There are countless reasons why so many of us love to travel to South Korea. From taking in the glorious views of the city on top of the Seoul Tower to reliving history at an ancient palace, tourists from all around the world are captivated by this nation’s grand attractions.
And while many adore its bountiful attractions, its popular hiking trails rank high on any travellers itinerary. As South Korea is a lush and green nation covered in mountains, it is the perfect hiking destination surrounded by an abundance of trails. Whether you prefer to enjoy a short and easy hike or take on a more adventurous feat, this vast region has a hiking trail that will suit all of your wanderlust needs.
As a large part of the land in South Korea is mountainous, tourists can explore a long list of different hiking trails. These trails are all noteworthy, but some stand out to tourists for a variety of reasons. With this in mind, we have created a list of 5 unique hiking trails that you must explore when visiting South Korea. And yes, all of them lead to the most stunning views in the country.
Hallasan is the tallest mountain in South Korea located on the volcanic island of Jeju. This popular island is also known as the “Hawaii of Korea” because it’s home to both golden beaches and volcanos. Hallasan is one such shield volcano that towers at 1,950 meters above sea level. This mountain is said to be a sacred place for many Koreans, who believe that the gods and spirits they worship live on it.
Hallasan has five trails that lead to its peak, with each presenting varying degrees of incline and difficulty. Beginners can choose to reach the top and come back down within a few hours, while more expert climbers can opt to hike for even a full day. From these five trails, the Seongpanak trail is favoured by most hikers because of its gradual incline and relatively easier climb.
Jirisan is the tallest mountain in mainland South Korea and the second tallest overall, towering at a majestic height of 1925 meters. It’s located in the Jirisan National Park, which is the largest national park in the country. This popular park spans over three provinces, with the largest proportion being in the province of South Gyeongsang, where the tallest peak of Jirisan is also located.
The mountain is home to a multitude of trails where you can choose either a three-hour return hike or a multi-day hike to watch the sunrise from its highest peak, Cheonwangbong. As Jirisan is also located within a national park itself, travellers can explore more than just hiking at this destination. Travellers can visit seven Buddhist temples, view ancient stone carvings, and learn about the biodiversity conservation programmes at the park as well.
If you’re visiting South Korea for a short trip to the city but also want to enjoy a quick hike, Bukhansan is the ideal hiking destination for you. This mountain sits at the border of the city at the northern periphery of Seoul, making it very convenient to visit for a day trip. The view from its peak allows you to take in the splendour of Seoul and the large granite rocks that surround the area.
Bukhansan has multiple trails for hikers to choose from, with the most popular taking only two hours to reach its highest peak, Baegundae, at 836.5 meters. Hikers who explore this trail will also be able to see a replica of the ancient Bukhansanseong Fortress wall on their hike. There are also two other peaks on the mountain to choose from, Insubong at 810.5 meters and Mangyeongdae at 787 meters.
Seoraksan is the tallest peak on the Taebaek mountain range, gliding along the east coast borders of North and South Korea. Seoraksan’s highest peak is known as Daecheongbong, which rises over the entire region at an astonishing height of 1,708 meters. While the mountain is quite high, the trail takes only 3 hours for hikers to reach its peak. Hikers can start their climb before the break of dawn and reach the peak in time to enjoy the best sunrise view in South Korea.
If you’re not in the mood for a hike but still want to enjoy the picturesque view, you can ride a cable car that will take you up to the mountain. Additionally, as Seoraksan mountain is located inside the Seoraksan National Park, travellers can also experience the beauty of its natural diversity with 1,500 animal species and over 1,000 plants. You can also visit two Buddhist temples located inside the park, with one being known for its ponds that are connected to the streams on the mountain.
Geumjeongsan Mountain is located between Buk-gu and Geumjeong-gu, which is in the Busan area of South Korea. This mountain is not one of the tallest in the country as it is only 801 meters in height. However, it’s not known for its size but for its spectacular forest, rugged cliffs, and cable car rides. This mountain is loved by tourists as its relatively easy to climb while its peak provides a breathtaking view of Busan.
From all the trails on Geumjeongsan we recommend trying out the one which starts at Beomeosa Temple. This trail passes through the famous Geumjeongsanseong Fortress, reaches the Godangbong Peak, and ultimately ends the hike at the picturesque Geumsaem Well. Everyone who visits this destination is guaranteed to have a pleasant adventure that will make their trip to South Korea very rich and exciting.
With a list of amazing hiking destinations such as these, it goes without saying that South Korea is definitely a must-visit destination for when the Covid-19 pandemic is finally over. When we can start travelling again the only thought in our minds will be that these hiking trails are both worth the climb and worth the wait!
So, without further ado, let’s start planning our trip to South Korea with Sedunia Travel and Korea Tourism Organization. Get the latest news and information about South Korea from KTO’s official website. At the meantime, Sedunia Travel has a range of exciting holiday packages that give you the opportunity to visit all of these hiking trails with ease and convenience. Visit their website now to learn more and start planning! It’s time to imagine your Korea.