Back To Top

Far from the madding crowd: 25 tucked-away summer vacation spots

Korea Tourism Organization selects some of the most serene spots in Korea for summer getaways 

Metasequoia Forest Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul (Korea Tourism Organization)
Metasequoia Forest Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul (Korea Tourism Organization)
Although the COVID-19 vaccination is speeding up in Korea, for individuals balancing the need to continue observing social distancing precautions and the desire for a real summer vacation after more than 18 months of living through a pandemic is a difficult task.

Providing some solutions to the complex question of how to enjoy the long-awaited summer break in a safe manner is a list of 25 domestic destinations compiled by the Korea Tourism Organization.

Classified into four categories -- sea, island, valley and forest -- the selections are lesser known spots waiting to be discovered.

The desinations on the KTO list are likely to be less crowded, but following social distancing guidelines is still a must. The relevant safety measures for safe travels can be found at

Following is the list of 25 uncrowded vacation destinations selected by KTO.

Yokjido Monorail in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province (Korea Tourism Organization)
Yokjido Monorail in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province (Korea Tourism Organization)
Cheongnyeongpo in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province (Korea Tourism Organization)
Cheongnyeongpo in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province (Korea Tourism Organization)
(1) Mapo-gu, Seoul
     Metasequoia Forest Park
Rain or shine, this beautiful urban forest trail is lined with Metasequoia trees.

(2) Goyang, Gyeonggi Province
     Janghang Wetland
The only wetland protection area at the mouth of the Han River is open to general public by reservation

(3) Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province
     Laveniche March Avenue

Waterfront park with beautiful night views, romantic scenery along the waterways

(4) Ongjin, Incheon

A jeweled island in the West Sea with a beach and hiking course

(5) Hoengseong, Gangwon Province
     Cheongtaesan National Recreational Forest
A pine tree forest with walking paths and hiking trails

(6) Yeongwol, Gangwon Province

A historical site that still maintains the spirit of Danjong, the sixth king of Joseon era

(7) Samcheok, Gangwon Province
     Deokbongsan Coastal Ecological Trail

A coastal walkway surrounding Deokbongsan that is open for the first time in 53 years

(8) Jung-gu, Daejeon
     Root Park

A family name-themed nature park created in the city center with a night view

(9) Goesan, North Chungcheong Province
     Gallon Valley

A walking course where one can enjoy the scenic beauty while finding nine hidden spots in Gallon Valley

(10) Okcheon, North Chungcheong Province
       Okcheon Hyangsu Lake Road

An ecological trail that offers a magnificent view of Daecheong Lake

(11) Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province

 A summer attraction with a beach and mudflat experience.

(12) Nam-gu, Daegu
      Apsan Park

Romantic mountain trails and an observatory that overlooks the downtown area

(13) Andong, North Gyeongsang Province
      Seonseonghyun Cultural Heritage Complex

A traditional culture village with a picturesque walkway over the lake

(14) Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province
      Nagok Beach

A beach suited for leisurely vacations

(15) Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province
      Yokjido Monorail

The best vantage point to capture the scenic beauty of Yokjido

(16) Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province
      Gajisan Soejumgol Valley Road

One of the three major valleys of Gajisan Provincial Park

(17) Hadong, South Gyeongsang Province
      Hadong Pyunbaek Natural Recreation Forest

A healing destination filled with dense cypress trees

(18) Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province
     Seonbi Culture Expedition Road

Traditional scholars’ paviliions are ween walking along the road in Hwarimdong Valley.

(19) Gochang, North Jeolla Province
      Gochang Ramsar Ungok Wetland

A chance to explore wetland ecosystems and biodiversity

(20) Muju, North Jeolla Province
      Gucheon-dong Eosa-gil

Valley trekking with a scenic view

(21) Jinan, North Jeolla Province
     Unilam Banilam Forest Road

Valley trekking with ecological exploration decks

(22) Yeosu, South Jeolla Province
      Jangdo Island

An art island of gentle hills off the coast of Yeosu.

(23) Gokseong, South Jeolla Province

Soothing nature surrounds the temple with water flowing through the valley

(24) Boseong, South Jeolla Province
      Jeamsan Recreational Forest

Outdoor facilities such as zip lines, tents and recreational halls are available with Yulpo Beach over the mountain.

(25) Haenam, South Jeolla Province
      Haenam Forest (4est) Arboretum

Arboretum with the largest hydrangea garden in the country

By Kim Hae-yeon (
Korea Herald Youtube