Day 2||Gyeongbokgung Palace & Bukchon Hanok Village||Seoul|
|Day 3||Transfer to Sokcho, Nami Island & Gangchon Rail Park||Sokcho|
|Day 4||Seoraksan National Park & Shinheungsa Temple, Return to Seoul||Seoul|
Day 1: Arrive in Seoul
Meet your driver at Incheon International Airport for a transfer to Seoul and your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, spend the afternoon or evening resting after your flight, or get out and explore a small piece of the city of nine million people. Walk to Namsan Park, the highest peak in the metropolis, filled with hiking trails and city views. For a break from walking, take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain above the Hangang River.
After working up an appetite, taste authentic bibimbap, a dish of mixed rice with vegetables and meat—or pair jeon savory pancakes with makgeolli rice wine. With time to explore more of Seoul tomorrow, you may want to return to your hotel early to rest for your trip.
Day 2: Gyeongbokgung Palace & Bukchon Hanok Village
In the morning, step into the grandeur of the Joseon Dynasty, visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, a complex built in 1395 and restored in the 19th century. Considered among the most beautiful of Seoul's five grand palaces, a tour with a private guide of some of its grounds, more than 50 buildings, 7,700 rooms, and over 90 acres (40 ha) uncovers the history of South Korea and its former rulers. Learn more about this history at the National Folk Museum and National Palace Museum, and get your camera ready for a guard-changing ceremony reenacting royal traditions.
Just outside the palace, visit Bukchon Hanok Village for another view of the past. Explore narrow streets where more than 900 traditional hanoks, the homes of the royal family and high society, are restored from the Joseon dynasty and are now guesthouses, tea houses, and restaurants. Stay in the village for lunch and then hike up to Namsan Park for more views, or return to your hotel to rest and prepare to move on to Sokcho tomorrow.
Day 3: Transfer to Sokcho, Nami Island & Gangchon Rail Park
In the morning, meet a driver for a transfer two hours east, traveling 114 miles (184 km) to Sokcho. During the drive, there will be stops to see some of the area's key sights and scenic spots. After the first 45 minutes of the drive, stop at Petite France, a theme park that recreates a French village and is an ideal spot to stretch your legs. Or, continue for another 20 minutes to Nami Island, known for its pine, ginkgo, and redwood groves.
The former railroad lines around Gimyujeong Station are now a park that's ideal for biking and Bukhan River views. At the Gangchon Rail Park, cycle on a two- or four-seat bike, traveling along the railway on a path through tunnels. After the approximate one-hour cycling tour, get back in the car to continue to Sokcho, where you'll spend the night.
Day 4: Seoraksan National Park & Shinheungsa Temple, Return to Seoul
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
In the morning, meet your guide and prepare for hiking and adventure at Seoraksan National Park, an area designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Preservation District. Take a walk or hike among the park's valleys and waterfalls while your guide points out some rare plant and animal species. For a challenge, hike up to Mount Seoraksan at 2,322 feet (1,708 m), one of Korea's highest mountains. Depending on the season, expect colorful spring flowers, summer waterfalls and streams, fall foliage, and snow-covered winter peaks in the park.
Depending on the weather, ride a cable car to Gweongeumseong Fortress Peak, reaching 2,296 feet (700 m), and the ruins of Toto Castle. Soak up views of Mount Seoraksan from this peak with your camera ready, and then head down the slopes to the seventh-century Shinheungsa Buddhist Temple. On the way, find the bronze Unification Buddha Statue. In the afternoon, return to Seoul, where you can go out for the night to explore the city or rest at your hotel.
Day 5: Depart
Spend your last morning in Seoul and then meet a driver for a transfer to the airport to travel to your next destination.
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