Jeju Island, aptly nicknamed as “South Korea’s honeymoon capital”, pulls in honeymooners and vacationers by the thousands. Even if you have not just gotten married, a trip here will surely feel like a romantic honeymoon getaway. Famed for its idyllic scenery, balmy temperatures and dramatic seaside resorts, Jeju Island will give a feeling that you’re in a Korean drama film or TV show.
Not fond of romantic trips? Guess what? Jeju Island isn’t just a destination for lovers and hopeless romantics. With an array of hiking trails, hearty seaside fare and easy access to dormant volcanoes, the island has a plethora to offer to the modern-day adventurist seeking delight, challenge and cause to reflect. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, shutterbug or a nature lover, you’ll definitely find your bliss on Korea’s ultimate vacation destination.
Wondering what to do in Jeju? Don’t know where to go in Jeju? We’ve listed down the best things to do on Jeju Island, to help you experience one of the best trips in your life.
1. Hike Mount Hallasan
For outdoor aficionados, no trip to Jeju Island is complete without a hike up the undisputed tallest mountain in South Korea – Mount Hallasan. With a towering elevation of 1,950 MASL, the majestic Halla Mountain beckons travelers, and is visible from every corner of Jeju, especially when the skies are clear. While not everybody might be equipped to conquer the 5-hour hike (one way) to the summit, there are some less demanding trails, ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours, delivering an unforgettable Halla adventure.
As you hike this mountain, expect awe-inspiring rock formations, magnificent foliage as well as flocks of fashionable trekkers sporting the latest in hiking and alpine gear. Plus, a hike here will let you see its vast crater lake as well as a myriad of intriguing creatures, like chipmunks, butterflies, beetles and woodpeckers.
2. Check out Loveland’s risqué displays
Traveling with your partner, and need a little spice in your relationship? Why not head to Loveland, and be amused by its racy, one-of-a-kind exhibits? Intriguing and wonderfully bizarre, this unusual museum showcases hilarious and obscene sculptures as well as photos that will surely give a ton of laughs and giggles. And since the museum focuses and sexuality and eroticism, you should bring the kids to a family-friendly park or leave them at your hotel. Alternatively, the museum has a separate park or playground that’s specifically designed for children.
3. See Manjanggul Cave
No list of the best places to visit in Jeju is complete without the inclusion of the bucket-list-worthy Manjanggul Cave. Not only is it one of the world’s best and longest cave tunnels, but it’s a certified designated UNESCO World Heritage site as well. Formed more than a couple of million years ago, this South Korea attraction is also home to a mishmash of eye-catching natural formations, such as the long stalagmites and the lave tube tunnels that look magical and spooky, thanks to the illuminating soft-colored lights.
4. Hike Olle
There’s no better way to experience the rural side of Jeju Island than to take a hike along any of its beloved Olle trails. In the island’s traditional dialect, Olle literally means the narrow path that runs from someone’s front door to the street. Nowadays, Olle is referred to a network of over a dozen of well-marked hike paths that intersect across Jeju Island.
The lengths of the trail range from 7 to 23 kilometers long, with each offering a chance to get an up-close connection the people and land. As you hit these trails, you’ll get to traverse scenic rocky coastlines, stroll farm roads with tangerine orchards, and snake your way through narrow alleys passing humble houses with straw-thatched roofs.
5. Savor the authentic and delectable flavors of Jeju Island
Think food is life? Then, make sure to sample the titillating dishes of Jeju Island, such as Jagalchi, Heuk-dwaeji and Jeonbokjuk. Likewise, drop by the island’s fine diners and hipster cafes, such as Siwa Dream Foot Bath Café.
6. Catch the striking sunset at Hyeopjae Beach
With its rippling cobalt seas, black lava rocks and pristine white sands, Hyeopjae in Hallim Village is arguably the most gorgeous and Instagram-worthy beach on the island. Although it’s crowded and busy during summertime, the beach is pretty serene for the rest of the year. The real charm of this beach, however, is its stunning sunset. Hugging the northwest corner of the Island, the beach is definitely one of the best places in Jeju to be still and take in the sunset.
7. Visit Jeju Folk Village Museum
Take a stroll down memory lane, and get a taste of the 19th century way of life in Korea by visiting the Jeju Folk Village Museum. Often deemed as one of the best attractions on Jeju Island, the museum is home to more than 100 traditional houses and 7,000 artifacts, which are displayed for educational purposes and viewing pleasure.
Inside the museum’s vast grounds, you’ll catch sight of four dainty villages – Mount Village, Hill-country Village, Fishing Village and Shamanism Village. Plus, there are plenty of exposition halls here containing exhibits used in traditional farming, folk performances and fishing.
On top of it all, the museum has a myriad of interesting experiences to offer, including a visit to the Fortune Teller’s house and admiring elaborate wood carvings.
8. Catch Jeongbang Falls
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no waterfall in South Korea that’s as unique and remarkable as Jeongbang Falls. After all, it is the only waterfall in the whole Asian region to fall right straight into the ocean. Amazing, right?
9. Take a plunge at Cheonjeyeon Waterfall
Speaking of waterfalls in Jeju, you might want to drop by the 3-tier Cheonjeyeon Waterfall. Fondly labeled as the Pond of God, the Cheonjeyeon Waterfall is a photogenic and refreshing cascade that will sweep you into bliss with its spectacular scenery and rejuvenating ice-cold waters.
10. Be enthralled by Seongsan Ilchulbong
You can’t leave Jeju Island without laying eyes on one of its most dazzling natural wonders – Seongsan Ilchulbong or also known as Sunrise Peak. Listed as a UNECO World Heritage Site, Seongsan Ilchulbong will unleash your inner shutterbug with its outstanding sunrise views and awe-inspiring flowers. What’s more, the place has fresh sea breeze that will totally alleviate your stress.
11. Explore the other nearby islands in Jeju
Even though Jeju is an island itself, there are breathtaking small islets nearby that are also worth visiting, such as Udo Island and Chagwido Island.
12. Enjoy the floral blooms
Jeju Island has an abundance of lovely parks and gardens where you can wander and immerse in nature. For me, the best and most idyllic floral spots on Jeju Island include Camellia Hill, Spirited Garden, Ilchul Land, Ecoland and Hallim Park.