Korean East Coast Bicycle Route icon.

East Coast Route

A bike tour of Korea’s east coast, through ocean spray and along rocky ridges.

The East Coast Route travels up the shores of the East Sea. Start in either Yeongdeok (영덕) in the south, or in the small town of Daejin (대진) in the north.

The Stats

Start
Yeongdeok County
(영덕군)
← 343 km →
20 hours
End
Goseong County
(고성군)
Checkpoints Logo
Checkpoints (17)
Bus Icon
Bus Terminals
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Directions
Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.
Highlights

A short path by fishing villages, seascapes, and giant crab statues.

A short path by fishing villages, seascapes, and giant crab statues.

A scenic path over hills, passed beaches, through resorts, and ending at the DMZ.

A scenic path over hills, passed beaches, through resorts, and ending at the DMZ.

Beginning in the south, you’ll pass by quiet fishing villages. A challenging series of hills brings outstanding views of the rocky coastline.

In the north, you’ll follow the Romantic Road from beach to beach, wind around resort towns, and up rocky coastlines.

Rusted barbed wire and fences lead you north to the town of Daejin (대진). The final checkpoint sits outside a museum thirty kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Two bicycle paths create the East Coast Route.

Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path

The Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path (76 km) begins in the town of Yeongdeok (영덕), seated on the bottom third of the coast.

The area gains its fame from king snow crabs. Statues of the beasts greet cars full of hungry tourists during Chuseok.

The short bicycle path travels country roads up and down steep inclines. Atop, you’ll spot glass bottom piers, quiet fishing ports, and fish-shaped bridge.

Gangwon Bicycle Path

The Gangwon Bicycle Path (242 km) is the second longest in Korea. A series of steep hills makes it the most difficult and rewarding.

The Gyeongbuk path doesn’t officially connect with the Gangwon path. But follow the blue line north and you’ll join the north path.

After some detours over inland hills, the path spills into the twin cities of Samcheok (삼척) and Donghae (동해). A tale of two cities, Samcheok’s rail bike and cable car bring tourists. Donghae’s industrial ports and military base bring jobs.

Beyond Samcheok, the Romantic Road carves north. Rocky coastlines bring lovers and families.

Hotels, surf shops, and restaurants fill every seaside inch in the resort cities of Gangneung (강릉) and Sokcho (속초). In the summer, tourists hop across the road, from hot sand to air conditioning.

Traffic thins and military outposts multiply in the north. Farms take over near Goseong County (고성). Offshore islands and rocky outcrops dot the seascape.

The town of Daejin (대진) holds the easternmost point of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The bicycle path ends at a museum and military roadblock. To visit the Goseong Unification Observation Tower and spot the border, book a tour.

The Paths

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

Near Yeongdeok (영덕) and Uljin (울진) in the south, the route rides coastal roads. No sidewalks or protected bike paths. When wide enough, blue lines carve out a lane for cyclists.

However, an expressway pulls most of the cars off these slow, winding coastal roads. Just keep a lookout for a few local fisherfolk and the touring SUVs.

Near the resort towns of Sokcho (속초) and Gangneung (강릉), sidewalks and dedicated bike paths create the route. Along beaches, follow adjacent roads.

Time & Distance

At 343 kilometers (213 miles), the East Coast Route is half the Cross-Country Route. However, a series of steep hills sprinkled throughout make it more challenging and rewarding.

Active cyclists might storm beaches and hills in three or four days. Though, traffic around popular tourist spots may slow progress.

Want to take a dip? Lay out for a suntan? Allow five or six days to complete the route. You’ll be able to check out the Deungisan Skywalk or Samcheok Ocean Rail Bike.