If you only visit Seoul in South Korea, you are really missing out. South Korea is home to some stunning landscapes, beautiful natural wonders, sandy beaches, towering mountains, blossom-lined pathways, and historic sites.
There’s so much to see in Korea, much of it off the beaten track, and plenty of variety to satisfy even the most jaded of travelers. We think these are some of the most inspiring and beautiful places to visit in this vibrant country. Let us know if you agree.
Gongryong Ridge, Seorak Mountain
The Seorak mountain range is accessible to people who are physically fit, as there is much mountain climbing involved in seeing them in all their majesty. This section of the range is named “Dinosaur Ridge” as it is believed to look like a dinosaur’s spine, and it provides spectacular views over the countryside – if you can get to the top.
A wonderful beach of light-colored sand, this is a great place to come to see the sunset. The beach is dominated by two towering rocks known locally as the Granny Rock and the Grandpa Rock after an ancient legend.
Go to Darangee Village in the south of Namhae-gun to see hundreds of tiny fields cut into a steep hill, overlooking the ocean. The village is tiny and well-kept, demonstrating much about how Koreans lived and worked – and still do.
Seongsan Sunrise Peak
Located on Jeju Island, this is a majestic and towering peak like the ones in Japan that was formed from a volcano centuries ago. A UNESCO world heritage site, the mountain is also famous for its views when the sun is rising. To climb the peak you need to go via the northwest ridge and it takes around 30 minutes to get to the viewpoint.
Kyeong-Wha Station, Jinhae
Every spring, this tiny station is overcome with cherry blossoms that float down onto the track. It is an incredibly picturesque scene and attracts many amateur photographers. There is also a cherry blossom road further along the track, at the Yeojwa stream, which is also admirably picturesque.
Bomun Pavilion, Gyeongju
The Bomun Pavilion in Gyeongju is part of the ancient capital that formed during the Shilla Dynasty. It is a small gazebo that overlooks a still pond, and it is a great place to get photographs all through the year from the verdant spring to the fall colors of autumn.
This is a stunning two-story bridge that links Suyeong-gu and Haeundae-gu and is also known as the Diamond Bridge. You can’t walk on it but you can see it from afar, and marvel at its lights at night against the backdrop of the city and the mountains.
This wetland area stretches over 2,000 kilometers and it is home to a massive array of species including 1,500 animals and plants, many of which are endangered. It is a stunning place to walk or cycle around the area.
Uleung Island Seaside Road
Uleung Island is also called “Mysterious Island” and it boasts many strange and wonderful rock formations, cliffs, beaches, and waterfalls. The Seaside Road, predictably, winds its way around the coastline of the island and you’ll need a good amount of time to make this trip to ensure you see everything.
Seopjikoji, Jeju Island
This is an astoundingly beautiful island and the cape of Seopjikoji is a colorful and dramatic place with its eye-catching scenery and sense of romance. You can also get great views of the Sungsan Sunrise Peak from here.
The city of Damyang is home to the bamboo thicket which is a lovely place to visit, and there are different trails around the grove that you can follow.
Haeinsa Temple, Hapcheon
One of the Jewel Temples in Korea, this is 1,200 years old and houses impressive and important Buddha statues and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Chunwang Peak, Jiri Mountain
This is the second-highest mountain in South Korea and it is a great place to come if you are a keen climber or hiker. You’ll also encounter the national park if you don’t want to walk up the peak, which has some lovely plants as well as a wide array of animals. Many climb the peak to watch the sunrise.
Naganeupseong Folk Village, Suncheon
There are houses, old government offices, a castle, and places to stay which are all completely preserved from the Chosun Dynasty inside this historical complex. This is a fascinating place to visit and also to stay, in the overnight homestays.
Boseong Green Tea Field
The fields of Boseong are the place where most of the tea from Korea is produced and they form an attractive spectacle, as well as providing the green tea and other tea specialties that are so tasty to eat and drink.
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Photo credits: Steve Walker and Arun Ganesh via Flickr