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Visiting Jeju Island: Travel Itinerary & Useful Info

When you visit South Korea, there are some tried and true destinations that will be built into any travel itinerary – bustling Seoul, or foodie paradise Busan. But there’s one destination that gives you a taste of everything Korea has to offer, from the spectacular scenery to the amazing cultural scene, historic highlights to the chance to get active: Jeju Island. Around 100km south off the Korean mainland lies Jeju Island, an autonomous province that’s famed for stunning mountains, beautiful coastlines, and an amazing culture.  


How big is Jeju Island?

At around 1,840 square kilometers, Jeju is the largest island in South Korea – in fact, it’s quite a lot larger than people might expect. It’s 2.5x the size of Singapore, and only a tiny bit smaller than the Spanish island of Tenerife. The population of Jeju Island is over 675,000, meaning there are about as many people in Jeju as there are in Luxembourg!  

jeju island travel itinerary

What is the best time to visit Jeju Island?

If you’re a nature lover, Spring and Autumn will serve you well. In Autumn, (Sep-Nov) the island becomes a haven for those who like to watch the leaves change, with rich oranges covering the island. However, for true photographers, there’s no better time to visit than in Spring (Mar-May). The weather is mild, and it’s during this period that the island’s incredible subtropical climate comes to life, littering the landscape with beautiful cherry blossoms, vibrant azaleas, golden canolas and magnolias.

If you’re a sun-lover, summer (Jun-Aug) on Jeju Island will serve you well – though you might have the dodge the odd rain shower. With temperatures reaching 30 degrees, it becomes a popular destination for beach-goers and watersports enthusiasts alike. But if you’re a fan of a more tranquil landscape, winter (Dec-Feb) provides the opportunity to explore rolling hills and dramatic UNESCO World Heritage sites without the crowds.  


Why is Jeju Island famous?

The flight between Jeju Island and Seoul is the world’s busiest route – and that’s not by chance. Jeju Island is not only a paradise for those after coastlines and mountaintops – it’s also well-known as the filming location for innumerable K-dramas, is home to over 100 museums, and has a fascinating culture that includes its own dialect, a group of free-diving women named haenyeo, and an incredible food scene. It’s also worth visiting Jeju Island to learn more about the important, sobering role it plays in wider 20th century Korean history. 

jeju island travel itinerary

What are the best foods to try in Jeju?

As an island with a rich seafaring (and diving) culture, you’d be remiss to visit Jeju Island and not sample the seafood. The haenyeo are matriarchal community that, according to the Jeju Tourism Board, date back one thousand years, and are incredible free divers who head up to 20 meters underwater to retrieve abalone, conches, and seaweed. The result is a local cuisine filled with fresh, locally-caught seafood dishes. (If you’re in Jeju-si at all, the Jeju Haenyeo Museum makes for a very interesting visit.)  

For the meat-eaters among us, you also can’t visit Jeju Island without trying black pork. It’s a dish that’s so intrinsic to Jeju culture that there’s an entire street dedicated to it! The local breed of black pig is a staple in many Jeju dishes, so it’s well worth a try while you’re there… just make sure it’s Korean BBQ style!  

When you visit Jeju Island, you’ll find it home to swathes of trees that brim with juicy mandarins. If you don’t grab a fresh one, make sure that you stop in at a local store for a fresh juice, a zesty tangerine chocolate, or a delicious mandarin-infused baked treat.  

jeju island travel itinerary

What is there to do in Jeju Island?

Short answer: lots! From hiking to watersports, museums to café-hopping – it’s an island packed with things to do.  

If you’re based in Seogwipo City – the perfect location for any keen tourists – you’ll have no end of natural features to explore. It’s the best base to hike on the Olle Trail (we recommend Trail #7) and spot the dramatic Oedolgae Rock, visit the Jeongbang Falls – the only waterfall in Asia to flow directly into the ocean – and head up the amazing Seongsan Ilchulbong for incredible views across the island and out to sea.  

It’s also the best place to make the most of the island’s coastline. You can pay a visit to Jungmun Beach, where the gusty winds make it the ultimate surfing destination, or even try your hand at one of the local diving clubs. If you prefer to remain dry, you can take a yacht sailing tour around the island – and then wind down the evening back on dry land, with a sunset drink looking out to sea from the cliffs.  

If you’re after the perfect Jeju Island travel itinerary, we can help you out – we spend two fantastic days in Jeju as part of our 12-day Korea Adventure.   

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