Spring: March – May
With the arrival of spring come cherry blossoms, forsythias, and azaleas.
The sweet scent of cherry blossoms permeates the air in both the heart of the city and the quietest of rural villages. Here are some ways to celebrate spring in South Korea – Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, Boseong Green Tea Festival, Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival and Jeju Fire Festival. Don’t miss seeing the cherry blossoms in Jinhae at Yeojwacheon Stream and Romance Bridge, the Seoul Forest and the Seoul National Cemetery or by taking a train through the Gyeonghwa Station and its cherry blossom ‘tunnel’.
Summer: June – August
As temperatures rise, people escape the heat by heading to the beach, mountains or waterparks.
South Korea is surrounded on three sides by water, which means plenty of beaches in a variety of shapes and sizes. Summer festival highlights include: the Busan Sea Festival, the Boryeong Mud Festival or the Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival.
Cool off in summer by heading to the beaches around Busan or Jeju Island such as Hyeopjae Beach or take to the mountains – specifically the Wolchulsan National Park where you can hike through Korea’s smallest national park. And stay at the romantic campground The Moving, in Busan which has cute retro, pastel-coloured caravans surrounded by fairy lights, outdoor swimming pools as well as an amazing view of the sea.
Autumn: September – November
Temperatures start to drop in South Korea as September rolls around and the leaves on the trees transform into vivid displays that can be experienced in National Parks or city gardens.
Must see festivals include Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival, Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the Namdo Food Festival.
To enjoy the spectacular leaves head to Naejangsan National Park which sees changing colours around mid-October. While there, enjoy the Naejangsa Temple and the Uhwajeong Pavilion which, when surrounded by autumnal foliage reflecting off the waters of the pond, creates a picture-perfect scene and ride the Naejangsan Cable Car for the best overhead shot of the mountainside. The walking paths on Namiseom Island in Chuncheon are an ideal way to enjoy the seasonal beauty.
Winter: December – February
Winter in South Korea provides the opportunity to hike spectacular snow-capped mountains, ice skate or hit the ski fields.
Skiers from around the world are attracted to Korea’s night skiing with many ski resorts in the country staying open till dawn. One of the best winter festivals is the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival.
For winter sports try Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink, Seoulland Sledding Hills or Everland’s Snow Buster for sledding runs, for snow sports visit Pyeongchang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and try Alpensia Resort for its ski jumping tower and ski slopes, Yongpyong Resort for the longest slope in the nation, or Phoenix Pyeongchang Resort for its snowboarding competitions.