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How to Get There

Jeju Fantasy Bike Path
Circle Korea's island getaway.

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 those with bicycles? First, explore how to bring your bike onto Jeju. Then let’s learn how to use the bus.

(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.)

Renting or Courier

Some visiting cyclists prefer to rent from one of the many bicycle rental spots on Jeju.

Bike Trip (바이크트립) is the most popular. They offer long-term rental of road, MTB, and e-bikes.

The rental shop’s services also include pickup service, plucking cyclists and their rentals from their finish lines. And they’re the only outlet on the island that sells Bike Certification Passports.

Have a bike on the peninsula? Don’t want to lug it around on a long plane or ferry journey? Drop it off at one of Bike Trip’s affiliated stores in Seoul, Yongin, Goyang, Busan, Daegu, or Daejeon. They’ll send it to the island. Pick it up at Bike Trip’s shop when you land.

Airplanes

Planes are the fastest and most popular way onto Jeju Island. In fact, the flight path between Gimpo International Airport in Seoul and Jeju is the busiest in the world.

A picture of an passenger jet landing at Gimhae International Airport from the finish line of the Nakdonggang Bike Path.
The airways between Gimpo International Airport in Seoul and Jeju Island are the busiest in the world.

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.

Korea’s domestic flights operate by the same rules as any other airline. You pack your own bike in a soft or hard case, or cardboard box. Check it at the counter. They plop it in the plane’s belly. You pick it up at the baggage carousel.

Airlines may employ slight variations on the same rule. But most use these regulations:

  • Your bike counts as one checked item. 
  • Passengers must pack their own bikes with fixed handlebars and pedals removed.
  • Bicycles must not exceed a stated weight and length when totaling the measurements of three sides.

Here are the top Jeju-bound airlines and their bicycle policies (source):

  • Korean Air
    • 292 cm (115 in) limit when totaling three sides.
    • 20 kg checked bag limit (₩2,000 charge every extra 1 kg).
    • Bikes count as a checked luggage item.
    • Read more.
  • Asiana Airlines
    • 292 cm (115 in) limit when totaling three sides.
    • 20 kg checked bag limit (₩2,000 charge every extra 1 kg).
    • (Airlines may require a hard case.)
    • Read more.
  • Jeju Air 
    • 203 cm (80 in) limit when totaling three sides.
    • ₩10,000 special baggage fee.
    • 15 kg checked bag limit (₩2,000 charge every extra 1 kg).
    • They offer a semi-courier for ₩50,000~80,000:
      • Bring your bike to the airport.
      • Disassemble it with your own tools.
      • Pack it in one of their bike bags.
      • Pick your bike up on the luggage carousel.
      • Read more.
  • Jin Air, T’way, Eastar, Air Busan
    • 203 cm (80 in) limit when totaling three sides.
    • ₩10,000 special baggage/sports equipment fee.
    • 15 kg checked bag limit (₩2,000 charge every extra 1 kg).
    • Watch a video in Korean.

Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are premium airlines. Jeju Air, Jin Air, T’way, Eastar, and Air Busan are low-cost alternatives.

While a ticket with the expensive airlines may cost more, they allow bigger and heavier luggage. They also don’t charge a base ₩10,000 fee for sports equipment. So, for flying bikes, their average price roughly equals cheaper airlines.

Ferries

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.

Passengers can buy tickets at the port up to around 40 minutes before departure. But most book online using the ferries’ websites (Korean-language only). DirectFerries.com is an English-language booking alternative. But they charge more.

Most ferries heading to Jeju don’t offer traditional airline seating. Tickets sell for a variety of arrangements, including:

  • A spot on an open-floor room holding between 20 to 70 passengers.
  • One bunk bed in a shared room for four or more.
  • Family rooms with beds or open floors.
  • And VIP suites. 

Let’s take a closer look at the ferry companies.

Hanil Express

Hanil Express (한일고속) sails three vessels to Jeju from Yeosu City (여수시) on the middle, southern coast of the peninsula; and from Wando County (완도군), a group of islands off the southwest tip of Korea.

From Yeosu, the departing ferry, named Gold Stella, takes 5 hour and 40 minute.

Hanil Express sends two ships from Wondo, the closest departure point for Jeju. Silver Cloud, a newer vessel, requires a brief 2 hour and 40 minutes. The older and smaller Songlim Blue Ocean doubles the time to 5 hours.

All the vessels allow bicycles on board at no extra cost. But some vessels, like Songlim Blue Ocean, cap the total number of bikes at 20.

Gold Stella

Launched in 2020, measuring 160 meters long, sailing at 24 knots, the Gold Stella (골드스텔라) carries up to 948 passengers and 343 vehicles.

The ship makes a daily 5 hour and 30 minute journey to and from:

Tickets begin at ₩45,500 for a 3rd Class spot in an 74 person open-floor room. Upgrades include capsules, bedrooms, and suites with balconies (fare list).

The ship also provides a healthy amount of public space, including a restaurant, convenience store, dog park, and various other hangout spots.

  • Yeosu → Jeju
    • 5 hrs 40 min
    • Mon to Sun
    • Depart: 1:20 AM | Arrive: 7 AM
  • Jeju → Yeosu
    • 5 hrs 30 min
    • Mon to Sun
    • Depart: 4 PM | Arrive: 9:30 PM

Silver Cloud

Silver Cloud (실버클라우드) sailed its maiden voyage in 2018. At 160 meters long, the ship holds 1,180 passengers and 343 of their vehicles.

The vessel makes a 2 hour and 40 minute, twice daily round trip between:

Tickets start at ₩29,900 for a 3rd Class spot in an 35 to 45 person open-floor room. However, you can opt for an airline-style seat, private family room, or twin room at extra cost (fare list).

Like the Gold Stella, Silver Cloud offers cafes, game rooms, massage chairs, and an open deck.

  • Wando → Jeju
    • 2 hrs 40 min
    • Twice Daily
    • Depart: 2:30 AM | Arrive: 5:10 AM
    • Depart: 4:00 PM | Arrive: 6:40 PM
  • Jeju → Wando
    • 2 hrs 40 min
    • Twice Daily
    • Depart: 7:20 AM | Arrive: 10:00 AM
    • Depart: 8:30 PM | Arrive: 11:10 PM

Songlim Blue Ocean

Songlim Blue Ocean (송림블루오션) first set sail in 2017. Smaller than Hanil Express’s other two vessels, it measures 87.5 meters, holds 240 passengers and 25 of their cars.

Like the Silver Cloud, the ship’s major ports are Wando and Jeju. Songlim Blue Ocean also makes a stop midway at Chuja Island (추자도) on its daily round trip.

The ship only offers two types of tickets. Pay a weekday price of ₩29,850 for a spot on a 28-person open floor. Or spend ₩32,350 for an airplane-style seat (fare list). 

Amenities? Limited.

  • Wando → Jeju
    • 5 hrs
    • Daily
    • Depart: 7:40 AM | Arrive: 12:40 PM
  • Jeju → Wando
    • 5 hrs
    • Daily
    • Depart: 1:45 PM | Arrive: 6:45 PM

Seaworld Express Ferry

Like Hanil Express, Seaworld Express Ferry (씨월드고속훼리주식회사) sails three ferries from two different mainland locations.

Seaworld Express’s two largest ferries shuttle between Jeju Island and Mokpo City (목포시) on the southwestern tip of the peninsula, near the end of the Yeongsangang Bike Path. Their third ferry departs for Jeju from Haenam County (해남군), just below Mokpo.

A one-way trip from Mokpo City requires 4 to 4.5 hours. Though closer, the trip from Haenam County totals 3 hours because it pauses midway on Chuja Island (추자도).

Each vessel takes one day a week off, and two more throughout the month. 

Seaworld’s Ferries permit bicycles on board with a ₩3,000 fee.

Read more about boarding with a bicycle. Or watch a video about their night ship.

Queen Mary

Launched in 1998, Queen Mary (퀸메리) measures 192 meters long and carries 1,264 passengers.

Monday through Sunday, the ship sails the four hour gap twice per day between:

Economy, open-floor rooms holding between 12 and 105 passengers start at ₩32,300. Four-person family rooms go for ₩190,000 and VIP suites start at ₩300,000 (fare list).

Amenities include restaurant, convenience store, cinema, massage chair room, and much more.

  • Mokpo → Jeju
    • 4 hrs
    • Mon to Sun
    • Depart: 9 AM | Arrive: 1 PM
  • Jeju → Mokpo
    • 4 hrs
    • Mon to Sun
    • Depart: 5 PM | Arrive: 9 PM

No departures 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.

Queen Jenuvia

Queen Jenuvia (퀸제누비아) first plopped into the sea in 2020. It measures 170 meters long and can carry 1,284 passengers.

Each day, like its Queen Mary sister, the ship makes a journey between:

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, Queen Jeuvia takes a rest. 

Starting at ₩32,300, Jenuvia’s Economy ticket offers a spot on an open-floor room that holds 10 to 30. Family rooms for four go begin at ₩268,000. Suites will set you back ₩500,000 (fare list).

Amenities include restaurant, pub, cafe, cinema, noraebong, and more.

  • Mokpo → Jeju
    • 5 hrs
    • Tue to Sat
      • Depart: 1 AM | Arrive: 6 AM
    • 1st & 3rd Monday of month
      • Depart: 9:00 AM | Arrive: 1:30 PM
  • Jeju → Mokpo
    • 4 hrs 30 min
    • Mon to Sun
      • Depart: 1:40 PM | Arrive: 6:10 PM
    • 1st & 3rd Monday of month
      • Depart: 5:00 PM | Arrive: 9:30 PM

No departures 2nd, 4th, 5th Mondays of the month.

Queen Star 2

Queen Star 2 (퀸스타2) launched in 2015. Smaller than Seaworld Express’s other ferries, it measures 39.35 meters and carries 444 souls. While the other ferries chug along at 24 knots, Queen Star 2 cuts through the water at 35 knots. 

The ferry sails daily round trip between:

Queen Star 2’s travel time lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes. But it’s midway stop at Chuja Island (추자도) pushes the total trip time to 3 hours.

The ship only offers airplane-style seating (with seatbelt) starting at ₩38,000 (fare list).

Amenities? None to speak of. This two-story, speedy ferry places TVs on the walls and offers a kiosk. But no open deck or karaoke room.

  • Haenam County → Chuja Island → Jeju
    • Daily
    • Haenam County → Chuja Island
      • 1 hr 30 min
      • Depart: 2:30 PM | Arrive: 4:00 PM
    • Chuja Island → Jeju
      • 1 hr
      • Depart: 4:30 PM | Arrive: 5:30 PM
  • Jeju → Chuja Island → Haenam County
    • Daily
    • Jeju → Chuja Island
      • 1 hr
      • Depart: 9:30 AM | Arrive: 10:30 AM
    • Chuja Island → Haenam County
      • 1 hr 30 min
      • Depart: 11:00 AM | Arrive: 12:30 PM

No departures 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month.

MS Ferry

MS Ferry (엠에스페리) sails one ferry, the New Star, from Busan Metropolitan City (부산광역시), Korea’s second largest, to Jeju.

Though Busan sits on the southern coast of Korea, the voyage lasts 12 hours. An overnighter, the ferry departs port in the early evening and arrives at its destination early morning.

MS Ferry allows bicycles on board at no extra cost. Cyclists must park their wheels on the lower deck with the other fossil fuel machines.

Read more with this blog (in Korea).

New Star

New Star (뉴스타호) made its inaugural flight in 1999. It measures 154 meters long and sails 710 passengers at 22.5 knots. 

Each evening, the ship departs from either:

Because it’s a sleeping ferry, passengers receive a place to lay their heads. 3rd Class tickets, starting at ₩51,500, give folks a spot in an open-floor room for 10 to 20. A 1st Class bed in a four person room goes for ₩76,500. Suites costs ₩353,000 (room infofare list).

Like other large ferries, New Star comes loaded: restaurant, lounge, convenience store, massage chair room, noraebang, and more.

  • Busan → Jeju
    • 12 hrs
    • Daily
    • Depart: 7 PM | Arrive: 7 AM
  • Jeju → Busan
    • 12 hrs
    • Daily
    • Depart: 6:30 PM | Arrive: 6:30 AM

Namhae Express

Namhae Express (남해고속) operates from the southwest coast of the peninsula. It sails three ferries to nearby islands.

It’s Jeju-bound ship departs from Goheung County (고흥군) at a modest 21 knots. Because it’s proximity, a one-way trip requires only 3 hours and 40 minutes.

The ship lets passengers store bikes below deck with the other vehicles at no extra cost.  

Arion Jeju

The Arion Jeju (아리온제주호) first set sail in 2002. It measures 146 meters long and carries 818 passengers.

Except for two days a month, daily the ferry ferries back and forth between: 

Though it sails a short route, the Arion Jeju doesn’t offer row seating. Passengers can pay ₩30,300 for a spot on an open floor for 10, a bunk bed for ₩70,400, or 1st Class bed for ₩115,600 (fare list).

The ship offers an array of amenities, like a restaurant, shop, and active stabilization to nullify choppy waves.

  • Goheung County → Jeju
    • 3 hrs 40 min
    • Daily
    • Depart: 9 AM | Arrive: 7 AM
    • Closed 1st and 3rd Sunday
  • Jeju → Goheung County
    • 3 hrs 40 min
    • Daily
    • Depart: 4:30 PM | Arrive: 6:30 AM
    • Closed 1st and 3rd Saturday

Hydex

Hydex (하이덱스) sails a ferry named Beyond Trust between Incheon Metropolitan City (인천광역시), just west of Seoul, and Jeju Island.

The ship boasts both the furthest starting point and longest journey, at 13 hours and 30 minutes.

The ferry service allows portable bicycles for free, but charge an extra ₩10,000 for full-size bikes. Read about boarding with a bike here.

Beyond Trust

Beyond Trust (비욘드 트러스트), at 170 meters long, chugs 864 passengers at 21 knots.

Except for Sunday, the ship makes a daily one-way, 265 nautical-mile overnight trip between:

A 3rd class spot in an open-floor room fitting 30 to 32 goes for ₩90,000. Bunk beds run ₩109,000, family rooms ₩456,000, and VIP suites ₩840,000 (room detailsfare list).

Like other large ferries sailing for Jeju, Beyond Trust provides passengers of all classes with a menu of amenities, including convenience stores, cafes, noraebong rooms, massage chairs, panorama lounge, and restaurant.

Interesting name. “Beyond Trust.” What’s the story?

In 2014, a ferry sailing from Incheon to Jeju sank, killing 304 of the 476 aboard, including a class of high school students. This scarred South Korea’s collective consciousness. Hence the new ferry’s name.

  • Incheon → Jeju
    • 13 hrs 30 min
    • Monday, Wednesday Friday
    • Depart: 7 PM | Arrive: 9:30 AM (the following day)
  • Jeju → Incheon
    • 13 hrs 30 min
    • Tuesday, Thursday
      • Depart: 8:30 PM | Arrive: 10:00 AM (the following day)
    • Saturday
      • Depart: 7:30 PM | Arrive: 9:00 AM (the following day)

Buses

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.

A picture of an intercity bus with the luggage compartment open.
Pop your bike in the luggage compartment and hop on board the intercity bus.

While small, the island employs four types of buses with three to four-digit numbers and color-codes that indicate their functions.

Confusing. Why the variety? Jeju’s people concentrate in downtowns on the island’s top and bottom, then spread thin in the outer rim towns. This forces buses to cover both local and long-distance routes.

So while a frolicking couple needs an express bus to the distant Seongsan Ilchulbong, an 80-something needs a short hop bus to her community center a few blocks from her home.

Let’s look at the types of buses you’ll find on the island’s roads (read more).

  • Express Buses (급행 버스) | red coloring | numbered in the 100s | only make a handful of stops, connecting Jeju Airport, and Jeju and Seogwipo Bus Terminals
  • Main Buses (간선 버스) | blue coloring | numbered in the 200s, 300s, 500s | normal city buses that patrol neighborhoods
    • 200s Buses | general buses that cross between Jeju and Seogwipo
    • 300s Buses | local Jeju City Buses
    • 500s Buses | local Seogwipo City Buses 
  • Branch Buses (지선 버스) | green coloring | numbered in the 400s, 600s, 700s | offering service between Express and Main buses, they connect outlying towns with city centers.
    • 400s Buses | branch buses for Jeju City
    • 600s Buses | branch buses for Seogwipo City
    • 700s Buses | branch buses for small towns
  • Tourist Buses (관광지순환버스) | yellow coloring | numbered in the 800s | connects to popular tourist sites and runs circular routes
  • Other Buses
    • Airport Limousine (공항리무진버스) | red coloring | numbers 600, 800, 800-1 | runs from the airport, through Jeju City, to various spots along Seogwipo’s coast
    • Late Night Buses (심야버스) | yellow coloring | numbers 3000s & 5000s | operates at night between tourist destinations and the airport

Main Buses are commuting buses. They stop in ten-second intervals, long enough to hop on and off. No time for cyclists to slip their greasy bikes in the undercarriage. Tourist and Branch buses? Same.

Only two bus types may let you drop your two-wheeled albatross in their under storage, like mainland intercity and express buses:

  • Express Buses (Num. 100~182)
  • Airport Limousine (Num. 600, 800, 800-1)

The Airport Limousine shuttles between Jeju International Airport and Seogwipo’s major tourist centers. Express Buses, for ₩3,000, ping-pong passengers between three locations:

Each makes one or two waypoint stops, allowing you to get your bike under and out from under its nether regions without too many sideways glances or grunts.

Let’s examine these departure points and their buses.

Jeju Bus Resources

Jeju International Airport

Jeju International Airport (제주국제공항) is the gateway to Jeju. It sits on top of the island in downtown Jeju City.

Korea’s second busiest, Jeju’s airport is also one of the island’s most bustling bus depots.

Wheel your bike to the ground floor and find an array of the pickup and drop off spots for buses heading to near and far destinations.

Check out this list of express buses and airport limousines that may accept passengers with bikes.

Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal

Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal (제주시버스터미널) perches near Jeju Sports Stadium in downtown Jeju City, on the north side of the island.

Several types of buses pass in and out of its platforms, including branch, tourist, and express buses.

Five express buses depart from Jeju Bus Terminal. Each can accept bikes in their undercarriage.

Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal

Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal (서귀포버스터미널) shares the same city block as Jeju World Cup Stadium (제주월드컵경기장) on the bottom of the island in Seogwipo City. 

Like Jeju Bus Terminal, Seogwipo sends four Express Buses. each with an undercarriage that can transport bicycles.

Here’s a helpful blog post on the schedule and function of the terminal.