Impressive Locations Across Gangwon Province to Admire Spring Flowers

Impressive Locations Across Gangwon Province to Admire Spring Flowers

Let the beautiful flowers of spring in Gangwon steal your heart!

It’s safe to say that spring is one of the most beautiful seasons in South Korea. As the many different flowers bloom following their winter slumber, many regions in the country are blessed with kaleidoscopic colours and mesmerising sights! 

Typically, spring in South Korea begins in late March and lasts up till early June. The best time to visit to catch spring flowers in full bloom is between April and May. The real question however, is where one should visit to admire spring flowers in South Korea? While Seoul is definitely beautiful in its own way, Gangwon Province during spring deserves a whole lot more attention!

Gangwon Province is located only a short distance away from Seoul and is a popular day-trip destination from the capital. The easiest way to get to Gangwon is via a bus ride that takes about an hour and a half. Getting to Gangwon Province by train is another option although it is much more expensive. 

Known primarily for its breathtaking winter scenery and ski resorts, Gangwon Province is famous for hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. In addition, the province is also home to some of the most iconic Korean drama filming sites! Nami Island (Winter Sonata), Jumunjin Beach (Goblin), and Byeolmaro Observatory (Crash Landing On You) are just some of the famous locations K-drama fans adore. 

However, apart from being a winter and K-drama wonderland, Gangwon Province is also one of the top destinations to admire spring flowers in South Korea! In fact, some of the country’s most famous annual spring flowers festivals are held there! Today, let’s take a look at the 9 most impressive places to admire spring flowers in Gangwon Province! 

Also read: Top 8 Ski Resorts in South Korea’s Gangwon Province

1. Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival

Image credit: @rtte_snap

Of all the places to admire spring flowers in Gangwon Province, Gyeongpo Lake is at the top of the list! Located in the city of Gangneung, Gyeongpo Lake is one of the province’s most popular sightseeing spots, boasting ambient views throughout the year. However, it is during spring when it is at its most beautiful. During this time, whimsical pink and white cherry blossoms line both sides of the 4.3km path surrounding the lake! 

As you stroll among the mesmerising scenery, your heart is sure to flutter. One of the best spots to admire the spring blooms is Gyeongpodae Pavilion. Found at the end of the lake, the traditional wooden pavilion is often a hub of activity during the spring. It is one of the most Insta-worthy spots in the area to admire the pristine lake. 

Apart from the alluring cherry blossoms, you can also make a quick stop at Gyeongpo Beach, which is just a few minutes away from the lake. There, you can switch up the scenery and enjoy the lovely views of the ocean as you walk along the sandy beach. There are also plenty of restaurants here that serve up incredible seafood too!

2. Nami Island

Image credit: Nami Island

Another popular spot in Gangwon Province to immerse yourself in the beauty of spring is Nami Island! I’m sure this famous hotspot needs no elaborate introduction. After all, it is where some of the most romantic Korean drama scenes were filmed, especially from the iconic drama, Winter Sonata! As you might already know, Nami Island offers incredible views no matter what time of year you visit. That being said, we just can’t help but fall in love with the romantic scenery during spring! 

Every year, between late March and early May, this popular half-moon shaped island is bathed in lovely hues of pink and white as cherry blossoms bloom around the island. With picturesque backdrops in every corner, the one thing you should remember to bring with you when you visit is your camera! Cherry Tree Lane is an especially popular spot to visit for the best cherry blossom scenery on the island. 

3. Maengbang Flower Festival

Image credit: ynr_yjs

Of course, cherry blossoms aren’t the only type of spring flowers you’ll see in Gangwon Province! If you want to switch out the pastel pink and white of cherry blossoms for a more vibrant colour, then you should add the Maengbang Flower Festival to your bucket list! 

The festival is held every April in Samcheok and the main stars are the bright yellow canola flowers that bloom in the middle of a large field by the East Sea. Not only can you surround yourself with vibrant canolas, but you can also treat yourself to stunning coastal views! What’s more, during the festival, there will also be plenty of exciting events, including a bustling local market, strawberry picking tours and more! 

If you want more out of your time in Samcheok, you can also hop on the Ocean Rail Bike for an unforgettable experience! Running along a 5.4km track, it is one of the best ways to discover the sights of the East Coast of Gangwon Province! 

4. Jade Garden  

Image credit: j.sssun_

The Jade Garden is a massive botanical garden that is located in Chuncheon, the capital of Gangwon Province. Modelled after famous European-styled gardens, this massive arboretum, often known as Gangwon’s “Small Europe in the Forest“, houses more than 3,000 species of flowers and trees over 163,500sqm of land! 

The garden is split into 24 different thematic zones (such as the European Zone, Landscape Zone, and more), with each offering a different ambience. As you proceed along the three main walking paths, you’ll be able to surround yourself with stunning floral scenery, especially during spring! In the centre, there is also an eye-catching brick cottage that adds to the number of IG-worthy locations at this beautiful garden. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wandering the area for more than a couple of hours, it’s THAT attractive! 

Apart from the lovely colours of spring, there are also cafes, restaurants and gift shops in and around the area. One particular unique dish you need to try is flower bibimbap, located in the on-site restaurant. As the name suggests, it is bibimbap that is topped with a plethora of colourful edible flowers. Not only is it a good snap for the ‘gram, it certainly is a treat for the palette too thanks to its light and fragrant taste! 

5. Seoraksan National Park

Image credit: Korea Tourism Organisation

Seoraksan is easily one of the most recognisable locations, not just in Gangwon Province, but in South Korea in general. Named after the tallest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range, Seoraksan National Park is a UNESCO Heritage site that boasts some of the most rustic natural scenery you’ll find anywhere in the region. 

Because of its captivating natural scenery, Seoraksan National Park is especially popular during spring when many of its flowers bloom. A hike through the park’s well-marked paths whilst being surrounded by whimsical flowers and the blissful sounds of chirping birds sound so therapeutic! 

Also read: 10 Most Insta-worthy Spots in Gangwon Province During Winter

6. Chiaksan National Park

Image credit: oh_raon_mom

Compared to Seoraksan National Park, Chiaksan National Park is much less well-known. However, don’t let its under-the-radar status fool you. This underrated gem is truly one of Gangwon Province’s best-kept secrets! Even though Chiaksan is the smallest national park in the province, it is teeming with a wide plethora of flora and fauna. In addition, the park also includes plenty of deep valleys, enigmatic rock formations, and even waterfalls. 

Some of the destinations not to be missed are Geumdae Valley, Taejongdae Rock, Seryeompokpo Falls, and Guryongsa Temple. However, the main attraction here during spring is the 14km-long wildflower trails which are exceptionally beautiful during spring. During this time, the azalea flowers throughout the park are in full bloom, bathing the area in a stunning hue of spring colours! 

7. Naksansa Temple

Image credit: mitjina

Naksansa Temple is one of the top tourist destinations in Gangwon Province. This serene Buddhist temple complex, built in the 11th century, is located on the slopes of Naksan Mountain and overlooks the azure East Sea. Besides being an important cultural heritage site, Naksansa Temple also houses some pretty impressive views and attractions. These include a cliffside pavilion to admire the sunrise over the East Sea, the Hongnyeonam Hermitage that is built just above the crashing waves, and the iconic 16m tall statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

If you’re looking for an even more unforgettable experience, then visit during spring! As you might have guessed by now, Naksansa Temple is another one of Gangwon’s top spots to enjoy spring flowers! That’s because the area surrounding the temple is full of beautiful natural scenery. Even though they may not be as colourful as some of the other spots on this list, the view is equally stunning! 

8. Gangwon Provincial Arboretum

While it’s undeniable that some of Gangwon’s most ambient spring destinations are found in its national parks, you can also admire the beauty of spring in some of the province’s lovely gardens. Apart from the aforementioned Jade Garden, another lovely spot for spring flowers is Gangwon Provincial Arboretum. 

Located in the town of Chuncheon, Gangwon Provincial Arboretum boasts a multitude of attractions that’s fit for the whole family. Of course, the main attraction here is the large variety of flowering plants that call the arboretum their home. Many of the flowers housed here are Gangwon’s local regional flowers. Some of them are even considered endangered, which makes this not only an area to relax and admire spring scenery, but also a conservation area to learn more about the provinces plant life! 

9. Korea Botanic Gardens (Pyeongchang)

One final location in Gangwon Province where you can experience the wonderful colour of spring blooms is Korea Botanic Gardens in Pyeongchang. With the majestic Odaesan Mountain as its backdrop, the garden is a popular destination that’s frequented by locals during the flowering season. It boasts over 500 different kinds of rare wildflowers and is also filled with a kaleidoscope of colourful flowers, most of which are local floral species found in South Korea. 

While Korea Botanic Gardens isn’t the largest floral garden by any means, it is still a worthwhile destination to visit if you’re in search of picturesque spring scenery. In fact, the garden is such a memorable location that it became the filming location of popular K-drama, The Scent of Summer! Just don’t forget to bring along your camera because you will surely be snapping pictures throughout the day! 

And there you have it, nine awesome locations for seeing spring flowers in Gangwon Province! Of course, there’s so much more to do in this exciting region! From hunting down famous K-drama spots and feasting on authentic Korean cuisine, nothing beats a day trip to Gangwon! In fact, you may even want to extend your stay beyond the odd six or seven hours!

Image credit: Gangwon Province

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of spring flowers in Gangwon is by making use of the innovative Gangwon Tourist Taxis! With it, you can customise and personalise your travel itinerary and explore the province’s major tourist sites with the utmost convenience! 

While hiring a day-long taxi is usually a luxury, the Tourist Taxis in Gangwon are actually quite an affordable option, costing only 20,000 KRW (around 20USD) for a three-hour ride!


Brought to you by Gangwon Tourism Organisation

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.