Explore dormant volcanoes and active beaches.
Known as Korea’s island getaway, the cycling course around Jeju features endless geological sights, including seaside caves, waterfalls, beaches, and volcanic cones.
The Jeju Fantasy Bike Path circles Jeju Special Province and its two cities. Read these quick breakdowns of each municipality.
- Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (제주특별자치도) governs the entirety of Jeju Island, which rests 293 kilometers off the southwest coast of the peninsula. Known as Korea’s Hawaii, the island grew up alongside, but culturally different from mainland Korea, with unique folklore and art. A matriarchal society ruled by freediving women, Jeju often resisted interference from the peninsula’s rule and fought back against Japanese colonization. Today, other than fishing and limited farming, the island makes money through tourism. The dormant volcanoes of Seongsan Ilchulbong and Halla Mountain (South Korea’s tallest) and endless beaches attract mainland Koreans and visitors from nearby nations.
- Jeju City (제주시) occupies the top half of Jeju Island. Known as the administrative side, or “the people north of Halla Mountain,” since ancient times, when Jeju’s three fathers crawled from three enshrined holes, the city held the island’s rulers and most of its people. Jeju’s only airport and biggest port form the main points of entry onto the island. Though Seogwipo possesses more tourism wonders, Jeju City encompasses its own basket of treasures, including beaches, museums, and offshore isles.
- Seogwipo City (서귀포시) claims the bottom part of Jeju Island. Less populated than Jeju City, the district is one of Korea’s most developed tourist destinations. Filled with hotels, resorts, and terra firma glory, Seogwipo boasts a lake-topped peak, pristine beaches, a troop of waterfalls, sculpted offshore islands, and Jeju’s most iconic dormant cone volcano. The city also holds the Jeju World Cup Stadium, where Jeju’s professional football (soccer) club plays.
- Yong Du Am (용두암 인증센터; map)
- Darak Shelter (다락쉼터 인증센터; map)
- Haegeoreum Park (해거름마을공원 인증센터; map)
- Songaksan (송악산 인증센터; map)
- Beophwan Badang (법환바당 인증센터; map)
- Soesokkak (쇠소깍 인증센터; map)
- Pyoseon Beach (표선해변 인증센터; map)
- Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉 인증센터; map)
- Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach (김녕성세기해변 인증센터; map)
- Hamdeok Seoubong Beach (함덕서우봉해변 인증센터; map)
How To Get There
Ninety-plus percent of folks fly to Jeju, making Jeju International Airport, Korea’s second busiest, the primary entry point.
And because the island lacks subways, trains, and frequent bus service, most visitors rent a car and motor around.
What about folks with bicycles? First, let’s learn to bring a bike to Jeju. Then, let’s figure out buses.
(Remember, if you’re flying or sailing to Jeju from South Korea, it’s a domestic journey. No immigration or customs. However, you must present identification to board. And if you’re a foreigner, they won’t accept your library card. Passports or ARCs only.)
All airlines traveling to the island accept bicycles as checked baggage. And because many mainland cyclists venture to Jeju, workers handle thousands of flying bikers a year.
Don’t like flying? Take a boat.
Ferries depart from mainland Korea to Jeju Island from several ports along Korea’s coasts, including Mokpo, Busan, Incheon, and more.
Why so many ferries? I thought airplanes were the most popular transportation to Jeju.
True. The flights average an hour from Seoul to Jeju. Most ferries average four hours from the bottom coast of Korea, and over 13 hours from Incheon.
As mentioned earlier, many visitors scoot around the island in a car because Jeju lacks trains and speedy bus service.
While the majority rent, others prefer to take their own. And you can’t bring a car on a passenger jet. So almost all ferries bound for Jeju include a lower deck for cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.
Jeju island offers only one form of public transportation: buses.
On the mainland, there’s a clear distinction between bus types. City buses accept transportation cards and stop at regular old bus stops. Intercity and express buses require tickets, depart from terminals, and land in another city or part of the country.
Jeju runs their buses a little differently.