There are many tourist attractions on Jeju Island that are worth visiting. Tourist attractions on Jeju Island range from beautiful beaches to epic hiking routes to mermaid ladies and lots more. So which tourist attractions on Jeju Island should you include in your travel itinerary and why? Read on to find out…
- Which are the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island?
- The best beaches in Jeju
- Manjanggul Cave
- Jeju’s Olle Trails
- Hiking Mount Hallasan
- Where is Mount Hallasan?
- Am I fit enough to climb Mount Hallasan?
- Mount Hallsan weather
- Mount Hallasan packing list
- What Mount Hallasan trail should I climb?
- Tips for hiking Mount Hallasan
- Seongsan Ilchulbong
- The Mermaid Ladies
- Maze Land Jeju
- Jeju Waterfalls
- Where are the Jeju waterfalls?
- Tip: Google maps doesn’t work well in Jeju. I’ve read that this is because South Korea do not want everything visible to North Korea…. Apple maps, however, works pretty well when searching for the tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
- Jeongbang Waterfall
- Sejeongbang Waterfall
- Cheonjiyeon Falls
- Cheonjeyeon Waterfall
- Eongtto Falls
- Where are the Jeju waterfalls?
- Tips for visiting Jeju waterfalls
- The tourist attractions on Jeju Island: To Conclude
Which are the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island?
Jeju is a unique place and with it there are lots of unique tourist attractions on Jeju Island. A trip here is often combined with a visit to the capital of South Korea, Seoul, where there are many flights direct to Jeju island. A popular South Korean honeymoon destination as well as hikers paradise, Jeju has a lot to offer every type of tourist here, but which tourist attractions on Jeju Island are the very best and why? Lets dig a bit deeper…
The best beaches in Jeju
Beaches are some of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which are the best beaches in Jeju. A honeymoon paradise and kids play haven, the beaches of Jeju are some of the best around.
Why travel to the best beaches in Jeju Island?
Jeju Island, part of the Jeju Province of South Korea, is a tourist hotspot. And that comes as no surprise – there are so many tourist attractions on Jeju Island, you’d be hard pushed to find yourself bored on a visit.
Here’s a look at the best beaches in Jeju, so you can find the perfect one for a spot of sunbathing, playing in the sand or sampling enjoying the sound of the waves.
#1 Yongmeori Beach
Located on the west end of the island, Yongmeori Beach is one of the best beaches in Jeju due to its beauty, and the chance to spot the Haenyeo – Jeju’s ‘women divers’, who free-dive for seafood which they sell on the beach. If you have the stomach for it, it’s definitely worth trying this local delicacy especially if you’ve been lucky enough to see the women in action!
TIP: check the weather as access to Youngmeori Beach is often limited at high tide or due to strong winds.
The rocky trail to the beach might be one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island, but it isn’t the easiest of walks, so this beach may be better reserved for visits without young children or elderly people. However, if you can make the walk, it’s so worth it.
The rock formations and landforms are fascinating, and the beach makes for a stunning photograph.
There is a shipwreck, examples of coastal erosion and beautiful blue water – all beautiful and interesting things to enjoy, making this beach one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
#2 Hamdeok Beach
With its black volcanic rock contrasted with soft white sand and calm turquoise waters, Hamdeok Beach is one of the best beaches in Jeju and thus one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island without a doubt.
You can camp here (or sleep in a caravan, if camping is a bit out-there for you) and there’s a car park, which is ideal if you have hired a car to drive around the island. You can also reach the beach (which is on the northern side of the island) by bus from the city centre and other parts of Jeju.
There are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafés to choose from up and down Hamdeok Beach. With air-conditioning, comfortable seating and tasty pastries, Cafe Delmoondo comes highly recommended. If you’re into water sports, you can rent a kayak or go kitesurfing. There’s something for everyone at this beautiful beach!
Tip: To find the best hotels near the Jeju beaches use to search box below!
#3 Hyeopjae Beach
If you’re looking for something colourful, look no further!
Hyeopjae Beach is one of the best beaches in Jeju due to its restaurants, bars, camp sites and the shipping container village that is home to AirBnBs, ice cream stands and more.
With views of the vista of Biyangdo Island, plenty of sun beds and umbrellas as well as fine white sand peppered with shells, it is no surprise that visitors love Hyeopjae Beach. This is one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Situated at the north west end of Jeju Island, the beach is opposite Hallim Park. This makes the area a perfect place for a day out, as the park is home to some scenic gardens, a small zoo, two caves and even a folk village. Hyopjae Beach can be reached by bus, too!
Tip: The weather can change quickly on Jeju Island. Make sure you carry a light weight waterproof coat with you, like this one– mine was a savour!
#4 Woljeongri Beach
In Jeju Island’s north east, you’ll find Woljeongri Beach. It is hailed as one of the best beaches in Jeju due to its soft white sand and sparkling blue waters and therefore ranked as one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
There is a shop nearby if you want to take a picnic with you onto the beach, or you can visit one of the many restaurants and bars that line the shore. They make the perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy the peaceful view in front of you. There is even a rooftop cafe, for something extra special!
You will also have a great view of the electric power generator wind turbine, something that interests a lot of visitors.
Expect cool breezes but little shade – perfect for those who love to soak up every last ray of sunshine.
There is a bus (101) that brings visitors to Woljeongri Beach, but driving here or booking a taxi is the ideal way to reach the area.
#5 Jungmun Saekdal Beach
If you’re into surfing, then this is one of the best beaches and best tourist attractions on Jeju Island by a mile!
There is a surf school for beginners, and those who already know how to surf will find it an easy-ish day on the waves.
If surfing isn’t for you, Jungmun Saekdal Beach is great for people watching. Whether you do hat from the sand or from the cliff top for an aerial view, you’ll have a lot of fun seeing people learning to surf!
TIP: there are changing and shower facilities available at this beach.
If you head to the beach early in the morning or later in the evening, you’ll find it to be much less crowded. This is the perfect time for a swim! If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic stroll or peaceful family walk, Jungmun Saekdal Beach as the sun rises or sets is where you want to be.
#6 Hado Beach
If you want the opportunity to just sit back, relax and do absolutely nothing then Hado Beach is one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Mostly untouched by tourists, it is completely calm and peaceful, which in my opinion, makes this one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island. Take a towel, some SPF and a book – and enjoy.
There is an opportunity for kayaking here, if you do get fed up of enjoying the peace and quiet, but for the most part you can just do nothing.
It’s around two hours away from the city centre by bus, but if you’ve hired a car or are staying nearby then it does come recommended for those needing some R & R!
Everyone should have Manjanggul Cave on their travel itinerary as this really is one of the top tourist attractions on Jeju Island. This incredible lava tube is marvellous feat of nature that is well worth the visit, BUT there are some thing that you will need to know before your visit…. read on to find out more…
What is Manjanggul Cave?
The cave is actually a lava tube – the 12th-longest lava tube in the world. It is 23 metres wide, 30 metres high and almost 9 kilometres long! Located in Gimnyeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, it is around 300,000 years old. Due to its age and how well preserved Manjanggul Cave is, it is said to have incredible scientific value. It is also a brilliant piece of heritage for Jeju, making this one of the most important tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
So what is a lava tube, then? Lava tubes like Manjanggul Cave are natural conduits created by flowing lava, moving under the hardened surface of a lava flow. These tubes either drain the lava from a volcano during an eruption, or they’re extinct. If they are extinct then this means that the lava flow has long ceased, the rock has cool, and a cave has been created. This is exactly what happened to form Manjanggul Cave on Jeju Island.
These tourist attractions on Jeju Island are fascinating!
How to get to Manjanggul Cave
In the very north of the island, towards the north-east, you’ll find Gimnyeong-ri. This is where Manjanggul Cave is located. Getting to the cave is easy. You can book a transfer to and from your hotel or accommodation, which is a simple and fast way of getting there and back. Or, you could do a day-long tour of the east side of the island, which will include visiting the cave.
This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island that is accessible via public transport too. From Donggwangyang in Jeju-si, the main city centre, take bus number 101. It will cost around £1-2, and the journey as far as Gimnyeong Elementary School takes approximately half an hour. From here, you can walk the last couple of miles or get a taxi. It’s not a bad walk, and the views are nice!
Practical tips for visiting the lava tube
Regardless of how you get to Manjanggul Cave, there are some things to note. Being a cave, it does get cold and damp – so wrap up warm.
Bring a waterproof coat, even just a lightweight one that you can carry in a rucksack. We visited the cave shortly after it had been raining and it was actually raining inside the cave! So I recommend taking an umbrella too…
Wear comfortable shoes. Flip flops are no good; walking boots, trainers or sturdy sandals are ideal. Due to the nature of the cave’s creation, the ground is fairly uneven and rocky. Be careful! There are also lots of puddles, so waterproof shoes are your best bet here.
There are three entrances into Manjanggul Cave. However, only the second entrance is open to tourists. You can only venture 1km into the cave, but this is enough to be able to see all the beauty of it. You’ll be able to spot stalactites, stalagmites, lava shelves, lava rafts and flow stones.
DID YOU KNOW: Manjanggul Cave is a UNSECO Global GeoPark.
The cave is open from 9am until 6pm until the summer, and until 5.30pm in the winter.
Manjanggul Cave is also closed on the first Wednesday of every month, so this is worth bearing in mind when planning a trip to the lava tube. We were caught out with this and ended up at the nearby Maze Land instead when we found that the cave was closed!
Most people spend around 1-2 hours at the cave.
Places to stay near Manjanggul Cave
Jeju has plenty of places to stay. The Manjanggul Cave is one of Jeju’s top attractions, but it is a little bit out of the way and quite far from where most people choose to stay on Jeju Island. So you may want to consider spending the night near by…Here are some holiday homes and villas that aren’t too far from the cave itself…
Around 2 miles from Manjanggul Cave, Jeju Olleh House is a seven bedroom house that sleeps up to 18 guests. This is perfect for large families, or for those travelling around Asia who have ended up in a diverse group of backpackers. It has a pool and BBQ facilities, as well as your own kitchen. Free WiFi and free parking are available too. There are plenty of amenities at the house, and it is clean as well as beautifully decorated. This accommodation is a great base for visiting the tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Jeju Special Pension is also a couple of miles from the cave. It can host up to 12 guests, and has free WiFi, free parking and plenty of amenities. The beach is nearby, and there is a good-sized kitchen as well as BBQ facilities. There are beautiful views and the property is well maintained – again, a great option for large families or groups of travelling friends visiting the tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
A few miles further out (approximately 6-7 miles from Manjanggul Cave) you’ll find plenty of hotels. Jeju Jukwang Resort, just a short walk from Hamdeok Beach, has everything you’ll need. A pool, free parking and plenty of outdoor space are on offer here. Each room has a private bathroom, and you can choose from family rooms, double rooms and apartments too. The staff are happy to sort taxis out for you, meaning you can easily get to the cave.
Another great option is Vizarim Resort. At 4 miles away, it is pretty close to the cave and in a great location. There are beaches and forests nearby. Free WiFi, free parking and non-smoking rooms as well as BBQ facilities and plenty of outdoor space are all on offer here. A great place for nature lovers to stay and a great choice when tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Jeju’s Olle Trails
Jeju’s Olle Trails offer unique opportunities for a gentle stroll along the island’s shoreline or an adventurous hike across the lava fields. Whether you’re an avid hiker, an active family or someone who enjoys going for walks, this is one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island!
What are the Olle Trails?
The Olle trails make up several tourist attractions on Jeju Island. The Jeju Olle Trails are a series of routes that make up one long-distance footpath on the island. These are some of the most famous tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
There are 21 main routes, with 5 sub-routes, and the whole trail is around 422km long. The landscapes are ever-changing: some routes pass through farms, some through beaches, and some through forests.
Olle is a local word for “a narrow pathway that is connected from the street to the front gate of a house”, in the Jeju dialect.
The route as a whole was founded in 2007 – and ever since, people have flocked from South Korea and beyond to spend some time hiking along different Olle Trails. There are coloured signs letting you know which direction you are walking in, and markers pointing out the different trails within the route.
DID YOU KNOW: The trails all have individual rest years, to allow time for the area to breathe and plants to grow back, retaining the beauty of each trail for future visitors.
The Olle Trails were actually founded by an ex-journalist, Suh Myung-suk. After many stressful years on the job she decided to take some time out and refuel, so she headed to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago.
Inspired by her trip and the walk itself, Suh decided it would be amazing to have something similar at home in Jeju. With a team of like-minded people she set about discovering and creating hiking routes on the island, which was no easy feat!
Which is the best time of year to hike the Olle Trails?
Jeju Island has its own unique weather system. Being an island, there is often a lot of rain on Jeju Island, particularly during monsoon season. But don’t let that put you off! Even in the rain the Olle Trails can be enjoyable- just don’t forget to pack your pocket-sized waterproof, just incase!
The summer season is very hot and humid and this is also the time with the highest rainfall. So I would personally recommend avoiding these tourist attractions on Jeju Island during this time.
Winter can be a beautiful time to look at the Jeju landscape and admire the scenery, however it can get bitterly cold during this time, especially when you are by the coast. So I would avoid hiking at this time of year too.
The best time of year to enjoy the Olle Trails is in the spring or autumn. During this time the weather is warm but not too humid and the winds are less fierce. It is the perfect time to explore these tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Jeju Olle Trails packing list
When visiting any of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island it is always important to ensure that you have the appropriate gear and supplies when going hiking, especially if you are walking to remote areas (I learned this when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro!).
Here are my recommendations for a Mount Hallasan packing list-
- Hiking boots- mine are Karrimor boots
- Walking poles- I don’t personally use these for small hikes, but I do love a good walking pole! There are some great deals on Amazon.
- Reusable water bottle- we love our Cambelbak, which is great quality and even has a kids version!
- Waterproof coat- if the weather is hot, I recommend a light-weight rain poncho, like this one, otherwise I usually wear my North Face rain jacket
- Lunch and snacks- you never know when there will be places to be food
- First aid kit- because you never er know when you might need one. This one from Amazon is pretty handy.
- Suncream- The sun is strong in Jeju!
- Baby carrier- if you’re taking young children it’s best to wear them because not all trails are stroller-friendly. We LOVE our Tula Free to Grow.
Which are the best Olle trails to walk?
The Olle Trails make up several of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island. Across the 21 Olle Trails and their 5 sub-routes, there are a lot of different options. And of course, these things are entirely subjective. Some routes are easier than others, some are long and some are short.
Here is a map from the Official Site of Korea Tourism showing a map of all of the Olle Trails. As you can see these tourist attractions on Jeju Island suround the island.
#1 Olle Trail 10
This is one of the most popular Olle Trails and one of the most popular tourist attractions on Jeju Island, with a distance of around 17.5km – it takes around 5 hours to hike the whole trail.
Route 10 goes from Hwasun Beach (easily accessible by bus or taxi) to Moseulpo.
A beautiful coastal walk, route 10 allows you fantastic views of the ocean and various volcanic cones known as oreum in the local Jeju dialect. You will also pass the Altteureu Airfield, the remnants of a Japanese airfield which you are free to explore.
The trail ends at Moseulpo Harbour, where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings!
#2 Olle Trail 14.1
One of the best Olle Trails is 14.1, which is around 9.3km long. Hiking it takes roughly 3 hours, depending on your pace, and it is incredibly green.
Start from the village of Jeonji and follow the blue ribbons – or, start from the other end and follow the red ribbons to take you back to the village.
You will pass through farms and fields, and spot the beautiful Ganses – native ponies whose name means slow wanderer. Stop and enjoy the view of Mount Hallasan and the island’s coast, then keep going until you hit the tea plantation. Here you can enjoy a green tea ice cream, or a mug of steaming tangerine tea.
TOP TIP: the village of Jeonji is home to one of the best pizzerias on the island, and you can never underestimate the importance of being well fed before a hike…
#3 Olle Trail 6
At 13.3km long, route 6 is one of the best Olle Trails and one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island- not too long but not too short, and with a low difficulty level. It takes around 4 hours to hike this route, depending on your pace and how often you stop to admire the view.
If you want an overview of Jeju in a short period of time, then this is the route to walk; it covers a wide variety of terrains, and you’ll see beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, monuments and more.
There are cafés along the way to stop for refreshments, and in the more urban areas you may struggle to find the blue and red ribbons – but just look down and you’ll be able to spot markings on the tarmac roads instead!
#4 Olle Trail 18.1
A short ferry ride away on Chujado Island, 18.1 is one of the most incredible Olle Trails. It allows you a real insight into a rural South Korean area. The route takes around 6-8 hours, so planning is really important; it isn’t easy to arrange to stay overnight on the island, but it can be done. Ferries are limited but if you time it right, you’ll be absolutely fine.
However, because of these slight difficulties, many people don’t hike along route 18.1 – this means you’ll be one of very few hikers to have done so, and it really is so worth it for the views and the landmarks.
TOP TIP: the Chuja Olle Guesthouse is recommended for walkers, which costs around 20,000 WON per night.
#5 Olle Trail 9
One of the more difficult Olle Trails, this one involves a bit of climbing. However, it is also one of the shorter routes at 6.3km – and the views are beautiful.
Jeju is known for its biodiversity, and this trail definitely provides plenty of examples of that. There are beautiful flowers, plants and trees along the trail. Ocean views and mountain scenery are the icing on the cake, and this part of the Olle Trail is definitely a photographers dream.
Another great part of route 9 is the Japanese Army tunnel which still exists. You can walk through it, and learn a bit of history.
Why should you walk one of the Olle Trails?
The Olle Trails in Jeju are a fantastic way of getting to know the island and experiencing the tourist attractions on Jeju Island. They offer sightseeing opportunities, a chance to be at one with nature and also somewhere to escape from day to day life. It’s easy to do, too – just turn up at a route and walk. There is route information available on the official tourist sites, and you can also hike with a guide.
Hiking Mount Hallasan
Mount Hallasan is other one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island and climbing Mount Hallasan is an exciting and rewarding addition to anyone’s Jeju travel itinerary. We certainly lOVED it! Whether you’re an esteemed hiker, a casual walker or a family looking for a little bit of exercise and some stunning views of Jeju Island, there is an option for you on Mount Hallasan!
Where is Mount Hallasan?
Located almost smack-bang in the centre of Jeju Island, Mount Hallasan is the highest peak in South Korea and the biggest of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
The area around the mountain is a designated national park (and tha national park itself is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island too). Mount Hallasan actually makes up a large portion of the island – it is often used to represent Jeju as a whole. It can be seen no matter where you are on Jeju Island.
As you drive around Jeju Island you can often see Mount Hallasan in the vista. The mountain makes for a stunning view and is very inviting for those who enjoy walking, hiking or nice views!
DID YOU KNOW: there is a local saying which goes “Jeju Island is Hallasan, and Hallasan is Jeju.”
Hallasan National Park is a twenty-thirty minute drive from Jeju City. You can also drive or get public transport to each of the trails – the journey time will be slightly different for each. You can easily hire a car when visiting Jeju; a taxi from the city to the mountain would set you back around £15-18 GBP.
If you are driving, parking can be a bit of a challenge, especially on a busy day. I’ve heard stories of people having to leave their cars way down the mountain and walking for an hour or more before reaching the start of their trail! I recommend starting early and factoring extra time just in case.
If you take public transport then you may also have a bit of a walk from the bus stop to the trail. Personally, my advice is to taker a taxi or a bus followed by a taxi to reach the start of your chosen Mount Hallasan trail.
Am I fit enough to climb Mount Hallasan?
If you’re worried that you might not be fit enough to climb Mount Hallasan, don’t be! This is one of the major tourist attractions on Jeju Island that be conquered by all!
Yes, the full day hikes do require some basic fitness, but they are not too difficult. Plus, there are several shorter trails that you can take if you are short on time or if you are not confident in your fitness or physical capabilities.
Mount Hallsan weather
This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island where weather matters. The weather on Mount Hallasan will be colder than it is in Jeju City, beaches or other nearby tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Because of the height of the mountain and the island’s location, clouds will often gather around around Mount Hallasan. This means that temperatures can feel cooler, visibility might not be great and rain is likely.
Mount Hallasan packing list
Whilst you won’t be staying overnight on Mount Hallasan, it is still important that you have all of the necessary hiking gear to ensure that you have a safe an enjoyable hike. Make sure you have the right gear before visiting the tourist attractions on Jeju Island by taking a look at my recommendations for a Mount Hallasan packing list-
- Hiking boots- mine are Karrimor boots
- Walking poles- I don’t personally use these for small hikes, but I do love a good walking pole! There are some great deals on Amazon.
- Reusable water bottle- we love our Cambelbak, which is great quality and even has a kids version! You can refill on most trails.
- Waterproof coat- if the weather is hot, I recommend a light-weight rain poncho, like this one, otherwise I usually wear my North Face rain jacket
- Lunch and snack- there is nowhere selling food on the trails
- First aid kit- because you never er know when you might need one. This one from Amazon is pretty handy.
- Suncream- The sun is strong in Jeju and it only gets stronger the higher that you go!
What Mount Hallasan trail should I climb?
There are several ways to hike up Mount Hallasan. The four most popular trails are The Yeongsil Trail, The Eorimok Trail, The Seongpanak Trail and The Gwaneumsa Trail. I will also gives you details of The Donnaeko Trail, The Eoseungsaengak Trail and The Seokgulam Trail below.
The different trails take between 30 minutes and 10 hours each, and all offer something special. Here is a deeper look into each Mount Hallasan trail, to help you decide which one is perfect for your Jeju Island hike!
The Yeongsil Trail
This is the shortest Mount Hallasan hike at 3.7km each way. Depending on your pace, this hike should only take between 2 and 3 hours total. It’s the perfect way to spend your final day on the island, or a few hours one afternoon in between exploring everything else Jeju has to offer. This short hike makes this one of the most fun and accessible tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
While this trail doesn’t take you to the summit of Mount Hallasan, it does show you plenty of waterfalls and beautiful views. It’s definitely the easiest way to experience a Jeju Island volcano hike!
Take the 240 bus from Jeju City, which will take you straight to the trail head. There is parking available for hire cars, and a taxi from either Jeju City or Seogwipo will get you there in around half an hour too.
The Eorimok Trail
Another fairly short hike, this one is 4.7km each way. In total, it usually takes around 3-3.5 hours to go up and down this trail. The incline is shallow and there are stunning views on offer. Trees offer a lot of shade on this route, too! This is another easy way to hike up Mount Hallasan!
The 240 bus can you drop you off at the entrance point of this trail too, and parking is available for hire cars. A taxi here will also take around half an hour.
The Seongpanak Trail
Getting longer and more difficult, this is 9.6km each way. It should take around 8 hours to hike the trail as a whole. This one takes you right to the summit of Mount Hallasan, and it’s not too steep either. So although it’s the longest trail, it isn’t the most difficult!
There are direct buses available to the Seongpanak Trail. 181 from the airport, 281 from Jeju City and 182 from Seogwipo. Taxis and hire cars can access the trail head, too.
The Gwaneumsa Trail
At 8.7km each way, this isn’t the longest trail. It should take around 9 hours to complete the hike, due to being much steeper than Seongpanak. This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island that require a bit of fitness to master. It takes you to the summit of Mount Hallasan, and the views all the way up are spectacular. The trail starts about 1km away from the Gwanemsa Temple, which is definitely worth a visit.
To get the trail head, you first need to get to Jeju International University. The 181 bus from the airport will take you here,as well the 365 bus from Jeju City and the 281 bus from Seogwipo. From the university, catch the 475 bus. Cars can access the trail head too!
TOP TIP: one of the best ways to hike up Mount Hallasan is to go up via the Seongpanak Trail, because it’s not as steep, and then down via the Gwaneumsa Trail. This way you get to see the summit, and enjoy the incredible views that Gwaneumsa has to offer. There are taxis at the bottom which will take you back to Seongpanak if you have parked your car here, for example.
The Donnaeko Trail
This 7km trail will take you around 3 1/2 hours to complete. This is a popular trail for getting some of those gorgeous coastal photographs as the view is stunning! To experience the best views I recommend that you climb either the Yeongsil or Eorimok trails and then descend via the Donnaeko Trail.
There is no easy public transport to reach the Donnaeko Trail. You will need to take a taxi from Seogwipo, which will put you back around W15,000.
The Eoseungsaengak Trail
The Eoseungsaengak Trail is one of the shortest hikes on Mount Hallasan and is perfect for hikers with young children and those who are short on time. The Eoseungsaengak Trail can be completed in around half an hour. It is a short 1.3km.
The Eoseungsaengak Trail starts at the Hallasan National Park Visitor Centre, so there is plenty of parking. The trail ends at the Eoseungsaenggak Oreum. Here there is a Japanese watch tower from World War 2, which is pretty interesting. It offers stunning views of Mount Hallasan on a clear day.
You can reach the start of the trail from the bus stop on the 1139.
The Seokgulam Trail
The Seokgulam Trail is another short hike. It is 1.5km in length and takes approximately 50 minutes to complete. Whilst this trail doesn’t have the same views as the Eoseungsaengak Trail, it is still a pleasant walk with good vistas at the end. There are some steep stretches.
The Seokgulam Trail starts at the cemetery car park in Cheonwangsa and runs through Ahheunahhopgol, finishing at Seoggulam, a women’s hermitage.
Tips for hiking Mount Hallasan
This might be one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to prepare! Here are a few tips that you should take onboard before visiting the tourist attractions on Jeju Island that involve hiking or climbing…
Check the weather forecast before you set out, as some trails are closed when the weather is bad. Bring food, water and sun protection with you, and wear comfortable clothing and shoes. And make sure your camera has plenty of battery! With over 1800 species of plant on Mount Hallasan, you’ll want to capture everything you see. Visiting the national park is incredible enough as it is, but the mountain is something special.
Hiking up this volcano is an absolute must if you are planning a trip to Jeju Island – be at one with nature and look out across the island. It’s definitely worth the jelly legs and tired feet at the end of the hike…
Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Jeju Island. With its jaw-dropping views and Instagram-worthy shots, this volcanic crater is a great place to visit. Here’s everything you could possibly need to know if you’re planning a visit to see the peak…
What is Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak?
This is one of the most geologically interesting tourist attractions on Jeju Island. Also known as Sunrise Peak, it is an archetypal tuff cone – a type of vent landform caused by a volcanic eruption. Tuff cones are, as the name suggests, cone shaped as well as being steeply sloped. They are typically formed of highly altered and thickly bedded tephra, with wide craters.
Seongsan Ilchulbong was formed around 5,000 years ago, also making this one of the oldes tourist attractions on Jeju Island. It is the result of hydrovolcanic eruptions on the shallow seabed in the area.
It is located on the eastern side Jeju Island, and visitors say it resembles a giant castle. The cone is 182 metres high, and the inner structures are diverse making them a big interest to geologists and scientists alike. The materials here provide an insight into the eruptive and depositional processes of hydromagmatic volcanoes around the globe!
Why you should visit the peak
One of the main reasons to visit Seongsan Ilchulbong is to hike up the peak- yes, this is another one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island that involves hiking! This takes around 45 minutes. There are frequent rest stops overlooking the sea, and steps have been built to ensure the climb is easier. The views as you ascend, and from the top, are absolutely spectacular.
You will also be able to see the Haenyeo to the left of the peak. These are the famed Jeju Island Divers, who catch sea food and have done since around 1629. Of course, in the 17th century there was no diving equipment – and the Haenyeo still choose not to use it. It is an hour to see them diving, and you can even buy fresh sea food from them at Seongsan Ilchulbong.
You can also see the sunrise here which, as the peak’s nickname suggests, is pretty fantastic- this is one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island for incredible vistas. Even though the peak itself doesn’t open until after sunrise, you can take the left hand trail (which is free entry) and climb the gentle slops to see the sun rising over the water. If you climb just before closing time during the right season, you can catch the sunset too!
Many people are reluctant to visit Seongsan Ilchulbong because they think that the climb to the peak may be too challenging. Well, if I can do it with a baby on my front and a toddler on my back, anyone can! They climb is actually not as difficult as it looks and is well worth it for the views that you get from the top…
ember you will need a valid International Driving Permit as well as your own driving licence.
TIP: parking is free and readily available at the peak.
If you’re travelling on a budget or don’t feel comfortable driving in a different country, you can get a bus to Seongsan Ilchulbong. Take the 701 bus from Jeju City Old Bus Terminal, which takes just over an hour, or the 111/112 directly from Jeju Airport. This takes between 1.5 and two hours.
Seongsan Ilchulbong opening times
During the summer, Seongsan Ilchulbong is open from ten past seven in the morning until seven o’clock at night. In the winter months, it opens at 7.30am and closes at six in the evening.
Seongsan Ilchulbong is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it popular with tourists and travellers from around the world. There are a few other World Heritage Sites on the island, and you can book some brilliant tours to take you to the peak and the nearby Manjanggul Cave as well as longer tours that will take you to every point of interest on Jeju Island.
How much does it cost to visit the Peak?
If you are visiting as part of an organised tour, your admission fees will likely be included. However, if you’re more of a DIY traveller, here are the admission fees…
- Adult: 5,000 won
- Youth/child: 2,500 won
- Jeju residents: free
Reduced prices are available to those in groups of 10 or more. Child tickets are for ages 7-12, youth tickets for ages 13-24 and adult tickets for those aged 25-64. Children aged 6 and under, and the elderly (65+) are entitled to free entry, although proof of age is required.
Other things to know about Seongsan Ilchulbong
The area is quite rainy. June is the wettest month, with an average of 12 days worth of rain – while October is the driest month with 6 days of rain. July and August are the warmest months, with highs of 29°C and lows of 23°C. The coldest months are January and February, with highs of 8-9°C and lows of a chilly 2°C.
Peak season on the island is late March to early April, so this tends to be when Seongsan Ilchulbong is busiest in terms of tourists. However, Jeju Island is at its most beautiful this time of year – so it’s no wonder everyone visits then!
There is a luggage storage room at entrance of the peak, should you be visiting on your way to or from the airport/ferry terminal.
The Mermaid Ladies
The Jeju Island Divers were one of the aspects of my Jeju travels that I found most interesting. In fact, this was one of my favourite tourist attractions on Jeju Island! I had seen a TV show about these remarkable women some years ago, but I hadn’t put two and two together when I booked my trip to Jeju.
Who are the Jeju Island divers?
These divers are one of the major tourist attractions on Jeju Island, so major in fact that they have featured in many tv shows and movies.
Also known as the Haenyeo, the Jeju Island divers are a group of women who free-dive for seafood. They are representative of the semi-matriarchal family structure that exists on the island, and are known for their iron will and determination as well as their free spirit.
Girls would traditionally start training to become Jeju Island divers at around the age of 11. They would start by learning in shallow waters, slowly getting deeper as they got older and more experienced. By 18, after seven years of training, they would be considered a fully fledged haenyeo.
Numbers are steadily dropping, now, so the majority of Jeju Island divers are over the age of 50 with new (and young) recruits being few and far between.
DID YOU KNOW: The Jeju Island divers can hold their breath for over three minutes, diving to around 30 metres deep! Wow!
The Haenyeo can spend around 5-6 hours at a time in the water, even in winter. Modern day wetsuits are essential for this; when wearing cotton swimming costumes, the women could only stay in the water for one hour in the winter (before a 3-4 hour break by a fire) and around 3 hours during the summer months.
They don’t use many tools. Typically, the Jeju Island divers will wear a wetsuit, diving mask, gloves, fins (flippers), and chest weighs. They will carry an L-shaped weeding hoe as well as a net, which is attached to a flotation device.
The Haenyeo in history
This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island with the most significant cultural value. While diving in Jeju dates back to around 434 AD, it was exclusively male in the beginning. It wasn’t until the 17th century that women joined the Jeju Island divers, according to history, and they were first known as jamnyeo. This translates literally as ‘diving women’.
However, by the 18th century, there were more women than men diving in and off Jeju. Nobody knows what the major reason for this big shift was – it could have been due to men dying at sea, or women having more subcutaneous fat, or because of higher taxes. But regardless, the Jeju Island divers became part of a female-dominated industry.
Many of the women started to replace their husband as the breadwinner in the relationship. This was especially true when, in 1910, Korea was colonised by Japan. Where the Jeju Island divers would previously have given most of their catch to the Choson government, the Japanese put an end to this. The Haenyeo were now able to make a profit from their harvest. Because of this, the female Jeju Island divers often naturally became the head of the household!
Jeju Island divers & society
As briefly mentioned above, the divers are a leading factor in the community’s semi-matriarchal society. When the women became the breadwinners, the Haenyeo were the head of the household. They brought in the money, and they went out to work every day.
Of course, this meant roles were reversed and this extended to wider society too. Men would take care of the children, look after the home and do the shopping. Families would celebrate the birth of girls, rather than boys – a clear break from tradition! Not only that, but men would pay a dowry to family of the bride rather than the other way around.
What do the Haneyeo catch?
During their 30-metre dives, the Jeju Island divers catch a variety of seafood. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Top shell
- Brown alga
- Sea urchins
- Sea squirt
- Sea slugs
They sell it, both at markets and to tourists who are able to see the Haenyeo in action. And of course, they use it to feed their own families too!
Dangers for the Jeju Island divers
There are certain dangers the Haenyeo must contend with. Free diving comes with health risks such as nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness and barotrauma of the ears, eyes, lungs and sinus. There is always the risk of drowning or blacking out, too.
Jellyfish and sharks provide a danger to the Jeju Island divers, though not a particularly huge one. Poor weather is a big risk for the divers, in terms of physical danger and also in restricting their ability to work, catch and make money.
The Haenyeo now
While there aren’t as many Jeju Island divers as there used to be, there is still a lot of interest in the women. In fact, the women themselves have become one of the major tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Jeju has a museum dedicated to the divers: the Jeju Jaenyeo Museum. This is full of images, equipment and stories to help visitors learn more about the women. Open daily from 9am (except the first Monday of the month, when it’s closed), the museum takes 1-2 hours to walk through and really teaches you about the Jeju Island divers. By visiting the various beaches across Jeju, you can often see the women in action too!
In 2015, the government of Jeju were keen to preserve the divers and spent billions of won to do so. They subsidised the costs of wetsuits and provided insurance for the divers, allowing them to continue doing what they do. Jeju are proud of the Haenyeo and the tradition of diving on the island.
A year later, in 2016, UNESCO awarded the Jeju Island divers a place on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This is an incredible honour, and a reminder of the importance of what the Haenyeo do for Jeju.
Maze Land Jeju
Maze Land, Jeju is another one of the most popular tourist attractions on Jeju Island. From above it might look like crop circles, but this is actually a park that you can visit for a fun family day out!
What is Maze Land, Jeju?
A family attraction located in Jeju City, this is one of the most fun tourist attractions on Jeju Island. Maze Land is a park full of mazes made from hedges and walls. The mazes have different levels of difficulty. There are also puzzles and a maze gallery, and visitors can watch a 3D video about the history of mazes.
Maze Land is designed to remind visitors of three things said to be plentiful in Jeju: stones, wind and women. Collectively these are known as ‘Samda’. They come from the documentation of Jeju’s citizens’ struggle for existence battling rocky soil and constant winds, and from the importance of giving birth to daughters as well as the exile of many male citizens. Samda can also be used as a metaphor for the culture in Jeju:
- Stone can represent bones and/or core elements like myths, traditional medicine and shamanic beliefs.
- Wind can represent breath, spirit or ki. This is said to inspire cultural humanistic endeavours – music, literature and art, as well as being connected to nature and having a sense of community.
- Women can represent the body and the flesh, having kept society going throughout history.
With stunning scenery surrounding the park, plenty of statues and even a rose garden, there is so much to see and enjoy at Maze Land, Jeju. This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island that is especially popular with families.
Top tip: Don’t get confused between Maze Land and it’s smaller relative, Maze Park!
What is there to do at Maze Land?
There are three different mazes. You can walk around all three of them, and they get harder each time. Each maze is connected, and you are given a map when you enter to ensure that you don’t actually get lost. It’s entirely up to you whether you use your map or not! This is one of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island where you will get lost!
Good to know: there are sprinklers above the mazes, keeping you cool on hot days and also giving the mazes a misty atmosphere.
As well as the mazes, the indoor museum is home to hundreds of handheld maze games. These will allow you to test your brain cells and give yourself a good warm up before heading into the actual mazes! You can learn about the history of mazes here, too, so it’s a great learning opportunity for you and your children.
Entry fee for Maze Land, Jeju
Entry fees to Maze Land, Jeju vary depending on whether you are visiting privately (e.g, as a family) or as part of a group. This could be a school or college trip. Fees are as follows:
- Aged 20 and over: 11,000KRW
- Aged 14-19: 9,000KRW
- Aged 3-13/Senior: 8,000KRW
- Disabled visitors: 5,000KRW
- Aged 20 and over: 9,000KRW
- Aged 14-19: 7,000KRW
- Aged 3-13/Senior: 6,500KRW
- Disabled visitors: 3,000KRW
You can book a visit with a private transfer HERE, which includes your park entrance fee.
Maze Land, Jeju opening hours
The park is open daily, from 9am until 6pm. When planning a visit, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on their website for updates regarding weather conditions that may prevent Maze Land opening that day.
Visitors typically spend two to three hours at Maze Land, Jeju. This includes walking through the mazes and visiting the on-site museum.
Did you know: Running Man, the South Korean variety show, filmed some of their episodes at Maze Land. This has helped make it an even more popular tourist destination!
Facilities available at Maze Land, Jeju
In order to make your visit as enjoyable as possible, a variety of facilities are available. There is on-site parking, should you have hired a car. You can pay by cash or card at Maze Land, Jeju, and there is free WiFi available. There are toilets and a designated smoking area, and refreshments are available to purchase during your visit.
There is also a restaurant on site. Located on the left hand side of the car park, you will find a huge canteen-style restaurant area that seats 600 guests. It offers healthy local dishes. There are around 8 types of seasonal vegetables as well as popular South Korean dishes to give you a real taste of Jeju. Some of these include mackerel gangjeong, tteokbokki and bibimbap. Food is served buffet-style, and the restaurant has a stunning view of the forest, gardens and waterfalls outside.
Top tip: Jeju can get extremely hot, so be sure to take SPF with you to make sure you’re protected whilst out in the open air.
We love a good waterfall and Jeju did not disappoint! In fact, the Jeju waterfalls are some of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
So, lets take a look at the last tourist attractions on Jeju Island on this list…
Where are the Jeju waterfalls?
There are six waterfalls on the island of Jeju. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim or take the perfect Instagram snaps (I took loads, you can see them over on my Instagram account), there’s a waterfall for you. We structured our Jeju itinerary around the use of our hire car; which made visiting the Jeju waterfalls really easy.
If you don’t have a car on your trip, I would recommend taking a tour (public transport is a bit slow and you might not have time to visit all of the Jeju waterfalls if you rely on public transport). My go-to for tours is always Viator because they have such a great range of tours that are generally pretty good value. You can click here to see some of my favourite Jeju tours.
These tourist attractions on Jeju Island are conveniently located relatively close to each other (except for Yongam-p’okp’o, which is on Mount Hallasan). You could squeeze five of these waterfalls into one day of sightseeing without feeling too rushed.
Here is a map I created from Google, showing where the waterfalls are located, to give you an idea of proximity. In case you aren’t aware of scale here, you can drive the width of the island in around 2 1/2 hours- so hopefully that gives you a rough idea of travelling times by car.
So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of what each of these tourist attractions on Jeju Island has to offer…
Donghong-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju Island. Close to the ocean, Jeongbang Waterfall is 23 metres high and around 8 metres wide. Some sources say it is the only waterfall in Asia the falls directly into the ocean! However, it technically falls into a sheltered cove rather than the ocean – so this has often been disputed.
It costs 2000 KRW to visit Jeongbang Waterfall – around £1.30 GBP, or $1.70 USD.
Legend states that a holy dragon lived under Jeongbang Waterfall. Its spirit is said to be contained in the water, bringing rain in times of drought and also curing diseases. Another tale goes that Emperor Jin of China (259 BC – 210 BC) sent one of his servants, Seobul, to Mount Halla. The emperor wanted the magical herbs of eternal youth, which the servant failed to find. He did, however, stumble upon one of the Jeju Waterfalls. There is an inscription on the wall of Jeongbang Waterfall that says Seobulgwacha and refers to the servant’s journey.
This is one of my favourite tourist attractions on Jeju Island.
Another one of my favourite tourist attractions on Jeju Island is Topyeong-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju Island. Lying just 300 metres to the east of Jeongbang Waterfall, within walking distance for most, you will find the smallest of the Jeju Waterfalls.
Sejeongbang Waterfall makes a beautiful swimming spot with its crystal clear blue water, ocean views and stairs to provide easy access. BUT the water is ice cold so swimming is not for the faint-hearted!
Given that Sejeongbang Waterfall is much smaller than it’s neighbouring waterfall, this is less crowded and much more peaceful, which I personally like.
Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju Island. Surrounded by greenery, Cheonjiyeon Falls almost looks like water pouring straight from the sky. The name literally means sky connected with land! It is 22 metres high, and 12 metres wide. Landbridges have been formed from large volcanic rocks, and visitors must walk along a landscaped trail to reach the waterfall.
This is said to be the most popular of all of the Jeju waterfalls and one of the best tourist attractions on Jeju Island. It can get quite busy, particularly in school holidays and on weekends.
Cheonjiyeon Falls are illuminated at night, making this Jeju waterfall popular with lovers and photographers alike. It also makes it one of the busiest tourist attractions on Jeju Island during peak times.
There is also a lot of flora and fauna at Cheonjiyeon Falls: whisk fern, migratory ducks and more. You aren’t allowed to swim here, which is worth noting before you go
The entrance fee to Cheonjiyeon Falls is 2000 KRW (£1.30 GBP / $1.70 USD).
Cheonjeyeonpokpogwanriso 132 Cheonjeyeon-ro, Seogwipo, Jeju Island. The biggest of all of the Jeju Waterfalls and one of the most impressive tourist attractions on Jeju Island, Cheonjeyeon is a three-tier waterfall created from cold water flowing out of the ceiling of a cave. The name means ‘Pond of the Emperor of Heaven’, and Korean legend states that at night seven nymphs would descend from heaven to bathe in the waterfall’s pond.
Entrance fee is 2500 KRW – around £1.60 GBP, or $2.10 USD.
The forest surrounding the Cheonjeyeon contains rare plants, making it valuable for scientific research and also for nature lovers to enjoy the views and atmosphere. Swimming is now prohibited, but since ancient times people have believed that if you stand under the waterfall on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, diseases will be cured by the eighth lunar month.
Above Cheonjeyeon is Seonimgyo Bridge. It has the aforementioned seven nymphs carved into each side, and its red and white colours stand out among the greenery. The bridge crosses from east to west over the stream between the second and third tiers of the waterfall.
This was one of my personal favourites of the tourist attractions on Jeju Island and we spent a couple of hours here exploring the three different parts of the waterfall.
Tip: the first part of the waterfall is sometimes dry. It’s best to visit when it had recently rained to see it in full flow.
Gangjeong-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju Island. Despite not being a waterfall all year round, this one deserves a mention. Even when there isn’t any water falling, it still makes for a beautiful and peaceful walk – especially during blossom season!
With steps, walkways and plenty of greenery, it’s worth checking out if you’re nearby. However, I wouldn’t necessarily make the trip especially for this waterfall.
This waterfall is often left off of the typical tourist waterfall itinerary in Jeju, because it is not as easily accessible as the other waterfalls.
Yongam-p’okp’o is on Mount Hallasan, so you will need to take a hike to visit it. In fact, I can’t actually find any information on exactly where on the mountain this waterfall is! So I guess you’ll see this one if you’re lucky?
Tips for visiting Jeju waterfalls
June-August is the wettest time of year, but there are plenty of sunny days throughout the summer too. Whilst it’s most pleasant to visit on a sunny day (and your photos will come out better), if there hasn’t been much rain recently then the water won’t be as impressive. We were out exploring the Jeju waterfalls the day after a typhoon so there was certainly lots of water while we were there!
If you want to see the cherry blossom that adorns the island, plan your trip for early to mid April. The autumn months create beautiful colours around the waterfalls, too.
The tourist attractions on Jeju Island: To Conclude
There are many tourist attractions on Jeju Island, with some v to suit everyone. From beaches, to sex museums, to mazes and mountain climbs, there are plenty of tourist attractions on Jeju Island to keep you occupied!
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