Characteristic Beaches in Busan! Take a Trip to Pebble Beaches
Written and Photographed by Travel Writer Mun Cheol-jin
When it comes to Busan, the first thing that comes to your mind would be beaches like Haeundae and Gwanganni. You may not realize that Busan also has a number of beaches with black pebbles instead of white sand. Keep your eye out for these beaches that are as beautiful as the famous black pebble beaches in Yeosu and on Geojedo Island. You will be able to find a unique charm of the beaches in Busan.
Igidae Pebble BeachIgidae is a rocky cliff at the foot of Jangsanbong Peak that stands up against the East Sea. This was a former military operation zone, so public access had been restricted until being open to the public in 1993. Now, everyone can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Igidae.
While the 4.7km trekking course extending along the coastal cliff is magnificent, the view of Marine City high-rises in Haeundae over the sea makes Igidae all the more special. Strolling along the walking trail set against the backdrop of undulating waves, you will find yourself surprisingly calmed and refreshed.
On Igidae, the essence of the sea of Busan, you will find a hidden pebble beach. It is not far off from Dongsaengmal, the terminal point of Igidae coastal trail. This pebble beach is located coyly in front of a sea cave. Nestled between large rocks, the round black pebbles roll about in the waves, creating an interesting sight. When the waves rush in wildly, the sound of the rolling pebbles turns to sweet music.
Cheongsapo Pebble BeachLocated under a steep mountain slope between Haeundae and Songjeong, Cheongsapo is filled with the romantic vibes of a fishing village that cannot be found in large cities. Here, you can see many fishing boats anchored at the small port, various fishing gear dizzily scattered about, and fishermen briskly moving to and fro. Right in front of your eyes unfolds a scene you would expect to find after traveling for miles on the sea in a boat.
Frequented by visitors vying to take photos in front of the beautiful lighthouse, Cheongsapo has recently become a national attraction after the opening of the coastal train service and Sky Capsule. A walking trail was also established along the coastline. As a result, the pebble beach, which was hidden from our eyes, has revealed itself.
Hidden under the coastal cliff, Cheongsapo Pebble Beach is also unfamiliar to the citizens of Busan. It had been completely inaccessible due to the rough terrain and because the area was used as a military base. Now, everyone can enter the Pebble Beach through a wooden deck.
As I walk through the dense forest, I already hear the sound of waves, which resembles the sound of heavy breathing. The sound of breaking waves blends with the rhythmic sound of black pebbles rolling about. After climbing down relatively steep stairs, I get to walk on the pebble beach with my feet. It is fun to watch the pebbles that vary in colors and sizes from those as big as a watermelon to bead-sized ones.
Taejongdae Pebble BeachOffering a breathtaking view of the sea against precipitous cliffs and rocks, Taejongdae has always been one of the most famous tourist attractions of Busan. The sedimentary stratum from the latter phase of the Cretaceous period was eroded by waves as the sea level rose, forming a coastal beach with a wave-cut terrace, sea cliff, and sea cave. Taejongdae was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Taejongdae has three pebble beaches and all of them are called “Jagalmadang (means ‘pebble yard’)” in Korean. Gamji Pebble Beach and Taewon Pebble Beach are located close to the main gate and Deungdae Pebble Beach is located near Yeongdo Lighthouse. In terms of the view, Deungdae Pebble Beach situated in between rocky cliffs tops the others.
Walking down the stairs from Yeongdo Lighthouse Marine Culture Space to the sea, you will find a near-vertical coastal cliff on your right. Gigantic and rugged rocks soar up from and tower over the sea. The spaces between rocky cliffs through which waves undulate violently are filled with round pebbles. This is Deungdae Pebble Beach. The strong waves under the sea cliffs swept away light sand, leaving only the heavy pebbles to form this pebble beach.
While the view from a high point is splendid, it is also great to take in the landscape on the pebble beach. After walking carefully along the coastline, I arrive at the pebble beach. The sea water is so crystal clear that I can see the bottom of the sea filled with pebbles. Over the pebble beach spreads the boundless open sea. The sea that has always been there since the ancient times.
Morundae Pebble BeachThere is a small hill protruding out towards the sea at the left end of Dadaepo Beach. This is Morundae. This island is often foggy and cloudy due to the sea currents, which make the island nearly invisible. Hence the name Morundae, meaning an island sinking under the cloud.
Climbing up a steep slope at the entrance to Molundae for a little while, I arrive upon a dense forest. After walking for about ten minutes on a flat path, I see Dadaepo Guest House. To the left, the path leads to the beach.
The beach on the left of the path is a sandy beach and the one on the right is a pebble beach. Unlike the sandy beach that extends for quite a bit along the coastline, the pebble beach seems to be caught in between rocks. Although not very wide, the beach is full of flat and round pebbles.
The descending stairs lead me to the pebble beach. Standing on the beach, it seems to be bigger than looking down from the top of the hill. The waves rolling in violently from the sea soon disappear in between the pebbles. Under the sunlight, the black pebbles glitter like gemstones. Right next to the pebble beach, a small island floats on the sea. The lighthouse set on the island creates a romantic atmosphere. This is a new seascape I have never experienced in Busan.
AddressIgidae Pebble Beach : Igidaehaeansanchaek-ro, San 25, Yongho-dong, Nam-gu, Busan
Cheongsapo Pebble Beach : 618-4, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Taejongdae Lighthouse Pebble Beach : 120, Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
Morundae Pebble Beach : San 144, Dadae-dong, Saha-gu, Busan
Closing DatesOpen all year round
Operating Days and HoursIgidae Pebble Beach, Taejongdae Lighthouse Pebble Beach, Morundae Pebble Beach : Always open
Cheongsapo Pebble Beach : Opening Hours: 09:00 - 18:00
Service FeesFree (Danubi Train fares apply separately)
Traffic InformationIgidae Pebble Beach : Exit 5, Kyungsung University & Pukyoung National University Station, Subway Line 2 → Transfer to Bus 20, 22, 24, 27, 39, or 131 → Yongdo 2-dong Community Service Center, 30-minute walk (13 minutes by taxi)
Cheongsapo Pebble Beach : Exit 5, Jangsan Station, Subway Line 2 → Transfer to Town Bus Haeundaegu-2 → Cheongsapo Supermarket, 6-minute walk
Busan City Tour Bus, Red Line (Busan Station) → Transfer to Blue Line (Haeundae Beach) → Cheongsapo
Taejongdae Lighthouse Pebble Beach : Exit 7, Busan Station, Subway Line 1 → Transfer to Bus 66, 88, or 101 → Taejongdae (Taejongdae Hot Springs)
Bus 8, 30, 66, 88, 101, or 186 → Taejongdae (Taejongdae Hot Springs)
Morundae Pebble Beach : Exit 2, Dadaepo Beach Station, Subway Line 1 → 27-minute walk
Bus 11, 2, 3, 338, 96, 91-1, or 1000 → Dadaepo Beach, 27-minute walk
RemarksIgidae Pebble Beach : Parking: Igidae Public Parking Lot 2 (Fees apply)
Cheongsapo Pebble Beach : Parking: Cheongsapo Public Parking Lot
Taejongdae Lighthouse Pebble Beach : Parking: Taejongdae Parking Lot (Fees apply)
Morundae Pebble Beach : Parking: Dadaepo Beach Public Parking Lot (Fees apply)