After wanting to travel to Jeju Island 제주도 for quite some time we finally booked our flights and headed on over to Jeju Island. Luckily before departing for our trip I was able to consult my brother-in-law who is a Jeju native, so he was able to give us some great advice about what to see and do 🙂 We planned out our trip before hand to make sure we made the best use of our time and that included booking a car rental which turned out to be the best decision as it allowed us to travel from East to West comfortably.
Anyone that is planning to visit Jeju Island 제주도 should first decide on what they are wanting to see as there are so many tourist sites. We opted for the following itinerary over
3 Days 2 Nights:
Arrive at Jeju International Airport (4:00PM)
Afternoon snack of Abalone Gimbab 전복김밥 at 제주김만복
Hamdeok Beach 함덕 해수욕장 Arrive at our Hotel (
Golden Tulip Jeju) Black Pork 흑돼지 for dinner at 돈이랑 (opposite the hotel)
This itinerary worked out really well for us as we didn’t feel rushed yet we were able to travel around the entire island ( Jeju City 제주시 > Seongsan-ri 성산리 > Seogwipo 서귀포시 > Hyeopjae -ri 협재리 > Hallim-Eub 한림읍 > Aewol-Eub 애월읍 > Jeju City 제주시 ).
Driving in Jeju is very easy and although we went during the Cherry Blossom week we found it to be rather quiet and peaceful compared to what we had heard. I would
HIGHLY recommend renting a car while you are there. It was very cheap (60,000 won for 2 days) and not much traffic. We booked our rental car through rentalcars.com (AJ Rent A Car) which was very easy and convenient.
Below are the photos of my trip, hope you enjoy them 🙂 Btw if you’re looking for
hotel recommendations please click HERE to skip to the bottom of the page.
To make it easier for you to
plan your trip to Jeju Island
, I have marked all the best places on the map above into the
different districts/areas of Jeju Island. Jeju City (Purple), Seogwipo (Green), West Jeju Island (Blue), East Jeju Island (Orange)
Other places in Jeju Island worth visiting (Black)
As we live in Busan, we departed from Gimhae Airport.
After only a 30 minute plan ride we arrived in Jeju 🙂
After landing we headed towards the rental car company.
The rental car company takes you to their shop which is a short 10 minute ride away.
After picking up our car we headed towards a famous Abalone Gimbab store.
제주 김만복 is a famous Abalone Gimbab store which normally has huge lines but not today thank god!
If you are after the original Gimbab that will cost 5,500 Won (first item on the menu).
It was really quite good, the Gimbab had a sweet buttery taste to it.
Hamdeok Beach 함덕 해수욕장
After filling up on Gimbab we headed North-East along the coast and arrived at Hamdeok Beach.
It was a little overcast but the view was quite refreshing.
Although we didn’t grab a coffee at this place, I can only imagine how busy it would be during summer.
The colour of the water here in Jeju as expected is quite different from Busan.
I would definitely like to come back here in Summer for a swim.
The first sighting of volcanic rock.
Perhaps on a warmer day I would love to have lunch here.
Again the colour of the water is something special in Jeju.
With good reason there are quite a few hotels set-up along the beach.
The first 돌 하르방 I saw. The name dol hareubang derives from the Korean word for “stone” (dol 돌), plus the Jeju dialect word hareubang (하르방), meaning “grandfather” or “senior” (harabeoji [할아버지] in Standard Korean).
Wouldn’t mind a fishing rod next time.
Hamdeok Beach is a great spot to feel what Jeju is all about.
Some stranded passengers.
After Hamdeok we continued to drive until we reached our hotel ( Golden Tulip Jeju).
Opposite the hotel was a Black Pig 흑돼지 Restaurant called 돈이랑.
The place was nice as there wasn’t any windows so you could enjoy the sea breeze.
One thing you will notice upon coming to Jeju Island is that most things are more expensive, especially Black Pig 흑돼지.
Might as well try the local Soju 한라산.
While it is something you should try while in Jeju, Black Pig really tastes quite similar to the pork you eat elsewhere in Korea.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉
WAKE UP! One of the things we decided was a must-do while in Jeju Island was to see the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉.
The path up to the top will take anywhere between 10-20 minutes depending on how fast you climb.
After climbing to the top we waited about 10-15 minutes before we could see the sun.
As this is quite a well-known tourist attraction there were other people who also wanted to enjoy the views. Quite a diverse crowd here, a mix of tourists, domestic travelers and locals.
Although a popular spot it didn’t feel crowded and there was enough room to get a few good photos.
I believe this place is called a volcanic cone.
Not only is the climb up completely worth it but the hike down is equally scenic.
As you can see from the photos it quickly becomes light which provides a fantastic view.
Being a volcanic island there are endless amounts of mountains.
I was surprised to see 2 horses grazing in the distance.
The path down is really quite easy and enjoyable.
With a bit of light everything seems a bit more spectacular.
A few more snaps.
I believe that is a restaurant, I would imagine the seafood there would be quite fresh.
Almost back at the car.
If you happen to come here in the afternoon you may be interested in seeing the old lady divers which are famous in Jeju.
After hiking up and down we were quite thirsty so we purchased a small drink for the drive.
If you come by car be sure to park your car right outside the CU which is located directly at the base of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉.
We were hungry and had planned to eat Abalone Rice Porridge 전복죽.
This place is located right next to Hanwha Aqua Planet Jeju.
We sat down and were the only ones here as we were quite early. A nice view of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉.
We ordered Abalone Rice Porridge 전복죽 and Crab Rice Porridge 겡이죽. As you can see it isn’t that cheap.
Some very FRESH produce.
Jeju products are famous and very popular so almost every store or restaurants sells produce and souvenirs.
Breakfast is served.
Before we left we had a quick look out the back.
The store next door sells Seafood Noodles 해물칼국수.
Just around the corner is Seopjikoji 섭지코지 which is a coastal walk. There is a parking lot so you shouldn’t have any issues parking.
It’s a nice walk to take in the coast line.
It was fairly busy but still enough room for everyone to walk comfortably.
If you fancy a horse ride I believe it was only 5,000 Won for 10 minutes.
I would imagine living on Jeju Island would be quite relaxing.
An old site which gathered a lot of interest from locals.
We were lucky enough to have arrived in Jeju where both the Cherry Blossoms 벚꽃 and the Rapeseeds 유채꽃 were blooming.
Making our way over to the lighthouse.
A few steps to the top.
After enjoying the view we made our way down.
The Rapeseeds 유채꽃 were just as beautiful as the Cherry Blossoms 벚꽃.
The Rapeseeds 유채꽃 make for a nice photo.
Can’t get enough of the Rapeseeds 유채꽃 (weird name I know).
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉 is view-able from most other places around it (obviously).
Some squid being sold (I suggest taking some cash when you travel around Jeju as some places you can’t use your card).
Hanwha Aqua Planet Jeju 아쿠아플라넷 제주
This was a last minute decision to come here however I’m so glad we did.
The prices are reasonable however if you know a Korean they might be able to help you get some coupons through TMON 티몬.
First up was the penguin exhibit and you can pop your head up next to some of them.
My better half taking a selfie with one.
Some weird looking specimens (which you can actually buy in the gift shop on your way out).
Some cool looking fish.
They have quite a few South American fish here which was surprising.
I wouldn’t mind eating one them to be honest.
The main Aquarium is really quite impressive and it wasn’t busy at all (we went on a Saturday).
Quite a rare fish as it lives in such deep waters.
As you can see it’s very long.
Towards the end of the path through the aquarium is the main tank.
Once again as there wasn’t many people we were able to take some good shots.
Even set-up the auto-timer for a few shots.
Some diverse critters in there.
Plenty of rays and sharks.
Again, can’t escape Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 성산일출봉 haha.
Jeongbang Falls 정방폭포
After the aquarium we got back in the car and headed towards Seogwipo 서귀포 and arrived at Jeongbang Falls 정방폭포.
It is special because it is one of only a few waterfalls that flow directly into the ocean.
At first it doesn’t seem that strong but it really does pelt down.
Being close to Seogwipo 서귀포 this place was fairly crowded but still well worth it.
Loads of stones make for a nice view.
As there was plenty of people getting someone else to take a photo of us was quite easy.
If you fancy some fresh seafood there was plenty of people eating along the shore.
We started to get hungry so we decided to head on over to 기억나는집 for some Seafood Stew 해물탕.
We got the the small size as there was only 2 of us (40,000 won) and it was easily enough.
The old ladies here look after you to make sure you eat it how it should be eaten 🙂
After having Abalone 전복 we couldn’t resist having it for lunch as well (along with other seafood).
Underneath all that are shrimp and clams.
Once it’s ready it’s time to dig in! By the way this is probably the best Seafood Stews 해물탕 I’ve had in Korea.
As you can see plenty of seafood to be eaten.
Cheonjeyeon Waterfall 천제연폭포
After lunch we drove to Cheonjeyeon Waterfall 천제연폭포 (there are 3 of them btw).
The first one is more of a pond which has some nice colours.
It gives a very natural feeling and was quite enjoyable.
On to the next waterfall.
If you lived close to here it would make for the perfect walking course.
The second waterfall from the top.
If it was a little warmer a swim here would have been perfect (not even sure if you’re allowed to).
A very nice view.
Again the colour of the water in Jeju excellent.
Seonimgyo Bridge 선임교 or as it is also known Chilseonyeogyo 칠선녀교 can be seen along this walk.
Another view of the bridge.
The bridge is actually really nice and provides a good view once you’re in the middle.
I wonder if this stream runs down to the ocean…. btw we skipped the third waterfall as we were short on time.
Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs 주상절리
Another place which is quite close and worth a visit is the Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs 주상절리.
Jusangjeolli Cliff was formed when the lava from Hallasan Mountain erupted into the sea of Jungmun.
They are rock pillars shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes.
Some real odd shaped pillars happening here.
Although they are just rocks, they were actually quite interesting to look at being as they formed naturally.
After a quick look here it was time to move on.
Elephant Cafe 코끼리 카페 한림협재
The one thing I had to do while in Jeju was to actually relax… and what better way then with a coffee overlooking the sea.
The cafe was very secluded and the perfect spot I had in mind to relax.
Chilling out through the window.
As usual in Korea people like to take selfies so this was the perfect spot for couples to snap away.
There were a few people here but still not enough for you to feel uncomfortable.
After trying out a few of the seats we decided to sit outside.
The latte, lemon juice and scone has arrived.
The food/drinks while a little pricey were very good and the staff were very friendly.
After a hard day traveling around haha I had earned the right to sit down and relax 🙂
After seeing the sun rise this morning we now get to see it set!
Loads of volcanic rocks around so we decided to have a little walk around this place.
A nice wide shot of our view.
Coffee time was over and it was back on the road to our hotel.
When we arrived at our hotel shortly after it was already dark ( Jeju Sky Resort).
We chose this hotel as it was in a perfect location for us along our journey. The room was clean and affordable at 50,000 won.
After resting up a bit we then caught a taxi to dinner (we asked the receptionist for the local taxi number).
We wanted something light so we decided to eat mackerel sashimi 고등어회 for dinner at 한 수 관광 어 촌지원 센타. As you can see in the picture on the right, the president of Korea Moon Jae-in 문재인 visited here not long ago.
We ordered a set and we were very satisfied.
The mackerel sashimi 고등어회 was really delicious and we both want to come back here next time we are in Jeju.
As recommended by the staff, this is how you should eat it.
The crumbed shrimp were included in the set however the fried mackerel 고등어구이 was free.
I think we maybe ordered too much for 2 people haha as the soup hadn’t even come out yet.
And yet again we eat Abalone 전복.
Once the stew came out we knew that maybe we ordered a little too much however we managed to eat almost all of it…
Handam Coastal Walk 한담해안산책로
Early the next morning we woke up, checked out of the hotel and came here for a walk along the coast.
This walk is quite popular although short it provides some great views.
I would imagine in Summer this place would be packed with tourists.
We both were wearing shorts and it seemed like the perfect weather for a swim although I bet the water would have been really cold…
More Rapeseeds 유채꽃.
Apparently they don’t last that long so luckily we came at a good time.
Endless amounts of rocks around Jeju Island as expected.
Quite a few people doing their morning walk along here.
This area is the perfect place for a coffee (which I get later).
The weather the whole trip was good and never rained 🙂
Getting slowly closer to the coffee shops.
Very clean water.
I would definitely recommend a stroll here.
A couch for anyone wanting a few nice snaps.
This coffee shop is apparently quite famous as it was featured in a recent K drama however I can’t remember which one.
As we arrived about 8am we didn’t really want to wait an hour so we headed next door.
Some colourful items inside.
This is where we sat down for a coffee.
Some quite nice views.
They even had some comfortable swinging chairs.
A quick look up the top before we left.
I could of sat here for hours.
A view of next door.
One last minute to relax.
As this was the day I was flying out I thought it would be a good opportunity for a photo with these guys.
A 5 minute walk back to the car.
Deoreok Elementary School 더럭분교
This place was an odd inclusion as when my partner first suggested it I was thinking ‘why are we going to a school..?’.
However it is well known for its colourful exterior.
Being cherry blossom season it looked even more scenic.
The cherry blossom petals were falling as we were walking around the school.
Imagine going to this school as a kid, certainly a better view than what I had.
Loads of different colours happening here.
We entered through the rear of the school and exited through the front. We saw some other people there as well talking photos.
We parked just next to the school on the side of the road without an issues.
Such a nice view of the petals.
As we got back into the car, next up was Iho Tewoo Beach 이호테우해변.
Iho Tewoo Beach 이호테우해변
This beach was just a quick stopover on the way back to Jeju City.
The famous Horse Lighthouses.
The white horse.
A posing photo for good measure.
Yongduam Rock (Dragon Head Rock) 용두암
A good use of the 돌 하르방.
This place was pretty touristy and if you are struggling for time you can probably skip it.
I’m still not convinced this looks like a dragon head…. however being so close to the airport and being on our way back we decided to go check it out.
Jeju Traditional Market 동문재래시장
Our second last stop was the Jeju Traditional Market 동문재래시장 and it was great!
We parked right outside Gate 8 (parking spots available just past those trucks).
The market was full with food, souvenirs etc so it’s a great place to check out.
A pig’s face if you’re into that kind of thing.
Plenty of dried fish.
All kinds of seafood, meat and fruit smells here.
My mother-in-law loves Rice Cake 떡 so we decided to pick her up some as a present.
I don’t mind Rice Cake 떡 although not the biggest fan.
If you like crab then you would absolutely love it here.
A few different vegetables and spices.
These can be found almost everywhere in Jeju.
Next time I want to buy some sashimi and take it back to the hotel to eat. Was quite cheap actually.
Galchi 갈치 always look so bizarre.
Cuttlefish 한치 available here as well.
Our last meal before the flight was Pork Noodles 고기 국수.
Spicy Pork Noodles 고기 비빔국수.
Pork Noodle Soup 고기 물국수.
Jeju Cherry Blossom Street
As the cherry blossoms were blooming we took the chance to check them out in Jeju.
There was a small festival going on so we went to check it out.
The main street was packed full of falling petals.
It was a great surprise as we hadn’t planned to see them.
It was fairly busy but we were still able to take a few snaps.
The last photo of my trip I promise.
After seeing the cherry blossoms 벚꽃 we returned our hire car and headed on back to the airport for the flight home. For those who are planning on staying in the city areas (Jeju City & Seogwipo), here are a few hotels I can recommend:
Jeju City 제주시:
I hope the photos and places above help you plan your journey to Jeju Island. If you are wondering what else there is to do/see in Korea, please see my
must-visit places in Busan. Please also see my extremely detailed Busan Itineraries. Not sure where to stay in Busan? Don’t worry, I have that covered in my post on the Best Areas to Stay in Busan.
As for Seoul, you can see my recommendations on where to stay
I have even posted a detailed review of
. Seoul vs Busan
As usual, if you have any questions please leave a comment 🙂