Youth tour company Contiki has announced the first ever K-Wave trip to South Korea, to showcase local pop culture. Jenny Southan reports

Designed especially for Gen Z and Gen Y tourists aged 18-35, the nine-day trip from Contiki will be the first tour to offer a youth-focused K-Wave itinerary including a baseball game, K-pop dance class, and visits to behind-the-scenes music video locations.

Costing from £1,940 per person and departing in March 2024, the trip begins and ends in Seoul with a focus on K-Wave culture in addition to the more traditional tourist hotspots, something previously unavailable as a guided tour.

In and around the capital, travellers will have the chance to visit Gangnam, made famous worldwide by Psy’s smash hit song Gangnam Style, along with Seongsu – once known as a shoe-making district and now heralded as one South Korea’s most exciting shopping districts.

Other activities include a high-speed rail journey to Busan, plus a stopover at Jeonju – the UNESCO World Heritage town known for its traditional ambience and local hospitality.

There is also a luxury yacht trip around Busan and a trip to the DMZ (demilitarised zone) by the North Korean border, a visit to the Awon Hanok Gallery and, of course, plenty of authentic cuisine – including a Korean BBQ dinner on the final night.

“Over the past few years, South Korea has become a powerhouse for popular culture,” says Taryn Welsh, operations director, Asia at Contiki.

“It’s now one of the most sought-after travel destinations among 18-35s globally, thanks in no small part to movies and TV shows such as Parasite and Squid Game, plus the rising popularity of K-pop and K-beauty.

“We’re delighted to be launching this trip. It does a great job of showcasing both the modern and traditional aspects of this diverse and wonderful country. Travellers will flitter from traditional Buddhist temples to the vending machines of Gangnam and back again.

“And with Contiki, they don’t need to worry about the language barriers, navigation, transport or anything like that. Our Trip Manager and local guide take care of all this for them, so they’re free to relax and enjoy their trip.”

Price includes all accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, one lunch and one dinner, transportation, and tour guide. International flights not included.