Spring’s beauty at its best: in April, Goryeosan mountain on Ganghwa-do is covered with pink and magenta azaleas (진달래) in full bloom. This year’s festival runs from April 12 to April 23, 2017 – don’t miss it!
Goryeosan is the highest mountain of Ganghwa-do island, near Incheon. It has an elevation of 436 m, high enough to provide spendid panoramas yet still manageable for a family hike. There are five official hiking paths generally in the intermediate difficulty levels.
Each year, a festival is held end of April to celebrate the blooming azaleas which literally cover entirely the highest part of the mountain. Views from the top are breathtaking and make for perfect colourful snapshots! Things can get a bit crowded during the festival’s weekend days so rather come early.
The main draw to the festival is to enjoy the hike, walking on the wooden path at the mountain’s top and to celebrate the beautiful azaleas. Depending on the hiking course, you may also come across nice buddhist temples. Don’t expect many other attractions or activities even though some food stalls are usually available for a light lunch near the top.
How to get there:
- Bus 3000 from Sinchon Rotary to Gangwha terminal (33 stops, 2h approximately), then local buses available or about 4km to the nearest hiking start (Kukhwari village, 국화리마을)
- By car: about 60 km away for Seoul centre, expect 1h30. Ganghwa island is connected by bridge.
Hiking paths & address:
#1- North-east: Baekryeonsa, 3.7km, 1h20 – 강화군 하점면 강화대로 994-19 (하점면 부근리 350)
#2- South-east: Cheongryeonsa, 2.9km, 1h – 강화군 강화읍 고비고개로 188 (강화읍 국화리 599-2)
#3- South: Gobigogae, 2.4km, 1h – 강화군 내가면 고천리 산145-1
#4- South-west: Jeokseoksa, 5.2km, 1h50 – 강화군 내가면 연촌길8 (내가면 고천리 251)
#5- West: Mikkujigogae, 5.8km, 2h – 강화군 하점면 강화서로 511 (하점면 망월리 371-1)
For more information, check the official Festival website
For localisation, go to Seoul Map for Kids & Families