Holiday on the Island of the Gods

The jewel in the crown of South Korea’s Jeju Province is the madly popular Jeju Island – also known as the Island of the Gods. It’s a favourite local tourist destination, especially for honeymooners who are drawn to the beautiful beaches and beachside resorts, dramatic volcanic landscape and lush green surrounds. It’s equally appealing if you love a bit of an outdoorsy vibe – you can catch the cherry blossom festival, hike up Hallasan Mountain (a dormant volcano with a crater lake at its summit) or you can go underground and explore the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System. Of course, the water will always be calling, so dive in to view the technicolour coral, or learn a thing or two from the local haenyo (women who deep dive for seafood) and don’t forget to check out the Grandfather Stones, the island’s signature carved statues.
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Things to do

  • Explore a UNESCO biosphere reserve

    You can’t miss Mount Hallasan on Jeju Island – it’s the highest mountain in South Korea. It’s a dormant volcano set within a designated UNESCO biosphere national park and the views from here are spectacular. There are five hiking trails lacing up the mountain, a crater lake at the summit (created when magma underground caused the top to collapse), alpine plants, bird life and the island’s oldest temple, Gwaneumsa.
  • Go tunneling underground

    Yet another UNESCO star, the underground Manjanggul Lava Tube is almost 9kms long – and hundreds of thousands of years old! Go down into the deep, dark depths below and explore a one-kilometre section of it, where lava stalactites, stalagmites, columns and ropes create a darkly magical setting. It can get damp and slippery and the lighting is dim, so wear sensible shoes!
  • Walk the coast

    For a more gentle activity, the Olle coastal trails are delightful, winding through the landscape around most of the island. The whole circuit around the island is over 400kms in total, so pick a section and take your time, ambling along elevated paths that overlook the ocean to passing through small villages, clambering over rock formations or getting deep into the lush greenery of the island.
  • Snap the ultimate sunrise

    Sunrise Peak, also known as Seongsan Ilchulbong, is a massive, volcanic structure that rises from the sea, with an enormous, emerald-green crater on top. You can make your way out to this natural wonder via a bridge where, as you can imagine, the opportunities for a jaw-dropping sunrise photo is unbeatable. It rises 182 metres above sea level so the vantage point is excellent. Sunrise too early for you? Aim for a golden sunset instead.
  • Go on a Teddy Bear Safari

    One for the kids, Teseum is a showcase of teddy bears and stuffed animals – only this goes to the next level. The exhibitions are themed – there’s a Safari Zone, the Amazone and an underwater zone, with stuffed toys and teddies taking centre stage against the setting. Kids can go bouncing on an oversized bear in the play area or get a quick history lesson with bears dressed as gods from Greek mythology.
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Airport information

Jeju International Airport opens in new window

Distance to Jeju Island 4kms

Bus Intra-City Bus run several routes from the airport

Airport Limousine There are numerous airport limousines that will take you to most major hotels and venues.

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When to go

Weather-wise, temperatures can vary drastically, so don’t expect tropical island weather all year round. Spring and summer are definitely the most pleasant times to visit. Autumn is cool and tends to be wet, and winters can be decidedly chilly.

Jeju has a busy festival calendar, but if flowers are your thing, you’ll hit the jackpot in March, where Jeju hosts its Cherry Blossom Festival, the Norimae Plum Festival, the Seogwipo Canola Flower International Walking Festival, as well as a Fire Festival and Tulip Festival!

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Getting around

There is a well-organised, colour-coded bus system that covers Jeju – look for the yellow buses that are tourist-friendly and stop at the major tourist sights. Red buses are express ones, city buses are blue and buses going further afield are green.

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