Homi Peninsula Coastal Trail (포항 호미반도 해안둘레길)
The Homi Peninsula coastal trail is a four-course 24.4 km trail on the east coast of Korea in Pohang. The course stretches out along the coast starting from Cheongnim stadium finishing at the Homigot Sunrise Square (호미곶 해맞이광장). On this famous tourist spot, visitors came to see the two bronze hand statues (one in the sea and one on the land) that symbolize harmony and coexistence. This trail is one of the most famous trails in Pohang and is part of the 770 Km coastal trail (Section 13 – 18) Haeperang (해파랑길) trail that stretches from the southern port of Busan to the DMZ in Gangwondo province. Haeperang implies a path where people can enjoy the rising of the sun over the deep blue sea.
Course 1 - Yeonorang & Seonyeo (6.5 km): Cheongnim Stadium -> Marine Corps Landing Post -> Dogu Beach -> Blue Dragon Hall ->Yeonorang & Seonyeo Theme Park.
This is mostly an easy trek, with parts of it requiring walking on the beach.
Course 2 - Seonbau Road (6.5 Km): Yeonorang & Seonyeo Theme Park -> Seonbau Road -> Haseondae -> Heunghwan Beach
This course runs along the coastal line with different tourist attractions and a long white beach to relax. It is a beautiful feeling walking on the stone-paved bath with waves washing over your feet. Since we hiked on a rainy day, the waves were so strong that we got drenched in water at some points. This section is perfect for enjoying the calm winds and sound of waves from the sea. The trail is also becoming a popular location for Korean drama filming – this section was briefly used in a scene in Korean Drama “Run on.”
Course 3 - Guryongso Road (6.5) Km: Heunghwan Beach -> Janggun Rock -> Guryongso -> Gyumanri fishing post.
Section 3 continues along the coastal trail with beautiful rock formations. Towards the end, part of the trail is a mountain (not so steep) adjacent to the sea, breaking the monotony.
Course 4 – Homi Road: (5.3 Km): Gyumanri fishing post -> Homigot-myeong Gyumanri -> Kkakkurigye Eagle Rock -> Homigot tourist Spot
The trail is well marked and easy to follow, and each section has something unique to offer. If 24km is too much for you, It’s also possible to trek only one course or two of the trail depending on your interests. If you don’t have enough time, I recommend doing sections 2-3, which we found the most scenic with beautiful coastal views and a few secret beaches to swim in. Considering we hiked on a rainy day, we were almost the only people on the trail for a long time except for when we approached beaches, fishing villages, and at the Homigot tourist spot
Homigot was very crowded, with people taking pictures at the deck and with two hands. It is a famous tourist spot that draws numerous tourists, especially to watch the first sunrise in Korea during the new year. We had initially planned to start the trail in reverse, start from Homigot tourist spot (course 4), and trek back to Cheongnim to watch the sunrise. However, since it was raining the entire night before and during the hike, we couldn’t follow through. It was also difficult to find hotel accommodations in that area.
How to get there
We found that taking a taxi to the stadium was a much easier and faster way to the starting point. A taxi from our hotel (located close to the bus terminal) cost us 8,000 KRW. From the last point at Homigot sunrise square back to the city bus, we took bus 9000 directly to the Pohang bus terminal.
Where to eat (고앙밥상)
My hiking buddy and I have dietary restrictions, so it was a little challenging to find a place to eat. Finally, after what seemed like a long search, we found a nice authentic home restaurant for a warm fishy soup dish and Makgholi to wrap up our hike.
Tips for Trekking
- Start early; we started our hike at 6:00 am, giving us enough time to hike all four sections at a steady and comfortable pace. At this time, the trail wasn’t so crowded except for a few people that were trail raining here and there
- Bring enough food and water; Having lived in Korea for a while, we thought we would find a convenience store alongside the beaches, which wasn’t the case. The first convenience store we found was towards the end of course 4.
- Comfortable shoes: Wear comfortable shoes that you can easily walk along the pebbled and rocky beaches and off the coast.
- Come with an open mind, you will enjoy the experience.