Escape Korea's bustling capital for the stunning mountain landscape of Seoraksan National Park. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve contains 30 imposing granite peaks that rise above deep valleys and crystal-clear streams. Travel like a local, using public transportation from Seoul via coach and taxi to Mt Seorak, where you'll hop on a trail for a moderate hike, before a local lunch featuring regional dishes. Numbers are limited to 10 people, ensuring that you'll have a personalized experience with a small group.
In the morning, you're picked up from your hotel and transferred to a shuttle bus stop in downtown Seoul. A guide accompanies your small group aboard the coach for the 3.5-hour drive to Hanwha Resort, located in the picturesque region of Mt Seorak. From here, a local taxi service awaits to take you to your destination on the mountain.
Mt Seorak, located in Seoraksan National Park, is considered Korea's most beloved mountain. Stunning in any season, the thick forests showcase multicolored maple leaves in autumn, snow-patched peaks in spring and granite walls towering above the clear, flowing streams of the Osaek Yaksu Valley in summer.
The national park, designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covers 154 square miles (398 sq km) and is home to more than 2,000 animal species and 1,400 rare plant species. Upon arrival, your guide recommends a 1-hour hiking course to suit your ability, selected among a dozen possible mountain routes.
As you follow your guide along a well-maintained path, keep an eye out for a variety of animals such as musk deer. Depending on the chosen route, you may see several well-known sights, including the 33-foot-high (10-meter) bronze Buddha statue at Shinheungsa Temple.
You have the option to continue on a longer hike or hop on the Seorak Cable Car for a short ride (depending on availability; own expense). As you ascend, view the interesting rock formations of the Gwongeumseong region, including Ulsanbawi Rock, and watch the East Sea come into sight.
Afterward, you're taken to a local restaurant for a Korean lunch of assorted mountain vegetables and meat with rice. Upon reaching Sokcho, a small town located below Mt Seorak, you're accompanied on a local express bus back to Seoul, ending your 12-hour day with drop-off at your hotel.