Why Jeju Island is famous and special? Once you go to Jeju Island you will know why it is called the “Hawaii of Korea.” It is Korea’s largest island and the only self-governing province in the southernmost part of South Korea surrounded by beautiful beaches, scenic countryside, and right at the center, the volcanic Hallasan mountain. Here you can enjoy watersports, along with countless beautiful landscapes, museums, gardens, amusement parks, and dazzling beaches. Of course, I’ll talk about all the fascinating attractions on Jeju Island, but that’s not all. If you want to experience the real Jeju, I strongly recommend walking the Jeju Olle trails and Oreums (the rising small defunct volcanoes). You might be able to feel and experience Jeju Island with all your heart.
Jeju Olle Trail
As I mentioned, walking Jeju Olle Trail is the best way to meet and experience the real Jeju Island. It consists of 26 routes (21 main routes and 5 sub-routes) and the total length reaches 425 km. “Olle” means a small passage that connects from a house to a big road in the Jeju dialect. There’s no rule to walk these routes. You can walk only one or two best trail routes for you.
If you should take only one, I would recommend route 07, a coastal walking route. You will meet a ton of awesome sceneries and attractions while you enjoy the route including Oedolgae, Beomseom, and more. You might be able to see a small street restaurant just right next to the beach which sells fresh seafood ramen and raw fish. Personally, it’s the happiest moment in my life that enjoy the scenery of the Beomseom island with soju and seafood ramen in this street food restaurant. 🙂 Discover the wonders of Jeju Island on your feet through Olle Trail.
- Jeju Olle Official Website: https://www.jejuolle.org/trail/eng/
- Office Address: 22 Jungjeong-ro (seogwi-dong 316-1) 2F Seogwipo-si Jeju-do [Zip: 63592]
- Phone: 064-762-2190
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jejuolletrail/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jejuolletrail/
Hallasan Mountain Trekking
Hallasan Mountain is the highest mountain in South Korea at 1,947 m in height and it was formed by erupting lava. The spectacular view of Mt. Halla, which is dyed red and pink in fall or covered with snow, will be the most impressive scenery of your life. Jeju volcanic islands and lava caves were registered as Korea’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 27, 2007. and it’s certified as a World Geopark as well in 2010.
On the top of Halla Mountain, there is a beautiful crater lake called Baeknokdam, and there are two trekking routes to get to the crater lake and three other routes to Nambyeok Bungijeom (남벽분기점). The most famous route to see the Baeknokdam is the Seongpanak route (Route 3). It takes about 4.5 hours to get to the top of the mountain and it’s relatively easy to hike although it’s 0.9 km longer than the Gwaneumsa route (Route 4). Route 1 to 3 to visit Nambyeok Bungijeom (남벽분기점) also boast the breath-taking sceneries during the trekking and it takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours to the top point.
To protect the nature of Hallasan Mountain, the Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa courses can only be visited by reservation from February 1, 2020. (You can visit the Eorimok, Yeongsil, and Donnaeko courses without reservation as before)
Advance reservations can be made through the Hallasan Trail Reservation System.
Reservations can be made one month in advance of the climb, the Seongpanak course can be reserved for 1,000 people a day, and the Gwaneumsa course can be reserved for 500 people a day.
For more information,
- Hallasan National Park Management Office: http://visithalla.jeju.go.kr
- Phone: 064-713-9953
Oreum is a dialect of Jeju Island that means mountain or peak, and technically oreum means small volcanic cones with individual craters spanning from Mt. Hallasan. There are about 380 oreums in Jeju Island, and each oreum has its own vibe and atmosphere. Personally, I fell in love with oreum hiking these days. If you visit Yongnuni oreum in late fall, you can enjoy the waves of reeds swaying in silver. And Geomun oreum is designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage because of the geological value of the volcanic terrain and lava caves.
Forests with an ancient mysteries
Walking in the forest of bija trees (Japanese Toreyas) will guide you to the mystery of the forest. Bijarim is a rare place to see about 2,800 bija trees born from 500 to 800 years old and the most famous tree is the one that struck by lightning. As soon as you arrive there, a pleasant scent spreads out from the forest entrance. As you walk along the refreshing promenade with phytoncide, you will fall in love with the charm of forest bathing.
Address: 55 Bijasup-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si
Phone: (+82) 064-900-8800
Travel Tip: There are two routes to stroll. A route takes about 40 minutes to walk and easy to walk, and the B route takes about 80 minutes.
Saryeoni Forest Path
The Saryeoni forest path is a three-hour walking trail. The route goes through Mulchat Oreum (the rising small defunct volcanoes) and Saryeoni Oreum and that’s why the name of the path is the Saryeoni forest path. It’s one of the hidden places on Jeju Island even for Koreans, and it is also the Jeju Biosphere Reserves designated by UNESCO in 2002. Walk a beautiful hidden forest path surrounded by thick cedar trees.
Address: San 137 Gyorae-ri, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si
Phone: (+82) 064-710-7911
Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest
It is a famous travel spot in Jeju Island for tourists because of the clean air and the relaxing atmosphere. Many people visit Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest even in rainy weather because it creates a dreamy atmosphere when there is fog. The trails in Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest are easy to walk and gentle, so you can enjoy this forest with children, the elderly, and the disabled.
Address: 584, Myeongnim-ro, Jeju-si
Phone: (+82) 064-728-1510
Hamdeok and Hyeopjae Beach
As you expected, there are many awesome beaches you enjoy. You will be mesmerized beyond belief. The Hamdeok Beach (함덕해수욕장) and Hyeopjae beach (협재해수욕장) are two all-time favorite spots for visitors and locals. They are also good for children because of the low water lever. Both the beaches are known for their crystal clear water and breathtaking views. It is also a favorite spot for taking pictures or relaxing with a good book while the soft breeze flows over you. So pack a bunch of swimsuits when visiting Jeju, as the sight of these beaches will most definitely want you to get in the water.
Udo Seobin-Baeksa and Hagosudong Beach
Udo is an island in Island. It is the island that resembles Jeju Island the most among the eight manned islands of Jeju Island, and about 1,800 people live there.
Hagosudong Beach is famous for its palm trees, emerald sea, and soft sand like flour. And Seobin-Baeksa is a rare beach made by deposits of red algae, and it’s designated as a natural monument of Korea. Unlike ordinary sand, red algae do not stick to feet and make a strange feeling of stepping on them.
If you want to visit Udo, you have to take a ferry boat at Seongsanpo harbor. The boat departs every 30 minutes from 7:30 in the morning, so there is no need to hurry. If you prefer self-driving, you can load your car on the ferry.
The round-trip fare is 10,500 KRW per adult and 26,000 KRW per general sedan. Don’t forget to bring your passport, and it will be convenient if you fill out two copies of the boarding declaration form for your return.
Waterfalls, Caves, and Cliff
This is one of the top three beautiful waterfalls that exist on Jeju Island. The water that falls from the waterfall is so white and pure that many people say that it looks as if the sky and land are connected. Many people say that water is falling from heaven because of its purity and the thundering sounds. Tourists tend to enjoy walking through the waterfall while it’s raining as it makes their experience more pleasant and worth remembering.
- Address: 667-7 Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- Open: Everyday 9:00 ~ 21:20
- Admission Fee: Adult – KRW 2,000, Child – KRW 1,000
It’s the only waterfall in Korea that falls directly into the sea. It’ is 23 m high, 8 m wide, and 5 m deep. It takes about 15 minutes by bus from the Seogwipo downtown. Purchase a ticket at the ticket office and go down the stairs with pine trees for about 5 minutes, then you can see the beautiful sparkling waters from the Jeongbang waterfall.
- Address: 35 Chilsimni-ro 214beon-gil, Seogwipo-si
- Open: Everyday 9:00 ~ 18:00
- Admission Fee: Adult – KRW 2,000, Child – KRW 1,000
This is the exit way of Jungmuncheon stream, which originated from Hallasan Mountain, to flow into the sea. And it’s located in Jungmun Tourist Complex. The Cheonjeyeon Falls are divided into three waterfalls, the first waterfall that falls from the cliff to Cheonjeyeon (pond) from the cliff of Jusangjeolli, and the second and third waterfalls formed as the water of Cheonjeyeon flows further down.
- Address: 2763 Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo-si
- Open: Everyday 9:00 ~ 18:00
- Admission Fee: Adult – KRW 2,500, Child – KRW 1,350
Tips: If you have a plan to visit Jusangjeolli Cliff, Cheonjeyeon fall is close to the cliff. Cheonjiyeon and Jeongbang Falls are close so you can visit both falls in a couple of hours.
Jusangjeolli Cliff (주상절리)
Ju-sang-jeol-li is nature’s work of art. This cliff is covered in stone pillars that only nature can create. Hiking enthusiasts will love this place purely for the journey leading to a cave. The stone pillars were created from eruptions that ended up formulating patterns running along the cliff. Undoubtedly this attraction will literally take your breath away as the winds on top of the cliffs are very strong. While standing at the top of the cliff, all your worries will blow away and you will walk away feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. Hearing the crashing waves will calm your soul and lead you to gaze at the ocean. This attraction is the perfect place for a peaceful and refreshing walk.
Manjanggul Cave (만장굴) – UNESCO World Natural Heritage
The Manjang Cave also known as the Manjanggul lava tube is among the longest lava tubes in the world. The entire concept of this place is that the lava underneath erupts to the surface and overtime formulates a crusty layer. If you are interested in finding information about the geological structures of this particular cave the visit would be worth it. However, be aware of the bats :). Nevertheless, interesting geological aspects such as lava stalactites and lava toes can be seen while exploring this lava cave. The length of the entire cave is approximately 13 kilometers but for tourists, only 1 kilometer of this space is opened for exploration, and it usually takes about an hour to cover. Also, note that the temperature in the cave does fall and it gets a bit chilly so appropriate attire and shoes are a must.
- Address: 182 Manjanggul-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si
- Admission Fee – Adults: 4,000 KRW, Child: 2,000 KRW
- Open Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (Off on the first Wednesday of the month, last entrance at 17:10 )
- Phone: +82-64-710-7905
Munseom and Beomseom Islands are loved by many divers all around the year because of the steady temperature and beautiful underwater views.
Jeju has an awesome walking course. And it also has a fabulous circular bike path for riders. It has 10 courses and it stretches to 240 kilometers in length. As you see on the image below the routes cover all coastlines of the Island.
If you should take only one course, I’d like to recommend route 3, it starts from Haegeorum maul to Songak Mountain. This path is packed with various beautiful vistas, such as Panpo Port, Sinchang Windmill Coastal Road, Suwolbong Peak, Chagwido Island, and Songaksan Mountain.
Ride MTB, Road Bike, Electric Bike, or whatever and hit the road to enjoy the fantastic blue sea and mountains on Jeju Island.
There are several submarine experiences on Jeju Island. Udo, Marado, and Seogwipo submarine tours guide you to the mysterious undersea world and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Jeju horse is designated as Natural Monument of South Korea in 1986 and native to Jeju Island. There are many farms to experience horseback riding in Jeju Island, and it would be a great present for your kids. Here are two famous horse parks.
- The Ma Park: http://www.mapark.co.kr
- Horseland Jeju: https://www.jejuhorse.com
Other Attraction in Jeju Island
Jeju Maze Land
Just as the name suggests, this theme park is one of the most adventurous parks on Jeju island. A guide will accompany you until the opening of the maze. Then you will be left alone to maneuver around and find the exit. The entire experience is very thrilling and the highlight of your trip. If you like solving puzzles then add this place to your list. You’ll be using your survival skills as the maze becomes harder and harder. Also, the best thing about this place is that all ages from 9 to 90 years old can join in on the fun. Everyone in your family will never forget this experience.
Teddy Bear Museum
Teddy bear museum in Jeju Island Korea is probably one of the most adorable Jeju attractions that you will come across. Most of the teddy bears that are displayed are handmade and depicting the stuffed toy versions of some of the most famous historical personalities. For example, there is a teddy bear that is a representation of Mona Lisa. This particular museum in more ways than others is the hub for tourists. Because everyone is curious to see the bear versions of historical figures they look up to. Especially if you are visiting with your children this would be once in a lifetime opportunity for them. So make sure this is added to your list of places to visit. You will not be disappointed at all. Get discount tickets here online!
If it’s not apparent up till now, then let this be a reminder. Korea is probably the place to go to when it comes to unconventional museums. The O’Sulloc museum located in Jeju Island perfectly captures the strong tea culture of Korea. In the museum, you can find six different sections that all celebrate the love of tea. Various kinds of tea sculptures are made with the help of plants and are displayed all around the museum. Where ever you go, it’ll be a snap worthy place. You can learn a lot about tea while drinking a hot cup of delicious tea. Visit this place as it will be calming to your soul, tasty for your mouth, and as well as a learning experience for you.
Address: 166 Byeongak-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si
If you do not plan to rent a car in Jeju, the Jeju island tour program would be efficient and perfect for experiencing Jeju’s top sights. Here are the tour programs.
- Eastern Jeju Discovery: Seongeup Folk Village, Lunch with Jeju BBQ, Canola Flower Seashore, Women Diver Show, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Via Jongdalri Shore Road, and Manjang Cave.
- Western Island Exploration: Hyupjae Beach, Hallim Park, Suweolbong Trek, Lunch with hotel buffet, O’sulloc Green Tea Field, Mt. Sanbang and Cheonjiyeon Waterfall.
- Southern Jeju Adventure Day Tour: Mt. Halla, Alive Museum, Lunch with Seafood Stew, Jusangjeolli Cliff, Yakcheon Temple, and Jeongbang Falls.
Jeju island is among the places that you have to visit to appreciate the natural beauty of the world and probably to clear your mind from the polluted air you have been inhaling. It has so many beautiful attractions that the trip would be a memorable one for you and your family.
You will find precious gems in the form of natural landscapes that you will carry in your heart forever. So if you are planning on visiting Korea make sure you add this place to your itinerary. It would be worth it. Therefore if you are still confused about what to do in Jeju this list will be a good place to start. It includes a perfect mixture of places where you can relax and explore and feed your adventurous side simultaneously. However, if you want to do research on your own then do so as this place has a lot to offer.