Jeju Island is the largest island in South Korea, famous for its wonderful volcanic landscapes and beach resorts. It is considered one of the top destinations in Korea because of its breathtaking natural wonders and unique attractions. I had Jeju on my travel bucket list for a long time and it felt surreal to go there for real. I made some incredible memories during my trip and so I’ve compiled a list of the best places to go in Jeju! I’ve also included some useful details about each place, in order to help you plan your Jeju itinerary.
1. Seongsan Ilchulbong
Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as ‘Sunrise Park’ is an archetypal tuff cone formed by volcanic eruptions under the sea, over 5000 years ago! The 182 metre-long cone dominates the eastern region of Jeju Island, like a verdant fortress. As well as its fascinating bowl-like crater, Seongsan features diverse sea-cliff rock formations. No wonder it was classed as an UNESCO World Heritage site!
It is a tiring hike to the top, so pack appropriate clothes, water and some snacks. However, the views at the top are worth it!
Seongsan Ilchulbong Address: 284-12 Ilchul-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 7:30am - 7:00pm everyday Oct ~ Feb, 7:00am - 8:00pm Mar ~ Sep; closed first Monday of every month Directions: From Jeju Bus Terminal, take express bus no. 111 to Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance stop.
One of the must-visit places recommended by Jeju locals is Seonnyeotang, a natural spring on the Hwangwooji coast. This hidden gem of emerald waters is tied to an ancient myth that told of fairies coming to bathe here. Therefore, the spring was appropriately named ‘Seonnyeo-‘ (fairy) ‘-tang’ (bath).
Seonnyeotang Address: 790-5 Cheongji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: open 24/7 Directions: Take bus no. 202, 283 or 510 to Sammaebong stop. From the bus stop, Seonnyeotang is approx. 14 min walk, or short taxi journey.
3. Sanbangsan Mountain
Another geological marvel, Sanbangsan is a giant lava dome with an altitude of 395 meters. It is a bell-shaped lava mass that stands tall in the plains of southwestern Jeju. Unlike other mountains on Jeju Island, this mountain does not have a crater. The name ‘Sanbang’ means ‘a cave inside a mountain, and so, while there’s no crater here, there’s a cave waiting for you inside. Traverse the mystical inner depths of Sanbangsan and enjoy sparkling sea views on the other side.
If you wish to hike to the peak of Sanbangsan Mountain, you can use the designated trail. However, I suggest wearing decide walking boots and taking a bottle of water with you.
Sangbangsan Mountain Address: 218-10 Sanbang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm everyday Directions: Take bus no. 202 to Sanbangsan Mountain stop.
4. Jeongbang Falls
Next up is Jeongbang Waterfall, 23 metres high and 10 metres wide, but this is no ordinary fall. In fact, Jeongbang is the only waterfall in Korea that flows directly into the sea. Furthermore, it is considered one of the top 10 scenic wonders of Jeju Island.
Tread carefully on your way to the waterfall, especially as the path can get slippery. I loved the refreshing sound and feel of the water, as well as the gentle scent of pine from the surrounding trees.
Jeongbang Falls Address: 5 Chilsimni-ro 214beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 9:00am - 5:50pm everyday Directions: Take bus no. 651 to Seobok Exhibition Hall stop. Walk straight for 10 min, following the signs to reach Jeongbang Falls.
5. Cheonjiyeon Falls
Another famous waterfall in Jeju is Cheongjiyeon. The falls are 22 metres high and 12 metres wide. Cheongjiyeon’s name means ‘sky connected with the land’, as per the origin of its water falling from the sky as rain.
Cheonjiyeon Falls Address: 667-7 Cheongji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 9:00am - 10:00pm everyday Directions: Take bus no. 615, 641 or 642 to Cheonjiyeon Falls stop.
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