WHERE ARE THE BEST BEACHES IN SOUTH KOREA? DOES KOREA HAVE GOOD BEACHES?
In this post we listed the 25 best beaches in South Korea!
South Korea is a country with many things to see. If you have been reading this blog already for some times, you should know that by now! We wrote hundreds of post on things to do in South Korea.
In addition to its big cities like Seoul and Busan, South Korea has a beautiful countryside and gorgeous coastline which is worth visiting.
If you are spending the summer in South Korea and need some refreshment, then this post is for you. After reading this you will have plenty of options to choose from. Below is our selection of best beaches in South Korea which you shouldn’t miss…
Enjoy your trip !
South Korea has three major coastlines: on the East, West and South. As a result, there are beaches of all shapes and sizes all around the country.
Summer in Korea is particularly hot with temperatures that can easily exceed 30 ° C. So summer is the perfect time to go to the beach!
As many beaches are only officially open between June and August, visitors only have a few months to take a dip in the water and experience the Korean beach culture. During this time lifeguards are present to keep the beach safe.
However, if surfing is your thing you can hit all the best surfing spots all year round. Winter is usually when Korea has the biggest waves (here is our full guide for the best spots to surf in South Korea)
We started this post with the best beaches on the Southern part of South Korea, then in Jeju, East Coast, West Coast and finally the best beaches near Seoul.
1. Haeundae, the most popular beach in South Korea
Haeundae beach is the most famous place in the city of Busan. This sandy beach, sometimes overcrowded in summer, is one of South Korea‘s most popular swimming spots. At the foot of very tall buildings, in a lively district full of cafes and restaurants, Haeundae is a pleasant place to relax while enjoying the sea.
Also, if you are looking for a place to stay during your trip in Busan, we highly recommend staying in Haeundae. We recommend Shilla Stay Haeundae which for us has the best value for money.
Here is our full post about Haeundae for more detailed information.
2. Songjeong Beach, best surfing spot in Busan
Songjeong is a lovely beach located near Haeundae in Busan. You can access it by taking the Beach Train or Sky Capsule from Haeundae. (For more info on Sky Capsule, check out our full post about Busan here)
Songjeong is the surfer paradise in Busan. There are many surf shops along the beach, and it is one of the most popular place for surfing in Korea. We wrote a full guide about surfing in Korea here. You can book your surf lesson in Songjeong with a discount here.
Songjeong is much less crowded than Haeundae and has plently of restaurants and cafes. We really enjoy spending some time there and we also went surfing on a rainy day. We loved it! This place definitely goes in our list of best beaches in South Korea.
To book your surf lesson with a discount, you can purchase your pass on Trazy: here.
3. Gwangalli Beach in Busan, best to see at night
Almost as famous as its neighbor Haeundae, Gwangalli Beach is best visited at nightfall, when the Gwangandaegyo Bridge (Diamond Bridge) that crosses the bay lights up with a thousand lights. With the luxurious skyscrapers in the background, like those at the Marine City luxury residential complex, Gwangalli is magical. It is a must-see place for a pleasant romantic evening.
We actually enjoyed a drink at night on a terrace enjoying the view on the Bridge. There were lots of people walking along the beach and fancy cars passing by roaring their engine. We must have spend a few hours just watching around. This is a must see in Busan!
A fun activity in Gwangalli is to go Stand Up Paddlng and check our this beautiful bridge up close. Book your SUP here.
4. Gujora Beach in Geoje
Geoje is a gorgeous island in the southern part of South Korea. Geoje consists of many large and small islands with a blue coastline and charming landscapes. The island is connected to Busan by an 8.2 km long bridge and a tunnel under the sea which makes it very convenient to travel to. Geoje is one of our favourite place to visit in South Korea.
Our favorite beach in Geoje is Gujora Beach which is also on our list of best beaches in South Korea!
Gujora Beach is a stretch of sand (30m wide and 1.1km long) located along the emerald blue ocean. The beach is famous in Geoje thanks to its natural beauty. The warm, relatively shallow waters along with nearby tourist attractions have made this beach one of the region’s best places to spend the weekend.
The water at Gujora Beach is calm and serene. Besides being a great place for swimming, there are also plenty of places selling fresh sashimi as well as local products such as anchovies and seaweed.
We also loved walking around the small village in the evening, checking out the fishermen and their catch of the day at the port, or simply strolling along the sea at sunset. Our pension (here) was located in Gujora. We highly recommend to everyone going to Geoje to stay around this area.
5. Sangju Beach in Namhae
Namhae is Korea’s fifth largest island and is famous for its slower pace of life, beautiful sea and stunning nature. Namhae is completely underrated and not yet very touristic. Which makes it the perfect destination for your next adventure in Korea. Namhae is connected to the mainland by multiple bridges, hence it is not necessary to travel there by boat.
In Namhae head to Sangju Beach, one of the prettiest beach on this island and one of the best beaches in South Korea. Sangju is 2 km of soft white sand beach with shallow water. During summer it can be quite packed with tourists. Sangju Beach is popular for its many water sport activities such as Kayaking.
The small town of Sangju has several shops for basic items. There are also restaurants and hotels nearby, although those can be booked pretty fast during the summer months.
A stop at Sangju Beach while you are in Namhae is a must. The beach is really stunning, we loved it.
We highly recommend a visit to Namhae if you are in South Korea, check out our full post here.
6 Yulpo Beach near the famous Boseong Green Tea Plantation
Anothe rmust-see attractions in Korea, is to visit the world renowned Boseong Green Tea Plantation. We were blown away when we visited this place. More info here.
However, Boseong is located very close to the coast. From the tea plantation head to Yulpo Beach and Yulpo Fishing Village.
When you reach Yulpo fishing village, you will feel a sense of relaxation, as the pine tree forests and fresh breeze of the ocean blends perfectly with hints of fresh green tea. If you want to enjoy some beach time, head to Yulpo 1.2 kilometer-long beach which also attracts many tourists over the summer. The area has become a family summer resort, fully equipped with accommodation and leisure facilities.
In the next part of this blog we listed the best beaches in Jeju.
7. Hamdeok Beach in Jeju, our favorite one
One of South Korea’s must-see destinations is Jeju Island. It is an island of over 1,849 km² which is renowned for its seaside resorts, but also for its volcanic landscape which includes impressive craters and lava tunnels. Spending a few days on the island during a stay in South Korea will allow you to relax and have unforgettable moments whether you are with friends, family or as a couple.
We visited many beaches in Korea, but Hamdeok in Jeju stood out for us. The colors of the waters, this particular emerald shade, made us fall in love with Hamdeok instantly. Ever since we went there for the first time, Hamdeok became our #1 visited places in Jeju right after landing at the airport.
There is always something to do in Hamdeok: concerts, sporting events, nightlife, the beach is very popular with locals and foreigners. Hotels, restaurants and cafes are numerous in this part of the island, it is easy to practice some water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling (book you gear here) and sometimes surfing. And of course, the place is ideal for camping with family or friends.
Hamdeok is one of the best beaches in Jeju but also one of the best beaches in South Korea!
For more information about Hamdeok, check out our full post here.
8. Jungmun Beach, the most famous one in Jeju
Jeju has many beautiful beaches. Jungmun is among the most popular beaches in Jeju. It is one of the best beaches in South Korea. Jungmun is especially famous for its three-color sand (black, white and red). These colors blend perfectly with the black volcanic stones that characterize the island. In addition, the water there is turquoise. Once there, you will have a landscape worthy of a postcard. From Jungmun you can also rent a catamaran to explore the gorgeous coastline of Jeju (book here).
This colorful sandy beach is 560 meters long and 50 meters wide. The bottom being relatively shallow, it is perfect for swimming with the family. Jungmun Beach offers a variety of water sports such as parasailing, water skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, surfing and yacht trips. Plenty of activities to spend unforgettable vacations! More info about Jeju in our full guide here.
9. Woljeongri beach, the cutest place in Jeju
Woljeongri, is actually a village located on the east side of Jeju Island. In Korean it means “the moon stays.” The shallow water is perfect for families with children to play in the water. Woljeongri became more and more popular among tourists due to its outstanding scenery and great vibes. Now there are many restaurants, cafes, and hotels. However the village still kept its authenticity. Which we really love about this place.
What we also like about Woljeongri Beach is the color of the sea and the white fine sand. It’s feels like the Maldives as it is so pristine! The other great thing about Woljeongri Beach, is that they built a nice walk along the sea with many benches and chairs. Sitting there and enjoying the view is so relaxing.
Check out our full post about Woljeongri Beach in Jeju here.
10. Hyeopjae Beach in Jeju, perfect for families
Hyeopjae beach is perfect for beginners swimmers in Jeju, thanks to its shallow and crystal clear water. The sand is made up of tiny bits of seashells that give it a slightly silvery color, and the emerald waters are so pure that you can see even the smallest shell on the ocean floor.
After a good swim, don’t forget to visit Hallim Park, located just a 5-minute walk from the beach. It is a beautifully landscaped park, with plenty of subtropical plants and numerous lava caves, very pleasant to explore and to escape the heat of summer.
More info about Hallim Park here.
11. Geumneung Beach in Jeju, best for Kitesurf
From Hyeopjae Beach you can easily access to Geumneung Beach. Both beaches are connected by a long strip of sand and grassy dunes. Geumneung Beach offers another magnificent panorama! This beach often gets good wind for Kitesurfing. We love going to a rooftop cafe nearby and checking out the kitefsurfers having fun by the beach. The view from there is stunning!
Now that we have listed the best beaches in Jeju, let’s look at the best beaches on the East Coast of South Korea.
For more information on the 10 best beaches in Jeju, check out this post.
12. Naksan the most beautiful beach on the East Coast
If you decide to explore the eastern part of South Korea, make sure to visit Naskan, one the best beaches in South Korea. Measuring almost 1.5 km long, the beach is one of the most popular in the east. It is characterized by a magnificent white sand beach and clear blue water.
Naskan beach is much less crowded and more relax than most other beaches in South Korea. In addition, watching the sunrise from Naksan is a unique exeprience in South Korea. With the almost deserted beaches, the sunlight and the splendid Seoraksan Mountain, it’s hard not to fall in love with Naksan.
Naksan is located near Gangneung. For more info about Gangneung and the east part of South Korea, check out this post.
13. Jukdo beach, the best surf beach in South Korea
Let’s head to Yangyang for our next best beaches tour of South Korea and more specifically to Jukdo Beach.This is a must-see spot for all beach lovers in South Korea. Jukdo Beach is also considered one of the best places to surf in South Korea (full guide on best surf spots here).
The expressway linking Yangyang to Seoul, now allows people living in the capital to reach the Jukdo in a bit more than 2 hours. Thus, this beach has become a perfect starting point for all of those who would like to learn to surf in Korea.
For us, we consider Jukdo beach to be one of the best surf spots in South Korea with most consistent waves.
14. Surfyy beach in Yangyang, the most hipster one
If your thing to sip your coktail by the beach, while watching surfers and chillaxing by the sun, then Surfyy Beach is your go-to beach. Located in Yangyagn the surf mecca of South Korea and near Jukdo, Surfyy Beach is a strip of private beach offering laid-back experience with a new generation of surfing crowds.
We always enjoyed relaxing at Surfyy beach during summer in South Korea. Surfyy is undeniably one of the best beaches in South Korea.
We wrote a full post here about Yangyang, check it out.
15. Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung, famous for its pine trees
Gyeongpo Beach is 6 km long. The beach strip contains fine sand and is located between the ocean and Gyeongpo Lake in Gangneung. This beach is outstanding for watching the sunrise and sunset. Another great aspect of Gyeongpo Beach is that it is surrounded by a pine forest, which provides another experience.
As Gangneung is well known for its coffee culture, we also recommend to visit one of the seaside cafes at Gangneung coffee street. Enjoy your relaxing time with a cup of coffee and dessert! More info here.
16. Sokcho beach in the north-east
Sokcho Beach is well known for its crystal clear water. In addition, the easy access to the beach from the city of Sokcho makes it a popular destination. You can easily reach this beach from the nearby bus station.
If you are looking for a Korean beach easily accessible by public transport, Sokcho is a great option. In addition, it is complemented by the pine forest and the beautiful fine and white sand. Sokcho also offers vairous water sports activities along the beach.
17. Jeongdongjin Beach, best for sunrise
Less known than other beaches in Gangneung, Jeongdongjin Beach is still well worth a visit. With its emerald blue water and beautiful, intensely red sunrises, Jeongdongjin Beach is a great place to take a stroll and soak up the sun. You can also visit one of the many cafes and restaurants to relax nearby.
There are also more reasons to visit Jeongdongjin! Here, you’ll find a rail bike trail right on the beach with a clear view of the ocean. You can pedal across the beach, feeling the cool ocean breeze while enjoying the spectacular scenery (book your activity here). If you would like to take your time with the view, you can also walk along the Jeongdong-Simgok Badabuchae-gil Trail, a coastal trail that extends for 2.8km.
Jeongdongjin Beach is easily recognizable with its hotel shaped like a cruise on top of a cliff right by the beach.
Now let’s move on the West Coast to explore other best beaches in South Korea.
18. Mallipo beach known as the California of Korea
Located 18 kilometers from Taean on the west coast (more info here about Taean), Mallipo Beach is considered one of the Eight Scenic Views of Taean. It offers beautiful points of view for those who love splendid landscapes. This beach is part of the Taean National Marine Park.
From here, you can easily visit the other seven sites, which include Halmi-Harabi Rock, Anmyeon Pine Forest, Sindu Dune, Anheungseong Fortress, and Gauido Island.
Mallipo beach is considered a surf paradise. Imagine beautiful blue sea, amazing sunset, and great waves. This is Mallipo Beach, also called “Malifornia” because of its similarities to Califronia. It’s ideal for beginners because of the sandy bottom and good quality waves. It is also relatively close to Seoul, which makes it a great weekend gateway from the city.
19. Mongsanpo beach, the most famous one for camping
Mongsanpo Beach, which is located in Taean-gun Municipality in Chungcheongnam-do Region, is the largest beach on the Taean Peninsula. The beach covered with very fine sand and the pines stretching along the coast offer a sublime landscape. Around the walking path that leads to the pine forest, visitors can also observe sea dunes and mudflats.
Go to its observatory first. Then continue with a visit to its famous lighthouse, which offers lovely views of the coastal shoreline as well as a rocky beach below.
But Mongsanpo is first and foremost a very popular spot for camping right by the beach. This place is often full with families almost whole year round.
For more things to do in Taean, check out this post.
20. Sinduri Beach in Taean, famous for its gigantic dune
Sinduri Beach was clearly one of our favorite place to visit while in Taean. The beautiful beach stretches for kilometers with no-one in sight. It is located about 10min drive from Mallipo Beach.
Right behind Sinduri Beach, you can visit the Sinduri Coastal Sand Dune. It is believed to have been formed about 15,000 years ago after the ice age. At that time strong winds carried sand from the sea which then formed the current Sinduri Coastal Sand Dune.
There you can actually walk in marked wooden path in the middle of the Dune. We spent a very good time at Sinduri. The view from the Dune is breathtaking.
Sinduri Beach and Sinduri Coastal Sand Dune are one of the main attraction in Taean which we highly recommend for a unique “desert-like” experience.
21. Sambong Beach, our favourite one in Taean
Taean is famous for its endless sandy beaches. We visited a few, but instantly fell in love with Sambong Beach for its natural beauty.
Sambong Beach is located South of the famous Mongsanpo Beach in Taean. It stretches over 3 km and is a protected area. Meaning, there is no hotel, camping, shop or anything, simply Nature. Which is why we really like this beach.
Sambong Beach is actually known for the Three Sambong Rocks which you can see from the beach. This is actually where the name Sambong is coming from. Right behind you will find a forest of pine trees. The sight is simply breathtaking, especially at sunset. You can also check out the Sand Dune at the southern part of the Beach which is a must see at Sambong Beach.
22. Daecheon Beach, famous for its mud festival
Daecheon Beach is the largest beach on the west coast of South Korea. This beach has shallow, calm waters and the sand is extremely soft. Therefore, an ideal environment for you to enjoy your time with family or friends.
In addition, the Boryeong Mud Festival is held on Daecheon Beach every year. As it is well known for its nutrient rich mud, thousands of international visitors come to the beach to enjoy a variety of fun activities as well as lively performances. The festival is usually held in July.
For more information on the Boryeong Mud Festival, please check the official website.
In the final part of this post, we listed the best beaches in South Korea nearest to Seoul.
23. Hanagae Beach in Muuido, best beach gateway from Seoul
Hanagae Beach in Muuido is one of the best beaches in South Korea and near Seoul. There you can enjoy plenty of activities, eat some seafood, and sleep inside cute beach huts if you want to stay overnight.
Hanagae Beach is very pleasant with golden sand and great place to take a swim during high tide. At low tide, you can enjoy long walks into the sea or collect seashells for your lunch or dinner. A popular activity amongst Korean
If you like to get some thrills, then enjoy a Zipline ride, right on top of the Beach. It’s definitely a lot of fun.
Muuido island is located on the west coast near Incheon Airport. The island is well known for a day trip from Seoul or weekend gateway to enjoy the various beaches, seafood, and many other activities on the island. The island is connected by a bridge which makes it easy to travel to from Seoul.
We did not know what to expect before going to Muuido. We were pleasantly surprised. It fell so good to escape the city, and to have that great beach vibe feeling. We wrote a full post here about Muuido with lots of great activites on the island. Check it out.
24. Eurwangni Beach, best for families and seafood
Eurwangni Beach is located in Incheon. The beach is easily accessible from Incheon International Airport. Therefore, a large number of international tourists tend to come to Eurwangni Beach due to its convenient location. It only takes 15 minutes by taxi from the airport to the beach. When you get to the beach, you will be impressed by the natural scenery and the shallow waters which provide a great environment for children.
How about grilled shellfish for lunch or dinner? There are many seafood restaurant in Eurwangni.
25. Sugi Beach on Sido Island, our latest discovery
Sindo (신도), Sido (시도) and Modo (모도) islands are the perfect gateway from the busy city life of Seoul. Located off the coast of Incheon, these 3 islands are easily accessible by ferry. All 3 islands are connected by a bridge which makes it easy to visit them all within a day.
Sido is the second biggest island located in-between Sindo and Modo. The main attraction on Sido island is Sugi Beach located at the very north side of the island.
Sugi is a fine sandy beach surrounded by nature. We actually really loved this place and were definitely thinking to go back over the summer. It seemed to be an awesome spot to hang out when it’s really hot in Korea.
If you come with kids, make sure to stop at Sugi Beach, as it’s a great spot for them to play in the sand. Right by the beach there is a small restaurant and cafe, as well as CU. So you can easily get food, snacks and drink at the beach.
Check out our full post to know more about Sindo, Sido and Modo islands near Seoul
Summer Activities in Korea?
Besides going to the beach, there are so many things to do in Summer in Korea.
In our post here, we listed more than 20 awesome activities during summer in Korea, such as going wakeboarding or wakesurfing in Gapyeong near Seoul on the Bukhan River, going rafting on the east coast, going diving in Asia’s deepest pool, going camping with your family or friends, enjoy a staycation in some of the best hotels near Seoul, and so much more…
Check out our full post here for the most amazing summer activities in South Korea. If you like the adventure, check out the best adventures just outside Seoul, here.
In conclusion about the best beaches in South Korea
As you would understand by now, no matter your itinerary in South Korea, there are many beautiful beaches to enjoy. We hope that our list of best beaches in South Korea made you want to explore more about this gorgeous country.
Going to the beach in South Korea, especially during summer is the perect opportunity to relax and cool off!
Have you ever been to any of these beaches? What do you think is the most beautiful that you have visited in Korea? Do not hesitate to give us your recommendations
For more posts related to South Korea, check out this link here.
SOUTH KOREA: best things to do in South Korea: here
10 BEST BEACHES in Jeju: here
HAEUNDAE: the most famous beach in South Korea: here
HAEDONG YONGGUNGSA, the most beautiful temple in Korea: here
TAEAN: amazing national park on the west coast of Korea: here
NAMHAE: the hidden gem of South Korea on the south coast: here
WHEN? Best time to visit South Korea: here
TRIP PLANNER FOR KOREA: start here
MOKPO: a port city in the south, worth a visit: here
SEOUL: Full guide for the best things to do in the city: here
JEJU: All you need to know before you go to Jeju: here
ADVENTURES: top adventures within 1h from Seoul: here
EAST COAST: best things to do near Gangneung: here
BOSEONG: best green tea planation in Korea: her
Thanks for the great recommendations. Can’t wait to explore more about South Korea !