Yeongheung Island in Incheon has the nation's largest hornbeam forest as well as the largest wind power plant in the country. The island is only two hours from Seoul and is connected to the mainland via a bridge.
The first thing visitors see when arriving on the island is Simnipo Beach, which is often packed with campers who set up tents in the shade under the 150 year old hornbeam trees. The trees are uniquely shaped and are quite a sight.
Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the island. A 40-minute walk on the trail to the 123 m-high Guksa Peak, the island's highest spot, leads visitors to Tongil Temple. Nestled in the mountain, the small temple was built in 1992 to appease those who had to leave their hometowns during the Korean War.
A 20-minute walk from the temple, hikers arrive at an observatory surrounded by hornbeam trees. The three-story observatory offers a view of the entire island. On a clear day, Baeknyeong Island and even some parts of Haeju in Hwanghae Province in North Korea can be seen.
Yeongheung Island is also a good place for families. Visitors can enjoy diverse activities in the mudflat on the 1 km-long white sandy beach. The expansive mudflat reveals itself along the beach in an ebb tide.
A forest of old pine trees near the beach is also a great place for a walk.
Located over a small hill next to the beach is a wind power plant, and an energy-themed museum is only a 15-minute drive away from the beach.
The museum displays various energy-related items, giving useful information on electricity and renewable energy.