Did you know that Korea has 22 national parks? This is quite remarkable considering the country’s modest size. Let’s explore a few of the most stunning national parks that South Korea has to offer
Gyeongju National Park
The first place we recommend you to go it is the Gyeongju National Park. Established in 1968, Gyeongju was Korea’s 2nd national park. The park is organised into 8 sections and features multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Gyeongju is a living history book in which remnants of the Silla period have survived to this day. For instance, you can see genuine Silla tombs against the same natural backdrop from over 1000 years ago. Moreover, Gyeongju was named one of the top 10 historic sites in the world by UNESCO in 1979. And the park certainly lives up to its title!
Address: 12 Cheonbungnam-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan was originally classed as a “natural monument”, but became Korea’s 5th national park in 1970. The park was named after the heavy snow that falls there, notably, covering the mountain in its entirety. In essence, Chinese character “seol” means snow and “ak” means big mount, translating literally to Big Snowy Mountain!
With 30 different peaks, Seoraksan is a hiker’s paradise. Daecheongbon is its largest peak, with a 3-day hiking course of 31km needed to reach the top. However, if you are not a keen hiker, there are plenty of easy trails you can walk and still enjoy beautiful views. I recommend going in the winter to see the snowy wonderland from which Seoraksan gets its name.
Address: Seoraksan-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Naejangsan National Park
Located in Jeollabuk-do, Naejangsan is one of the nation’s favourite destinations to see the autumn foliage. Naejangsan gets its name from the hidden wonders that it possesses (‘nae’ = hidden; ‘jang’ = concealed.) So expect to find tranquil lakes, temples, waterfalls and even rare plant and animal species. Additionally, Naejangsan is known as the “Geumgang of Honam.” Geumgangsan is another famous mountain, renowned for its seasonal changes in colour.
Naejangsan has been named as one of the 10 most beautiful destinations in Korea. And although their peaks are approximately 700 meters, each mountain is unique in its own way. Making it a perfect place to explore. In addition, Naejangsan looks spectacular all year round: in the spring you’ll see blooming cherry blossom and azaleas, emerald forests in the summer and a snowy blanket in winter.
Address: 328 Naejanghoban-ro, Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do
Deogyusan National Park
The colossal Deogyusan National Park spreads across 4 separate regions within the Gyeongsangnam and Jeollabuk provinces. Furthermore, the main peak, Deogyusan, has a summit elevation of 1,614m!
The mountain is home to significant cultural landmarks such as the Jeoksangsanseong Fortress and the Anguksa Temple Hanging Painting. Additionally, it is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. So expect to see beautiful flowers and fascinating creatures!
Address: 159 Gucheondong 1-ro, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan is a unique national park because it part of a bustling city — Seoul, that is. Therefore, Bukhansan is an ecological island. The oasis of nature and clean air function as lungs for the urban city of Seoul. The convenient location of Bukhansan means that anyone in the Metropolitan area can visit easily. And so it is the perfect spot for a half-day trip!
The peaks of Bukhansan are interspersed with crystal clear streams, creating a healing balance of mountain and water. Furthermore, you can sample hidden doses of culture and history in the form of Bukhansanseong Fortress and over 100 Buddhist temples.
Address: 262 Bogungmun-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
I hope you enjoyed this article about the most stunning national parks in South Korea and that you visit soon. For more Korean Travel Articles, subscribe to KoreabyMe and follow me on Instagram.