Jeju Itinerary – What to do in the Hawaii of Korea

South Korea’s island of Jeju Island is the perfect stop for nature lovers. Jeju (Jeju-do in Korean) with its tropical climate offers travelers breathtaking cliffs, inactive volcanoes, countless hikes opportunities, fresh food and unique culture. 

Jeju itinerary: tops things to do in 2 days

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Jeju was the last leg of our Korean trip after 10 days spent between Seoul and Busan. We spent 2.5 days in Jeju island. Depending on the time you have allocated to the island, you can take inspiration to plan your own itinerary. So, if you are planning your own Jeju itinerary, read on to find out things to do in Jeju Island in 3 days.

Jeju itinerary: what to do in 2 days

Jeju itinerary trip planning

Getting there

Juju Island is located off the southern coast of South Korea. The island is easily reached by plane or ferry. From Seoul Gimpo airport, it takes only 1h 10m. From Busan, it takes 1 hour by plane or between 3 to 12 hours by ferry. If you take a ferry, you will arrive at one of the following terminals: Jeju Domestic Ferry Terminal, Jeju International Ferry Terminal or Seongsanpo Ferry Terminal.

We took a flight from Busan Gimhae airport to Jeju International Airport via Korean Air. I was really impressed with the airline, it was definitely a great first-time experience flying with them. The seats were comfortable and spacious; overall great service.


Getting around

Getting around Jeju Island is easier if you drive so I would recommend renting a car for the duration of your trip. If you don’t drive or are not confident driving outside of your own country, you can still get around via public transport or by joining group tours.

Bus

Due to the configuration of the island and the infrastructure, using public transport from point A to point B can be time-consuming. Plus, you might have to change buses at least once.  

If you decide to use the bus during your trip, the one tool you will need to get around is the T-Money. This card not only gets you discounts on buses and metro fares but also allows you to pay at some convenience stores. To get one, in case you didn’t grab one in Seoul or Busan, head to any convenience store like 7 -Eleven or GS25. Load the card and you are good to go. Please note that bus fares are around ₩1250 each way.  

Car

Renting a car is perhaps the best mode of transport in Jeju as you don’t have to rely on sporadic public transport to get to Jeju’s best attractions. 

Taxi Driver Tour

Taxis are a straightforward and easy way of travelling when you are tired or when the bus fails to arrive. We did consider hiring a driver but in the end, decided against it. We wanted to keep our costs low but thinking back, I think we should have.

Our Jeju itinerary below is completely car-free so perfect whether you have a rental car or not. 

Jeju map

Here’s a map with all the places mentioned in this article to help with your trip planning. Places marked in purple are places we have been and in blue, places we recommend you include in your Jeju itinerary. 

Where to stay in Jeju

As always when deciding where to stay during a trip, I usually check the locations of the majority of sights I plan on visiting. On this occasion, we decided to stay in Seogwipo since most of the activities we planned on doing were located around that area. However, if you are renting a car, then you have more flexibility and can even change accommodations.  Jeju has three tourist spots: Jeju City, Seogwipo and Jungmun Resort.

Booking.com
  • Hotels in Jeju City – Jeju City is the main city on the island, therefore, has a bigger concentration of hotels. This is a good location if you arrive late/leave early, are on the island for a short period of time. Check out a selection of hotels here.
  • Hotels in Seogwipo – Second main city, Seogwipo was our preferred choice as most of the things we wanted to do in Jeju are located in the south. Some hotels to consider are Seogwipo KAL Hotel, Heyy Seogwipo Hotel or Artstay Seogwipo Harbor.
  • Hotels in Jungmun – One of the reasons Korean like to go to Jeju Island is to relax by the sea. Do note however that Jeju-do is a volcanic island so don’t expect long stretches of sandy beaches all around the island. There are some beautiful beaches though. Among the cool hotels by the beach, you can find Shilla Jeju Hotel, Lotte Hotel & Resort, Minitel Soul or Jungmoon City Hotel.

We stayed at Kenny Story Inn located 2 minutes from Olle Market. The hotel offers comfortable bedding, cheap but good breakfast, great views, coin laundry, a small 7-Eleven. It’s ideal for a short stay in Seogwipo on budget. 

When to visit Jeju 

The climate on Jeju Island is humid. The best time depends on your preference and the activities you are planning to do. Spring is typically a great time to visit when the weather is moderate. Winters are cold and dry while summers are hot, humid, and rainy. We travelled end of summer (late September).

The weather was perfect during our entire trip. However, we were quite lucky with our timing as the island was hit with a typhoon the day after we departed. 

Jeju itinerary: enjoy some of the best coffees

Where to Eat in Jeju

Jeju is known for its black pork so to get a taste head to Black Pork Street in Jeju City. If pork is not your thing, since Jeju is an island, there are lots of fish and seafood options. Why not try freshly-caught abalone or Jeonbokjuk, an abalone rice porridge. Another must-eat is the Hallabong oranges. Grab some when you visit a market, they cost nothing and are deliciously juicy.

3 days Jeju Itinerary

Jeju itinerary: Day 1 – Busan to Jeju

This is the day you arrive in Jeju Island and if your flight arrives late like ours, you will have a limited amount of time to visit any attraction. Once you have collected your rental car or got your Airport Limousine ticket, get to your accommodation. 

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall 

After dropping our bags in our hotel, we decided to check out Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. Cheonjiyeon means God’s pond in Korean and is one of the top three waterfalls on Jeju (the other two being Jeongbang Waterfall and Cheongjeyeon Waterfall). Although the name is similar to Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and is located not far from each other, they are not to be confused. Even though it was dark when we got there, there were lots of people, especially couples. The waterfall which name means “sky connected with the land” is illuminated at night, so is a popular rendezvous spot. 

  • Address: Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
  • Hours: 9AM – 10PM
  • Admission: Adults: ₩2,000 / Children: ₩1,000

The first full day of our Jeju trip was spent in and around Jeju City on the northern part of the island. 

Join Jeju tour

After a nice and copious breakfast at the hotel, we headed towards Jeju City. One of the best ways of exploring the island on the budget is by joining a day tour. We joined the Jeju City Bus but there are several more you can join.

Sarabong Peak (사라봉)

Sarabong is an oreum (small volcanic mountain) situated on the east side of Jeju City. The peak is a nice hike which rewards hikers with a nice view of the ocean and Hallasan. You can see find the Sarasa Temple (aka Taegojong) overlooking the sea and the Sanji lighthouse which looks onto the port.

Address: 74, Sarabongdong-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Yongyeon Pond (용연)

Jeju itinerary: Picturesque Yongyeon Pond

Yongyeon Pond also known as Dragon Pond was formed when freshwater met salty seawater. It can be crossed via a suspension bridge and there is a cute wooden pavilion above it. I love how both the bridge and the pavilion are in harmony with the surroundings. It’s a beautiful sight to see. The place is illuminated at night you can visit anytime.

  • Address: Donghandugi-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Admission: Free 

Yongduam Rock (Dragon Head Rock – (용두암)

Jeju itinerary: see Yongduam Rock

Yongduam Rock is a big volcanic rock. Legend says that it’s a solidified head of a water dragon. Whether it’s true or not, one thing for sure is the fact that the area around Yongduam Rock is a popular spot.

There are lots of cafes and seafood restaurants making it a good sightseeing location. If you like drinking coffee in a trendy cafe, this place is for you. Plus the road along the coast is very scenic. It’s also a nice spot where you can see the women divers (haenyo) trying to catch seafood.  

  • Address: Yongdamroteo-ri Yongdam-2dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Admission: Free

Dongnum Traditional Market (동문재래시장)

Jeju itinerary: Dongnum Market

Dongnum Traditional Market is the oldest market on the island and is located in Jeju City. The countless stalls are packed with fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood. You can find other goods too including souvenirs. 

  • Address: 20, Gwandeok-ro 14-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
  • Opening times: daily except Sundays and during Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) & Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)

Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉)

The sunrise peak is a giant green crater that offers stunning views once you have hiked to the top. It was created when a volcano erupted under the ocean. It’s a popular site to do horseback riding. 

  • Address: Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si
  • Hours: Summer: 7AM – 7PM / Winter: 8AM – 6PM
  • Admission: Adults: ₩2,000 / Children: ₩1,000

Jeju itinerary: Day 3 – Seogwipo area 

Discover the Olle Trails 

Jeju itinerary: Olle Trails

Koreans love outdoor activities, especially hiking. As mentioned in my Busan post, hiking appears to be Koreans’ favourite hobby. You won’t miss seeing people of all ages (but particularly older people) wearing hiking clothes topped with hats, sleeves and Nordic walking sticks.

The volcanic island offers beautiful scenery. So no wonder the island is full of hiking opportunities from Mt Hallasan to Seongsan, you will be spoiled for choice. Since we were situated in Seogwipo, we decided to do trail 6 which was said to be easy and scenic. Trail 6 starts at Soesokkak, follows the coast and ends at Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market. To help you plan your trails, check out the Olle Trail Planning Guide here.

Soesokkak Estuary (쇠소깍)

Jeju itinerary: visit Soesokkak Estuary

Soesokkak Estuary is a lovely valley formed by flow of lava. The picturesque estuary is lined with cliffs and pine trees. Just like the Dragon Pond, Soesokkak is where fresh water from Hyodoncheon Stream meets the ocean.

You can enjoy fun activities with your family, friends or as a couple. Some of the activities you can do are ride on a tewoo, a traditional wooden boat used to transport people across the estuary for many years or kayaking (the kayak has a transparent base so you can see). 

  • Address: 128, Soesokkak-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do  
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Transparent kayak ride  
  • Admission: Adults: ₩15,000 (2 adults)/ ₩30,000 (3 adults)
  • Teewoo
  • Admission: Adults: ₩7,000 / Children: ₩4,000

Jeongbang Waterfall (정방폭포)

Jeju itinerary: check out Jeongbang Waterfall

Jeju island has several waterfalls but this one was my favourite. At 23-meter high and surrounded by woods, Jeongbang falls straight into the ocean. A breathtaking sight that you can capture as you descend midway down to get closer. There is a viewing platform that let you capture the fall as water comes down from the cliff to fall on the rocks below before meeting the ocean.

On low tide, you can get pretty close to it, especially if you are not afraid to get wet! Being able to be so close means that you get good photo opportunities but be careful when maneuvering between people, selfie sticks and especially the rocks as they can be slippery. 

  • Address: 278 Donghong-dong Seogwi-po, Jeju
  • Hours: Summer: 8AM – 7PM / Winter: 8AM – 6PM
  • Admission: Adults: ₩2,000 / Children: ₩1,000

Haenyeo

Jeju itinerary: Mural of Hanyeo - Jeju's women divers

The Jeju Women Divers are like superheroes. These women with an average age of 65 cab dive between 10 to 20 meters without needing any assistance. You can see their performance twice daily and buy some of their “catch of the day”. They usually have seaweed, abalone, squid, octopus and clams.. 

  • Address: 284-12 Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
  • Hours: 1:30PM – 2:30PM / 2PM – 3PM

Oedolgae Rock (외돌개(제주)

Not far from Jeongbang Waterfall is yet another famous tourist attraction: the Oedolgae Rock. If you find rock formations to be intriguing, then know that Jeju has chunks of them. Just like the “dragon head rock” Oedolgae which means “lonely rock” is nice to check out. It’s basically a 20-meter tall rock surrounded by smaller rocks. 

Address: 791, Seohong-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Browse Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market (서귀포매일올레시장)

Jeju Island has several markets, some more touristy than others. I have been to Dongmun Traditional Market and Seogwipo Hyangto Five-Day Market. However, I preferred the atmosphere at Maeil Olle Market. Because our hotel was just 5 minutes from the market, we ended up going there several times. On our first night, we grabbed dinner from a nice fried chicken shop.

You can find a good variety of food there from cooked food to seafood, tangerines and more. There are lots of benches lined along the middle of the market which means that you won’t struggle to find a place to enjoy your food. We sampled lots there but one thing that you should try is the croquette. I got myself a cream sauce crab croquette while my friend had the cheese and prawn flavoured croquette. Both were delicious!

  • Address: 22 Jungjeong-ro73beon-gil, Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do
  • Opening times: Open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM

Other top things for your Jeju itinerary

Mysterious Road

Mysterious Road is a downhill road that looks like an uphill road. When you drop a rolling object on the road, the optical illusion makes it look like the object is rolling up instead of down. Pretty impressive!

Jusangjeolli Cliffs (주상절리대(대포동지삿개)

A spectacular rock formations by the sea. Jusangjeolli Cliffs were formed years ago when Mt Halasan erupted and the lava cooled down rapidly to make cube-like black pillars. Impressive right?

  • Address: 2668 Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do
  • Opening hours: Summer: 8 AM – 7 PM / Winter: 8 AM – 6 PM 
  • Admission: Adults: ₩2,500 / Children: ₩1,500

Hallasan National Park [UNESCO World Heritage] (한라산국립공원 [유네스코 세계자연유산])

Mt Hallasan is a dormant volcano and the highest peak in South Korea. The UNESCO Heritage Site and its natural park offers visitors seven hiking trails, the shortest being only 10 km. For the avid hikers, going to the peak and back can be done on the same day. Hallasan is an essential activity to include in your Jeju itinerary. For more details about Hallasan National Park, check Visit Korea’s website.

  • Yeongsil Trail => 5.8 km (one way ~ about 2.5 hours)
  • Gwaneumsa Temple Trail => 8.7 km (one way ~ about 5 hours)
  • Seongpanak Trail => 9.6 km (one way ~ about 4/5 hours)
  • Eorimok Trail => 3.7 km (one way ~ about 2 hours)
  • Donnaeko Trail => 7 km (one way ~ about 3.5 hours)
  • Eoseungsaengak Trail => 1.3 km (one way ~ about 30 minutes)
  • Seokguram Trail => 1.5 km (one way ~ about 30 minutes)

Address: 2070-61, 1100-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Jeju O’Sulloc Tea Museum

After visiting the tea museum in Insadong, I was keen to visit the largest tea museum in Korea. Sadly, I wasn’t able to because 2 days in Jeju without a car is too short. When visiting O’Sulloc tea museum, not only can you learn all about the history of Korean tea culture but also enjoy a stroll in the lush garden and check out the green tea fields. Also with a cafe and restaurant on-site, you can try out the delicious tea. 

  • Address: Seokwang Dawon Entrance, 1235-3, Seokwang-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo City
  • Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall (천제연 폭포)

The last of the 3 famous waterfalls and the largest and consists of three parts. Cheonjeyeon means Pond of God. Legends say that nymphs used to bathe in its pond. Above the falls is arched Seonimgyo Bridge, which symbolizes the legend of Cheonjeyeon and means Seven Nymphs Bridge.

  • Address: 3381-1 Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
  • Opening hours: 08:00 AM – 06:00 PM
  • Admission: Adults: ₩2,500 / Children: ₩1,500

We had an enjoyable time in Jeju and wished we had planned a longer stay!

I hope you found this Jeju itinerary useful for your trip planning. What are you looking forward to visiting in Jeju? Let us know in the comments. 

When planning my trip to South Korea, I knew that Jeju Island had some notable points of interest.In the end, I was not disappointed for the following reasons: I discovered beautiful landscapes, with the Seongsan Ilchulbong, the Jeongbang waterfall, the Oedolgae rock (at sunset) and the Soesokkak Estuary. The estuary was one of the highlights of my trip to Korea!

We spent just under 3 days in Jeju (and 3 nights). This duration is fine especially if you are renting a car. The fact that we didn’t have a rental car or hired driver meant that we couldn’t see most of the main points of interest.

I hope you found this Jeju itinerary useful for your trip planning. What are you looking forward to visiting in Jeju? Let us know in the comments.

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Hi there! I'm Mayi. Welcome to my blog SecretMoona! I hope to share with you the hidden secret of places I visit.

12 thoughts on “Jeju Itinerary – What to do in the Hawaii of Korea

  1. Oh wow, this looks like such a stunning place! I have never even heard of it, adding to my bucket list immediately!

  2. All those waterfalls are amaaazing. I especially love that you could visit Cheonjiyeon Waterfall at night and see it all lit up! The whole of jeju island looks amazing to explore though, and I would love to try some of the food at Dongnum Traditional Market.

    1. Thank you 🙂 You will love Jeju. You won’t have any issue conquering both Mt Hallasan and the Olle Trails!

  3. I have never been to Hawaii or to Korea but that looks amazing – I think I must finally add Korea to my list for my next big Asia trip. Very much looking forward to eating all the food 😉

    1. I’ve never been to Hawaii either and don’t know if they really are similar but for sure Jeju was a nice trip!

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