Jeju is a beautiful volcanic island just off the south coast of South Korea. When we came here in march, we experienced the full diversity and beauty of its nature, with the mountains fully coated in snow, while at the same time the sun warmed the palm trees at the beach. We rented a car, which was the easiest way to get around and visited some of the many sights Jeju has to offer and also came across beautiful places like remote temples and relaxed beach cafes.
Stay: The Shilla is a tasteful resort with nice rooms, ocean view, a huge garden and great facilities.
Do: There really is a lot to do in Jeju, especially when exploring its beautiful nature. Hallasan volcano is the highest mountain in South Korea and the core of the Hallasan National Park. There a beautiful hiking trails in the hills around the volcano, especially when it snowed (Olle hiking trails). Another interesting place is the Manjanggul cave, the world longest lava tube. You can walk about 1km into the cave and explore the thousands-of years old natural stone formations. Also beautiful are the waterfalls in Jeju. We took an evening walk around Cheonjiyeon waterfall and Saeyeongyo bridge near Seogwipo, while the sun set into the sea. The beaches are very nice, too. In march there where almost empty but when the sun shines, it’s great to take a walk along Jungmun beach, for example. For a rather compact island Jeju has to offer an impressive number of museums so there is certainly something for everyone. We liked the beautiful and modern O’Sulloc museum, where you can enjoy the brands delicious tea, learn all about it and observe the tea plantations around it. We skipped Jeju-si, the biggest city on the island and stayed in the south near Seogwipo. This fishing town is close to many sights while itself is fun to explore, too. The daily Maeil Olle market is a nice place to try the local delicacies for instance all sorts of fresh seafood or the famous Hallabong Oranges, which are delicious but cost a fortune. One more place we liked is Hallim Garden, a park and botanical garden where you can stroll along a range of special local plants and an impressive bonsai garden.
Eat: We ate korean pancakes and fresh fruits at the local market in Seogwipo and enjoyed coffee and cake with great ocean views at “Cafe Sunset Observatory” 해거름 전망대.
Getting around: Rent a car at the airport, it’s the easiest and relaxed way to get around the island.