Jeju Island of South Korea is a wonder where the spectrum of nature is in blue and green as far as the eyes go. Located in the South Korean Strait, this “Island of the Gods” has recently garnered a lot of attention from budget travelers, backpackers and honeymooners. Few of the most popular Jeju Island attractions are its golden beaches, caves, abundance of lovely gardens where one can witness pruned hybrids as well as cherry blossoms (when in season).
Before we talk about the must-visit places in Jeju Island, let us tell you some interesting facts about this South Korean wonder:
- Jeju Island is also known as the Hawaii of South Korea due to its moderate climate all year round.
- South Korea has a total of 9 provinces and Jeju is the only province that is self governed, making it a country within South Korea.
- You can directly fly from your country to Jeju Island without a visa, the only condition being you take a direct flight from your country to Jeju and you can stay there for 30 days without a visa. Do keep in mind that if there is a layover in between, you will need a visa accordingly.
Also read: The best time to visit the Jeju Island
Scintillating Jeju Island attractions you can’t miss
If you are planning to visit this South Korean wonder of an island, these are the top attractions in Jeju that you must see!
1. Mt. Hallasan
Love hiking? Then why not hike up Korea’s highest mountain, Mt. Hallasan! This mountain is actually a dormant or sleeping volcano that is located right at the centre of the Jeju and is also a listed UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Even with its altitude, the hike can be easily completed in a day and you are rewarded with scenic hiking trails and a view of a beautiful crater lake as well as a breathtaking panoramic view of Jeju. This hike is also for nature lovers as there are here are nearly 6000 species of plants and animals in the area.
2. Olle walking trail
Olle literally translates as the ‘narrow path that runs from someone’s front door to the street’ in local dialect. Take a hike along the trails of Olle to see the rural side of Jeju Island. The length of the trail is 7 kms to 23 kms long that offers the chance to get up close connection with people and their lands. These trails are home to scenic coastlines, juicy tangerine farms and narrow alleys that passes by traditional houses to give you a local flavour.
3. Jeju’s local cuisine
Yes, Jeju Island’s fresh and delectable local cuisine is also one of its star attractions! No trip is complete without savoring the local cuisine of that place. Jagalchi and Jeonbokjuk are some of the local dishes of Jeju Island that you can sample and give your taste buds a scrumptious experience. Siwa Dream Foot Bath Café is one of the popular cafe in the locality offering fine dinning experience for a decade.
4. Seongsan Ilchulbong
Word to the wise, DO NOT LEAVE the Jeju Island before laying your eyes on yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Seongsan Ilchulbong, which is a natural wonder and is sure to coax your inner photographer with its breathtaking sunrise and bountiful of flowers and not to forget the constant sea breeze that is sure to lighten your senses.
5. Jeju Folk Village
Get ready to be on a time machine and go back on the 19th century way of life by visiting the Jeju Folk Village Museum which is one of Korea’s best. This museum is holds more than 100 traditional houses and 7000 artifacts which are displayed for educational purposes and viewing pleasure. The museum houses four villages – Mount Village, Hill-country Village, Fishing Village and Shamanism Village.
You can also indulge in other interesting activities at this museum, such as visiting the Fortune Teller’s house and admiring the extravagant wood carvings.
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6. Hyeopjae Beach
With sapphire blue seas, white sands coupled with ebony black lava rocks, the Hyeopjae Beach in Hallim Village is the most gorgeous and Instagram-worthy beach on the island. Although it is crowded with tourists in the summer, the beach is clean and serene rest of the year. However, the charm of this place lies in the beautiful sunsets.
7. Jeongbang Falls
There is no waterfall in South Korea as unique as the Jeongbang Falls because this is the only waterfall in the entire Asian region to fall straight into an ocean. Amazing, right?
8. Manjanggul Cave
Trust me, your visit to Jeju isn’t complete if you haven’t visited Manjanggul Cave which the longest cave and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Formed more than two million years ago, this cave has a lot of natural formations of stalagmites and lava tube tunnels that give you a magical but a spooky feeling at the same time owing to the soft illuminated lights.
9. Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls
If you are a water baby then you wouldn’t mind the 3 tier drop of the Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls. This waterfall is also known as the Pond of God, be sure to get swept away with the photogenic cascade, refreshing and spectacular scenery with ice-cold water.
10. Colourful Bloom And Cherry Blossoms
If you are a nature lover then Jeju Island should be in your travel bucket list for its idyllic floral spots and bountiful cherry blossoms. Some of the famous spots that you must visit are Camellia Hill, Spirited Garden, Ilchul Land, Ecoland and Hallim Park.
Hope we have stirred the traveler within you and you soon make a plan to visit this ‘out-of-a-fairy tale island’.