ags logo

South Korea (Greentours)

Koreans flock to their forests as they explode into their fiery autumnal tints but it is the glory of their spring flowers that we want to experience. You are never far from forest here, more than 60 per cent of the nation is covered in forest, perhaps surprising given the ultra-modern urbanisation of the rest of the country.
Content Sidebar

Wonderful Ulleungdo Island will be a highlight. Think of Clovelly (or perhaps Boscastle) dropped into the middle of the Sea of Japan and sprinkled with a liberal dash of mystery. It is certainly a unique place with a character all of its own. Dark cliffs rise abruptly out of the Sea of Japan to a mountainous interior with all manner of endemic plants. Amongst forests of Acer pictum var. okamotoanum, Pinus parviflora and Tilia insularis we’ll find plenty of gorgeous deep red Camellia japonica in bloom. The understory has the well-named Hepatica maxima, impressive Gymnadenia camtschatica, Trillium tschonoskii and colonies of Lathraea japonica.

Everywhere in Korea we’ll find Asarums. These stunning little plants come in many varieties though few species – the splitters are only just getting hold of them! Cobra Lilies too are omnipresent with the extraordinary Arisaema ringens notable on Jeju Island. Jeju is as unique as Ulleungdo but totally different in character. It is a popular tourist destination due to its subtropical location and a flight from Seoul lands every ten minutes at the airport. The impressive Hallasan National Park protects the interior slopes of the large volcano that is the island. As elsewhere in Korea the national parks have amazing access with superbly built trails and wooden walkways. At Hallasan a walkway takes us amongst fabulous shows of Rhododendron yedoense and Rhododendron mucronulatum and we’ll also see Tulipa edulis, Hepatica insularis and Disporum uniflorum. Under an extraordinary forest of Torreya nucifera trees between five hundred and eight hundred years old is a stunning display of Calanthe discolor and Calanthe sieboldii orchids.