A newcomer’s guide to Jeju Island (1): Recommended travel itineraries (3 days and 4 nights)

image_6627598851531381543083Jeju is an excellent refuge for you in the summer. But if you’re new to the island — or to Korea — then you might want a few hints first. As a first time traveler to Jeju, it is hard to pick from among all the many attractions. So here’s a good place to start…

Day 1

Spots you saw on social media that may have attracted you to Jeju in the first place

If you want to make the most of your trip, then definitely arrive early and get a head start. Heading from the airport straight to the south side of the island, called Seogwipo, is a good idea. You feel like you’re exploring your own personal “mysterious island” right from the get go.

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For starters, how about Camellia Hill? It’s the largest camellia arboretum in Asia, and from autumn through the spring, red camellias are scattered throughout the grounds. The summer heralds in more camellia colors, and in the ample sun and precipitation of the season, they bloom magnificently. Not only that, but you’ll spot colorful hydrangeas, too, so you can get beautiful pictures throughout the year!  

Camellia Hill (카멜리아힐) www.visitjeju.net/u/kb
166 Byeongak-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo

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Once you’ve made enough flower memories, your next destination can be Lee Joong-seop Street in the city of Seogwipo. This cozy street on a hill in the island’s largest southside urban center is where the famous Korean artist Lee Joong-seop lived with his family during the Korean War. His time there greatly influenced his themes and work. Now, it is a meeting spot for many established and aspiring artists, a hub of art and culture for Seogwipo and the island at large. There are plenty of pretty cafes, restaurants and cute little shops throughout the area, making it a great place to explore and unwind.

Lee Joong-seop Street (이중섭거리) www.visitjeju.net/u/kH
Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo

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Once you’ve finished filling up on art and culture (and perhaps one too many cups of coffee)… how about going to a local market? The Seogwipo Maeil (Daily) Olle Market is where you can really feel how the locals live, interact with them, and perhaps even pick up some cool Jeju souvenirs and try some local street food.

Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market (서귀포매일올레시장) www.visitjeju.net/u/kI
18 Jungang-ro 62-beongil, Seogwipo

 

After all the hustle and bustle of the market, you might want to clear your mind with some natural, soothing sounds of a waterfall. Well, Seogwipo doesn’t disappoint. You can spend a pleasant evening at Cheonjiyeon Falls, with its famed night views and proximity to the sea. It’s got something for everyone! Nearby Saeseom Islet is connected to Jeju by Saeyeongyo Bridge, a spectacular structure that makes for a pleasant destination in its own right.

Cheonjiyeon Falls (천지연폭포) www.visitjeju.net/u/kJ
667-7 Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo

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Saeyeongyo Bridge (새연교) www.visitjeju.net/u/kK
Seohong-dong, Seogwipo

 

Day 2

Places that come to mind when you think of Jeju

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It’s early on your second day on Jeju Island, so let’s go to the island’s must-see UNESCO World Natural Heritage site of Seongsan Ilchulbong!

Before you head to bed on Day 1, though, Google sunrise times and make sure to set your alarm! Though it might be tough to get up around 5 a.m., greeting the new day with Seongsan Ilchulbong is an amazing memory!

Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉) www.visitjeju.net/u/kM
284-12 Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo

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The next logical travel spot is nearby … just across the water at Udo Island.

You can get there by ferry from two places: Jindal Port and Seongsan Port. It takes about 20 minutes. There’s plenty of fresh seafood, sweet Udo peanut ice cream, fried rice in the shape of Hallasan Mountain and much more local food to eat and enjoy. Convenient and inexpensive public buses allow for you to see the whole island in less than a day (rental cars are prohibited due to overcrowding).

Udo Island (우도) www.visitjeju.net/u/kN
Udo-myeon, Jeju Island

Now that you’re full after a nice lunch, you’ll want to explore Udo. Its charming beaches do not disappoint!

Geommeolle Beach (검멀레해수욕장) www.visitjeju.net/u/kO
Yeonpyeong-ri, Udo-myeon, Jeju City
Udo Sanho Beach (산호해변) www.visitjeju.net/u/kQ
Gosumul-gil, Udo-myeon, Jeju City

Back from your island sojourn, you can go from Seongsan Port to your next fantastic destination at Seopjikoji. “Koji” means cape in the Jeju language. And what a beautiful cape it is! The filming location of many movie and TV dramas, you can see why with your own two eyes! Catch a panorama of the sea and watch the sun set over the marine horizon.

Seopjikoji (섭지코지) www.visitjeju.net/u/kS
Goseong-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo

 

Day 3

Experience the towering beauty of Hallasan Mountain

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For your third day on the island, you’re probably becoming acclimated and accustomed to your new surroundings. Let’s toss that to the wind and startle yourself with the symbol of Jeju, a towering 1,950-meter-tall volcanic mountain that is the highest in Korea.

Don’t worry, though. You don’t need to exhaust yourself by heading to Baekrokdam crater at the very top. You can alternatively climb the Eorimok Trail in five to six hours round-trip. It’s not technical climbing, so beginners who are in good physical shape can readily see the mountain up close and personal. Good hiking shoes, clothing, water, snacks, sunscreen and the like are essential. Please remember to bring down all the leftover wrappers and other garbage with you!

Hallasan National Park (한라산국립공원) www.visitjeju.net/u/kU
Hallasan Eorimok Trail (한라산어리목등산로) https://www.visitjeju.net/u/kV
Haean-dong, Jeju City
Witse Oreum (윗세오름) www.visitjeju.net/u/kW
Seoho-dong, Seogwipo
Hallasan Yeongsil Course (한라산국립공원영실탐방로) www.visitjeju.net/u/kT
Hawon-dong, Seogwipo

 

Day 4

Wrapping up your trip in a bow

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Four days and 3 nights. It’s definitely not enough. The last day of your great trip begins at Woljeong-ri Beach. This is a spot where you can relax, observe the ocean, and dissolve your tiredness with some lovely desserts.

Woljeong-ri Beach (월정리해수욕장) www.visitjeju.net/u/kX
33-3 Woljeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju City

Heading back into Jeju City from the east side of the island, try visiting the very large — and oldest — of Jeju’s traditional markets. Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market is full of great food, shopping, sights, sounds and more! It’s a one-stop shop for your Jeju souvenirs.

Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market (동문재래시장) www.visitjeju.net/u/kY
20 Gwandeok-ro 14-gil, Jeju City

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And last, but not least: Yongduam Rock! This volcanic wonder is shaped much like a dragon’s head, hence the name. Dragons have a significant and powerful reputation here, so it’s an extremely popular site. It’s conveniently near the airport as well, so you can put it last on your list before — sadly — departing the island.

Yongduam (용두암) www.visitjeju.net/u/ka
Yongdam 2-dong, Jeju City

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What did you think? Please leave us a comment and we encourage you consult www.VisitJeju.net for more ideas on cafes, restaurants, sightseeing spots, accommodations, themed travel programs, and more.


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