Incheon Grand Park Cherry Blossom Festival from April 8 to 9, and Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival from April 15 to 23
The long and bitter winter of isolation, partly from the cold but mostly because of the lingering effects of COVID-19, appears to be finally over. Now, it is time, once again, to celebrate the spring season. And for this year’s spring, you need to be ready as things may fly by very quickly.
Once all the spring flowers start to bloom, they only need a week to be in full bloom. Also, the weather early on in spring tends to be fickle, making it difficult to put your finger on when exactly the flowers will actually start blooming.
According to Weather Eye, a meteorological company, spring flowers are expected to bloom in Incheon this year four to ten days earlier than normal. Azaleas (March 25), which are likely to bloom ten days earlier than usual, are expected to set things in motion, followed by forsythias (March 28), and cherry blossoms (March 28).
To get you ready for the blooming season, which begins in earnest in the last week of March, these are some of the best places to enjoy the spring flowers in Incheon.
▲ Perhaps the best-known spot for azaleas spot in Incheon is Goryeosan Mountain (436m) in Ganghwa. The Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival is one of Korea's most exciting spring flower festivals. More than 400,000 people from all over the country visit the Festival every year in search of the sea of light pink flowers spreading from halfway up the Mountain and all the way up to its peak. Image of Goryeosan Mountain with azaleas in full bloom.
Azalea was the oldest flower valued and treasured by Koreans
Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival gets under way from April 15 to 23… Beautiful azaleas also available in Haeymyeong, Gayeon, and Cheongnyangsan Mountains
Records say that our ancestors used to add azalea into “Hwajeon” pancakes (flower pancakes) or they simply sucked on azalea flowers to enjoy the sweet nectar. This could very well mean azaleas were the oldest flower to be valued and beloved by the Korean people.
The best-known spot for azaleas spot in Incheon is Goryeosan Mountain (436m) in Ganghwa. The Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival is one of Korea's most exciting spring flower festivals. More than 400,000 people from all over the country visit the Festival every year in search of the sea of light pink flowers spreading from halfway up the Mountain and all the way up to its peak.
It takes roughly 1~2 hours to hike all the way up to the top of the Mountain, which is well worth it because it will give you a great view of azalea colonies on highlands - over 400m above sea level - along the northern ridge. The Azalea Festival, which was suspended for three years due to COVID-19, will open this year from April 15 to 23. The festival is expected to feature various programs linked to major tourist attractions across Incheon as well.
If you want to enjoy azaleas without running into a massive crowd, the best place to go could be Haemyeongsan Mountain on Seokmodo Island. Here, you will get a chance to enjoy not only azaleas, but also wild cherry trees, various spring flowers, and a magnificent panoramic view of the Yellow Sea.
▲ Image of the cherry blossom road in Namdong-gu
You can park your car at Jeondeugi-gogae, then cross the bridge, and hike up the trail along the Mountain’s ridge line. The trip is easy enough for beginners with no hiking experience, and a return trip from the bridge to the top of Haemyeonsan Mountain, then back again takes no more than 3 hours (1.8km each way).
Gahyeonsan Mountain in Seo-gu (215m) and Cheongnyangsan Mountain in Yeonsu-gu (172m) are also great places to take in the scenery lined with azalea colonies this spring. Both mountains offer well-maintained trekking trails that will give you a chance to enjoy a beautiful tapestry of plum blossoms, magnolias, forsythias, and wild roses.
From major tourist attractions to flower-lined trails and islands... Cherry blossoms all over Incheon, and Incheon Grand Park Cherry Blossom Festival gets under way from April 8 to 9
When it comes to cherry blossoms, Incheon Grand Park, Wolmi Park, and Jayu Park are on top of the list in Incheon.
Of the three, Incheon Grand Park, which is home to more than 800 plum trees along a 1.2km road, is hosting a Cherry Blossom Festival this year between April 8 and 9. The Festival will feature a variety of events, including a concert, fireworks, and live busking as well as photo zones with beautiful lighting for those visiting the Park after sunset.
If you are not looking for a busy festival to enjoy the cherry blossoms, you can head over to Wolmi Park and Jayu Park for a slice of history and celebrate the new spring season. One thing to remember is that flowers in Wolmi Park bloom seven to ten days later than those in other downtown areas or Jayu Park due in large part to the cool winds blowing in from the Yellow Sea.
Meanwhile, Songdo Central Park, which has a different vibe altogether thanks to geometrically striking new buildings and its exotic scenery, is rapidly emerging as the place to be in the cherry blossom season. According to data from the car-sharing platform Socar, the most visited cherry blossom spots by Socar users during the blooming season last year was Songdo Central Park, beating Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, Seoul Forest Park, and Yeouido.
If you prefer enjoying cherry blossoms with as little fanfare as possible, you will not have any trouble finding a nice quiet road lined with flowers wherever you are in Incheon. The City really has multiple places with gorgeous cherry blossoms that do not even show up as tourist attractions.
▲ Of the three, Incheon Grand Park, which is home to more than 800 plum trees along a 1.2km road, is hosting a Cherry Blossom Festival this year between April 8 and 9. The Festival will feature a variety of events, including a concert, fireworks, and live busking as well as photo zones with beautiful lighting for those visiting the Park after sunset. Image of the cherry blossom road at Incheon Grand Park.
If you want to spend a day out with your whole family, including your children and their grandparents, try Songhyeon Neighborhood Park. It has cherry trees along its promenade and a pond, canals, and a botanical garden. The Park also has the Sudoguksan Museum of Housing & Living, which features a perfect replica of housing and living arrangements from the early 1900s to the 1950s and 60s.
Meanwhile, Gajwa (0.8km) and (3.0km) Seoknam Green Park have more than 930 cherry trees, and Seoun Sports Park Cherry Blossom Road, which was built in 2013, are well-worth a visit for a leisurely stroll, and so are Seokbawi Park, Incheon City Green Space Management Office, Namdong-gu Water Processing Office, and Gulpocheon.
Another way to celebrate the spring season is to head over to one of Icheon’s islands.
The “World Peace Forest Healthy Century Trail” located on Yeongjongdo Island is a walking trail approximately 3.5km long and lined with cherry blossoms. It is the perfect place to enjoy both the wide open expanse of the Yellow Sea, a nice stroll through a dense forest, and other programs with close ties to the nearby natural environment.
This spring, Jangbongdo Island, a popular trekking destination visited by more than 350,000 people every year, is hosting the Jangbongdo Cherry Blossom and Family Health Walking Contest on April 16. The Contest will include a number of different events such as walking along the cherry blossom road, which is about 4km long, traditional folk performances, and a local food market.