Korean East Coast Bicycle Route icon.

East Coast Route

Cycle Korea’s east coast and explore beaches and rocky coastline.

The East Coast Route travels along the shores of Korea’s East Sea (동해; map). Two bike paths navigate from North Gyeongsang Province, a third of the way up the nation’s coastline, to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) on North Korea’s border.

The Stats

Yeongdeok County
← 353 km →
23.5 hours
Goseong County
East Coast Route Bicycle Map
An elevation graph of the East Coast Route.
Checkpoints Logo
Stamps (17)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
Link button to Kakao Maps directions.
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.

Traverse a hilly route by seafood ports, ancient pavilions, and oversized snow crab statues.

Traverse a hilly route by seafood ports, ancient pavilions, and oversized snow crab statues.

An epic cycling path to the DMZ past beaches, resorts, and sea-spritzed rocks.

An epic cycling path to the DMZ past beaches, resorts, and sea-spritzed rocks.


Planners mapped out the East Coast Route in two separate bike paths with a cyclist-friendly 4.8-kilometer gap between them:

(You can ride the lower third of Korea’s east coast. Though not an official certification bike path, it holds just as many highlights as the official route. Read more here.)

Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path

The Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path forms the East Coast’s southern section. It travels between the neighboring Yeongdeok and Uljin Counties on the bottom third of Korea’s coastline.

At 122 kilometers, the Gyeongbuk course is shorter than the northern Gangwon Bike Path. But it’s more challenging, traversing a series of spiky hills between sleepy fishing ports (directions).

The bike path technically begins at Yeongdeok County’s bottom border. But you can start in Ganggu Port and continue north to Sunrise Park (map), where the first certification stamp sits.

Highlights on the Gyeongbuk Bike Path include oversized sculptures of snow crabs — for which both Uljin and Yeongdeok make their famebustling seafood ports, seaside mountains, a sprawling “whale fire” beach, and two centuries-old pavilions.

Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path ends at Uljin County’s northern border.T You have two options from there: catch a bus out of town. Or cycle across a short gap to the Gangwon Bike Path and continue the East Coast Route.

Read More

Find all the resources you need to bike the Gyeongbuk Bike Path below.

Mind the Gap

The Gyeongbuk Bike Path and Gangwon Bike Path collectively form the East Coast Route, which travels from the bottom third of Korea to the DMZ along the East Sea.

Technically, the Gyeongbuk Bike Path and Gangwon Bike Path — the cycling courses that form the East Coast Route — don’t touch. A 4.8-kilometer gap lies between them (directions).

So if you’re cycling the entire East Coast Route, you have two options to transfer between the southern Gyeongbuk and northern Gangwon bike paths.

Gangwon Bicycle Path

The Gangwon Bicycle Path forms the northern section of the East Coast Bike Path. It tracks the East Sea from the bottom of Gangwon Province (강원도; map) to the DMZ. Measuring 242 kilometers, it is Korea’s second longest certification bike path.

In the south, start at Gopo Port (고포항; map) at the bottom of Samcheok City. Flow northwards passed Donghae City, along a “romantic” coastal road with spiky hills. Pass a rail bike, cable car, and a candlestick rock.

Farther up the coast, cross Gangneung and Sokcho Cities. In these resort hotspots, urbanites flutter between air-conditioned hotel rooms and hot beaches in summer.

Traffic thins and military outposts multiply in Goseong County (map), which borders North Korea. Look out into the East Sea. Discover rocky islands and disappearing horizons.

The Unification Observatory Certification Center (map) marks the top of the Gangwon Bike Path and East Coast Route. The stamp booth sits at the bottom of a road leading to the Unification Observation Tower, which looks over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into North Korea.

(Want to check out the tower? A military blockade doesn’t allow cars and cyclists down its access road. Take a taxi or hop on a tour bus to visit the observatory.)

Read More

Find all the resources you need to bike the Gangwon Bicycle Path below.

Bike Path Types

The East Coast Route contains a mix of sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and coastal roads.

  • 30% bike paths
  • 50% coastal roads
  • 10% farm roads
  • 10% sidewalks with bike paths

Almost the entire southern Gyeongbuk Bike Path in Yeongdeok and Uljin Counties travel on coastal roads. You won’t find many sidewalks, carve-outs, or protected bike paths.

However, an expressway pulls fast traffic off these seaside roads. And many of the cars that travel them are on leisurely sightseeing missions.

Near the resort cities of Sokcho and Gangneung, sidewalks and dedicated bike paths allow you to travel separate from vehicle traffic. However, the cycling route uses normal roads when passing coastlines squeezed by hills and mountains.

Time & Distance

At 343 kilometers (213 miles), the East Coast Route is half as long as the Cross-Country Route. However, a series of steep hills sprinkled throughout offer more challenges and rewards.

Active cyclists can conquer its beaches and hills in three or four days. However, during peak season (July and August), car and foot traffic around popular tourist spots will slow your progress.

Want to take a dip? Lay out for a suntan? Allow five or six days to complete the East Coast Route. You’ll be able to check out all the highlights and rest your legs.

How to Get There

Need to get to Korea’s east coast with your bike? Other than a personal car, intercity buses are the only reliable translation option.

Gyeongbuk Bike Path

The Gyeongbuk Bike Path isn’t like other certification bike paths, which mark their endpoints with certification centers (stamp booths). The borders of Yeongdeok County and Uljin County define the Gyeongbuk Bike Path’s start and finish lines.

Three small bus terminals lie at the cycling course’s southern terminus. But to reach them, you may need to catch a bus from a larger nearby city, like Pohang.

At the bike path’s northern finish line, the tiny Bugu and distant Uljin terminals are your intercity bus entry or exit points.

Gangwon Bike Path

The Gangwon Bicycle Path offers better intercity bus access than the Gyeongbuk Bike Path. But its top and bottom also lie in remote, coastal regions.

The Daejin Bus Terminal sits near the path’s northern endpoint, near the DMZ. Daily, it runs buses to and from Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal, the nation’s busiest intercity bus terminal.

Three tiny intercity bus stops provide limited service near Gangwon Bike Path’s southern endpoint.