activitiesSouth KoreaWinter

10 Best Korea Ski and Snowboard Resorts to Smash this Winter

Swish-swoosh! Hot on the heels of maple leaves season, a new skiing season is here! It’s high time to gear up and get ready for the thrill of speed and frosty adventure. If you choose South Korea as your top destination for skiing and snowboarding this winter, you’ve been wise. As the host of the 2018 Winter Olympic, South Korea has stepped up its game in providing world-class winter sports resorts!

The skiing season in South Korea lies between November and March, and the most sought-after ski resorts are in Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do. That being said, we’ll also introduce the winter sports resort near Busan, just in case you’re looking for an alternative travel destination besides Seoul.

If you are an absolute beginner and would like to avoid the embarrassment of looking completely lost on the slopes, we have just the right option for you too! Read on to find out beginner-friendly ski resorts and ski lessons taught by an adorable oppa!

Best ski experiences in South Korea:

Voilà, these are the best picks of all ski resorts in South Korea. The table above gives you a quick peek of them, now keep reading for more thorough introductions of each resort. For the first-timers, since the resorts are not easy to reach and skiing itself can be a strenuous activity, why not join a day tour to keep away all the organizing and travel hassles!

Gangwon-do

Gyeonggi-do

Gyeongsangnam-do (Near Busan)

Gangwondo Ski Resorts

1. Oak Valley/ 오크밸리스키장

Oak Valley, (Source: KKday)

The Oak Valley Ski Resort is located in Wonju, about 1.5-hour drive from Seoul. It is a relatively smaller resort known for being more remote, surrounded by the picturesque oak forest.  

The slopes in the Oak Valley Snow Park was specially built for different levels of skiers, including 2 beginners, 5 intermediates and 2 advanced courses, making it suitable for players of all levels to indulge in thrilling winter sports! Also, thanks to the fast speed ski lifts, you can test your nerves on different levels of slopes in a shorter time. Looking for some guidance? KKday provides both basic and intermediate lessons with professional English speaking instructors.

  • Address: 58, Oak Valley 2-gil, Jijeong-myeon, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do
  • Transportation:
  1. From Incheon International Airport 9C: take the bus bound for Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal (원주시외버스터미널), then take a free shuttle bus to the resort
  2. From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Seoul Express Bus Terminal: take the bus bound for Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal, then take a free shuttle bus to the resort
  3. Take Seoul Subway Line 4 to Cheongnyangni (청량리) station, then take the train to Wonju (원주역) station. Walk from Wonju train station to the shuttle bus station and take a free shuttle bus to the resort

 

2. Elysian/ 엘리시안 강촌 스키장

Elysian, (Source: KKday)

 

Maybe you don’t know much about skiing, and you’re hesitating whether to try this dangerous-looking sport or not. I know, it takes some guts, but perhaps an oppa instructor help you to break through the mental barrier? Come to Elysian ski resort, one of the most beginner-friendly ski resort in South Korea!

The resort is within 1-hour drive from Seoul— perfect for a one-day visit. On top of that, it is the only ski resort in Korea that can be reached by subway. Located in a beautiful valley, this is the place where you can enjoy a safe glide while embracing the panoramic view of nature landscape. Besides the 8 courses designed just for the novices, there is also a group practice zone where you can practice at ease before you’re entirely ready to go. A little birdie also told us that there you can have cute, super friendly oppa instructors giving you an unforgettable ski lesson. So, whatchayou waiting for?

Elysian is also close to the tourist hotspot Nami Island, so why not include it in your itinerary as well?

    • Address: 688, Bukhangangbyeon-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
    • Transportation: Take the Seoul subway Gyeongchun Line or ITX-Cheongchun Train to Elysian Gangchon (Operated during winter season only)
    • Nearby Attractions: Gangchon Rail Bike, Nami Island
    • Official Website

 

3. High 1/ 하이원리조트 스키장

High 1 ski resort is one of the 3 biggest resorts in South Korea, where the mesmerising view of snow-capped Taebaek Mountains will take your breath away. It has three peaks: Baekwoon Mountain, Valley Top and Mountain Hub. The levels vary from beginner to International Ski Federation (FIS) certified advanced course, perfect for the family or a group of friends with diverse skiing abilities. Not to mention the high-tech facilities such as lift systems and gondola that guarantee you a smooth and comfy journey in the grand snow playground.

Last but not least, the ski resort is well-known for its effort in environmental preservation, keeping the captivating mountainscape and river view beautiful for generations to come.

    • Address: 265 High1-gil,Sabuk-eup, Jeongsun-Kun, Gangwon-Province
    • Transportation: From Incheon International Airport / Gimpo International Airport / Song Seoul Bus Terminal— take the bus or train to Sabuk station / Gohan station / Singohan Bus Terminal, and take the shuttle bus or taxi to the resort
    • Recommended tour: Korea High One Resort Skiing 2 or 3-Day Tour 
    • Nearby Attractions: Kangwonland Casino, Hwaamdonggul Cave
    • Official Website

4. Vivaldi Park/ 비발디파크 스키월드

 

Vivaldi Park, (Source: KKday)

Remember the very moment in the K-drama, “Legend of the Blue Sea”, where Joon-jae fell into the beauty of Shim Chung while lying side to side on the crystal bed of snow? Vivaldi Park is the very shooting location of the hit drama. Hop into the scene and spark your own romance here!

Within 45 minutes drive from Seoul, Vivaldi park is the perfect ski resort for a one-day trip. However, if you seek to stay for one or two nights, the resort also offers a wide range of accommodations and amenities. As for the skiing itself, the resort has 12 slopes that cater to all levels of skiers. It opens from 8:30 am until 5:00 am, making it a perfect place for night skiing!

5. InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort/ 알펜시아리조트 스키장

The Alpensia Resort (Source: KKday)

The Alpensia Resort allows you to take in the alpine beauty of Daegwallyeong. Besides its natural endowment, the resort also hosted the ski jumping competition for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Although there are only 6 slopes in the Alpensia Resort, it is still a good fit for family or beginners, since most of the slopes are cater to the beginners and the intermediates. It is also a not-to-be-missed spot for snowboard enthusiasts for its slope dedicated to just snowboarding!

    • Address: 325 Solbong-ro, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
    • Transportation:
  1. Take the Daewon Express bus (Purple color bus) from Incheon International Airport or appointed locations in Seoul directly to the resort. Please check the official website for detail
  2. Walk from Seoul Subway Gangbyeon Station Exit 4 to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. Take the bus bounds to Hoenggye Bus Terminal. Afterward, take the taxi to the resort (10 minutes drive)

 

6. Yongpyong Resort/ 용평리조트 스키장

Yongpyong Resort, (Source: KKday)

The world-class Yongpyong Resort lies in the so-called “Korean Alps”, and is the designated venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Yes, the slopes are steeper than the ones in other resorts. Therefore, it is suitable for the experienced skiers for heart-pounding  speed and excitement!

The sunrise from Dragon Peak is another view not to be missed— you can take the gondola to the Dragon Peak and be rewarded with the magnificent view of morning sunlight stretching out from the eastern sea.

Also, attention please, K-drama fans! Yongpyong Resort other than being a Winter Olympics venue, it is also the place where Ji Eun-tak from “Goblin” was saved by Goblin’s heroic rescue! You can also find tributes to another classic drama, “Winter Sonata”.

To help you avoid the hassle of transportation, we provide the perfect self-guided ski tour for you. We’ll get you there so you can focus on getting the maximum level of winter fun!

  • Address: 130 Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
  • Transportation:
  1. Take the direct shuttle bus from Incheon International Airport. You can make a reservation here
  2. Self-Guided Ski Tour from Seoul 
  • Nearby attractions: Woljeongsa (Also a shooting location of “Goblin”)
  • Official Website

7. Phoenix Pyeongchang/ 휘닉스 스노우파크

Located in the township of Bongpyeong-myeon, this snow park is the designated venue for freestyle skiing and snowboarding contests in the 2018 Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics. There are 21 slopes, offering an array of choices for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders.

The biggest reason why it is beloved by both locals and tourists is its well-equipped resorts— restaurants, supermarkets, spa, fried-chicken shops, shopping mall, indoor swimming pool, bowling alleys, and golf courses— you name it! They sure do everything to keep you entertained.

    • Address: 174 Taegi-ro, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
    • Transportation: Take the shuttle bus from Myeongdong Station or Sports Complex Station. Check the schedule on the official website
    • Nearby attractions: Country Herb Farm, Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village
    • Official Website

Gyeonggi-do Ski Resorts

8. Jisan Forest Resort/ 지산 포레스트 리조트 스키장

Jisan Forest Resort, (Source: KKday)

Moving to Gyeonggi-do, we have Jisan Forest Resort which has 6 slopes with 3 different difficulty levels, 4 ski lifts and a few sunkid lifts for beginners and children.

It is a perfect resort for both skiers and non-skiers, with a wide variety of restaurants and cafes for skiers who need a warm food break and those who are just there to chill! It is located not far from Seoul (about 1-hour drive), perfect for a one-day trip too.  

 

9. PINE Resort/ 양지파인리조트 스키장

PINE Resort, (Source: KKday)

This is another resort for all family members to enjoy, giving 7 slopes of different inclinations, and great lighting for night and early morning skiing. The most challenging slope in PINE resort is also where the “National Alpine Ski Competition” takes place every year, drawing professional skiers to come to test their skills!

    • Address: 112, Nampyeong-ro, Yangji-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
    • Transportation:
  1. Take the intercity bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal to Yangji. Then take the shuttle bus or taxi to the resort
  2. Take the shuttle bus or taxi from Yongin Intercity Bus Terminal to the resort
  3. The reservation is needed for the free shuttle bus  
    • Nearby Attractions: Korean Folk Village, Everland, Yongin Daejanggeum Park
    • Recommended tour: Day Tour from Seoul: Korea’s Yangji Pine Ski Resort
    • Official Website

10. Bears Town/ 베어스타운리조트 스키장

Despite the longest and steepest slope “88 challenge”, Bears Town is good for those progressing to intermediate. It is settled on the biggest hill for Seoul with plenty of gentle terrains, providing a relatively safe area for learners to practice and get familiar with skiing.

For those easily troubled by the transportation, this might be the right one for you too, since it can be reached just by subway and bus! The last thing worth mentioning is that the resort is kid-friendly too, as it has 400-meter-wide sledding slope for children to indulge in winter fun.

 

    • Address: 295, Sohak-ri, Naechon-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
    • Transportation:
  1. From Subway Gangbyeon station Exit 4, turn right and take the No.11 bus at A bus stop to Bear Town Resort, then walk for 15 minutes.
  2. For shuttle buses please click here for information
    • Nearby Attractions: National Arboretum, Pocheon Sanjeonghosu Lake, Garden of Morning Calm
    • Official Website

Bonus: Busan Ski Resort!

Eden Valley Resort/ 에덴밸리리조트

Visitors going to Busan, weep no more.  Although most of the ski resorts are too far away, you have a great choice too! Eden Valley Resort, with various types of slopes cater to all, is just a one to two hours drive from Busan. It is also known for scientifically-designed slopes to disperse skiers and avert overcrowding. For the beginners, be sure to take the lesson with a professional coach to get a hang of it. Your hard work will pay off!

 

  • Address: 1206, Eosil-ro, Wondong-myeon, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
  • Transportation:

 

 

Here’s a few tips and tricks to make the best of your skiing experience

1. Waterproof clothing and dress in layers

(Image via Shutterstock)

Even though most of the ski resorts can lend you ski clothing, dress accordingly for the snowy environment is a must. Make sure to put a waterproof and windproof hat, gloves, socks into your baggage. Dress in layers to avoid heaviness that drags you down while skiing and snowboarding.

2. Wear goggles and sunscreen  

(Image via Shutterstock)

The ski and snowboard goggles not just make you look cool, it is indispensable for your health and safety! Make sure your goggles are with UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, snow, and wind.

Wearing sunscreen is strongly suggested for winter sports too, even if it’s counter-intuitive. The snow is a grand mirror that easily reflects the UV rays, hence might cause bigger sunburn than under normal circumstances. Put some sunscreen on your face if you want to avoid the “goggle tan”!

3. Professional instructions

(Image via Shutterstock)

If you are the first-timer, pick the resorts with coaches and lessons. Maximize the fun by learning the correct techniques and to protect yourself!

4. Flop on to your side when falling

(Image via Shutterstock)

For all skiers, falling is part of the game. You need to know how to fall without hurting yourself. When you feel yourself falling, just let it happen and topple over to the side to avoid direct impact. Also don’t kid yourself on your abilities — remember to choose the right type of slope!

5. Warm up your body and keep yourself hydrated

Before you hit the slopes, warm up your body by doing some simple exercises and stretches. Also, as skiing takes plenty of physical strength, so don’t forget to drink water and take a break when needed.

 

Tours not to be missed near ski resorts in South Korea:

More articles on travel in Seoul:

 

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