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[Updated 2023] Best Beaches in South Korea That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (Drive From Seoul)

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If you're seeking tranquility and unspoiled beauty, look no further than our unique guide to the best beaches in South Korea. Unlike other travel blogs that suggest inaccessible beaches reachable only by boat or a trip to Jeju-do, we're focusing on locations readily accessible by car, bus, or train. These hidden gems may not be as well-known as Busan's Haeundae Beach or the expensive, overcrowded influencer haven of Surfyy Beach, but they are certainly worth the trip. So, if you're based outside of Seoul, buckle up, because this guide covers the best beaches in each province on the Korean mainland.


What's the difference between a “bathing resort” and a “haebyeon” in Korea?


When planning your beach trips in Korea, you'll encounter two terms on Naver Maps - "해수욕장" and "해변". Though both translate to 'beach', they describe different types of coastal experiences.


"해수욕장", or "bathing resorts" as we've called them in this article, are larger and equipped with facilities such as lifeguards, bathrooms, and showers. They are designed to accommodate a significant number of visitors and provide a convenient beach experience.


"해변", or 'haebyeon', refers to smaller, quieter beaches. These often have limited facilities, offering a more peaceful and secluded environment. However, due to the absence of lifeguards and other amenities, visitors must take extra precautions when visiting these spots. Depending on your preference for convenience or tranquility, South Korea's coastline caters to all beachgoers.


To make navigation easier, we'll refer to these locations as "bathing resorts," as you'll find them listed as such on Naver maps.


Gangwon-do Beaches


Gangwon-do, famous for its pristine landscapes, is a treasure trove of natural wonders, with its serene beaches adding to the charm.


Jajakdo Bathing Resort (Goseong-gun) - 자작도해수욕장


Nestled between emerald forests and the sapphire expanse of the East Sea, Jajakdo Bathing Resort is a haven for those who seek to commune with nature. This tranquil resort offers breathtaking sunsets, painting the sky with hues of gold and pink, reflected on the crystal-clear waters.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: Roughly 4 hours by bus and local taxi


Wonpyeong Bathing Resort (Samcheok-si) - 원평해수욕장


Set against the backdrop of a breezy treeline, Wonpyeong Bathing Resort boasts a beautiful sandy beach that contrasts starkly with its rocky surroundings. Perfect for camping, this beach is a perfect blend of the raw and rugged beauty of cliffs and the gentle serenity of the ocean.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours 20 minutes

Public Transportation: Around 4 hours by bus


Jeollabuk-do Beaches


Jeollabuk-do is a blend of cultural heritage, rich history, emerald rice patties, and even scenic beaches.


Seonyudo Bathing Resort (Gunsan-si) - 선유도해수욕장

Seonyudo Bathing Resort features shallow, warm waters, making it a perfect spot for families with children. The fine sandy beach stretches out, providing ample space for relaxation and play. The beach is surrounded by hikeable islets and archipeligoes, providing both exceptional beauty and a natural wave barrier, keeping the seawater as as calm and warm as a bath. Adding to its charm is the captivating view of the setting sun, only found on the west coast.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours

Public Transportation: Roughly 3 hours 40 minutes by bus


Gamami Bathing Resort (Yeonggwang) - 가마미해수욕장


Tucked away on the coast of rural Yeonggwang county, Gamami Bathing Resort stretches beside the calm coast stretches hundreds of meters out during low tide. There is even a public soccer goal for people to play a few games during the extended low tide.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours

Public Transportation: About 4 hours 30 minutes by bus


Byeonsan Bathing Resort (Buan-gun) - 변산해수욕장


Known locally as "Byeon-kiki", this beach is a nature lover's dream. With the crystal-clear waters of the sea lapping against a fine sandy beach and the green hills in the backdrop, Byeonsan Bathing Resort is a must-visit for those who love to blend beach fun with nature walks. The beach also has a lovely cove that shimmers pink and purple during the sunset--if you can find it!


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: Around 4 hours by bus


Jeollanam-do Beaches


Jeollanam-do is a province well-known for its lush landscapes, beautiful islands, and countless archipelagos.


Myeongsasimni Bathing Resort (Wando-gun) - 명사십리해수욕장


The charm of Myeongsasimni lies in its warm, calm waters, white sandy beaches, and vast coastline. Myeongsasimni is exceptionally clean with plenty of facilities, restaurants, and convenience stores nearby. The beach even offers stand-up paddleboard rentals and seperate sections for surfers and swimmers.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: Roughly 5 hours by bus


Ikgeum Bathing Resort (Goheung-gun) - 익금해수욕장


Ikgeum Bathing Resort is a hidden gem with its tranquil setting and gentle waves. Visitors will appreciate the calming environment and the panoramic views of the sparkling sea. If you watch the wave reports, you can even find surf reaching 1 to 2 meters here in the off season.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 5 hours Public Transportation

Around 5 hours 30 minutes by bus


Daegwan Bathing Resort (Sinan-gun) - 대관해수욕장


Daegwan Bathing Resort offers visitors the unique experience of enjoying clear emerald waters against the sprawling sky, especially enchanting at sunset. Drive across numerous islands connected by idyllic bridges to find this hidden gem. It's a peaceful and hard-to-find retreat that appeals to those in search of serenity and avoid crowds. However, you might find the occasional horseback rider strolling across this beach in the off season.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 5 hours

Public Transportation: Roughly 6 hours by bus


Mosageum & Sindeok Bathing Resort (Yeosu-si) - 모사금해수욕장 & 신덕해수욕장


These neighboring beaches offer spectacular coastal views and warm sea waters. The later beach, Sindeok, is less crowded with medium sized waves. Conversely, Mosageum Beach offers all the conveniences of more popular beaches, with cute cafes, convenient stores, and rental shops packed into the cozy beachside.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: About 5 hours by bus


Busan Beaches

Though Busan is well-known for its bustling city life, it also hosts tranquil bathing resorts outside of the Haeundae and Gwangali.


Dadaepo Bathing Resort (Busan-si) - 다대포해수욕장


This beach features a large sandy beach and is famous for its beautiful sunsets and surf. It offers a peaceful respite from the bustling city life, making it perfect for a relaxing day trip that's slightly less crowded than Haeundae.


Distance from Seoul: Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes


Public Transportation: About 4 hours by train and city bus


Songdo Bathing Resort (Busan-si) - 송도해수욕장


This beach boasts clear waters, a rocky coastline, and a scenic skywalk overlooking the sea. Songdo Bathing Resort, with its calm and tranquil environment, is an excellent choice for those wanting to enjoy a quieter side of Busan or those who want to appreciate the beauty of the ocean without getting wet.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: About 5 hours by train and city bus


Ulsan Beaches


Ulsan, known for its industrial prosperity, also boasts picturesque and calm bathing resorts for those not-quite close enough to Busan.


Ilsan Bathing Resort (Ulsan-si) - 일산해수욕장


Located close to the city center, Ilsan Bathing Resort provides a serene getaway. Nestledacross the beautifully illumiated Daewangam Park, this beach boasts clear blue waters and a short sandy coast. Nearby are an array of restaurants and cafes, making it the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon of relaxation.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 15 minutes

Public Transportation: Around 4 hours 45 minutes by train and city bus


Solgae Bathing Resort (Ulsan-si) - 솔개해수욕장


Known for its calm atmosphere and stunning rocky coastline, Solgae Bathing Resort is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful day away from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: About 5 hours by train


Gyeongsangnam-do Beaches


Gyeongsangnam-do is a region rich in historical landmarks, natural beauty, quaint seaside towns, and arguably the best seafood in Korea.


Sangjueunmorae Beach (Bathing Resort) (Namhae-gun) - 상주은모래비치


This beach resort, known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand, provides an ideal setting for a relaxing getaway. The stunning views of the surrounding landscape of Namhae island make Sangjueunmorae Bathing Resort a memorable destination.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: About 5 hours by bus


Tongyeong Suryuk Bathing Resort (Tongyeong-si) - 통영수륙해수욕장


This resort offers a breathtaking view of the sea with its crystal-clear waters. Its peaceful environment makes it an excellent choice for visitors seeking a serene coastal experience.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours

Public Transportation: Around 4 hours 30 minutes by bus


Gyeongsangbuk-do Beaches

Gyeongsangbuk-do, with its natural wonders and historical sites, also hosts beautiful rocky beaches on its coastline.


Giseong Mangyang Bathing Resort (Uljin-si) - 기성망양해수욕장


With its beautiful rocky coastline and clear turquoise waters, Giseong Mangyang Bathing Resort is a perfect location for a beach outing for fishers and snorkelers. It's a tranquil spot where visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the region.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours

Public Transportation: Roughly 4 hours 30 minutes by bus


Yeongni Bathing Resort (Yeongdeok-gun) - 영리해수욕장


Yeongni is an excellent place to avoid crowds and get some snorkeling in this summer. The waters are crystal clear and teeming with colorful schools of fish. It's the perfect place to take a break and enjoy the soothing sounds of the sea.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: Roughly 5 hours by bus


Chungcheongnam-do Beaches


Famous for it's beach-studded coastline, Chungcheongnam do probably has the highest density of quality beaches in Korea. If you don't like a beach, you'll likely find another only a few minutes away.


Jangsampo Bathing Resort (Taean-gun) - 장삼포해수욕장



A perfect combination of white sandy coastline and rich forested islands, this beach has everything. Jangsampo is the best place in Korea to catch the sunset as it falls between the studden western treeline. Great for camping or a day trip, this beach should not be ignored.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes

Public Transportation: Roughly 4 hours by bus


Uihang Bathing Resort (Taean-gun) - 의항해수욕장



Jutting out from the west coast, this beach offers uninterrupted sunset views. Uihang, or any nearby beach, is the perfect spot place to unwind. It's shallow and warm waters also make it a great spot of kids and families to safely enjoy their day.


Distance from Seoul

Car: Approximately 3 hours

Public Transportation: Roughly 3 and a half hours by bus


Life's a Beach


We hope that this guide to South Korea's lesser-known but equally enchanting bathing resorts inspires you to venture beyond the popular tourist spots. These serene locations offer a welcome escape from the crowd while guaranteeing a memorable and relaxing beach experience.


Don't miss our next article, which reveals the best-hidden surf spots in South Korea. If you're an avid surfer or just looking for an adrenaline rush, these locations will be right up your alley.


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