Winter is my favourite season by far and a snowing winter? PERFECT. Skiing and snowboarding are easily accessible here in South Korea, even for foreigners! The easiest way is to book day trips with tour companies. Most have ski clothing and equipment rental included, transport to and from and optional lessons and lift passes. I would say it is cheaper to go on a tour comparing to the actual cost of lift pass/rental etc. I’ve linked the tours that I went with here and would recommend them all.
Recently over Lunar New Year, I went to 3 different ski resorts to enjoy some time outdoors (and on my butt). Here is how it went.
One of the closest ski fields from Seoul, Elysian is only 1.5 hours away. You can get here using the metro from Seoul and ski resort shuttle. This ski resort is best suited for beginners. There are 3 beginner slopes, 3 intermediate and 1 advanced slope. The area is quite wide and the intermediate and advanced are separated from the beginner area. I have previously skied before but took a beginner ski lesson as it has been a few years.
After our lesson it was lunch time. There is a cafeteria onsite which had self order kiosks and numbers to indicate when your dish was ready for pick up. It was more expensive than your average city restaurant but we were at a ski resort after all. You can of course pack your own!
Ski chairs here were manned at both the bottom and top so they could stop the lift if anyone fell and there was staff to help you get on and off. Just to note, boarders had to take off their snowboard to get on the chair lift.
The next day, I joined a different tour and went to Vivaldi. It is also about 1.5hrs away from Seoul. Vivaldi has 12 slopes to cater for beginners all the way to expert. For me, I thought Vivaldi was the most fun and was my favourite of the ones I went to. With that being said, it was also the most busy. At times, the wait for the chair lift was about 20 minutes!
I recommend coming here with a tour as there is a separate section for ski groups to rent equipment which was far less busy than the normal section for the public.
There are more food options here, a huge cafeteria, a food court, a cafe, a Korean restaurant and plenty of snack stands. I thought that it was funny that despite having ski locks located outside the eating areas, a lot of people just left their skis/poles on the snow near the exits. I actually thought that the snack and drink prices were reasonable (hot drinks were cheaper here than in Seoul!).
After being scarred from the intermediate slope the day before at Elysian, I decided to stick with the beginner slopes to practice turning better.
My last day was a learn to snowboard day. This time I went to Oak Valley which was a little further south than the 2 previous places. On this particular day, it was the coldest winter day of the season with tops of -16C. It was great that this meant it was far less busy but it was also so so cold! I was in all my thickest layers, had a heat pack stuck on each leg and another heat pack in my pocket but I could still feel the wind through my layers.
Oak Valley has only 3 slopes making it a great place to learn how to ski or snowboard because there are just less people. I thought the beginner slope’s incline was not as steep as the other ski resorts and it was longer so you could get use to being upright and sliding for longer than stopping yourself because you were going too fast. There is a cafeteria and a small food court plus snack places at the top of the slopes.
All in all, I had a great 3 days out on the snow. Each of these resorts also has accommodation onsite and I believe Vivaldi also has night skiing (which would have been awesome!). It adds up to be quite pricey and for me, doing a day trip with all inclusive rental of clothing and equipment just made more sense than staying overnight.
Let me know if you recommend other ski resorts in Korea!
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6 thoughts on “Easy Snow Day Trips From Seoul”
I’m by no means a skier, but I do appreciate a trip to the snowy mountains! Honestly, the most I’d do is walk out in the snow and maybe make snow angels or snowmen before retreating to the cabin for a cup of hot cocoa, haha. But there’s no doubt that such places are truly a winter wonderland! Glad you had fun. 🙂
That is still part of the snow experience! I think I’m a snow addict now.
These snowy mountains caught my . I skied awhile back in the Canadian Rockies.
It’s so beautiful to be in the snow covered mountains.