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South Korea

Little known fact - three-quarters of South Korea is mountainous. And where there are mountains, there's snow...

South Korea is one of the ski world's best-kept secrets and if you enjoy carving perfect turns in corduroy snow in a far-away country with an exotic culture, then a winter jaunt to the Korean peninsula is worth considering. And time on the slopes can, indeed should, be dovetailed with an exploration of the capital and the nearby DMZ. It is also perfectly possible to combine South Korea with some skiing in Japan.

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Ski Resorts in South Korea

The two resorts Different Snow feature are the two best in Korea - and we know this because we've put the time in, travelled around the whole peninsula, bought our lift tickets and skied most of them. 

However, from the outset we need to set expectations and make it abundantly clear what skiing and boarding in South Korea is actually like. For purists, don’t come here expecting to have your horizons widened and your ski-mind blown – the Koreans remain unenlightened about the joys of venturing off-piste (i.e. you can't do it) and the amount of challenge will rarely overwhelm. However, anyone from novice to upper-intermediate will find plenty of interest on the slopes, making South Korea an ideal destination for the easy-going skier, looking for an alternative and fascinating holiday. All told, skiing in Korea is a very pleasant experience...but certainly not game-changing in the way Japan can be.

We stick with the best of the best; Yongpyong, in PyeongChang district and host to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and High 1, a newer ski resort in the heart of the Taebaek Mountains. Here you’ll find modern facilities and a varied range of ski terrain, from gentle novice areas to some respectively challenging black runs. Both resorts we feature enjoy a remarkable amount of facilities, the lifts are super-modern and efficient and the infrastructure second-to-none.

PyeongChang (Yongpyong)

PyeongChang was the region for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Yongpyong & Alpensia were the ski resorts featured. Just five minutes apart, Yongpyong is the larger ski mountain...and the only one truly worth visiting.

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High 1

The best ski resort in South Korea...a fact strangely overlooked by the Olympic commitee. Three peaks, dropping in to a snow-trap valley offers up varied, and some challeging, terrain. 

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The Ski Season

The resorts are usually open from mid-December through until late March. However, with the snowfall not being as abundant as it is over the water in Japan (the ocean being the key climactic factor), we’d suggest that you stick to the peak season months of January through to mid March.

Why South Korea?

For us, the most compelling reason to head to South Korea for your next skiing holiday is simply because it is so … different! There are many  reasons to point your skis at South Korea…

Proper ski resorts

Yongpyong and High 1 have a truly world-class infrastructure, with includes every facility imaginable and a few you never even thought you needed – you’ll find super-fast efficient lifts (no surface tows!), state-of-the-art snow-making capability and fastidiously manicured pistes.

Night skiing, taken to the next level

Ski from nine in the morning until midnight. Wow!

The Koreans …

Korean people are a super-friendly bunch. They are natural extroverts, with a keen sense of (slapstick) humour and a welcoming disposition. And, because they don’t get too many foreigners on their slopes, your novelty value makes you extremely popular.

… and their food

The cuisine is simply divine! Food seems to permeate every aspect of life in Korea, it is much more than merely something to fill the belly. 

Seoul & the DMZ

The capital is a fascinating and enthralling city, quite unlike anywhere else you’ve ever been to. Head just north and whilst you’ve seen the border with North Korea on the television, nothing can prepare you for the surreal experience of visiting the DMZ. As a piece of un-resolved living modern history, it’s utterly fascinating. Kind of like a cold-war theme park … but with real guns.

Combine Korea with Japan

South Korea contrasts and combines well with Japan. For the uninitiated, they may appear to be two sides of the same coin, but don’t let their proximity to each other fool you. The snow, the skiing, the culture, the national temperament, the cuisine and the overall experience are all far removed from each other.

Suggested Itineraries

Our private, tailor-made journeys offer complete freedom of choice – there are no set departure dates or prices. The following are suggested itineraries only, shown to give you a flavour of what is possible and each can be tailored to suit your preferences. When it comes to price, you tell us your budget and we'll aim to keep within this.

In each itinerary, the ski resort can be swapped around. Different Snow can include ski hire, lift passes, backcountry tours, cultural excursions and activities, accommodation and transfers ... and because we are ATOL bonded, we can also include your international flights.

The best of Japan & Korea

Japan & South Korea

Duration: two weeks

The ultimate Asian skiing odyssey! With three days skiing in South Korea and five days skiing in the resort of your choice in Japan, this itinerary also includes time in both Seoul and Tokyo. 

from £2,180 per person (including international flights from the UK)

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The Korean Ski Week

YongPyong (PyeongChang) - DMZ-Seoul

Duration: 8 days

The best week possible in South Korea. Head to the ski resorts of PyeongChang during the quieter mid-week period, and then head back to Seoul for the weekend with a tour to the DMZ included.

from £850 per person (not including your international flights)

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The Korean Ski Safari

High 1 - YongPyong (PyeongChang) - Seoul

Duration: 11 days

South Korea's two best ski resorts are combined in one itinerary, followed by a ride on the futuristic KTX train back to the exciting capital for a couple of days R&R before heading home.

from £925 per person (not including your international flights)

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Prices are indicative only and include accommodation (low season), lift passes, transfers and – because we are ATOL-bonded – your flights from the UK. Different Snow can also include ski hire, backcountry and off-piste tours, rail passes, private transfers, English-speaking guides, cultural excursions and activities.

South Korea INFORMATION

Capital:  Seoul

Time zone:  GMT + 9 hrs

Currency:  Won

Language:  Korean

Ski Season:  Late November through until early April

Largest Ski Resorts: Yongpyong, Muju, Kangwon High 1, Phoenix Park and Daemyung Vivalidi Park

Access:  All flights head in to Seoul-Incheon Airport (ICN). The ski resorts are 150 miles to the east.

Beyond the skiing:  The perfect week in South Korea; four or five days on the ski slopes combined with a city break in buzzing Seoul and an excursion to the DMZ – a veritable cold-war theme park.

Places to Visit

Sightseeing in Korea breaks down in to the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. Old will have you visiting relics of a land ruled by kings 1,300 years ago, from which palaces and temples remain. New is a world economic powerhouse which raises new skyscrapers and high-tech malls at a staggering pace. Other than spending time in buzzing Seoul, the most popular excursion is to visit the de-militarized Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) between North and South Korea.

Different Snow can create a truly tailor-made itinerary. It’s up to you how much you wish to focus on the skiing only, or how much time you want to devote to exploring the country and culture beyond. We know South Korea well and, using our expert advice and on-the-ground knowledge, will create the perfect itinerary … for you. To see what we’ve organized previously for other guests, take a look at our sample itineraries. These serve to demonstrate what is possible; yet can be adapted to suit your interests, preferences and budget.

Seoul

The ancient and modern collide in Seoul, as temples and futuristic sky-scrapers battle for prominence.

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