Sometimes, you just want to escape to an island because the idea and the space of an island give off this “healing vibe.”
On the other hand, islands are also places that are often thought to be difficult to reach.
If you find that you want to go to an island but have been unable to do so, head to Incheon.
Despite being a large city, Incheon has numerous islands of all sizes.
Some islands are bridged to the mainland, while others are served by regular ferries.
That, of course, means that you can just pick an island of your choice and head there!
- Seungbongdo Island (entry)
- Iillehaebyeon Beach
- Chotdaebawi Rock
- Healing Island Seungbong Campground
Seungbongdo Island, the choice for a perfect island trip
What would be a good island?
Our criteria focused on places that give true “island trip” vibes, namely, the ones that have to be taken by ferry but do not require ferry journeys of more than one or two and being walkable.
The result? Seungbongdo Island. It is an accessible island with plenty of things to see and trekking courses, so it is a popular destination for day trips or overnight stays.
Seungbongdo Island is served by ferries that depart three times on weekdays and four times on weekends from Incheon Port Coastal Passenger Terminal, the starting point of island trips in Incheon.
Each departure has different ship types and times taken, so make sure to look up the options beforehand.
The Bangameori Quay, located on Daebudo Island, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, offers ferries to Seungbongdo Island once on weekdays and two times on weekends.
Until the end of 2023, out-of-town visitors visiting Seungbongdo Island will receive a 50% discount on ferry fares for stays of at least two and no more than six nights.
This discount is not offered on Saturdays and peak-season days, so make sure to check the details before your visit.
Once you disembark at Seungbongdo Quay, you are greeted with a sculpture emblazoned with the words “An Island of Heavens, Home to Bonghwang (a mythical bird): Seungbongdo Island.”
The island’s foremost tourist sites, such as Iillehaebyeon Beach, forest park, coastal trails, Chotdaebawi Rock, and Namdaemunbawi Rock, can all be visited along the trail.
- Address 824-20, Seungbong-ri, Jawol-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon (Seungbongdo Quay)
- Tel. No. +82-32-899-2114
- Opening Hours Open all year round
- Fees Free of charge (payment required for ferry services)
- Web Page www.seungbongdo.co.kr
A peaceful beach on the island, Iillehaebyeon Beach
From the start of the trail, walk along the sea. One cannot help but exclaim, “Now, this is an island trip!” The sea eventually disappears, only for a small village to appear.
Mountains, rice paddies, and small houses create a charming scenery. The appellation of an island village adds something special to the ambience.
After about 20 minutes along the sea and the island villages, a signboard shows you the way to Iillehaebyeon Beach, the best-known beach in Seungbongdo Island and home to a silvery sand beach and lush pine forests.
The beach is wide and shallow, so it is a popular summer vacation site.
Shades installed along the beach offer you a respite from the sun.
Sit down by the beach and focus on the view for a moment.
The beach is quiet and peaceful, so one does not have a lot of obstructions, only the sea beyond the sand beach and the islands.
You feel your heart stir as you realize you are looking out of an island to another island.
Iillehaebyeon Beach also offers camping opportunities (payment required), so you can use this spot as a base camp for exploring the island.
- Address Seungbong-ro 116beon-gil, Jawol-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon
- Opening Hours 00:00~24:00, Open all year round
- Fees Free of charge
Find the most popular tourist sites like coastal trails and Sinhwangjeong Pavilion at Chotdaebawi Rock and the surrounding areas
The trekking course is fulfilling, for it takes us along a pine forest this time.
The black pine grove at the island’s center has a forest park.
Walk along the trail to find a signboard pointing to the entrance of the forest park, but one can just walk along the trail without heading into the forest park to get one’s fill of black pine trees.
The lush forest also gives off a huge amount of phytoncide. The shade provided by the trees makes it easy to forget about the summer heat.
The island’s unspoiled black pine forest is as mysterious as it is primeval.
You stop as you come to a fork in the road.
The left-hand road brings you a bit quicker to Chotdaebawi Rock, but head to the right-hand side to see the famous coastal trails of Seungbongdo Island.
Walk about four more minutes from the fork to find the decked coastal trail.
The road along the sea is nothing short of refreshing and cooling.
The trail brings you along Mokseom Island, which can be reached on foot at low tide. A road brings you down to the beach, so you can walk to the island from the trail at low tide.
If you continue walking on the trail, the trail brings you toward a small mountain.
The uphill path is, thankfully, quite short. You find a picture frame-like photo area, followed by a staircase leading to Sinhwangjeong Pavilion, the highest observation deck at Seungbongdo Island.
Sinhwangjeong Pavilion’s name speaks to the origin of the island’s old name: “Sinhwangdo Island,” named after the fishers Shin and Hwang, who are said to have settled on the island after seeking shelter on the island from a storm.
The island’s current name, “Seungbongdo Island,” comes from the island’s shape, which is said to resemble the head of a Bonghwang, a mythical bird. The observation deck next to the pavilion offers a bird’s-eye view of the island.
The road from Sinhwangjeong Pavilion to Chotdaebawi Rock is also not very difficult.
A short trail downhill leads back to the decked trails.
The rocks that you face for the first time on the trail seem unique and wonderous enough for one to mistake them as Chotdaebawi Rock, but the actual Chotdaebawi Rock, named after its resemblance to candles, stands proudly at the end of the decked trails.
A cafè called Jageunseonbae stands near Chotdaebawi Rock.
It is a tiny cafè, but it offers open-air seating for one to enjoy the sea view.
It even serves other beverages made with handmade syrup and snacks like self-service ramyeon. Don’t miss the eminently Instagrammable photo area in front of the cafè.
- AddressSeungbong-ri, Jawol-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon
- Opening Hours 00:00~24:00, Open all year round
- Fees Free of charge
A romantic night at the island at Healing Island Seungbong Campground
Your trek on the island ends with the famous Namdaemunbawi and Buchaebawi Rocks.
You can head back to the mainland, but if you want to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise from the island, you can stay for a night on the island.
Seungbong Campground, located a short distance away from the quay, offers caravans for those who did not bring any camping equipment.
Camping decks are installed on a large grass field, and the campground is furnished with cooking areas and showers, so one can enjoy a comfortable stay there.
- Address 90, Seungbong-ro 29beon-gil, Jawol-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon
- Opening HoursCheck-in 12:00, Check-out 12:00
- Fees Caravan one-night stay KRW 100,000, weekend, holidays & peak season (July and August) stay KRW 120,000 per night / Camping deck KRW 40,000 per night
- Web Page https://seungbongcamp.modoo.at